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Unhappy Netflix customers are chasing away new subscribers

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Sep 2011 15:24 User comments (18)

Unhappy Netflix customers are chasing away new subscribers The decision, by Netflix, to increase the price for using both their disc by mail and streaming services isn't just costing them existing customers. According to Chief Financial Officer David Wells it has also resulted in fewer new subscribers.
Replying to a question yesterday at a Goldman Sachs conference, he said, "what we see is the word of mouth did make an impact."

He didn't elaborate on how much new subscriber growth was affected. He also emphasized, "We're still the market leader," but also admitted the continuing trend of subscribers cancelling wasn't anticipated.

In the past, he said, the effect of a price increase had been immediate, followed by a return to growth. That was not the case after the drastic changes announced in July.

"What we saw in Q3," said Wells, "was a spike and then a sort of a steady response through the quarter, so more cancels through the quarter."

Wells also pointed out there has been no international impact. Not exactly a surprise considering Netflix customers outside the US didn't experience any changes.

Remarkably, he suggested Netflix might be open to offering individual streaming video rentals at some point in the future, even though they aren't considering right now. This is a reversal from their long standing position.

The full affect of the Netflix price hike is still up in the air. Just today, Blockbuster introduced a new streaming and disc rental service exclusively for Dish Network subscribers.

They also hinted that a standalone streaming service for non-Dish Network subscribers might be coming in the future.

Some see this as Amazon's best opportunity to attract disgruntled Netflix customers with their own streaming service offered to Amazon Prime members. One has even gone so far as to suggest Amazon could buy Netflix, although that seems far fetched for a number of reasons.

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18 user comments

123.9.2011 15:52

This makes sense for a company like Netflix.
My bill-date is on the 15th, so I will wait until around the 10th before I cancel. I'm sure most people do this.
Why throw away a service you've already paid for the month?

It looks like they are starting to hurt!


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

223.9.2011 16:22

Dear Netflix.
It is obvious you can't see past you greenback noses.

People are flocking to Redbox and Blockbuster in the most part because they offer optical disk rentals.

If you really think offering streaming DVD rentals will help recoup and add new customers, you're living a pipe dream.

Thank you
Ex customer who was a subscriber for many years.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Sep 2011 @ 16:23

Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

323.9.2011 16:57

Good Riddance.

This is my story with Netflix:

First Year: "Holy $hit, Netflix offers instant streaming for only 7.99 with DVD rentals by mail. Sign me up."

Second Year: "Hmm, instant streaming sucks, there aren't many good movies, pretty good deal for the occasional stream and unlimited DVDs by mail even if the price is now 9.99."

Third Year: "Streaming has gotten much better. I wish new DVD releases had more availability though, sometimes the wait time is weeks. I guess I can use Blockbuster Express for that."

Four Year: "Netflix is raising prices again!? to $15.99!? Well, new DVD rentals are still an issue, not to mention that BlockBuster Express now charges $3 for most new releases, so I'll be cancelling that. Blockbuster offers unlimited Blu-ray/DVD rentals with unlimited in-store exchanges for $9.99 so I'll be getting that. Oh I forgot, you can't do multiple streams on Netflix anymore, so I'll keep that for a month and re-access. "

I'll probably be canceling their stream service too since i have all the premium channels free for 2 years and Comcast has on demand and access to all their premium content via the web.

423.9.2011 18:05

Originally posted by ThePastor:
This makes sense for a company like Netflix.
My bill-date is on the 15th, so I will wait until around the 10th before I cancel. I'm sure most people do this.
Why throw away a service you've already paid for the month?

It looks like they are starting to hurt!
When you cancel your service it doesn't end right then. You don't lose anything. You continue to have access until your renewal date.

523.9.2011 18:20

I read all these doom and gloom stories on Netflix, and although I love to hear their greed is biting them in the ass. What I have yet to read ANYWHERE is how much better IS Blockbuster and Redbox doing? Are their market shares shooting through the roof? is Blockbuster getting record subscriptions now?

We know they are doing better now that Netflix blew it. But why no stories on how much better they are doing?



623.9.2011 19:15

I started signing up with Blockbuster, and did a quick once-over of their terms of service when I came upon what they call "Autosale" which is essentially a disguised late fee. If anything happens and the disc doesn't make it back to them within three days of the rental period, I'm charged full movie price whether I actually received the DVD or not.

A few times during my five years with Netflix, my rental DVDs disappeared in the mail. Netflix immediately sent replacements and didn't charge me a nickel. With Blockbuster, I could've been out $100 or more for DVDs that never got to my door.

Pass. I simply don't trust the Blockbuster brand at all anymore.

Until Blockbuster does away with ALL forms of late fees, I'll put up with Netflix and their shenanigans.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Sep 2011 @ 20:43

When laws allow unlimited ownership of ideas, it is to a society as iron fusion is to the core of a star.

When verified realities lead us to anger, we must learn to reevaluate our beliefs.

