Product Review: Netflix


Netflix came to my family under the guise of a wrapped diminutive Christmas box over a year ago and it has turned out to be one of the most advantageous gifts we could have received. I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time getting out of the house. Even before we had our son, we didn’t exactly frequent the movies, but now that feat would be next to impossible. Enter, my sister, who delivered a perfect solution to the movie fiends that we are, when given the opportunity.

I can’t compare to Blockbuster’s services, because I don’t really know much about their specific advantages/disadvantages, but the general concept, no matter which company you choose, is a wonderful idea. You go to your computer, compile a list of what movies you’d like to see, wait about a day, go to your mailbox and there they are! It’s fantastic!
Netflix allows you to manage your “queue” online. You create a list as you sort through their bountiful DVD selection. Not only do they have new and classic movies and everything in the middle, they have a wide variety of made-for-television movies and shows. After you’ve compiled a list, you rank the DVDs in order of preference, of which ones you’d like to see first.
As well, you can rate which movies from their assortments you’ve seen before, and they suggest movies that you will probably like based on those ratings. If your list of more recently released movies that you’re interested in runs a little dry, these ratings are a nice commodity so you can keep the movie marathon going. Got a hankering to watch something, but your movie is in the mail? They have an assortment of over 6,000 movies you can watch online at any time you’d like, with most plans.
Just as a side note, I like to use the queue as a means to store a list of new releases in theaters that I’d like to see. Have you ever been in a movie rental store and KNOW that a few months ago there was a movie you were wanting to see, but you could not for the life of you think of what it was? The Netflix queue solves that problem. If you see a commercial or read a review of a movie that looks interesting, go ahead and put that list in your queue, even though it’s not available. The movie goes into your “saved” list and as soon as the DVD release date is known, it denotes the expected date on your list. And as soon as the DVD is actually available, it pops up into your active queue. If you watch your queue carefully, a few days before it’s about to be released, you can click a button that places it as a top priority to receive and more than likely you can have the movie in your mailbox the day it hits the stores!
Netflix allows you to purchase plans that work for you. If you like movies, but only have time to watch one or two a month, there’s a smaller plan for you. These plans range from $4.99 (one at a time, two movies total/month) to $47.99 (eight movies at a time, unlimited times to order movies/month) and everything in between. For my family, I see Netflix as a complete luxury item. In fact, we suspended our subscription after our gift subscription had ended, because the frugal part of me said we didn’t need it. But in the end, we realized, it was a very convenient form of entertainment and over a span of a month, cost very little with our plan to watch many new movies a month. Even with our plan of one at a time, unlimited requests per month, we could easily see 8-12 movies a month for very little expense. We love movies, so it was a worthwhile expenditure, since we make the most of our unlimited movie rentals per month plan. If you rent movies or go see them at the theaters often, these prices aren’t very different than what you mind spending for entertainment anyway. If you do feel like you’re going to be swamped for time over a few months, Netflix does give you the opportunity to not completely suspend your subscription, but you can take some time off and not have to pay those monthly bills or receive movies you don’t have time to view. That’s pretty user-friendly!
*Convenient (delivered to your mailbox)
*Customized plans for your preferences
*Reasonably affordable entertainment
*Reasonably quick delivery (usually arrive 1, maybe 2 days after they’ve received your returned movie—sent from a warehouse near you for speediest delivery possible)
*Effective customer service for common issues (late/non delivery, scratched DVD, etc.)
*Have to wait until a movie is on DVD
*Factory currently seems to be closed on weekends, so if you return a movie on Friday, they won’t be able to ship a new one until Monday
*No store to return movies to for speediest turnaround
This product review may not make your health any better, but Netflix raises up the quality of life so you can feel like you’re a part of the entertained world. It makes a nice, relaxing evening just a smidgen easier in a world where each bit of effort exerted can slow you down. On a cold wintry night, this kind of product seems even more appealing. Entertainment should be fun—not work! I hope this product offers you another avenue to make down time easier to come by.
Article written by Carrie Burns, © 2008