I don’t know how to say this so I’m just going to have to get straight to the point. I don’t want to hurt you but you’ve left me no choice: I’m dumping you. I don’t want you in my home anymore. I wish you the best, Netflix. It’s over. Finito. Finished. Adios. I’m done with you.
You’ve been good to me throughout the years. When you came around the block all shiny and new, promising great entertainment in such a novel and convenient way, I just couldn’t resist. I immediately knew that I had to have you. It was in utter happiness that I turned to Blockbuster and gave them the big middle finger.
Blockbuster hurt me in the past with their exorbitant late charges, my frequent drives to their brick and mortar stores (remember that? It was sooo 90’s) incurring wasted time and gas expense, only to find that my movie wasn’t there waiting for me. Their selection was limited and the wait at the register was simply awful at times. And the allure of their pricey microwavable popcorn, delicious Raisinettes, various potato chips, soda and Whoppers added another unnecessary wallop to my already beat up wallet. Damn you, Blockbuster. Sure, it was a positive social experience meeting other customers between the aisles or asking a Blockbuster associate for their opinion on the movie of the week. But I just had enough of their greed. Netflix, you offered to treat me better at a more affordable price.
Sitting at my computer and surfing through your website, I remember perusing your large library of movies, documentaries, and anime and thinking how awesome an idea this was. It was sheer brilliance to be able to add my selections to an online queue. Once I made my selection, it was just a simple matter of waiting. Sure, the waiting was long at first but you got better and better, always asking me via email when I sent my movie so that you can then figure out better ways to deliver it faster to my home. And that you did! I would wait at most two days for a movie in my mailbox. When that movie arrived it was pure unadulterated joy! I recall seeing that red envelope for the very first time in my mailbox upon returning home from a hard day’s work. It was such a treat! Just so you know, I hate the color red. I really do. But in this instance, it was such a beautiful color to see. Opening the envelope was like getting a Cracker Jack prize inside: I often forgot what movie was in my queue so it was a total surprise at times.
I loved how I could just have my payment automatically deducted every month from my credit card without suffering any interruption of service. I loved the ease in which I could change my subscription plan on a whim. I could opt to receive one, two, three or even four movies at a time and suffer NO LATE FEES. I could keep any movie for as long as I wanted. How awesome was that?! Totally unheard of! Take that Blockbuster!
What could be better? How could you have possibly improve your excellent service? Streaming content of course! At first I was able to stream via my Xbox or with my Playstation 3 (with it’s clunky disc) but with AppleTV (my preferred method), the marriage is just seamless. Kudos for such an awesome feature!
But then things started to get a little strange in the relationship. You started to change. You started to change for the worse. You thought you were better than me and started to throw your weight around. You grew conceited, cocky and a little too big for your britches. You forgot about who contributed to your success. You were a little upstart and within time and much love and support, you became a powerhouse. You did not get there alone. You seemed to have forgotten that little fact and decided to crap on me.
It started with the price hike for Blu-ray rentals. I was happy that you decided to add Blu-ray movies but was a little pissed at the extra fee for this service. Your Blu-ray library started to grow slowly and I still received the occasional DVD. Despite this little hiccup, I grudgingly accepted it.
Because of your immense popularity, my wait for movies became longer and longer. I dreaded seeing that “long wait” in red text message in my queue. What was the matter? Were there only a couple of copies of that particular disc in your warehouse? Why do I have to wait?
Then some movies were mysteriously unavailable for the longest time in your selection. They were movies that I could pick up in a cheap bargain bin at Best Buy but couldn’t find among your catalogue of movies. Also, anime series were missing a disc or two, making the selection of these titles not an option.
Then the unthinkable happened: I had to wait 30 days before you offered new releases to rent. 30 DAYS?! Your streaming service selection of movies was nothing to write home about but now you were limiting my DVD/Blu-ray choices by making me wait? WTF? This was almost the straw the broke the camel’s back. I stuck through with you despite these grievances but I was STILL willing to give you a shot. It also irked me that some streaming movies I had in my queue suddenly disappeared, no longer available.
The final insult: charging a whopping 60% increase AND assuming I’ll just bend over and take it! You decided to blatantly crap all over me and I was very upset. You didn’t even cared if I stayed or left you. You actually anticipated it and didn’t care. You had plenty of others that would take your nonsense without question. You didn’t need me. You had others to dote on: your shareholders.
Just when things couldn’t get any crazier, you thought of dividing the Blu-ray/DVD-by-mail and streaming services and creating two separate entities. Qwikster? Really? It seems you were smoking from the exact same stash that Jason Castillo (the real Qwikster on Twitter) was smoking!
Talk about balls (and hubris)! Well, that was it for me. Screw you, Netflix. You’ve insulted me and I will not give you my money for this piss poor service any longer. You were so sure of yourself. You thought you could milk me of my hard-earned cash and laugh at my expense? Well today I drop you and choose to go elsewhere.
In an ironic twist of events, Blockbuster, my old ex is coming around enticing me with some great services! How about that? Then there’s Red Box movie rentals. They offer good movies and new releases for cheap prices.
Netflix, despite your apology via email, your “tail-between-your-legs” YouTube video and the fast about-face decision to drop plans for Qwikster, I still don’t care for you. The damage has been done. And has it ever: just today I read that I was one of the 800,000 who decided to drop your subscription, hitting you where it hurts: your bottom line. Your shares dropped more than 26 percent, losing your market value by 60 percent domestically in the process. Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. Well, good for you! Let that be a hard lesson learned: don’t piss off those who were loyal to you.
There is still a slight glimmer of hope, Netflix. I will keep your streaming services for the sake of my daughter (who loves your family and animated movies, which she watches on my iPad). It is my sincere wish that perhaps you’ll redeem yourself and make this service even better than it is now: more movies and TV shows available in a more timely manner and perhaps more HD content in 720p or even 1080p. I wish you the best and hope you come to your senses and do right by me. Keep the same price of $7.99 for streaming content but make major improvements upon it. You have a great thing going here and I believe that this is indeed the future. Physical discs will be a thing of the past as we embrace new technologies. It’s the natural progression of things. Let’s make a clean break and let bygones be bygones. Don’t look back and move on forward. When we pass each other in the post office, I’ll be pleasant and even smile, remembering the good times.
Good luck, Netflix.