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Sounds like it's effective immediately, so if you don't like it, cut your plan. No one's on contract.

you pay a month in advance

Well, I hate to tell you the devastating news... you might have to eat the $3 this month.

It’s still bullshit.

While the whole world is trying to deal with the worst pandemic in 100 years, you are going to have to adjust your expectation levels for bullshit.

Yeah, but not this kind of bullshit. How is COVID stopping Netflix from lowering their rates accordingly?

Taking actions like changing billing code requires time and effort.

COVID-19 requires spending time and effort on lots of things.

Everything has an opportunity cost.

Spend time and attention on things that matter.

There has to be code in place for people switching to cheaper plans. It can’t be that much effort to switch everyone to a cheaper plan. Especially for a huge company like Netflix.

> Spend time and attention on things that matter

Like what? Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean every single person in this world suddenly has tons of important stuff to do.

Some people do. Most don’t. For most people, “things that matter” in the context of this pandemic doesn’t go beyond washing your hands and avoiding social contact.

What do you imagine the opportunity cost of a couple Netflix devs moving people to a cheaper plan to be? Millions of deaths? Ridiculous.

Considering how often Netflix has jacked up my plan prices, I imagine they already have the billing code in place.

They have raised the rates 4 times in their history, from $8 up to $13... although you can still get basic for $9

Doesn’t seem that often or that excessive.

The pandemic doesn't affect what are good business practises. I understand that Americans might be more lenient in those terms, but Europeans tend not to be.

are you serious? not offering a refund when you fail to deliver the product is something that makes americans absolutely furious. it's one of the only sacred consumer protection issues here. I've already received billing credits or refunds for every service I'm subscribed to that's halted for coronavirus.

Looking at how bad you let your ISPs treat you, I'm quite serious, I think.

Right now apparently they're treating us a lot better than the European isps. Outside the HN bubble no one is really surprised to hear about a service quality problem in Europe though.

Are they? I disagree. Monopolistic, terrible support, terrible speeds, terrible coverage, terrible pricing.

I also disagree that there's an uniform service quality problem, there really isn't. Such a blanket change is simply stupid.

I assure you that Americans are just as annoyed as Europeans when it comes to abrupt changes in service.

The technical needlessness of this decision has been thoroughly reviewed in this thread; therefore this is just a fear-based decision because of the panic. Why should anyone tolerate pointless moves like this to appease people that are panicking?

I don't think it's a fear based decision, it would without a doubt reduce their costs considerably.

Netflix runs on AWS and while they are paying a special rate they are still paying through the nose.

Netflix is operating at a loss, has a mountain of debt and it's most profitable when people maintain their yearly sub and binge 1 show ever 2-3 months basically the same way gyms make their money you pay for a year, go for 3 weeks in January a week before easter, few more weeks in late May - June and maybe then a bit after thanksgiving.

Also I asked Netflix chat if this will be applied in the UK they told me yes but also told me 2 interesting things.

1) It will not affect all customers all the time, 2) it's up to 25% bitrate cut.

I have a very strong suspicion that what Netflix is doing is basically a population wide A/B study on how reduction in bitrate will affect viewing habits during a time when people aren't likely to unsubscribe from their service.

This will be quite invaluable to Netflix especially if they'll will find out things like different countries and different user profiles may have different tolerances to lowered bitrates.

I don't care if people would think this is a tin foil hat conspiracy anyone who's thinking that Netflix would not have the data profiling how every user reacts to this change which could allow them to tweak bitrates on a per-user basis in the future hasn't seen any of their talks about just how they use viewer data to tailor their service.

Netflix is not serving streams through AWS. They use AWS for everything except serving streams. They're spending around 15 billion per year on content, bandwidth costs are far lower than that.

This is not how Netflix distributed their content at all. Most ISPs use their open connect system, which places a Netflix box inside their network. Content is streamed from there, which is cheaper for both the ISP and Netflix.


If you subscribe to an ISP of a decent size, then most of Netflix content is served directly from your ISPs network. Netflix has servers at edge locations all over the world. They want to serve as little content as possible from Amazon.

I'm fairly sure they don't serve any content from Amazon.

edit I'm pretty confident I'm right: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3427839/ten-years-on--... , https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/02/netfl...

It's not a fear based decision. ISP companies sell more bandwidth than is actually available during peak times but because of everybody staying home now their services are oversubscribed creating slow downs or outages.

The ISPs came out and said bandwidth isn't an issue.

Is there a link to the source? (not that I don't believe that but just want to know the details)

All you need is a handful of small court claims to wake Netflix up. They'll spend a magnitude more on sending Netflix employees to represent them, than all these prorated refunds would cost.

The idea of many small claims "waking up" a company is nice in theory, but not reality. In reality, the entity being sued asks the courts to consolidate them into a class action, that's part of why class actions exist, because it makes very little sense to have to play out the same legal case a dozen or a hundred etc. times around the country.

I'm sure a law firm somewhere is already looking to form that "class" and rake in their % of a settlement, and I'm sure Netflix understands that and has factored it into their plans, so it's all a moot point except that at some point in the next 3-7 years you'll get a $5 service credit. Maybe.

Also, most contracts have a "force majeur" clause that would cover this sort of thing. And even if it didn't, if enough businesses start having to modify or breach service agreements in these ways through a world-wide crisis then governments will step in and legislate them out of liability. There won't be too much sympathy for the "victims" of Netflix either. Not from the public at large, especially those who lose friends or family to the pandemic, over someone's pixelated experience of End Game or The Office. I know people who are sick, one closely, and I don't know if they're going to survive. Suffering through SD quality (or worse!) isn't what I concern myself with at the moment.

Good luck with your small claims case for $3. Hope you brought your $25 filing fee!

$3? Where I live (in Europe) the 4K plan is 15.99€ a month. That's $17 USD. I pay less for my phone's data plan!

What's the next tier below that? Now subtract the one number from the other number, it should be less than 15.99.

I'd be pretty sure they'd refund you in Europe?

Aren't we talking about Europe?

Yes. Did they ask for a refund for unused services as part of their cancellation? It sounded more like they were just moaning (my fave past-time!).

The "Europe" qualifier seemed necessary as many people on here aren't in Europe.

Many people here aren't in America either, but from the American perspective:

You have a right to demand partial refunds for service outages. I once spent several hours of my life getting a <$5 credit from Comcast for a day-long outage.

They sent a tech over to install a new router and I enjoyed faster, uninterrupted service for the remainder of my tenancy, so I count it time well spent.

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