The Dark Side of Netflix

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Notify Your Credit Card Company About Netflix Membership Cancellation

Even if you take great care to properly close your Netflix account, it is possible that Netflix may still try to hit you with additional charges after your subscription has ended. Netflix could make claims of an improperly closed account, missing DVDs, missed deadlines, etc. If this happens, you have the right to dispute the bogus charges with your credit card company, and, if you are a customer in good standing, there is a decent chance your credit card company could side with you.

You do not have to wait for a problem to occur to take action, however. If you are concerned that Netflix could hit you with bogus credit card charges after you close your Netflix account, you might consider being proactive and contacting your credit card company before you close your Netflix account. You can notify your credit card company of the date you plan to close your Netflix account and the date after which Netflix should not be billing your card. You could still get hit with additional charges, but you may then have a stronger case if you need to dispute any suspicious charges from Netflix.


Charges for "Missing" DVDs After Canceling Netflix

Too many people are making a costly mistake when canceling their Netflix subscriptions, and since there may be many Netflix membership cancellations between now and September, this is a very important special reminder to help save you from a nasty surprise after canceling your Netflix membership. If you read only one thing on this site between now and September, read this:

Absolutely, clear your Netflix queue of all DVDs and make sure all of your Netflix DVD returns have been acknowledged by Netflix before closing your Netflix account. If you do not take this precaution, Netflix may charge you for DVDs they claim are "missing."

Numerous former Netflix members have reported that Netflix charged their credit cards for missing DVDs after they properly closed their accounts and returned all of Netflix's DVDs. Unfortunately, Netflix is always in control of any evidence when this happens, so there is no way to prove the fraud.

Once you close that Netflix account, barring signature confirmation, you have no way to prove Netflix received all of the DVDs you returned to them. Netflix may claim you did not return your DVDs, and they may stick you with a charge of $20, $40, $60, etc. on your credit card. If Netflix does this to you, you may have little recourse. You will have to dispute the charge with your credit card company. If your credit card company does not side with you, you will be responsible for the additional charges from Netflix.

So, clear your Netflix queue, and return all of the DVDs well before your cancellation date. If all DVDs have not cleared your account, report them as missing before closing your account. If you really want to be safe, you might consider sending your DVDs back with signature confirmation. Yes, signature confirmation is a pain, but so is paying for DVDs you already returned. If you can produce proof of delivery, you will have a much better case if you need to dispute Netflix's charges with your credit card company.


Netflix Price Increase Marks a Good Time to Plan Your Exit

Exit Netflix Sign

Perhaps growing comfortable with their market share, Netflix has decided to dramatically increase prices. The new pricing structure will divide Netflix customers into two basic classes: those who stream video and those who receive DVDs in the mail. If you want to stream video and not receive DVDs in the mail, you will pay $7.99 per month. If you want to receive DVDs in the mail and not stream video, you will pay $7.99 per month. If you want to stream video and have one DVD out at-a-time, you will need to pay $15.98 per month for the privilege.

For some subscribers, this will amount to a 60% price increase. An increase of around $6.00 per month may sound manageable, but when considering that amounts to $72.00 per year, the cost becomes a significant issue. Also, consider that Netflix is a luxury expense. In how many areas of your life are you willing to accept a price increase of 60% on a luxury expense with no appreciable increase in service? For example, if you frequented a restaurant and it suddenly raised its prices 60% without improving the food or increasing the portions, how often would you return to that restaurant?

It appears Netflix is aggressively trying to discourage subscribers from renting physical DVDs. Netflix must really hate paying the costs of a DVD-by-mail business. Even though Netflix subscribers have become largely accustomed to being abused by Netflix, a price increase of 60% with no substantial increase in subscriber benefits seems a bit extreme and could be seen as almost a deliberate hostility toward DVD renters.

Assuming you've suffered some sort of dreadful head injury and you now wish to begin a new Netflix membership, you have no choice but to accept the price increases right away. If you are an existing Netflix subscriber, you have until around September to change your viewing habits or get hammered by the big increase.

You may have noticed that you can't spell "Netflix" without E, X, I, and T.  You may have also recognized it may be time to start looking for the way out.  Fortunately, subscribers have a few weeks to plan their exits from Netflix. If you are Netflix subscriber, and you wish to exit Netflix, you are advised to plan ahead. The biggest pitfalls to avoid when canceling your Netflix subscription are getting charged for extra months and getting charged for DVDs Netflix may claim were never returned or returned after the due date.  To minimize these possibilities, consult the cancellation procedure outlined at "Canceling Your Netflix Subscription."

If you put your Exit Netflix plan into place and properly end your Netflix subscription during the next several weeks, you can avoid the price hike and apply the money in your entertainment budget toward better values.

If you would like to help your fellow Netflix Underground readers by recommending some alternatives to Netflix and providing some other Exit Netflix tips, please click on comments below and post your suggestions.


El Netflix

No Stinking Badges Sign

Having suckered much of the United States and Canada, the New Red Menace is now setting its sights south of the border. Later in 2011, Netflix plans to make its streaming service available to forty-three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Oh, these poor people have no idea what is coming their way. For you polyglots out there, how do they say "throttling" in Spanish, Portuguese, etc.?