Reactions To Netflix's Price Increase Show That No One Knows How Much It Costs Anyway
Do you know off hand how much your Netflix subscription costs? You might want to check, because there's a Netflix price increase coming for old subscribers who were grandfathered into their pricing model in May 2014. That was when the streaming service announced that new subscribers would be paying $8.99 a month, which they then raised to $9.99 in October 2015. Those who had been paying $7.99 for years were kept at that price point. But the jig is up for old-school streamers. Come next month, they'll be paying $10 a month to stream just like everyone else. According to analysts at USB, though, almost 80 percent of the estimated 17 million subscribers who were allowed to keep the cheaper rate don't even know that a price hike is coming.
But if they had read the terms and conditions (because everyone does that, right?), the new price shouldn't come as a surprise. When they inititally changed the price for newcomers in 2014, they said that they would raise the price in 2016 and they even sent out a letter to shareholders this past January that the $2 increase was coming. They wrote:
The reaction to the hike is varied on social media with some subscribers a little outraged and others clamoring for better content offerings for their two bucks. Still others claim they don't even know what they're paying now since it's not exactly a budget killer.
Have You Seen Jessica Jones?
People are complaining about the Netflix price hike but did you even see Daredevil or Jessica Jones?— Stephanie (@BrutalStephanie) April 9, 2016
No? Shut up then.
And pay TV bill is ~$80/month. To me, @netflix seems, if anything, underpriced. And am astonished anyone is discussing modest price hike.— Bernard Golden (@bernardgolden) April 8, 2016
Netflix fees increasing...who cares? It's so worth it and a small price to pay for ALL they give us!— No Code (@ParabolaNoose) April 8, 2016
People that cancel their Netflix after a $2 price increase are the same people who have androids— jordan fite (@JordanFite) April 8, 2016
Wait. I Pay For Netflix?
Netflix: Raises price to $9.99 a month.— Hank Green (@hankgreen) April 8, 2016
Everyone: How much were you charging before?
Netflix is raising their price & I'm okay with it. For all the amazing content I get, I don't mind my ex's parents paying $2 more a month— Nat Baimel (@NatBaimel) April 8, 2016
We're All Lying To Ourselves
I said I was gonna cancel Netflix when the price go up ...... But I know I'm really not — Court'Ney (@CourtB__) April 9, 2016
let me hurry up & watch all these docs on Netflix before they raise the price and my mom cancel the service— Steph St. Clair (@S_Fields92) April 9, 2016
@businessinsider I won't cancel netflix, but my roommates sister whose account I use might — M.T. Rubens (@MichaelTRubens) April 5, 2016
According to Business Insider, 41 percent of users claim they wouldn't pay more for Netflix, according to the USB survey. But that doesn't mean they'd actually cancel if the price goes up, especially by a few dollars. USB wrote that it is "uncommon for consumers to admit they are willing to pay more for most services," which puts the actual cancellation numbers at around 3-4 percent of users. That's not that that bad. What is sort of grating to some consumers is that despite the warning in the terms and conditions in 2014 and a letter to shareholders — not customers — Netflix hasn't contacted subscribers to remind them of the change. One Twitter user complained that even an email blast would have sufficed:
Why wouldn't @netflix send an email blast about the price change? Unacceptable as a customer to learn about service changes via news article— Don't Judge Me (@Love_N_Art) April 8, 2016
It was no secret, but Netflix could at least pretend to care that users would want to know that their new seasons of Orange is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and all the other shows the world can't stop binge watching are going to cost a little more. Looks like Netflix really does know us better than we know ourselves. Not only do they know about our guilty viewing pleasures, they also know most subscribers are willing to pay a little extra for the luxury. You win, Netflix.