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Hell hath no fury like a Netflix customer scorned

Netflix faces customer rage over the new prices, but it will benefit everyone in the long run

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
July 13, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1cb0

It’s been roughly 24 hours since Netflix announced its plans to hike up its monthly rates by 60%, and customers are all sorts of pissed off—as, of course, they have every right to be, considering this is Netflix’s second rate hike in less than a year.  So with all those disgruntled customers, has Netflix just signed its own death warrant?

When a whole swarm of people get pissed off at something, where do they go to vent their fury?  Social media.  Twitter and Facebook were besieged by angry Netflix customers on Wednesday, with #DearNetflix becoming one of the top trending topics of the day.  On Facebook, Netflix has already received 38,800 enraged comments on its status update regarding the changes, while 797 confused customers “liked” the status, although several posters explained that they “liked” the status in order to post an angry comment.

The responses included those from customer Melinda Mustered, who wrote: “You probably should have added a lot of good movies before increasing the price for mediocre service” (referring to the streaming-only service).

Fellow Netflix subscriber Nathan Word wrote: “Redbox is so happy right now.”

But my favorite comes from Dent Foster, who wrote: “BULLSHIT!”

Several customers complained about the fact that they haven’t received any notice from Netflix via email regarding the changes (which are sure to come later), while others have created anti-Netflix fan pages, because they’re super mature like that.

Interestingly, it appears that Netflix has been actively deleting several of the angrier comments, which is only adding fuel to the customer blaze as users comment on the fact that Netflix is deleting their comments.

Hell hath no fury like a Netflix customer scorned.  But to return to my original question, HAS Netflix signed its own death warrant?  It would appear so, but its stock actually rose by $7.46 today, an increase of 2.56%.  Could it be that while customers are threatening to leave Netflix by the droves, the new pricing plan has actually renewed investor confidence in Netflix’s business plan?  Let’s be realistic here: Redbox is convenient, but has nowhere near the selection that Netflix has.  And Blockbuster…Blockbuster who? 

And when you actually consider the new pricing system, it’s not as terrible as it sounds.  The combination 1-DVD plus unlimited streaming plan has been jacked up to $16 a month, but the streaming-only plan is still just $7.99 a month.  And now Netflix is offering a DVD-only plan that also starts at $7.99 a month.  So when you consider other streaming services, like Hulu Plus, Amazon, Apple, etc., Netflix is still competitively priced.  So despite their threats, customers are going to continue using the service, but now Netflix will be making more money.

I know, it sucks—because spending more money always sucks, but this, too, shall pass.

 

Image source: smallbizmap.com


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