My wife and I never have time for movies any more. Between work and the kids we just find enough time to eat, sleep and sometimes get dressed.
Our thing is we love shows. We like movies, TV shows, documentaries. You name it. We finally bit the bullet and got Netflix. I think we pay like $9.99/month or something like that.
So far I have been pleasantly surprised by how well the service works. For our priced package we can have unlimited movies per month, but you can only have one in your possession at a time. You can go online and fill up your "queue" and the movies just show up in your mailbox. Once you are done you drop it back in the provided envelope and drop it back in your mailbox. A few days later whatever movie is next in your queue arrives. You keep them as long as you like. You just won't get another movie until you return that one.
Beyond the DVDs, also included in the price is access to watch movies and shows online through your computer (or in our case, we use our iPad or iPhone). Not all movies are available to watch online, but they have a decent selection. New stuff seems to only be mail-order disc, but they have a pretty decent catalog of older movies & shows. We can pull up a cartoon for our kids at anytime/anywhere. It lets you stream up to 2 movies/shows at one time, so sometimes I will be watching something downstairs and my wife will have a show on with the kids upstairs. It also remembers where you left off in a movie if you leave or close it down. Next time you pull up the Netflix app on your iPad you can just start up where you left off. Pretty cool.
If you spend any amount of money at brick and mortar movie rental shops I would recommend looking into Netflix. Saves you so many last minute trips to return a late movie. You only need to walk out to your mailbox. =)
INTERNET, MISSOURI -- Below is my chat conversation with Netflix customer service (you can only contact them through chat or phone, no email). There is nothing in the FAQ about this being how the subscriptions work (I checked, read, searched etc before redeeming.... just had a bad hunch it was going to be something like this). Just wanted to put this out there. If Netflix is going to do this it should be written and made plan and obvious- not only something the customer learns about after the fact.
Just wanted the fact of this out there, so others were aware if they found themselves facing a similar situation. Nearly $100 potentially wasted depending on how long my house takes to sell.
Also, the fact that Netflix has no real customer service should be noted. All Cheryl did was say how the system worked, tell me there was no one else I was allowed to talk to or who could contact me except her supervisor that she could 'Transfer me To' who could tell me no more anyway, and she never offered a solution except... sorry to see you go. That's unbelievably awful customer service. Even without the issue of wasting the money spent on my gift this customer service set up would make it unlikely I would ever consider using Netflix again. There are plenty of possible solutions for this sort of situation, that Netflix has chosen to just go the route of, if it's messed up its messed up don't let the door hit you on the way out- is appalling.
Netflix Cheryl: Hello my name is Cheryl, is this Trevor?
You: Hello, I received a gift subscription I added to my account, but was hoping I could have it paused.
You: Yes, Trevor.
You: We are in the process of selling our house and not there at the moment, so it would be wasted
2 minutes pass
Netflix Cheryl: Hey! Nice to meet you! Let me double check on that for you.
You: Thank you.
3 Minutes pass
Netflix Cheryl: Okay so since the gift has been redeemed all at one time there isn't a way to pause it. Pretty weird if you ask me, if you have a phone that has Netflix you can still watch there, I know it isn't quite the same, but there are cords that will connect certain phones to your TV if you wanted to look into that temporarily.
You: We are at my in laws who already have Netflix, so really this just means it's being wasted. Is there anyone else who might be able to place the account on hold. Surely there are other times a subscription has been needed to be placed on hold. Seems more than weird that the option is not there at all.
Netflix Cheryl: There isn't our system is automated, once you redeem the gift it just keeps being used up. I totally agree that it is weird, the gifts are tricky sometimes. I checked with a few people higher up then me and that is just a bug we haven't been able to fix yet.
You: The account itself cannot be placed on hold?
3 Minutes Pass
Netflix Cheryl: I can transfer you to my supervisor if you would like, he will tell you the same thing though.
Netflix Cheryl: With the gift subscriptions you can cancel to hold your account but it will continue to use, since technically when you redeemed the gift it was for the entire year so basically you paid for the year already so your streaming goes for a year, there isn't a way to stop it.
