It's no real skin off my nose if Netflix wants to change its name to NetQwixMovFilmMcMettaWorldPeace, and then change it back again. I dropped the service right around the time of the price hike and haven't looked back. But I do think that the company got too cocky too fast.
"Netflix" was becoming a verb in the same way that "Xerox" became shorthand for making copies. But now we movie fans have way more options as far as where to get our movies.
There's a Redbox rental kiosk in the parking lot of my drug store and another at one of the grocery stores I go to. They're even in some McDonald's.
And although video stores are closing like crazy, the ones that are still around have some incredible deals. You can rent a movie for 49 cents on certain days at my local Blockbuster, and on my last receipt they threw in a coupon for a free rental. And they get the new releases well before Netflix by mail.
Streaming video isn't limited to Netflix either. Video on Demand and Hulu, along with others, can scratch the must-see-it-now itch pretty darn well. Even Amazon now has a video streaming service -- actually, two. I already have an Amazon Prime membership, so now I get video streaming for free. The movie choices are limited, but free is free, and Amazon also has a pay service if I want more titles.
Netflix couldn't have expected to stand alone forever in the mail rental arena. But they seem to have forgotten that the American consumer does not like to be jerked around. Any person on the street could have foreseen trouble with Qwikster. So someone who wants both streaming and mailed discs has to keep up with two ID/password combos and visit two separate Web sites? Two bills to pay each month? Will the two accounts talk to each other? Why make something more complicated than it already was? The price hike and now the changing-our-name-NO! WAIT! WE'RE NOT! business is just trying customer patience.
There are a ton of options out there for moviegoers (including your public library's collection, for free) and they're growing all the time. You'd think a company with an established customer base would want to nurture and protect and expand that audience, not pick their pockets and change its name.
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