Then, I get this email today.
We are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into two separate plans to better reflect the costs of each. Now our members have a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan, or both.
Your current $9.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans:
Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 1 out at-a-time (no streaming) for $7.99 a month
Your price for getting both of these plans will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99). You don't need to do anything to continue your memberships for both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs.
These prices will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.
You can easily change or cancel your unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both, by going to the Plan Change page in Your Account.
We realize you have many choices for home entertainment, and we thank you for your business. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to call us at 1-888-357-1516.
–The Netflix Team
I'm not sure of the marketing genius that came up with this, but I can think of no other reason than greed. Unless you are into really obscure DVDs that only Netflix carries, it very not worth it to continue the plan. It's cheaper to use Redbox, Blockbuster, or just borrow it from a friend or watch it at your brother's house.
Blockbuster did something similar. It had a mail-to-you service where you could return the mailed DVD at a store and check out a movie free while you waited for the next one. It was $14.99 for three at a time. Then it became two at a time. Then, the movie you rented from the store counted against the ones to be mailed to you, so no new movie would be sent until the store rented one was returned. At that point, it was no longer worth the money.
Netflix looks to be trying to outdo Blockbuster by making two separate packages. I want to say that consumers won't stand for this, but they will. They just won't bother to notice their bill changed until months later. At that point, they'll shrug their shoulders, mutter "You bastards", and keep right on paying it.