In all the history of the world, or at least this year, does any disaster really compare to the tragedy unleashed on millions of innocent Netflix subscribers with the recent news of price hikes and having to make a choice between streaming and DVDs?
We know for many of you, this is far from a laughing matter, but a site created by Will Ferrell (among others), Funny or Die, with the help of Jason Alexander, would like to add a little levity to the situation in offering this video:
Ok, fun aside, this is more than a $72 increase over the course of a year and not just middle-class, Pilates-practicing white people are affected. But sometimes, you have to take a step back and do some self-reflection if it's really worth all the energy and grief being put into railing about it.
When Netflix separated its DVD and streaming plans, and then raised its prices 60 percent, it caused waves of outrage and played out on Facebook where nearly 81,000 vented about the changes.
While there are more than 23 million subscribers, a vocal faction of them were — and are — mad enough to leave Netflix forever. On one of our recent polls, 45 percent of 27,415 people (which comes to 12,381) who voted said they'd make a clean break with any plan and cancel. The report mentioned in that story predicted at least 2 million members would take their business elsewhere. Netflix's letter to shareholders about its second-quarter showed a significant drop in drawing new U.S. subscribers, bringing it back to the same gains it had in the third quarter of 2010. But overall, Netflix still gained members domestically, with more than 24 million subscribers in its second quarter vs. nearly 23 million in the first quarter of 2011.
And it expected a backlash to its announcement to split its DVD and streaming plans, telling shareholders, "Some subscribers will cancel Netflix or downgrade their Netflix plans. We expect most to stay with us because each of our $7.99 plans is an incredible value. We hate making our subscribers upset with us, but we feel like we provide a fantastic service and we’re working hard to further improve the quality and range of our streaming content in Q4 and beyond."
Over on Facebook, the rage against the Netflix machine is still going, on other threads after that initial announcement. Even posting an update on the addition of "Mad Men" to the stream has done nothing to calm the masses down. See this comment:
Here is why the netflix ceo screwed up and pissed off so many people. Their streaming is lousy. It is not HD or surround sound. The titles available on streaming are very old and very limited. Their deals with studios are small, limiting what they can get, or will get in the future. You must buy a device to view netflix on your tv. You need a data cable from your home router to the netflix device. You can get a wireless connection but there are many problems with wireless. Video streaming technology isn't "there" yet it is still too new to go mainstream.
So, there's very little laughter for those upset with Netflix. But c'mon, that video, didn't it make you chuckle, a little?
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Check out Technolog on Facebook, and on Twitter, follow Athima Chansanchai, who is also trying to keep her head above water in the Google+ stream.