You: If your supervisor cannot help I would like the email for his supervisor. I would like to inform them that because they insist on wasting the money spent on our gift for a year we will not be spending any money with them again.
You: That is just bad business practice, it's not a bug, it's simple coding to be able to just hault an account. That is done on purpose for obvious reasons. Bad business.
You: Thank you for your help Cheryl
2 Minutes Pass
Netflix Cheryl: I don't have anything like that, we are the customer service so we take all complaints and then send them up to our tech team that runs the site. I totally agree with you and I will send this up to them. I am not sure how all that stuff works I don't make websites so I am not sure how much goes into making a large change like that.
You: It's not a large change to simple place a stop on an account, every other business in the world does so for subscriptions. There is always someone higher up. If your supervisor doesn't have answers then there is someone else I need to talk to.\
2 Minutes Pass
Netflix Cheryl: Yes but if we do it for you, then we have to change the entire way our system is set up for everyone. It really isn't that simple. I personally do not have any information. I have one person higher than me then our tech team they do not have an email or number all complaints go through the representatives.
You: Can you have them call me?
You: The system should be changed if that is the case, but I still disagree that would be the case.
You: It sounds more like a decision that was made, that Netflix decided since the someone else paid for the subscription the recipient probably wouldn't be too put out if they wasted it if extenuating circumstances came up. I also checked your faq before redeeming, no where did it say that this would be the case. Had it I would not have redeemed.
3 Minutes Pass
Netflix Cheryl: I totally agree that it should be changed. I am not able to take any personal information over the chat due to privacy policies. I can promise you that we do not want waste your money we are a company that strives on giving everyone the best service, this is how our billing is set up. I totally am on your side on this and if there was a way for me to put your account on hold I totally would, I do not like having upset customers. I will let them know that the FAQ should be more concrete on what is allowed and what isn't trust me I want to help you we don't want to see you go over this.
You: So how can you help? This will be a deal breaker for me. That's quite a lot of money that is potentially just down the drain depending on how long it takes my house to sell. The faq is not just not concrete, it says nothing about the fact that the account cannot be held, and since you can hold your account otherwise (as we already had) there was no reason to believe this would be different. That is not just not concrete, that is suspiciously incomplete on the topic for something that it's obvious a customer will assume works the way the site normally works.
3 Minutes Pass
Netflix Cheryl: It is JUST on the gift, if you had a card used every month we could hold it but even then, lets say you pay on the 13th and then you want to cancel on the 25th, because you paid your streaming will still continue, same here you have paid for a year so even if you cancel your streaming will continue. We want NON STOP service for all customers, it is inconveinent in some isnstances such as this one I agree I would be just as upset. I really want to help, if I could but in this situation there is no way to pause your streaming and hold your account. The only reason accounts go on hold is for nonpayment. That is it. I totally understand you wanting to leave because of this I wish I could change your mind but if this is the deal breaker I am not too sure what else to do, honestly there ins't a way to do that. I will let our tech team know that we NEED to update this feature.
As you see there is no actual customer service at work here. Just- yeah it's messed up, yeah we should change that, I understand, don't let the door hit you on the way out. No solution offered. No way to talk to anyone or have anyone contact you who could help. Just an unbelievably bad customer service set up. That alone would make me steer clear. Just wanted to put that out there. Hopefully Netflix will at least update their faq, but I rather feel that this is a big thing to have left out on accident.
LOS GATOS, CALIFORNIA -- I have been a member of Netflix before after starting one of the free trials and continuing on as a regular member. However, until recently, I did not have an active membership. I received an email that allowed me to get another free trial as a returning customer. I immediately jumped at the chance because I love being able to watch movies online. However, I found that I had pending charges for the streaming plan 2 days later. I immediately contacted Netflix and talked to CSR on the live chat and she told me that the charges were "pre-authorization" and had been reversed. I kept an eye on my account to make sure the pending charges were deleted, but they changed to actual charges. I went to live chat again and the new CSR did some research for me and found that I was, indeed, charged by their system for the free trial. She reversed the charges manually and my bank account was credited 2 days later. This was very worrying to me because I only started the free trial to use Netflix for a month and then I plan to cancel it. If you get one of those free trial offers, make sure to keep an eye out so you don't get charged!
