Jabroni of the Week: Reed Hastings

Posted: September 25, 2011 by Keith Stone in jabronis, Netflix, Reed Hastings

Dear Reed,

Thank you so much for the E-mail. I was pretty upset after I found out that the price of my Netflix subscription was going from $10 to $16. In fact, I changed my plan from one DVD plus streaming to only one DVD. Now I only pay $8 a month. Sweet! I heard from Somebody Who Knows Things that you weren’t making much money with the current pricing. It’s only fair that costs would go up as you added films to your streaming collection, but did you really have to go for a $6 price increase all at once? It’s a little sudden. Maybe raise it $2 a year or every nine months.

Unfortunately for you, a lot of people think like me and changed their service or even cancelled it outright. It was more than you expected and Netflix stock dropped. Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal but when you think about it, you can get movies from a lot of places. Redbox, iTunes, Vudu, Hulu, cable on demand services. Most people stuck with Netflix because it was the original and it sure is a pain to change something that’s so engrained in your life. Unless you’re saving money, that is. That won’t be a problem now as Netflix customers try out (and spend their money on) all the alternatives.

Then, you announced that you were splitting Netflix into two companies. The streaming business would still be called Netflix but the DVD-by-mail service would be called Qwikster. Qwikster?!?!?!? What a horrible name. It’s so lame I’m embarrassed to talk about it with my friends. Not only that but Netflix and Qwikster aren’t going to be integrated. Billing is going to be separate be separate, as well as websites and movie queues. It’s so confusing my head hurts and I’m a tech-savvy guy. I can’t imagine your older customers would be thrilled.

Reed, baby, Netflix was awesome while it lasted but you went and fucked it all up. You had a huge advantage. People had loyalty to Netflix but will now be sampling all the fine video streaming services out there. You can apologize all you want, but we were never Netflix customers because you were a nice guy. It was business. And now that you raised prices and made the damn thing so complicated, I’ll have a clean conscience. I guess I technically won’t even be a Netflix customer anymore. Can’t wait to get my first Qwikster envelope. The guys at Blockbuster must be smiling. Remember, it’s like Charles Oakley said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t break it.” Until then, you’re a jabroni, brother.

Yours Truly,

Keith Stone

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