In January of 2013, Netflix reported having 27. 1 million streaming subscribers. Netflix is a company that provides online streaming and DVD rentals to customers around the world. The company was founded in 1997 by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings. Netflix started as an online pay-per-rental platform, and has evolved into a company built on a reputation of flat-fee, unlimited rentals without due dates, late fees, shipping and handling fees, or per title rental fees. Netflix, later, introduced an on-demand internet streaming option of movies making it easier for consumers to watch movies at their own leisure.
Many people enjoy Netflix for its simplicity, low cost, variety, and ease of watching movies instantly. As with any service, Netflix also has its flaws. Some people have complained about customer service representatives being troublesome and impolite, and there have also been connectivity issues reported. Generally, Netflix is a highly respectable company with many satisfied customers and a growing fan base. Netflix is an internet based organization that allows it’s consumers to order DVDs by mail or utilizes an easy to navigate website to view shows and films instantly.
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This website allows subscribers to browse by many different categories, such as, but not limited to; genre, moods, qualities, story line, release dates, music, and cultures. Netflix search features are highly comprehensive making finding a film very relaxed. If you are interested in a specific show but can’t remember the name of it, instead of searching the entire database by the above listed criteria, you can easily look up the starring actor and Netflix will compile a list of his or her works.
After you have selected a title, the website shows you a picture of the DVD case, gives a short synopsis of the show or film, lists the main actors and actresses, and the genre. It also has a section for member reviews and a star rating out of 5. I have found it very easy to search and order films and television shows from this website or instantly stream them to my tablet, smartphone, gaming system, and many other devices. After selecting a movie or television show you are interested in, Netflix offers you the option of receiving DVDs through the mail or instantly streaming select titles on any compatible device.
If you choose to receive your title through the mail it may take a few days compared to the instant streaming feature that has your selections loaded in seconds. Also, because Netflix only has 58 distribution centers in the United States, it takes longer for DVDs to get to people that live in rural areas. However, if you have access to one of the compatible devices and a high speed internet connection you can watch unlimited programming instantly, which is how my family chooses to use Netflix. Depending on how often you plan to utilize Netflix, you can determine whether instant streaming or unlimited DVD rentals are right for you.
There are many different packages available to consumers based on how many movies they want to watch each month. Although the streaming plans and DVD plans are separate, you can still pay for them through the same account, making combination plans easier. There are two different streaming plans available. There is a limited streaming plan for $4. 99 a month; this plan allows you to watch 2 hours of programming a month. With this plan, however, you cannot use compatible streaming devices, meaning you have to watch the content on a computer.
The other streaming plan is the unlimited plan; it is only $7. 99 a month. For three dollars more, you can watch as much of the streaming content you wish. You can also use streaming capable devices and view the complete streaming library Netflix offers. The only downfall to having a plan solely based on online streaming is that the content is more limited. To enjoy all the titles that Netflix has to offer, a DVD rental plan would be more beneficial. There are unlimited plans and a limited plan for DVD rentals as well. The first unlimited DVD plan is $7. 99 a month.
It allows you to have one DVD out at a time, and Netflix will send you another one when they have received it back. They also have an option to receive Blu-ray discs as well for two additional dollars a month. The second unlimited plan is $11. 99 a month and $14. 99 with the Blu-ray add on package. This plan allows you to receive two discs at a time. The third unlimited plan is $15. 99 a month and $19. 99 with the Blu-ray add on package. This plan allows you to receive 3 discs at a time. The last plan they offer is the limited plan for $4. 99 a month and $5. 99 with the Blu-ray add on package.
This plan allots you one disc at a time option, but you are only allowed to receive two discs a month, no matter how quickly you watch and return them. The prices of the Netflix plans are very affordable and provide a wide variety of movies and television shows. Netflix has The Netflix library’s content is streaming through three different tiers of bandwidth speeds. The first tier requires a continuous upload speed of 1. 5 megabits per second to watch the program with stereo sound and close to DVD quality. The second tier requires a constant upload speed of 2 megabits per second to receive better than DVD quality video and sound.
The third tier requires a constant upload speed of 5 megabits per second. At this tier you will receive 720i high definition picture and 5. 1 or 7. 1 surround sound audio on select shows. Some customers have complained about connectivity issues. They said their Netflix streaming experience was very broken up, and they didn’t get through a whole show without having the program buffer or pixelate. Many of these people have blamed this problem on Netflix and not their device or internet connection. They claim that their internet connection only acts up when they use Netflix.
Personally, I have had connection issues with my laptop and know it will only provide uninterrupted streaming when it is plugged into the modem directly, but I have hardly ever had any connection problems when using my Wii for online streaming. I’m not sure if people are blaming the right source for their streaming issues. It may be their internet service provider not providing a constant internet connection that Netflix requires. If Netflix were to create a program to test your internet with their servers, this would alleviate many of their connection complaints from their customers.
As with many large corporations, Netflix has had its fair share of complaints from their former and present customers. According to consumeraffairs. com, they have only had 25 four star reviews or higher out of 415 reviews. Most of the complaints concerned customer service, saying they were “sassy,” and “extremely, extremely rude,” among others. As a corporation as big as Netflix, customer service should be a higher priority. Their poor customer service has discouraged a lot of their customers. I suppose there are customer service representatives at every company that have a bad day once or twice.
However, that is no excuse to be impolite and not be courteous to their customers, because customer service is usually the first and last impression someone has about a company. Many of the consumers that have had bad experiences with Netflix ended up canceling their subscription. I have never personally had to deal with their customer service team, so this in no way affects my judgments on my Netflix experience. In my opinion, compared to other DVD rental companies, such as Redbox, Hulu Plus, Vudu and Blockbuster; Netflix stands undefeated.
Netflix has a monthly subscription and has no late fees, whereas Redbox has a per day usage fee of $1. 00 plus tax with a $25. 00 maximum. With Netflix you never have to leave your home and it also has a larger selection than Redbox. Redbox kiosks only carry roughly 70-200 titles and 600 DVDs. Netflix offers over 60,000 titles and they are at your fingertips. Although Hulu plus is the same price as Netflix, it only has television shows and doesn’t carry any movies. Vudu offers high definition movies, but they charge per movie.
At $2 a movie you can only watch 4 movies for the price it cost for a monthly subscription of Netflix. Blockbuster also has an online streaming website but you also have to pay per movie. At $2. 99 to $4. 99 a movie, it’s very hard for the consumer to find this as an attractive deal. Netflix offers the best bargain, even though they don’t have all the features some of the other company provide. Based on my experience with Netflix, I would recommend their service to my friends and family. It is very accommodating for most people’s movie and television watching habits, with the many different plans they have.
Any of the customer service representative that I have spoken to have been very knowledgeable and courteous to me. When I had any connectivity problems, it was always on my end, not theirs. I really like the selection and variety of titles they have on Netflix. They have many programs suitable for all ages, and parental controls to avoid having inappropriate content shown when children are looking for a program to watch. Overall, Netflix is a very user friendly service that is available to internet users around the world at a very reasonable cost.