We should've appreciated Blockbuster when we had it

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Before I start to bash Netflix, like everyone else with internet and limited disposable income, I want to take a little trip down memory lane to the summer of 2010. That was when I started with Netflix, I was so excited, you couldn't even have a conversation with me that didn't revolve around how amazing this service was and how my life had changed. I mean, for only like $10 a month I could stream shows like Veronica Mars and Pushing Daisies, which I never watched when they were on but totally appreciate now, much like Van Gogh was so much cooler after he died, and these shows were just there for me on my computer!
Then there was the DVD by mail feature, I mean, shut the front door! You are telling me that I can just click the movie I want and they send it to me and then when I send it back I get another one, of my choosing, in a few days? Amazing. I was used to ordering movies on that Brighthouse Networks version of Pay-Per-View so this was quite a treat. They raised the prices to like $12 month if I wanted to keep both services and that was a no-brainer, of course I did. My boyfriend at the time had bought me a gift that was better than diamonds, a Roku box, so I could stream to my old-school tube TV, so I was NOT giving that up. And I still needed the DVDs, considering that new releases don't come to Netfix streaming unless they are absolutely awful rom-coms.


A couple months back, my local Blockbuster Video closed its doors and every day on my way to work I drive by its sad old sign and realize that my children, should anyone ever want to marry and procreate with me, will never know what "be kind, rewind" means. As much as it breaks my heart, I have had the thought, "it's for the best, who needs a video store when we have Netflix!"


Then, it happened. Netflix announced that they would be raising their prices and if you wanted to stream and get DVDs, you were going to be coughing up $15 a month. Sometimes I keep a movie for like 45 days just 'cause I forget to put it in the mail! This is not economical for forgetful people. $15 a month?! That means that in the past year, Netflix has raised their prices by 50%. WTF Netflix?! Clearly, you can tell by the number of exclamation/exclamation-question mark duos that I am appalled.


I know that Netflix isn't the only kid on the block...In the past year, the Roku box did give me some new streaming toys to experience. I tried out that Amazon Instant thing Crackle and Hulu Plus, but they seem strange. Crackle has terrible movies plus for now, it's free so it doesn't count. Amazon Instant movies are usually the same prices as renting one for the night on PPV. I tried to understand Amazon Prime but it doesn't appear to get me anything that awesome in the streaming tv/movie arena, it would be cool if I ordered a ton of crap off Amazon and got the streaming content as a bonus, but I do not.


I recently checked out Hulu Plus with a free trial, why not? Plus I needed to catch up with Friday Night Lights and that was the fastest way to do it. Hulu Plus kinda sucks. The user interface is terrible and unless you have a 60-inch TV, good luck reading any of the show descriptions. Even worse? The fact that they still show you commercials and the commercials seemed to mess with the audio/video-sync-up-dealio so the people's mouths move 3 seconds before they say words after the first commercial break and it gets progressively worse unless I let it go for a minute or so, rewind then press play again. Fail.


I know that I will not be getting rid of Netflix Streaming, so this week I, like every other cheap American, explored my options for getting DVDs without being forced to buy them at Target. Blockbuster by mail is exorbitant at $11.99 a month for one disc at a time so that's out. I am sure there are a few other options but considering that a Google search led me to something about renting Arabic films and a bunch of XXX nonsense, I didn't dig too deep into "DVD by mail." That leads me to RedBox. It seems like a good deal, I mean, they only have certain DVDs and you get charged $1 per day for the rental... and I would have to wait in line at a Walgreens to actually get my DVD but other than that, it seems doable and reasonably priced... but what if I want to watch a not-as-popular film, it won't always be in the RedBox. Then what? Sigh.


The end of the story is that I am probably going to discontinue my Netflix DVD service on principle. These people are jerks for raising the price on old customers. I have always felt that companies should respect and reward their customers by giving them better pricing than the newbies, keep us around, show us the love... you get it. Anyhow, I am not sure what to do about the DVD issue, but in my heart, I really wish we still had a Blockbuster Video down the road. It might end up being more expensive than Netflix for some people but I usually don't get more than one or two movies a month so it makes more sense than these suddenly expensive subscription services.


I just want to say one last thing... Dear Netflix, I thought we had something good, I told so many people about how impressed I was with your titles and the speediness with which you reached my doorstep but now, I feel cheated by you. You broke my heart.
Sincerely,
Amanda

I will be honest, I have not had a Blockbuster Video membership since sometime in college when the one I had was activated through my dad's credit card. The credit card had expired, and since I was like 19 and did not have a credit card myself, they took my laminated Blockbuster card away and I never reactivated it. So yeah, I think I contributed to the demise of the BV empire, but I am not the only one.

So now, ten years later as we all freak the eff out about Netflix raising their prices, I have begun to survey my other options...

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