Hey Netflix, er, Qwikster, er, Reed Hastings: Here's the deal. You can't send me an "I'm sorry I broke up with you" letter, when I have already broken up with you. After the July announcement that consumers (you know, those people who pay you money for your stuff) would see a 60 percent price increase in membership to your little club if we continued to utilize your combined DVD and streaming services, I was annoyed. But since I have I have no allegiance to brands, companies, services, etc., and I also have an Internet attention span (meaning you've got about fifteen seconds to make me care about anything), I broke it off with you.
Well, that's not true -- I didn't leave you (as it seems many members did, with Netflix's membership projected to drop off by 600,000); I just went from the combined plan to the single streaming plan. I get why there needed to be a price increase (something about licensing and blah blah), but honestly, there was no way to do it gradually? Why would I go from paying $10 a month to $16 for movies, especially when the Internet is full of free ones? I know, because I watched Clifford in its entirety the other day in nine parts on YouTube.
It was bad enough that when you approached us, your consumer girlfriends, about this massive price hike coming in September, you tried to act like we were getting a deal. Remember, you said we were getting the "lowest prices ever" because the new plans went down to $7.99 a month. Uh, technically, that's a lie. You lied to us. Netflix was offering different things for different prices. That doesn't make it the lowest price ever.
It's like walking into Starbucks and a toothy barista saying, "I'm sorry, but your two-pump skinny vanilla latte with extra foam that was $4.59 is now $7.64. However, we can offer you the lowest price ever on a hot chocolate." I would tell that sweet little barista man to nicely fuck off. Actually, Starbucks might be a bad example; the company invented over-priced coffee, meaning they could get away with charging more than seven bucks for coffee and people would still buy it. (It happened with cigarettes, which is basically the same thing as Starbucks.) But movies are movies, and there are many ways to get to them for free.
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Now that it's September and the plan change has gone into effect, things are kind of sucking for you, Netflix. You've decided to send us an e-mail saying we now have to give our credit card information to two different websites (and effectively manage two different accounts) if we want to use the mail DVD service and streaming? Who thought of this idea?
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You can't very well go and make a totally separate company and expect people to follow. In a world where we use corporations-as-verbs (you know, like Google. It is a thing you do now, and there is no other way to say "go look up that crap on the Internet" other than "Google it"), Qwikster seems like a bad idea. Plus, the name is dumb and not verb-friendly. But soon enough, all of these Internet attention spans will have forgotten Netflix was once a singular, affordable and awesome way to watch movies at home -- and when the price goes up again, we'll probably pay it. Why? Because we are passive people.
Was that Andy Rooney enough for you?