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June 28, 2004


True to my current night owl nature, I was doing my nightly (morningly?) weblog crawl when I stopped at D's site. She subscribed to the infernal Netflix machine.

I had Netflix for a while myself. In fact, according to the billing history on my freshly reactivated account, my membership was last current two years ago.

Netflix to its former subscribers, you see, is much like a good gin and tonic to an AA member. If you didn't leave because of some customer service horror, you have no ill will against Netflix. So long as you don't think about how nice it was or how wide the selection was or even how nice it would be to set up a huge queue of movies without a pencil or want to get recommendations without asking the wanker at the video store who thinks low-budget poorly-dubbed Kung Fu movies are the living end, it's possible to avoid re-subscription.

But then someone like D posts about it, and you think "Oh, good old Netflix. I'll go there just to check things out."

So you do, and get the old "Ha ha ha! Reactivate your account to see your account!" screen, and hem and haw over the options. While $21.99 sounds like money down the drain, simple math soon proves you wrong. Blockbuster charges nearly $7 for a rental, plus their selection sucks and their employees are braindead. If you watch 3 movies a month, you've already "broken even" so to speak.

The next thing you know, you've reactivated your subscription, queued up three movies for delivery this week, and there are 23 more waiting to slide into your 3-out plan as you return the ones you've viewed.

Netflix is the devil. The convenient, helpful, entirely delightful devil.

The sad thing is I justified it with "I can cancel at the end of the month. I don't have to keep spending $22 a month." Which is exactly what I justified it with when I signed up originally for the free trial and ended up paying for a good year and a half of Netflix service. We see how well that worked the first time.

Posted by Colin at June 28, 2004 2:29 AM

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