The Dark Side of Netflix

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11/30/2005

Netflix Gift Subscriptions: The Gift That Keeps On…

If your are considering purchasing a Netflix gift subscription as a present for your friend or family member, here are some questions to ask yourself first:
  1. Will my friend watch enough DVDs to get a good value for the Netflix subscription fee?
  2. How is my friend going to feel when Netflix requires credit/debit card information when he or she tries to redeem the gift certificate?
  3. If my friend has a billing dispute with Netflix resulting from a billing error, lost DVD, etc., will my friend unconsciously blame me for the frustration involved in resolving the conflict?
  4. Will my friend remember to cancel his or her Netflix subscription in time to avoid getting charged for an additional month? If not, will my friend blame me for the charge?
  5. Since my friend is probably already eligible for a free two-week trial, is a one-month subscription much of a gift?
  6. If my friend really wants a Netflix subscription, why hasn’t he or she already signed up for the free trial subscription?
  7. Does my friend know about Netflix’s reputation? If so, will my gift be considered a good gift?
  8. Do I like getting gift certificates as gifts, or do I normally think they're kind of lame?

The most important part of gift giving is showing others how you feel about them. If you have answered all of the questions above and still believe a Netflix gift subscription is the perfect gift for your friend, go to Netflix and buy one now. If you think the gift of a Netflix subscription may backfire, then start browsing. There are many nicer gifts available for $18.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I gave my sister a gift subscription to Netflix. I put the account on my credit card until she was sure she wanted to continue, and then switched it to her own after two months. So I essentially gave her a $40 gift. That's the way to do it, no gift certificates.

PS: I love Netflix. Have rarely had a problem in 4 years.

MsLindyLu said...

Will you point me in the direction of the $18 gifts? I just got burned by my daughter's gift sub. (She had to use my card) Now.. About those $18.00 gifts..

Anonymous said...

I've heard of folks getting VISA gift cards in the amount of whatever number months they want to gift for a person...then the person can either refil the VISA gift card, use their own credit card or not even get a Netflix account (I really like the last one as I'm a big fan of flexibility & options)...

Ceejo, That Last Dinosaur said...

I'm not going to repeat what I said about my gift sub on your credit card dispute article, but suffice to say I didn't redeem it.

In all honesty, my (best) friend bought me a three month gift sub AFTER I had complained about how Netflix wanted my credit card info for the "free" trial. I had already had difficulties with Netflix, but he decided I hadn't given them enough of a chance, so he bought me three months and he wasted his money.

They won't let me sign up without providing card info. They won't give him his money back. He's still happy with them. He says he's going to redeem his own gift sub. Well, if that's what he wants to do with his money...

I wish I had recorded that conversation because it was one of the funniest corporate phone calls I've had in a while, including the prank call to the Walmart home office about the Green Day Rock Band banner.

Yeah. Don't buy me a Netflix gift sub or an iTunes gift card, or any of that crap that is just a waste of your money. Your friendship is enough, but if you really want to get me something, how about something I can use?

steviesmw said...

I recently lost my job and because of that I had to shut down my bank account. That has happened to a lot of people in recent times sadly enough. My mom bought me a year long gift subscription to netflix for my birthday, something that I personally find wonderful because I love movies and I can't always afford the 8 dollars a month to continue it. The day after my bank account closed (the middle of September) I got a notice from Netflix letting me know that there was a problem with my account. When I logged on I found that I could no longer watch movies. When I called Netflix they gave me a very long runaround about how, though my account was paid through the end of January 2012, I couldn't use my account without a debit card on file. I was told by Customer Service that there is no address to send a letter of complaint. There are no managers on site at the customer service department. They do not have the names of anyone we can address a letter to. They cannot give my mother a refund for services that have not been rendered.

I do admit that there is a clause in the fine print of a gift subscription that I hadn't noticed before having it pointed out to me but this still seems wrong to me. It especially seems wrong that there is no way to change this rule for cases like mine (and I cannot possibly be the only person to have had this happen.) If the services have been paid for an entire year than why do they feel the need to add a ghost charge to a debit card to keep the account open? I would also like to know why a company whose only address I can find is for a California city is governed by the lows of Oregon but then that's just me and there are likely a lot of reasons for this.

I'm not sure if anyone can actually help me with this but I think people should know about the fine print before they buy a gift for someone because that someone doesn't have the money to pay for it themselves. A nice gesture has become a headache and it's really too bad.

Now I am a bit upset and find all of this ridiculous. It is NOT a gift to give to someone as it is far too easy to backfire.