The Netflix Conundrum

I like Netflix. Ever since I started using the film rental service, I have been extremely happy with the service. Decent delivery time at a dead cheap service? I’m all for it. Our relationship has been like a cheesy high school romance that has been annoying you with Facebook statuses about how amazing things are. But much like that paper-thin relationship, it was inevitably going to end publicly and in ugly fashion. Turns out that my loving rental service only wants our union to continue if she can get more of my money but contribute nothing to the relationship.

What was the catalyst for the strained relationship? A month or so ago I, like millions of others, received an email from Netflix. The email, for those who did not receive it, stated that they would be separating their streaming service and DVD mailing service. Which means in order for me to continue receiving both services, I would be forced to pay $17.98, nearly 120% more than what I was originally paying. For me, this would not be a problem except for one thing: I make minimum wage wading through the trenches of a theater.

Like many people, I was furious when I learned this. I also considered cancelling my service to the trollop- I mean company. But then I came to my senses. I realized that it is the only reliable source of film rental available. Since traditional stores such as Blockbuster and Movie Gallery closed up shop months ago in my area, the only other service available would be Redbox.

But Redbox is unreliable. They never seem to have new releases until a few weeks after they come out and their selection of films is limited. So it looks like I am sticking with Netflix, but at a compromise: streaming only or DVD by mail only. Since this new plan goes into effect September 1st, I’ve had plenty of time to decide what service I want, but it has proven more difficult than I expected.

On the one hand, streaming is instant, unlike the mailed DVD’s which typically take three days to receive a new one. With streaming, all I have to do is power up my xbox, click on what film I want to watch, and away I go. And most new release foreign films are available on the day they come out. But most large new releases are not and the streaming selection is significantly smaller than the DVD’s by mail. This is why I believe I will stick with the old snail mail version.

In truth, this is not the superior decision. That title belongs to the streaming + DVD service. But I just don’t have the cash for that service. Which is a shame because it affects how I run this site in a way. For example, tomorrow I will probably be seeing the remake of ‘Fright Night’. Since I have never seen the original film, I would normally see if it was available to watch on streaming. If not, I would have it shipped weeks before the release. That way, I would have something to compare the new film to. Unfortunately, Netflix’s greedy ways have changed that. And for other people as well.


2 Responses to “The Netflix Conundrum”

  1. I’m still old fashioned in that I rent most of my DVDs from a mom-and-pop movie store around the corner. Netflix Instant is a huge bonus for me but I really only use it for TV shows and documentaries. Most of the movie selections are pretty lame. My biggest issue with the price increase was in the way they worded the boost, like they were doing the consumer a favor. Boo. Good thoughts!

    • Kevin Entrekin Says:

      It must be nice to have a place just around the corner that you can actually still walk into. In my area we really only had one rental place and it closed up last year. And your right, the price change felt more of a betrayal than a favor. Thanks for the input!

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