723.9.2011 20:19

I don't understand how they hired analysts to predict how consumers would react to this, and yet everyone is surprised? How would you not see that a change in price on this scale would have a huge consumer disinterest? Rising the prices of anything that consumers have to pay monthly will always have a negative impact.

823.9.2011 22:41

Netflix sends me little credit-card sized pieces of cardboard with free month codes on them...I handed them out to people, left them sitting on top of redbox's, etc...now I just throw them away.



924.9.2011 11:37

what did ya expect with a price hike like that. just to let ya know, i am also one who left netflix, and yes i have told a bunch of people, and that did stop them also from purchasing netflix. sorry but thats way too high for my blood.
your service isnt THAT good. maybe if ya had new realeases out earlier, and put new movies in more often, hell i like the old movies too.

Good Bye Netflix.

1024.9.2011 11:54

Originally posted by 1nsan3:
what did ya expect with a price hike like that. just to let ya know, i am also one who left netflix, and yes i have told a bunch of people, and that did stop them also from purchasing netflix. sorry but thats way too high for my blood.
your service isnt THAT good. maybe if ya had new realeases out earlier, and put new movies in more often, hell i like the old movies too.

Good Bye Netflix.
Netflixe's early days had excellent customer service.

"Must of got lost"

You didn't have to wait 28 days for new releases.

I understand price increases but the way Netflix went about things is just plain wrong.

Like many people have said, they should of kept steaming and DVD rentals under one roof.

Other then money, I see no sense in their market planning.

Friends also said goodbye to Netflix

Jeff

1126.9.2011 9:07

Originally posted by skeil909:
When you cancel your service it doesn't end right then. You don't lose anything. You continue to have access until your renewal date.

Incorrect. They stop the streaming service immediately, according to Netflix customer service. I was advised by the Netflix rep I spoke with that I should wait 'til the day before the renewal date, if I wanted to receive what I'd already paid for before I terminate.

I was (dubiously) OK with going to streaming-only, but the "no multiple streams unless you have a DVD plan" policy is also the "Bozobub drops Netflix like a smelly turd" policy, sorry Netflix.

1226.9.2011 12:02

Originally posted by Bozobub:
Originally posted by skeil909:
When you cancel your service it doesn't end right then. You don't lose anything. You continue to have access until your renewal date.

Incorrect. They stop the streaming service immediately, according to Netflix customer service. I was advised by the Netflix rep I spoke with that I should wait 'til the day before the renewal date, if I wanted to receive what I'd already paid for before I terminate.

I was (dubiously) OK with going to streaming-only, but the "no multiple streams unless you have a DVD plan" policy is also the "Bozobub drops Netflix like a smelly turd" policy, sorry Netflix.


I canceled my service and had streaming up until my renewal date, along with 3 at a time DVD's. My daughter canceled her service and also had streaming up until her renewal date. My friend canceled his service and had streaming up until his renewal date. Not sure who you talked to, but they didn't know what they were talking about.

1326.9.2011 13:35

I'm not sure what the new Netflix's rules on termination dates are. I once cancelled my account for a brief time before subscribing again. Netflix did indeed stop service immediately. The subscriber was not entitled to a partial refund.

When I cancelled permanently, I waited to the last billing date so I wouldn't be shortchanged.

Jeff

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Sep 2011 @ 13:36

Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

1426.9.2011 15:52

I still believe that it is a good value... if you use it.
But many people have it simply for fill ins... things that you can't get elsewhere or that odd night when there's just nothing on.
At $7 or $8 bucks it was fine to pay and hardly use it...
but not at $16

I'm sure Netflix will keep it's users who use the system every day. But for those of us who just had it because it was a great value, well, we no longer find it to be such a great value.


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

1530.9.2011 13:09

WARNING!!!

I haven't used NF in many years but they USED to cancle your subscription the day you cancled. If it was within a week or so of the new billing period, you will still get a bill for the next month even though you cancled the month before. Just try to complain about that I don't think you can talk to a human!

I bought and canceled NF and BB several times each. BB was far more moral.

162.10.2011 9:37

I'll be dumping Netflix forever a day or two before my billing period. Bye Bye Netflix!!

1710.10.2011 10:07

When I canceled netflix, it canceled the same day and i had 2 and a half weeks of my subscription left. I had planned on getting it again in a couple months but not now. When I use to play world of warcraft I always had time until the end of my subscription... and I tried several times to watch a couple things after I canceled with Netflix, but couldnt. For those of you who were able to keep using until your subscription end date, not saying I dont believe you but I dont believe you even a little bit.

1810.10.2011 12:38

Originally posted by Mez:
WARNING!!!

I haven't used NF in many years but they USED to cancle your subscription the day you cancled. If it was within a week or so of the new billing period, you will still get a bill for the next month even though you cancled the month before. Just try to complain about that I don't think you can talk to a human!

I bought and canceled NF and BB several times each. BB was far more moral.
Err, I canceled my subscription by talking to a human - lol. They DO answer the phone number that they post on the site, you know.

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