Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Netflix-ed Out!



My gruelling MBA course didn't make me do it. My wife couldn't make me do it. Kavya couldn't make me do it. But Karthik finally forced me do it! He made me reduce my Netflix subscription to the 1-at-a-time program i.e. I can rent as many movies as I want but I can have only 1 movie at home at any time. I have to send that back to get the next one.

It took us 3 days to watch Blade:Trinity in its entirety and Alien vs Predator, which arrived in the mail last Friday, is still inside its Netflix cover, unopened. So the 3-at-a-time program was essentially not being exploited. I still couldn't cancel my subscription completely since there are some good movies(Million Dollar Baby, for one) coming out that I really want to see and I still feel strongly about setting foot in our local Blockbuster. Hope Karthik lets me hold on to this one :-)

At the same time, I am truly amazed at how easy Netflix makes it to reduce or even cancel my subscription. A simple click on a link is all it takes. There are so many other companies that make it easy to sign on but make us jump through hoops cut off the connection. Once again, Netflix impressed me!

23 Comments:

At 12:33 PM, Blogger My Turn said...

I was impressed with their customer service as well. I cancelled my membership couple of years ago and it was just a one-click procedure.

I'd hate to see Blockbuster winning this battle. I've often questioned why a unique business solution (an idea, service or channel) doesn't warrant the same protection (i.e. patent) that a technical development does. Netflix truly revolutionized the way we rent movies. So, why not give them the competitive edge over the traditional brick and mortar companies for a few years? I'm rooting for Netflix to continue to remain successful.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous ram said...

i canceled my netflix membership recently coz i wanted to spend that money on expanding my Tamil "classics" (in quotes, on purpose) collection...
but yeah, my decision had nothing to do with their cust. service- its excellent...matter of time b4 i rejoin...

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Munimma said...

Hey,
Same here. I cancelled out a few years back and then signed back on recently for 2 at a time. But even those 2 are gathering dust a lot of times.

Aside: Didn't know about the MBA! lucky you, I am looking for time plus motivation :-D

 
At 1:43 PM, Blogger VC said...

Me 4 (as in, me too, me 3 etc.)
Cancelled a few years back and signed back on recently for 3-at-a-time and now 2-at-a-time.
I didn't know they had 1-at-a-time also. Well, now I do and maybe will switch to it.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger VC said...

The problem is I select some not-so-well-known movies thinking that maybe they will be good. Only to discover why they were not-so-well-known......

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

Balaji/other bloggers, if you know of a Netflix-like reliable site for Tamil DVDs please let us know. Currently using 1800imall.com - postage delays are there some time, but otherwise not so bad. Their collection is not so extensive- could'nt find Dhil,Bombay, Azhagiya theeye etc.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

myturn, welcome back :) and i was thinking the exact same patent thing when blockbuster announced its online rental business...

so thats 4 bloggers who have cancelled their membership at one time or another. hmmm... not good for netflix! but as long as u guys dont join blockbuster i guess i'm ok with it :)

vijay, never tried a site for tamil dvds. the guy who wanted my reviews for such a site paid me for my older reviews but havent heard from him since! was hoping that would be the site u were looking for...

btw, CHANDRAMUKHI IS OUT ON DVD :-)

 
At 3:32 PM, Anonymous ram said...

btw, CHANDRAMUKHI IS OUT ON DVD :-)

--> konja naall mooditrundheengaley-nu paathen...aaramichitaanyaaa aaramichittaanyaa!

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger VC said...

Vijay - http://www.indiahuthouse.com

Disclaimer - I don't know anything about the quality of this site. I don't use it. I don't know of anyone who uses it.

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Prakash said...

One more to the list of ex-members.

I liked the service itself. And I was in the Bay area then, so the turnaround was very quick (1-2 days). My reasons for cancellation:
1) The movies I wanted were always out of circulation.
2) After the initial flurry of movies, there just weren't that many movies I wanted to watch. But I'd end up ordering mediocre movies because I felt I had to.
3) The biggest reason is I am a mood person when it comes to movies, and I won't know my mood 4-5 days ahead of time. So JIT works better for me.

Balaji, if it makes you feel any better, I am anti-Blockbuster as well. So my solution is to go to a mom-and-pop store couple blocks from Blockbuster. They don't get the latest movies as quickly as Blockbuster, but I could care less. Lot cheaper, and they are less interested in my late fees.

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

with the # of movie lovers here, i thot netflix membership would be a given. but looks like the ex-members far outnumber the current members!

 
At 7:55 PM, Anonymous rekhs said...

can i know why u guys r all anti blockbuster?
just curious!hope that doesnt kill me:)
i live in chennai!

 
At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Prakash said...

rekhs, I am anti-BB just because of their high fees and esp b'cos of their late fee policy. BB (ab)uses late fees as a separate revenue source.

I once returned a couple movies a few hours late. Due at noon, I returned at 3-4PM. They charged me $8.42, and wouldn't waive it as an one-time courtesy. That was the last time I went to BB--more than 3 years back.

Say a 5-day rental costs $4. You'd think if you returned it 2-3 days late, it would cost an additional $4. But no! It is $4/day for **each** late day. My roomie once missed the due date, so he figured he'd hold it for another 4 days. He forgot again, and eventually returned the movie after 12 days. He thought they'd charge $10-12, but he was dinged for $35-40! He ended up buying the movie for $20!

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous ram said...

prakash, at first glance (for a split-second really) i thought "hey, why's he anti BB?!" (balaji balasubramaniam!! looks like the BBs have a vitta kura thotta kura relnship!)

 
At 8:08 PM, Anonymous rekhs said...

prakash ..thanx 4 clearing the cobwebs in my mind:)
u know tictac in R.A.Puram is no better,they charged us a fine of RS350 for 3 day-delay when ajith the hero got scotfree for a 30 days delay...and i did a thandavam there and said if at all any1 can afford, it is ajith,who shd also pay the fine and u shdnt b so celeb starry eyed!!!oru kannil thaen oru kannil sunaambu!:)

 
At 8:30 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

a couple of other reasons... they don't have a good collection once u go past the new releases. and dont bother getting new copies if old movies get damaged.

the employees r usually not well-informed and have a few stock responses. the user reviews @ netflix r far more useful.

and i hated the dirty tactics they employed to compete with netflix. i'm glad to notice the tactics didnt work and they're still far behind :-)

 
At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Prakash said...

Ram, how can any of us be anti-Balaji?! Without him, kanda kanda cinema paathu evvalavu kaasu dhanda selavayirukkum, evvalavu time veenayirukkum!

Balaji, I usually have a backlog of good movies I haven't yet seen, so I never rely on the employees' opinions. What dirty tactics did Blockbuster employ? I know their big "No late fees" ad campaign is all BS. Anything else?

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

prakash, thanx :)
i was just talking about their copying of everything that netflix did, their initiation of a price war(we all know what that does to all companies), their throwing in goodies like free in-store rentals, etc.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger jon said...

We are trying to find good dvd movie to take the kids this weekend. Good dvd movie reviews are hard to find

I just stumbled onto your blog while looking. Seems to happen to me a lot since I am a knowledge mooch LOL

Thanks

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger MP3 Doctor said...

Hey, great blog! Keep it up.

I have a latest DVDs site. It pretty much covers latest DVDs related stuff.

Come and have a look if you get time :-)

 
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