Dear Netflix

13 July, 2011 at 10:58 am

I like your service. Always have. But I’m not getting a lot of mileage out of the DVDs, since I always forget to return them. I’ve had How To Train Your Dragon sitting on top of my Blu-Ray player for at least 6 months. 6 months. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great movie. But I don’t need it for that long.

 

I’ll grant you that I got distracted by Netflix Instant. Firefly, Better off Ted, Pushing Up Daisiesthese were all great shows, even if they all got cancelled right as they were gaining momentum. Outsourced was more entertaining than I expected. I’m impressed that you got Iron Man 2 up there. Granted, it happened a year after I watched it. Three times. But nice work getting a real movie.

 

The bottom line is that I have over 200 titles in my Instant Queue, and I never watch them. I want to be interested in them, but they’re just not that exciting. I bet nearly 100 of them are documentaries. I like documentaries, but really, who has time to watch seven variations on Food, Inc.? And I’m not really watching both seasons of Ghost In The Shell: Standalone Complex. It’s good sci-fi, but it’s Anime. And it’s kind of boring. I mean, I’ve had it in my queue for three years.

 

I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve begun seeing other movies. It was destined to happen. There are easier ways to get new movies than waiting for my discs to come in the mail. And if I’m watching a series and it’s not on your instant service, forget it. I pay for 1 DVD at a time! At the rate I return DVDs, multi-disc series would take me longer to watch than the original broadcast run of the show.

 

The Internet provides me with the entertainment I seek. Sure, I visit some less than reputable sites, virtual speakeasies in the darker corners of the Web. They advertise electronic cigarettes and stock photos of busty Russian women who really want to meet me, and sure, I occasionally come away from the experience with a virus or two. All part of the game. But I get the content I’m already paying you for without having to go through your arcane distribution system. I can fire up my copy of Bit Torrent and have the movie I just put at the top of my Queue faster than you can get it in a little red envelope. I never have to send back scratched discs, or chase my kids around asking what they did with the return mailer.

 

I’m not a pirate. I don’t keep this stuff forever – who has the terabytes for that? I don’t sell it or share it. I just want a movie rental system that works as fast as the rest of my tech. And I keep paying you so I feel better about the fact that I’m paying somebody, somewhere, for producing the fine entertainment that I’m watching. I’m not in this to gyp anybody.

 

You, on the other hand, are apparently in this to gyp me. $17.98 a month for the meager selection of conspiracy documentaries, eighties sitcoms, zombie/stripper movies, and independent GLBT melodramas? Plus one disc at a time from your real catalog, if I can remember what a post office is or where to find one? Please. I will pay you MORE than $17.98 a month if you’ll just give me a real selection of watchable shows on Instant. I want to give you my money. Look – it’s right here, hanging out of my pocket. It’s going to fall on the floor. It’s calling your name: “NET-FLIIIIIIX! NET-FLIIIIIIIIIIX!”

 

But you can’t have it. Not until you give me what you want. You don’t get to charge me more but not give me more. We already have Obamacare.

 

You don’t get to take more of my money. Except, wait, did you just add Ip Man 2 to Instant? I kind of wanted to see that. I mean Ip Man wasn’t bad, as kung fu movies go. Maybe I won’t cancel you yet. I still need to send back How To Train Your Dragon or you’ll charge me for the disc.

 

Maybe I’ll cancel after that.