Oct 17 2011

How I Saved Money After Netflix’s Price Change


Carlos Portocarrero

netflix logo

I love Netflix. I’ve been a supporter ever since I signed up for their DVD-by-mail service in 2006. When they added unlimited streaming into the mix, I was even happier.

Netflix allowed me to toss my Blockbuster card and made it even more convenient for me to watch the movies I wanted.

So I was happy to pay them $11/month—it was one of the few bills I never re-visited because I was so blown away by its value.

Then came their price change, which people were pissed off about. I wasn’t sure what new plan I was going to pick or if I was going to still be a customer. I just didn’t see myself paying $16/month for something I was so used to getting for $11.

Does that make me cheap? Probably.

After agonizing over the decision, I asked M what she though we should do. Her answer? “I guess we’ll just pay the $16, right?”

Talk about overruled…

But when I dug into the details and saw which plans were available to me, I saw one that matched our viewing habits to a T. With our one-year-old, we don’t have as much time as we used to to watch movies. And streaming? I can’t remember the last time we watched a streaming movie (besides the fact that so many of them are crap). As for watching from my phone? I was so excited the day the app came out for Android, yet I used that feature all of once to watch a Bill Hicks special on the train. Once.

The price change made me re-evaluate my relationship with Netflix and my usage of it.

I picked a new plan that gave us two DVDs per month and two hours worth of streaming every month. On average, that’s exactly how much Netflix we were using in a month. And for the privilege of this perfect plan, we’ll be paying right around $6.

Now, I’m not here to say the price change was a bad idea (though I do think the spin off and its cancellation were a little goofy), but the problem with changing prices on current customers is that it makes them re-examine their relationship with you. I would’ve kept paying $11 because it was a great deal for us.

But as soon as they asked for more and gave me a bunch of other options, I looked at exactly how much I used Netflix and found a cheaper plan that still gives me what I want.

Am I proud to have cut my bill from $11 to $6? Damn right I am.

Will Netflix suffer because they won’t get those $5/month anymore? Of course not.

But how many other people out there either cancelled altogether or also found a cheaper plan? Share your Netflix price change story in the comments.