by Rachel O’Kelley
In July, Netflix decided to split their streaming and DVD-by-mail services into two prices for customers. This month the company has announced that the two services will now be different companies, Netflix and Qwikster. This decision not only affects the entire operation and the convenient package deal, but also includes a dramatic increase in price.
“The reason so many people went to Netflix in the beginning was that it was so cheap, and then they doubled their price,” senior Zack Contreras said.
Consequently, because the services are now offered separately, so are the prices and each costs $8 per month.
Many customers are simply frustrated, others have terminated their subscriptions to the services entirely, but most were simply taken by surprise when their favorite movie service changed the rules on them without warning.
According to The Denver Post, the price changes went into effect for current Netflix customers in September, and in July for new customers. The new brand, Qwikster, will take effect in the coming weeks.
Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said the company’s sudden division was necessary for both services to become successful. The two services have grown much more independent with very different goals, and for that reason needed to be marketed separately in order to grow.
Hastings recently sent out an apologetic customer-targeted email explaining the changes and assured them of the company’s confidence.
“Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight,” Hastings said.
Hastings also mentioned that one negative aspect of the name change is that Qwikster.com and Netflix.com will be entirely separate websites.
Many frustrated customers are left wondering what their options are. Those who might have been unhappy enough to leave the service entirely might choose to seek their favorite films from other popular and growing options, such as Redbox or Blockbuster.
According to Redbox.com, more than 68 percent of people living in the United States live within a five-minute driving distance of one of the 27,800 Redbox kiosks. Blockbuster is also becoming more prevalent with the start of an online rental service, by owner Dish Network Corp., that will allow customers to stream more than 3,000 movies on their TV and offers more than 4,000 movies for PCs, according to NYDailyNews.com.
Though the changes to the Netflix services have been unexpected, many loyal customers have decided to stick with them despite the company split and price changes. For customers, especially college students, the new system seems more convenient and cost-effective because they are now able to access movies and TV shows from their laptops for one bill per month.
“I would stick with the Internet service because it is more convenient to access,” Contreras said.