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!
I have been a long-time subscriber to NetFlix. Like most people, I had become discouraged with the level of service I had been receiving based on the promised NetFlix said they would deliver. I did a search on the Internet for "NetFlix complaints" and was surprised at the number of hits I received. I started wading through all of the negative posts and eventually stumbled on some recommendations for alternatives to NetFlix for online DVD rentals.
I saw that IntelliFlix was a highly rated competitor to NetFlix so I checked it out. They have a SuperPass plan that allows you to sign up for a year in advance for a 3-at-a-time rental plan that includes DVDs, video games, and adult titles. The monthly cost of the plane ended up being less than $15 per month which was less than what either NetFlix or BlockBuster was currently offering with seemingly more choices. I say seemingly because of what transpired after the fact.
I signed up for the SuperPass with IntelliFlix on a Monday and proceeded to fill up my queue with a variety of new and old releases, a couple of adult titles, and numerous other DVDs totaling 20 titles. I then anxiously awaited to see what DVDs would be coming my way in the next few days. There was supposed to be a moratorium of sorts for a couple of days while IntelliFlix sorted out my account before they would ship the first title but by Tuesday the first title showed up in my queue status as being ready to ship. To my actual dismay, it was one of the adult titles I selected and not one of the movies I actually wanted (please keep the snickering to a minimum).
I waited somewhat anxiously to see how long it would take to get the movie (I was more interested in the actual turnaround time at this point rather than the movie content. Again, please quash the snide remarks). The movie didn't show until Friday and there were still no other selected titles in my queue that were being shown as ready to ship.
I checked the address on the IntelliFlix envelope and found that the DVDs were being shipped from Massachusetts. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing except for the fact that I live in Maryland over 400 miles away. The nearest NetFlix distribution center was less than 40 miles away and most DVDs were turned around in one or two days.
I ran many searches on the IntelliFlix website to try to locate titles but many of the DVDs that I had in my NetFlix queue were not even listed in the IntelliFlix database. I have never had a problem finding new releases of any DVD listed in the NetFlix inventory. I also tried running a search for upcoming releases but again turned up nothing. NetFlix has listings for movies before they're even released to the theaters and allows you to place them in a saved queue until a release date is announced.
Intelliflix has no indication as to the status of any movie in your queue whereas NetFlix at least lets you know if there's a short wait, long wait, extremely long wait, or if the title is available now. IntelliFlix does provide you the option to rent a single DVD outright at rates comparable to Blockbuster. This makes me wonder if they don't give direct rental customers preferential treatment over their regular subscribers. It certainly makes sense for them if they can get $4.26 for each rental as opposed to $1 or less for each title. That tells me that the regular subscribers are getting shafted even worse than NetFlix members.
In retrospect, while I may be dismayed by NetFlix's business practices, they do provide a good service at a decent price, especially when you consider the convenience of renting online and the fact that most rentals average less than $1.50 each. I'm still pissed that NetFlix sucks customers in and then reneges on their original agreement by forcing a limitation on the number of titles you can rent but when compared to other online rental services, they do appear to be the best available.
I can only assume that the reviewers that rated IntelliFlix so highly must only rent obscure titles in the IntelliFlix inventory and also live within 50 miles of the nearest IntelliFlix distribution center. I, for one, was not the least bit impressed.
After last year's bonehead move I hope Netflix has started to listen to their dwindling customer base. You say publicly that you are trying to get your customers to go to streaming but then you turn around and remove streaming content. I'm talking her specifically about “A Touch of Frost”. You removed the first 14 seasons.
Have you looked at the Members Reviews for this show? The last 17 pages are complaints about removing the series and pleas to bring it back. That's about 170 customers that took the time to voice their displeasure. 170 customers might not sound like much but you know that very few people actually take the time to say anything. You need to start listening to your customers or those saying you are on the way out may be right.
The customer service is rude and argumentative and does not care to provide solutions to the customer. My services was put on hold due to not being able to provide the funds. So a month later I was able to provide the funds and get my services back on.
One week later they put a hold on my account. I called and spoke to the customer service agent and all he wanted to tell me was that I would have to make another payment to be able to watch any more movies. So he pretty much told me was that I was getting billed for a time that I didn't have access to movies. I could understand if I had access and they billed me but I didn't. Now I am out of the money that I just paid for services and no movies.
Netflix does not really provide customer feedback. Their response is if you do not like the service then CANCEL it. I tried getting someone to tell me why most of the on-demand movies are decades old and the response is we do our best. Movies from the 40's through the 80's is all they seem to have and if you are a movie buff you have probably seen them already or do not want to. For $7.99 monthly this is crap. I watch maybe once a week and the choice is horrible. I recommended them to several of my friends and they are saying "it stinks". If this does not improve I will just go to Blockbuster service or FiOS On Demand. Who wants to pay for crap?
I cancelled the account
I am still on my free trial however I doubt that I will keep the service. Some days it works great and some days it takes 4 hours to watch an 1 1/2 hr movie because of all the stops and starts retrieving. They blame it on my internet, however we have the best modem you can buy and a very fast internet speed because my wife works from the home as a travel agent. From Friday to Monday morning it always quits working and sometimes on a weekday. I think Netflix is just too busy to give good service. I can drive to a video store and watch a movie faster than they can "instantly download" a movie in four hours.
OK, Netflix is OK, but it's a little annoying. Many of the titles are 'disc only' so you can't stream them. A lot of the titles available are so old, they're probably on HBO. The Streaming is AWFUL. It's slow to load, the audio and video don't match up, and the quality is horrible, horrible, horrible.
One GOOD thing about it? You can stream a comedian's act to your iPhone and listen while you're commuting to or from work. It works pretty well, as long as you're using it for the audio and don't care about the picture quality (while driving this is obvious). I don't think it's worth the $8, wait, $9, wait, now $10 a month they charge (annoying price keeps going up as well.).