A couple of years ago, the CEO of Netflix announced that the company would be split, servicewise, between disc rentals and instant streaming.
People went absolutely apeshit.
I wasn’t one of those people; I waited to see how it played out. I got an account in 2006: 5.99 a month, two discs per month (one at a time) and 5 hours of streaming content. It’s been a cheap ride; 2 discs is about what I have time to watch in an average month, and I didn’t even bother streaming much until about 2011. As it’s turned out, movies are no issue, but only five hours of a TV show every 30 days is excruciating. Anyway, there was such a backlash towards the idea that you’d have to pay 2 prices for both discs and streaming (and, obviously, the prices were to be raised) that the plan was cancelled. Sort of. My sub, at that point, was sort of grandfathered in: if I ever closed it, or switched plans, I could never get it back.
I’d decided to cancel my account if that were to happen, partly because I like a lot of old films that aren’t available instantly, but mostly because six bucks a month was totally affordable (and for the equivalent of four movies, it really was a good deal), but any more than that was not. Funny, because it turned out that they decided to do almost the same thing this year. I was informed, as of August, that my subscription would no longer exist; instead, I would simply lose the streaming for the same price. The Netflix plans are now split between streaming and disks.
Since I’ve been watching more streaming than disks lately, I decided that I’d go ahead and cancel the discs. Unlimited streaming is eleven or twelve bucks a month; still more affordable for what I get out of it. Here’s the interesting part, though: the day before I upgraded my streaming account, at least two-thirds of the films in my DVD queue could also be streamed. The next day? Only 19 out of 101. Of course, where there’s an internet, there’s a way- and usually a cheap or free (if unscrupulous) way. Netflix is fairly hassle-free and doesn’t require much digging to find things, but the feeling I’ve been screwed is sticking in my craw.
So we’ll see. I’ll send them a letter (curiously, there is no customer service email) and give it a month or two- long enough to burn through some shows- and see if those films become available again. If not, well.. there are other options.