The Dark Side of Netflix

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9/07/2005

Canceling Your Netflix Subscription

The two happiest days of your Netflix membership are the day you begin your subscription and the day you end your subscription. There is an ugly and unexpected twist to this, however. A surprising number of former Netflix subscribers have reported that after they canceled their memberships, Netflix denied receiving their final DVD returns.

When Netflix denies receiving a returned DVD from a customer who has recently canceled, Netflix charges the former customer’s credit card for that DVD. This practice exposes the former customer to dozens of dollars in additional charges after their subscription has ended. Unfortunately, the former customer is left holding the bag and has the burden of proving that the “missing” DVDs were actually returned.

If you want to cancel your Netflix subscription and minimize your exposure to additional charges, consider following the steps below.
  1. Determine your billing date by viewing your account information on Netflix’s Web site. Since Netflix cancellations are immediate and Netflix does not give refunds for partial months, you should plan to cancel shortly before your next billing date.
  2. Several days before you cancel your Netflix subscription, delete every DVD from your queue. This should prevent Netflix from shipping more DVDs to you.
  3. Send all of your DVDs back to Netflix. (Consider taking the extra precaution of sending these DVDs certified mail. Include a brief letter detailing the exact contents of the envelope. Keep copies of all documentation.)
  4. As Netflix notifies you of receipt of returned DVDs, save the notification emails in case you need them later for proof.
  5. The day you intend to cancel your subscription, check your account to see which DVDs have not been checked in by Netflix. Report any outstanding DVDs as lost. This should completely clear your queue.
  6. Send an email to Netflix informing them that you are canceling your membership. This will create more of a paper trail. (Note: Do not tell Netflix that you are canceling because you were not getting enough DVDs. Netflix loves when heavy users cancel.)
  7. Cancel your subscription using the Netflix Web site. Make sure to follow the on-screen instructions carefully.
  8. Sit back in your chair, grin, and enjoy a beverage of your choice as you celebrate the end of the dysfunctional relationship you had with that company.
The main drawback to this cancellation procedure is that you will loose about a week’s worth of DVD rentals. Unfortunately, if you want to minimize the chances of getting hit with extra charges from Netflix after you cancel, you have very few options.

After you have canceled, carefully check your credit card statements. If Netflix still charges your credit card for missing DVDs (or any other unjustified charges), immediately contact Netflix via email to dispute the problem. If Netflix does not fully credit the unjustified charges to your credit card, contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. In many circumstances, your credit card company will reverse the charges.

16 comments:

Bailey said...

Wish I had seen this before I attempted to cancel. I had one movie that shipped out that day I cancelled. No problem, When it arrived, it would not play anyway, so I sent it back the next morning. I took it to the post office myself! That was a July 2nd. They had to have the movie by the 6th. Well, guess what, it is the 7th and I got an email saying I had not returned the DVD and they are charging my online credit card $20. I emailed them back and told them I had returned the DVD. I emailed customer service and told them the same thing. I have filed a complaint with the BBB about it. I will complain to my credit card acompany. Do I think they are ripping me off? Yes -- I do. Will I fight it successfully? I hope so. I will call AmEx the minute a charge shows up on my account. This company could be a good company -- why do they have to treat the consummer so badly? It seems so needless. . . .
Bailey Nashiville

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for instructions and warnings about how to cancel Netflix. Due to other experieces with canceling things I am aware of how companies can weasil more money from you. I have printed the instructions and plan to follow them to the T. It is sad that an easy process has to become a major project.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone who knows a Netflix e-mail address that I might get a response from. I cancelled last Jan and I am still getting charged on my credit card. I didn't notice on my cc statement that I was getting charged and when I went back and looked I was charged from Jan until now. Ugh. My queue was empty that whole time.

Anonymous said...

Blockbuster does the same thing, so watch out for them too. I wish I had known about this scam before I had cancelled Blockbuster. They charged me $66 for 3 movies they said I didn't return. Amazing how all the movies came and return ok for a year and when I cancel 3 go missing! What I don't understand is don't they know that I can not return as a customer when they treat me like that on the way out the door?!? Now I'm back at Netflix and not getting any new releases. Customer Service says I need to find a different service if I want new releases. I have never ever called any company to complain and been told to cancel if I don't like it! Wow, shocking! Talk to supervisor, she said to make sure my returns arrive on Monday to get new releases. Nice system they have, eh! Why can't they just buy more movies! I can't wait till someone gets on the ball and closes Netflix and Blockbusters doors and offers something better! I really miss my local mom & pop stores!

Ceejo, That Last Dinosaur said...

I might be wrong, but isn't the burden of proof on the company when the claim is that something is lost in the post?

Like I said previously, I never even gave them my credit card info, and I'm glad I never did, after these stories, but it seems that when THEY lose something in the post, they get to blame it on the post. When you do, you have to prove you returned it?

I've never had a company automatically assume something wasn't returned when it got lost in post, and I've dealt with some pretty shady companies. I assumed there was some law requiring them to prove it if they were going to make that claim. It would, at the very least, create a civil liability.

At any rate, I don't feel like going to court, so I'm glad I don't do business with Netsux.

FantomStranger said...

In short, Netflix enables criminals in stealing credit/debit cards and treat their customers as criminals.

I ended my subscription with Netflix, after my debit card was hacked.

My bank contacted me, that I was buy clothing in NY, while I am in CA, and mailing it.

One other charge that showed up was $1 at Netflix.

Seems that when someone wants to validate a stolen credit card, they open a trial account with Netflix.

When I contacted them, they said they will take care of it.

I turned on the TV to continue watching a streaming movie, and found the account locked and to call customer support.

Seems that I need to give them a new credit card number, by FAX.

