We have Netflix and we kinda enjoy Netflix. Before Netflix came on the scene, I always hated going to the Blockbuster type stores to pick out a movie. It's much nicer to be able to sit at my computer, at my leisure, search out the movies in any way I need to - by actor or title, and make a list of the movies I'd like to see and then have them arrive in my mailbox without much effort from me.
Tom and I don't have a lot of time to movie watch. We have the Netflix plan with which we get two movies per month. Sometimes it actually seems like a chore that we must take the time to do to get those two movies watched and sometimes we don't actually get around to it. It's not that we don't like to watch movies and/or TV. We do. We have several TV programs that we record and watch and enjoy very much. It's just that those TV programs take up the "watching" time and there isn't much left over for movies. Besides that, I never can figure out Tom's electronic systems to sit down and watch a movie by myself, like, when he's out of town or when it's a chick flick that he really doesn't want to see (e.g. the Twilight movies). Those who know Tom know that he is an electronic wizard and he has a gadget for eveything and a whole slew of remote controls...but, that's another story. Although, he claims that he recently simplified it for me so that I only have to push one button on one remote, I haven't actually witnessed this electronic miracle.
Anyway, I know some people who really do love to watch movies and they watch a lot of movies, so when I found out that Netflix has gift subscriptions, I thought, "How great is that?!". I decided I'd give a couple and proceeded to procrastinate the buying until today. Because, you know, I thought it would be a quick and easy thing and since it's e-mailed, it would get there by Christmas.
So, I started with the first one, filled out all the info, but got to wondering, "What happens if, for some reason, the gift recipient loses a DVD? Like, what if the dog eats it?" See I had this thought because it actually happened to us. I had one of the DVDs in my golf cart and was taking it to the mailbox a couple of weeks ago. I stopped to do something in the barn for less than five minutes. When I came out of the barn, the DVD was broken to bits and the envelope shredded all over the place. Thank you Harry.
Anyway, we had to pay $14.00 (+ tax) for the unreturned DVD. Unlike your teacher, Netflix doesn't care if the dog ate it. You pay. No questions. So, OK, I understand that. But that's a big chunk out of gift subscription, so...what happens? Do they charge my account for an unreturned DVD?
It occurred to me to read the gift rules and it turns out that for the recipient to use the gift subscription, he/she has to sign up with his/her own "payment method", you know, like a valid credit card. So, if they lose a DVD or their dog eats it, it will be charged to their account. Well, I don't want to send someone a gift certificate that requires them to sign up with a credit card number. Some people don't like having their CC # on file and floating around out there.
But, worse than that, when the gift subscription ends (e.g. the end of the allotted time, three, six, or twelve months), if the recipient doesn't remember to cancel their account, which was a gift account, Netflix will start charging the recipient's card. Seems it's a gift that just keeps on giving...at the expense of the gift recipient.
I just really don't like that sneaky way of gaining customers and I can't be a part of it. When the gift subscription is done, like a magazine, they should send a few reminders, then stop sending the DVDs if the customer doesn't renew and not just start charging the credit card without the person's knowledge...because, really, not that many are going to read the fine print and even know that they're being charged.
So, it's back to the stores for me.