After a Free Month of Netflix DVD By Mail, The Verdict Is...


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View attachment 3187 Last month, I blogged that Netflix was offering a free month of DVD by mail service to streaming customers - Remembering the awesomeness that was Netflix DVD by mail service before they separated the DVD and streaming plans, I signed up for the free month, and while I was at it, I chose the 3-out at a time plan and added Blu-ray access during the free trial period. Then I proceeded to fill my DVD queue with some DVDs and Blu-rays., and sat back to wait for the mailman to fill my mailbox with those lovely red envelopes.

And two days later, my movies arrived - and there was much rejoicing. Just like old times, movies came to me. No getting in the car and heading to Redbox, no trying to beat the 9pm return deadline, just watch and return. 3 out at a time gets one disc each for me and my wife, and one for the kids. And for the first week or two, everything was wonderful. I put Anchorman 2 in my queue on March 28th and it was in my mailbox on April 2nd - one day after the DVD release. I also was able to get discs marked "short wait" right away simply by switching from DVD to Blu-ray or vica-versa.

But then, things began to fall apart. I had trouble finding good discs that I hadn't seen already, or that were not also available with my streaming plan. Some discs I wanted were marked as "unknown" availability. "Unknown"? What the hell does that mean?? And then, I noticed that Redbox had both Chinese Zodiac and The Little Rascals Save The Day available - but not Netflix. In fact, I would have to wait several weeks for Netflix to release movies that Redbox already has. And on the day part 2 of The Hobbit released, I checked with Netflix and Redbox and found that neither service would rent it until 5/6/2014.
Check my DVD queue:
View attachment 3188 Netflix used to be an economical service where I could get streaming video AND one DVD out at a time - which I used to rent NEW movies - for $7.99 a month. Now, the same service would cost me $15.98 a month. But it's not the same service it used to be. It's a lesser service, at least for the DVD by mail part.
Here's a summary of Netflix pricing:
Netflix Streaming ONLY Plans

  • $7.99 - Up to 4 users on account - 2 can steam simultaneously
  • $11.99 - Up to 4 users on account - 4 can stream simultaneously
Netflix DVD ONLY Rental Plans

  • 1 DVD at-a-time - $7.99 a month
  • 2 DVD at-a-time - $11.99 a month
  • 3 DVD at-a-time - $15.99 a month
  • 4 DVD at-a-time - $21.99 a month
  • 5 DVD at-a-time - $27.99 a month
  • 6 DVD at-a-time - $32.99 a month
  • 7 DVD at-a-time - $37.99 a month
  • 8 DVD at-a-time - $43.99 a month
If you want to add Blu-ray access, it's an additional $4 a month.

Sorry, Netflix. I'm not going to continue my DVD by mail plan. The only way it would be worth it for me is if I were interested in some more obscure titles that are not available at Redbox or by streaming. If Netflix could actually deliver new releases by mail within a few days of release, maybe then...

I'll be keeping my current video plan - Netflix streaming for $7.99 a month, and making the trip to one of the many local Redboxes for the newest releases for $1.20 or $1.50 each.

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