How to get more value from Netflix
You're probably angry about Netflix's sudden -- and significant -- price increase, but are you really ready to drop the service? Here's how to make the most of it.
Netflix customers have announced -- loud and clear -- how upset they are about the latest price increase. Customers who continue to combine streaming and DVD rental will see a 60% price increase on or after Sept. 1.
A customer who's billed $9.99 a month now for unlimited streaming and one mailed DVD at a time will pay $15.98 -- $7.99 each for streaming and one-at-a-time DVDs. Big price increase. Same service.
Sure, we could quit Netflix in disgust, as many have threatened. But when we consider all the alternatives available -- we gave up paid TV more than a year ago and don't plan to go back -- we still prefer Netflix's service. The question now is: How can we get more value from it? Post continues after video.
Consider these options:
Go streaming only. That's $7.99 a month, less than you're paying right now. Streaming-only is what Netflix wants you to do because it's more profitable than putting movies in the mail. The downside is that the streaming selection is limited. Fewer than half the movies and TV shows in my queue are available for streaming.
However, that's what Julie Rains of Wise Bread said she's going to do:
When I told my family that Netflix prices were increasing, I gave them the option of choosing DVD or streaming (rather than both). The fast, unanimous decision was "streaming." The truth is that we use the streaming option more often because of its convenience, despite the deeper selection available on DVD.
Optimize that streaming experience. Will Chen of Wise Bread turned us on to instantwatcher.com, which tells you what's being made available for Netflix streaming and what's about to drop off. That's how I found out that "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was in Netflix streaming mode.
Go DVDs only, a good alternative for people who aren't optimally equipped for streaming. Michael at The Dough Roller has updated his post on how to get the most value from Netflix's DVD-only plans, reflecting the new prices. Let's say we can make time to watch one DVD a night (unlikely in summer but very doable in wintertime). The one-DVD-at-a-time plan will provide nine nights of entertainment for a total monthly cost of $7.99, or 89 cents each, he says. If we move to the two-DVD plan, for $11.99 a month, we can watch 18 movies (if we use separate return) for a cost of 67 cents each. With the three-DVD plan at $15.99, that jumps to 27 discs at 59 cents apiece.
That's one cent more than the price of streaming plus one DVD, and much cheaper than Redbox (plus we don't have to leave the house).
Take a break from Netflix. You can suspend your membership when you don't think you'll be watching many flicks -- like the summer months. According to the Hacking Netflix blog, Netflix will store your queue for up to two years if you suspend, quit or switch to streaming only.
Or you can do nothing and pay the higher cost. Or quit. That's what James K. Willcox of Consumer Reports is contemplating.
At the very least, I'll be checking out other options, such as Redbox Blu-ray rentals, and other streaming services such as Hulu Plus and Amazon (free with Amazon Prime). I already have access to Vudu on several devices, and its HDX format offers better picture quality than I can get with Netflix.
Which option are you going with?
More on MSN Money:
Streaming was fun and exciting when it was a free addition to the service. The lack of a quality selection makes it difficult to justify paying extra for the service. Using the service in my house ends up being a constant game of “Lets watch this movie” “Ohhh that’s not on available…” until we give up or settle for a movie that we really didn’t want to watch.
Simple. We cancelled Netflix.
1. We already have ROKU which provides HD resolution versus Netflix via computer.
2. There are many channels there providing free streamining. We just hadn't looked before.
3. Frequently, we had streaming problems with Netflix, so DVD was the answer if we wanted to watch a film without problems like drop outs. The problems continued but we aren't going to pay 60 % more now as a solution for a Netflix problem.
4. To our family, the customer service in handling this increase was the real problem. No planning or announcement to it's loyal or good customers.
" Hey guys, did you find out about our increase in the news ? We don't need or have time to send an announcement to 23 million of you by email even. Don't like it ? Too bad - Bye ! "
5. In 6 months or so, watch for:
a. ) Cancellation of the DVD service as too expensive. Followed by:
b. ) Yet another increase, this time for the streaming service.
Must be nice to make 5.5 million per year as Netflix president. Enjoy paying that for that recently, but quietly hidden increase in compensation folks !
Well, let's see: You can go with streaming only and put up with a drastically reduced selection, or you can go with DVD only and put up with unplayable discs as much as 30% of the time. Or you can pay 50% more than you're paying now and get the joys of both!
I agree Netflix will eventually need to raise its prices, but not before fixing its problems first.
I dropped the DVD/BluRay options, kept the streaming. I never really used the DVD/BluRay options, I was wasting my money.
Maybe I should thank Netflix. :-) They just lost money on me.
I don't think it's that people mind paying, as much as they Detest, the PERCENT OF INCREASE!!!
As with most deals you can find,. They get you HOOKED, than REEL you in!
I canceled Cable, years ago...just don't watch enough TV to make it WORTH IT to me. NetFlix is a lot more "Watcher Friendly", and Still a dea,l when it comes down to it.
Try this again within the next couple years though....AND THEY LOOSE ME, FOR SURE!
"you could suspend............'
Uh huh, or you could cancel.
If you ever want to come back you can rejoin as easy as resuming your oh hold subscription.
Come on people, fight this kind of stab with your wallet.
Streaming from Netflix was never that good anyway. But then again, neither was the disc by mail service. Lots of unplayable discs.
I'm planning to get a Roku box, and with Netflix streaming and DVD it will still be cheaper. Until they get more of their library on streaming I'd like to have access to as much content as I can. Unfortunately, despite what they say, I don't think that will happen anytime soon. The studios learned NOTHING from the record companies about how their customers listen to music nowadays. They're fighting tooth and nail to keep anyone from watching anything they didn't purchase on Blu-Ray. I say, fine, if you don't want me to watch it, I'll stop going to the movies altogether. :P
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Preteens, rejoice. The grown-ups have a compelling reason to consider getting you a tablet this year. Adults, listen up.