The account was paid up for the next two weeks, and the bank was in the process of sending me a new card, so I told them to turn the account back on, since it was paid for. They won't.

After getting to a supervisor, she still refused to open my account, since the debit card was hacked.

So I sent the DVDs back, and cancelled my account. Later I filed with the BBB, which Netflix returned my last charge, to the old card number.

Alok said...

STAY AWAY FROM NETFLIX... THEY ARE COMPLETE THIEVES.

We cancelled our membership by phone and were told to go and do it online, and after we did that, we were charged for 5 additional months of service that we never used ONCE. I didn't see my Credit card statements during that time, unfortunately, and when I called them for arefund they refused to give it even though they could see the account was never used.

Linda Sokolinski said...

I need help trying to unsubscribe from Netflix's annoyting email's on services. There are no unsubscribe buttons on the website! I have looked at everything possible and still can not find it. Can someone help me on this?

Linda Sokolinski said...

I do not have a subsription, but NETFLIX continues to send me email. I can not seem to find the "unsubcribe button". Please help this is driving me crazy! Thank you

Editor said...

Dear Linda Sokolinski:

Unsubscribe links are normally near the very bottoms of emails. You will just need to read from the bottom up until you see the unsubscribe link.

If you cannot find the link, call Netflix and complain. If you call Netflix toll-free and complain each time you get spammed by them, they will eventually want to remove you from their email list. Those incoming calls cost them money. (Find the toll-free numbers at the top of Netflix Underground's main page.)

You also have the option of reporting each Netflix email as spam to your email provider. You can also apply email filters to your account to filter out emails from Netflix or just add Netflix to your blocked sender's list.

There are tons of things you can do to fight spam. Do not give up. If you do not want to receive email from Netflix, you should not have to tolerate it.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

My co-worker told me how awesome Netflix was so I joined 2-18-2011. I watched the "Human Centipede" that he told me about..It is the free membership trial I asked for...once I saw how many movies I could NOT watch unless they were actually delivered, I called to cancel. They let me know then that they WILL NOT delete your credit card number. I went around and around with the customer service complaining. All she did was say how I should not worry since they have never been hacked. Are you serious?? EVERYONE gets hacked!! Why hold on to my credit card number for 2 YEARS if I cancelled in 3 days?!!! So, now I am forced to block the card and order another one through my bank. The billing address was easy to change to some random crap, but I cannot delete my card number from their system. WARNING: if you open a netflix account, use a paypal account that you can delete later and have a random address you can submit once you want to be free of this company.

Anonymous said...

Unreal...I cancelled netflix and then returned two DVD's and guess what? They only received one and now plan to charge me for the other. They've not lost a DVD from me for over 5+ years but conveniently lost the last one. What a scam. Also, I cannot find a customer service email address so I can complain and the 24/7 cust service 800 # is too busy “try again later.” Definitely clear your queue and return DVD's prior to cancelling your membership.

Anonymous said...

After reading your page, I decided to get ahead of netflix. I called my credit card company, told them I cancelled my netflix membership and that netflix was no longer authorized to make any charges to my account.

60% price increase. Go away netflix.

Anonymous said...

I have suspended my membership a few times. Had no trouble with returning dvds. Cancelled membership once, no problem with returns. Have had much trouble with defective dvds. Shipping from 30 miles away was about as prompt as can be. Weekends are a blank place of course. My membership is suspended and probably will stay that way with the price increases or will get cancelled.

Anonymous said...

I realize many of these posts are old so netflix might have changed their operation protocol but i just wanted to say something positive about the company....

Although I cancelled because I am dissatisfied with the recent price increase, the splitting, and then unsplitting of the company as well as the company in general. I couldn't believe how helpful they were when I just called about three dvd's i was charged for after canceling my subscription.

I called and said that I had already mailed them back but was charged, and I just wanted to make sure that they would refund me when they recieved those dvd's. The truth of the situation is that I have them still and I'm mailing them out today but I just wanted to blame it on the post incase I had "passed" a certain date that I would be charged regardless. The representative told me they would mark them as lost in the mail and I would be refunded as soon as possible. I could actually just keep the dvd's and they would take the loss. I don't plan on doing this because I feel obligated to be truthful with a company that is being this cool. However I found this quite contrary to what everyone else was posting, and I had to comment. Although I am of course still canceling my subscription I feel that we are ending on much better terms than before.

Anonymous said...

Check out what just happened to me.! After being a long time (since 2004) customer of Netflix, they apparently got upset with me and canned me as a customer! What gives? I mailed them back the 6 discs I had about a week ago. Netflix never received them, so I reported them as missing. I never heard anything back from Netflix. Then, I tried to log in to my account. I got a message telling me that my request could not be completed. So, I phoned the customer service number. I told the customer service rep what was happening, so he put me on hold. He returned to the phone a few minutes later and informed me that as of today, I was no longer a customer of Netflix. I was just stunned to say the least. The *** then went on to tell me that the decision had been made by the company, not me. The reason for their decision was that I had lost too many of their discs. I didn't lose ANYTHING, I sent them back like I was SUPPOSED to do. The f'n post office lost them. They said they understood, but once a customer reports too many as lost, then it raises flags, or some kind of crap, and they have to take action. So, they "fired" me as a customer. Now, my question is, how do I make Netflix regret this. I don't mean doing anything drastic, but I want my story to go public, letting people know what kind of company Netflix is. Blaming me instead of looking into the post office, which is the party responsible for losing the discs. Not to mention, the insinuation that I am a thief! I mean, WHAT THE *&%%!!!! I'm so angry right now, I can't see straight. After 7 and a half years of loyal service, these jerks terminate my account. What type of company just up and terminates a loyal customer's account? Fuck them!! This Goddamn shit is personal now!!