INTERNET, FLORIDA -- I have used both Netflix for both DVD and live streaming. I never had both streaming and DVD service at the same time. However, when I cancelled DVD service in August 2013, my account was billed for streaming through the end of November. I called customer service and they told me they would only refund me for one month of service ($8.62). I told "Bill" in customer service that I haven't streamed anything from August '13 through the end of Nov. '13. He said, we don't keep track of streaming.
So, I am out $25.86! Watch your bank statements! They, Netflix, will continue to charge your account, WITHOUT your consent!
Signed, Kieran J. O'Hagan (Panama City Beach, FL).
I registered for the one month free trial back in February and proceeded to login on the smart TV. The movies didn't work, the streaming was terrible, within 5 minutes the selected showing froze. I proceeded to cancel my account online [and little to my knowledge... you are supposed to receive a confirmation email]. As far as I was concerned my account was terminated.
We are now in July and my account has continually been charged every month. I called Netflix and spoke with customer service who confirmed there was no activity on my account and that this miscommunication when cancelling the account online is common. I was credited back July and told there would be no problem crediting back the other 4 months but that he needed to transfer me to corporate in terms to do so. Upon speaking with corporate I was told nothing could be done that they see activity on the account for March. When I asked them to state for me what the activity was and to send me a record they refused to do so. As a customer I am entitled to this information, especially because I never used the account.
How can customer service see no activity but corporate office state something different and not be able to back it up with facts?! What kind of customer service is that? At this point I don't even care about the money they basically are scamming from me but I want to make people aware that this company is unreliable and not reputable.
Yesterday I decided to temporarily suspend Netflix since my wife and I will be gone for at least 3 months off and on for the next 5 months or so. I suspended my account and received an e-mail from Netflix stating that we can watch their service until October 26th when my current subscription runs out. The e-mail also stated they would hold my current programs in the menu until I restarted their service. Last night my wife and I were going to watch a movie and low and behold, they went ahead and stopped the service immediately. Since I was paid until the 26th it only shows their contempt for their customers. It was Netflix that stated they will continue to allow us to view programs until the current subscription runs out. Needless to say, we won't be returning to them after the holidays.
CALIFORNIA -- I have been a Netflix member for over 10 years. In the previous 9 1/2 years I have received excellent service and recommended several customers to their service. (about 20 or 30 have joined Nertflix) No More!
In the last 2-3 months they have put all the new release movies on very long wait status even though I had the release at the top of my queue when released. I have been complaining to them during the past week. Today I talked to a supervisor who accused me of trying to get a free DVD because I pointed out to her that their policy used to be when they messed up they would send an extra movie to make up for their mistake. I wasn't asking for anything, just pointing it out. Rude, very rude!
She ended up hanging up on me saying I wasn't listening to her when the fact is she wasn't listening to me. Netflix is obviously experiencing financial difficulties and is trying different procedures to save money. Why don't they just tell the truth instead of making up lies? (I owned Netflix stock for several years because of their excellent customer service. I would not recommend the stock or the service to anyone at this point!)
Netflix announces that it is splitting its unlimited DVD and Streaming services and somehow believes that they've lowered costs to its customers in the process? These people are smoking something again! My subscription began at $13.99 when I started as a Netflix customer and it has continued to increase every 6 months while I've seen tools, features and availability of movies decrease significantly. After the latest price increase, I would be paying $23.98. I say "would" because this is the 4th price increase and I believe my last to enjoy. They've also been notorious for providing tools and features, such as allowing people to see member reviews for helping to select movies, and them taking them away. Movie selection is through a ridiculous process whereby they attempt to make the selection process of equal fairness to paying customers at every level, but instead, through a ridiculous and not very well thought out movie selection and delivery scheme, they end up frustrating everyone by causing people to wait several months to receive a single movie title. Yes, the movies from 1970 and before, which predominaitely make up the streaming movie list, are available without much delay. Some of the new encryption technologies that they use on DVDs has been unplayable on my Bose Surround system and after updating the streaming movie selection by adding a "guide", streaming movies now stop and start continuously during movie playback. I have numerous friends who agree and have experienced this same issue but it's been going on for more than a year without acknowledgement from Netflix. Customer service is only available by telephone and they are not capable of handling technical issues. They are there mainly for moral support. This is by far the most frustrating, poorly managed, customer service running on auto-pilot company you will EVER come across. Hopefully, they will have some direct competition and these ridiculous price increases and monopoly they enjoy now will be smashed right back in their faces for how they've taken advantage of their community.
