Netflix announced on Tuesday that customers who want to continue watching unlimited, streaming movies and still get DVDs by mail will have to pay 60 percent more under new pricing plans.
Previously, customers had to pay only $9.99 to get both services. But the company has decided to price DVDs and streaming videos separately, at $7.99 apiece. The result is that customers will now have to pay $15.98 per month to use the same services as before, only before it cost them six dollars less.
"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, chief service and operations officer for Netflix. "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."
But many Netflix users are incensed and they want the company to know about it. As of the writing of this article, over 30,000 people have taken to the company's Facebook page to vent their outrage and even threaten to cancel their subscriptions altogether.
A press release from the Los Gatos, Calif.-company says that since introducing streaming video to its customers in 2007, the number of Netflix users has increased from 6 million to 23 million in the United States. Many of those who are posting complaints say that their streaming video service doesn't offer enough of a selection to warrant purchasing it by itself, but they don't want to pay for both services under the new price plan.
Jessie Becker, vice president of marketing for Netflix, briefly explained on the company's blog the reason for restructuring their pricing plans. She wrote, “we have realized that there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs both from our existing members as well as non-members. Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have, treating DVDs as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs.”
She later added, “We hope one, or both, of these plans makes sense for our members and their entertainment needs.”
These price changes will go into immediate effect for new Netflix members. Those currently using their services will see changes begin for charges on or after Sept. 1 of this year.