When (at the time) the revolutionary Netflix began, I was one of its’ first and biggest fans. Here was all the DVD’s I could eat for about fifteen bucks. No more than two days on the free shipping and a huge selection. It got even better with unlimited streaming (never mind the limited number of titles), Bluray and an intuitive system of movie recommendation that was amazingly accurate. It appeared that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had found exactly what everyone who enjoyed movies wanted. But flash forward a few years and Mr. Hastings is looking more like the CEO of RIM, than Apple. Huge unwarranted price increase, declining base, technology that is clearly not cutting edge any longer and competitors who aggressively poach customers away with substantially lower cost.

Redbox, the vending machine video store, can provide the current movies that people want to watch for only a buck. And Blockbuster does the same. While a movie that may be much older or obscure, such as anything by one of my favs, Akira Kurosawa, may be easier to find on Netflix …. The point remains that I can still find it without Netflix.

A Netflix fan will tout streaming, but in reality, that has truly gone sour. The number of movies available is extremely limited to say the least, HD performance is just awful and complete failure to stream occurs frequently. Additionally, the major ISP’s say that Netflix is hogging bandwidth and causing speed and latency problems for everyone else. Netflix is in major denial and has no answer for any of these issues. You can bet the farm on the fact the the ISP’s see Netflix as a threat to their customers (and income) and will at some point move en mass against Netflix.

Now, given the litany of problems that Netflix is currently ignoring, you’d assume that they would do something additionally absurd. And you’d be correct …. they just raised their prices … substantially. In some cases by about one hundred percent. So I did what apparently quite a few of their customers are doing … I canceled my account. Previous price hikes and increasingly sloppy service had taken their toll on my loyalty, and accordingly I felt this was the “last straw”. That almost $300.00 a year I was spending with Netflix, now buys me all the movies I want to see for less than twenty bucks a year.

So sayonara Netflix, hello Redbox!

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