LOS GATOS, Calif., July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX - News) announced today it is launching new unlimited DVD-only plans in the U.S. at their lowest price ever– only $7.99 a month for the 1 DVD out at-a-time plan and $11.99 a month for the 2 DVDs out at-a-time plan.
New members can sign up for these plans by going to DVD. Netflix.com.
Netflix also announced it is separating its unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD plans in the U.S. to better reflect the costs of each and to give members a choice: a streaming-only plan, a DVD-only plan or the option to subscribe to both.
With this change, Netflix will no longer be offering unlimited plans that include both streaming and DVDs by mail. The unlimited streaming plan will remain at $7.99 a month. The price for getting both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99).
For new Netflix members, the changes will be effective immediately. For existing members, the new pricing will start for charges on or after September 1.
"Netflix members love watching instantly, but we've come to recognize there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs by mail," said Andy Rendich, Netflix Chief Service and Operations Officer. "By better reflecting the underlying costs and offering our lowest prices ever for unlimited DVD, we hope to provide a great value to our current and future DVD-by-mail members."
Netflix introduced streaming to its popular DVD-by-mail business in 2007. Since then, membership has climbed from 6 million to 23 million in the U.S. as people have embraced the idea of watching instantly an ever-expanding library of movies and TV shows on the hundreds of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix right to members' TVs.
LOS GATOS, CALIFORNIA -- I have been a loyal customer and evangelist for Netflix for years. I was happy to take the stress of returning movies "on time" out of my life, even though I ended up paying more for Netflix movies than I would to see movies in the theater (I only watched one every two or three months). I was a satisfied customer, getting the service I paid for.
In December I canceled Netflix, and I left angry. I joined Netflix because it was the most convenient way to watch and return DVDs. Netflix decided to shift focus to "online viewing" without considering how many people use their computer for other things and prefer to watch movies on television. Instead of giving a discount to loyal customers, Netflix RAISED the price on everyone who had built their customer base on DVD subscriptions. Then Netflix offered the streaming service cheaper, which made all the DVD customers feel like Netflix was manipulating them and insulting their intelligence. Customers like to choose their products, not be herded into them.
What Netflix should have done was keep the DVD price the same while offering the cheaper online-only option. It's the fact they RAISED their prices on the loyal customers that built their business which is so insulting.
But that's not even the most outrageous thing Netflix has done. Today I got a "special offer" in the mail, supposedly to tempt me back to Netflix. For a minute I thought it might be an apology to their old DVD customers and some discount to lure me back.
What is Netflix's idea of a "special deal"? It is...NOTHING! NO DISCOUNT AT ALL! THE REGULAR PRICE PRESENTED AS A "SPECIAL DEAL"!
What the Heck?!
Netflix "offered" me the online-only package for the exact same price as they advertised in December, when I said no thanks and slammed the door. Moreover, they "offered" the same DVD service as I had before for two dollars more - the same RAISED price Netflix wanted me to pay in December?
So an offer is "special" just because Netflix says it is? They might be able to fool new customers with that crap, but to send that kind of phony "offer" to former customers is just going to piss them off further.
But perhaps that is the secret plan of Netflix: cash in on the IPO, "fire" all the previous customers, declare bankruptcy, and all the top executives that get away with the spoils will vacation in the Cayman Islands.
I hope the FCC is keeping a very, very close watch on all their shenanigans.