Breaking Up With Netflix: It’s Not You, It’s The Economy


Dear Netflix,

We’ve shared a lot of laughs and even some tears. You’ve always been there for me, which makes breaking up even harder to do. I remember when we first met five years ago – I was pregnant with twins and confined to bedrest. I relied on your daily red envelope even more than I did my Ben & Jerry’s.

But Netflix, things have changed. With the foundering economy, it just doesn’t feel like the right time to be in this kind of a committed relationship. We’ve been drifting apart for a while, and yet there you are every month, taking a bite out of my checking account. Before you even ask, this has absolutely nothing to do with Blockbuster Online. I admit, I have checked out a couple times, but that’s not why I’m ending things with you.

It’s a crappy time to be a discretionary spend and I don’t mean to kick you while you’re down, but I need to start looking out for myself. And so 163 rentals and nearly a thousand dollars later, I’m calling it quits. This really is good-bye, so I hope you don’t cheapen what we had by sending me perky “one month free” emails or flyers.

Good luck, Netflix – I honestly do wish you the best.

Your friend,

19 Responses to “Breaking Up With Netflix: It’s Not You, It’s The Economy”

  1. Dave Says:

    Don’t worry Netflix, I still see you as a must have friend. You save me from going out to the movies, going out to more dinners, and you save my friends money with movie night in at my place instead of going out to spend money on who knows what. Plus, I spend more time with my dog, you are a great cost saving relationship building friend!

  2. steve a Says:

    Debbie, is there a cheaper alternative than the 8.99 unlimited monthly rental with unlimited instant watching? THIS is your budget cutback? Oof.

  3. Debbie P. Says:

    @steve a, it’s a start. I figured a good place to begin examining my finances was recurring expenses, and Netflix was costing me $15.25 a month. Which I agree is a great price *if you’re watching movies.* After watching the final season of The Wire a couple months ago, I have had the same two movies on top of my TV ever since. And the last time I checked Netflix, I couldn’t do the instant-watch thing on my Mac, so that is a feature I didn’t use.

    So, cutting Netflix doesn’t feel painful to me at this time in my life. Five years ago, I would have traded out anything before Netflix, but I’m just not getting the same use out of it.

    At the same time I canceled Netflix, I also canceled a $3.95/month Earthlink email account that I used for work years ago. It took me about 5 minutes to tell people still using that account to send mail to my Yahoo address. $48 in savings for the year for 5 minutes of work – I’ll take it!

  4. John Smith Says:

    It doesn’t look like you even watched enough movies for it to be worth it. The price per individual movie ended up being more expensive than going to your local blockbuster.

    For me, netflix is still a great deal. With netflix, I watch more movies in a year than you have in the last five! 🙂

  5. John Says:

    As humans, we have to have some form of entertainment and as sad as it is most forms of entertainment today aren’t free.

    I’m curious to know what you’re doing in place of watching movies/television?

    Why not opt for a much cheaper Netflix plan to supplement your minuscule amount of monthly rentals? That seems like it’d be a lot cheaper than if you went to the local Blockbuster and even rented only two movies a month or went and saw a movie in the theater ONCE a month.

    I see where you’re trying to go with this, but when examine things like this for myself I always look at the bigger picture.

    If I canceled Netflix, yeah I’d be saving $100+ a year, but there are a lot of other things that you would do in its place, not realizing the long time costs. So in actuality, Netflix saves you money. At least it does for me.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Debbie, If you are at all interested and have an “intel” mac, here is the link for Mac Watch Instantly. You can get a plan for only $8.99.

  7. Jeff Says:


  8. Anoop Says:


    I reduced the plan from 4-at-a-time to 3-at-a-time, due to money concerns. My girlfriend and I were graduate students until recently and we could watch 4 movies a week. But now that we have both started working 8-5, it has become really hard to have the time as well.

    But, we love NetFlix.

  9. Kim Says:

    I am breaking up with Netflix because of the first CRAPPY customer service experience. And, extra added bonus of saving money and reading more. They shipped me 2 wrong DVD’s even though my queue was correct (disc 3 and 4 of a series instead of discs 1 and 2 at the top of the queue). I used “report a problem” for the first time and accidentally had the same 2 mistakes sent right back. The customer service rep was terrible and no help at all. I am relieved to be canceling.

    Used to love Netflix and even signed up at least a dozen people. Thanks for being so helpful in my time of need netflix.

  10. KarinsBuckaroo Says:

    debbie> figured a good place to begin examining my finances
    debbie> was recurring expenses, and Netflix was costing
    debbie> me $15.25 a month.

    I was wondering if using the basic service that just sends one disc a month might have been a good alternative? Also, we have a movie theater that has two for the price of one ($7) on Wednesdays. It means we might get to the movies once a month if they have a good run of movies.

  11. Elaine Says:

    We just went from 5-at-a-time to 3-at-a-time; we don’t have any sort of regular TV, so Netflix has been our source of video entertainment (along with the library!) — but we’ve been so busy lately that the discs just pile up on top of the TV. OTOH, this time of year is big for videos for us, so I can’t imagine dropping it completely, especially with instant play. I love instant play. 🙂

  12. Jennifer Says:

    Are people really trying to tell this woman how to spend HER money? If you think Netflix is such a great value, I’m sure you’d be willing to buy her a gift subscription.

  13. Donald Says:

    Would be nice to have HD quality rentals over the web from Netflix

  14. xaotica Says:

    i broke up with netflix ages ago, but solely for the purpose of picking a different company. greencine is an sf-based dvd service that donates portions of their proceeds to nonprofit film organizations and has a wider selection of unusual dvds too.

  15. Says:

    Don’t know if they have these in your area, but I think red box is a much better alternative. They have one of these movie vending machines inside Wal-Mart stores a lot.

    When you’re done doing your shopping you can rent a movie for $1. Bring it back, and get something else on your next trip to the store.

    I’m wanting them to start renting video games this way! If they do I’ll be sure to be a regular costumer.

  16. hebby Says:

    NFLX will never be renting games. They do one thing well and have said on several occasions they will not be getting into the gaming rental business.

  17. Philadelphia birth lawyer Says:

    Sometimes it's just time to say goodbye. It's not a bad idea to become friends with a local independent video store. They can be so understanding.

  18. Steve Says:

    I have kept with Netflix as the other options are not very good.

  19. New Feature: Cutback Tool Helps You Save On Recurring Monthly Expenses (Or How I Caught WaMu Skimming My Savings) « Wesabe: Your Money. Your Community. Says:

    […] took a look at my recurring expenses a few months ago (pre-Cutback Tool) and decided to cut Netflix (to avoid the wrath of the red envelope loyalists, let me clarify… I think this is a great […]

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