How to get around Netflix price hike

Don't Waste Your Money

By now most Netflix subscribers have heard that the movie rental service is raising its prices.

And it means many subscribers will have to pay 60 percent more each month to watch online movies and DVD's.

 If that has you steaming mad, there are some cheaper alternatives, But are they any good?

Subscribers threaten to Cancel

Netflix -- the nation's largest video subscription service -- is changing its pricing plan.

And many members are furious. Facebook has lit up with posts from subscribers considering canceling.

Dave Villardo is among those unhappy. He told me, "we heard that they are no longer offering the unlimited streaming as well as the DVD's, they are splitting it into 2 parts, making you pay separately."

Jeff Hammond said the low price was the biggest draw, saying "it was very convenient. I've used it for months. It was always easy to use, and I liked the price it was."

But that price is no more.

What it will cost

As of September 1, 2011, Netflix drops its $9.99 monthly plan that lets you watch unlimited movies online and rent DVD's through the mail.

Instead, it'll be:

  • $7.99 a month for streaming movies
  • $7.99 for mail order DVD's
  • $15.99 a month for both services (The former $9.99 plan)

Netflix Alternatives

Don't like it? There are some alternatives:

Occasional renters will do best at Redbox, with popular movies for just $1 a night. Of course you must return them the next day or get charged again. And selection is not Redbox's strongest suit.

Blockbuster by Mail is another option: For $11.99 you get unlimited mail movies, plus occasional free rentals at your nearest Blockbuster store.

And if streaming is your thing, consider Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month for movies and TV. Its movie selection, however, is limited at this point.

Amazon's Instant Video is a new service, that's sort of like an online Redbox.  You pay by the movie. Great for light watchers who don't rent many movies a month.

Apple TV offers many movie rentals through iTunes, but it is not the cheapest service. Unfortunately, for longtime Netflix users, and serious movie watchers, none of them come close.

Or stay with Netflix and choose a cheaper plan

If you don't like the higher price, consider whether you really need both services.

If you drop either the mail portion or online portion of your package, it will actually be 2 bucks cheaper. Many people who have discovered online streaming will no longer need the mail program.

And that way you don't waste your money.

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