Netflix has been increasing the price of its subscription service for a while now, and while we all sit back and complain about the price hikes, one customer has taken it to a whole other level. The Hollywood Reporter reports a customer is suing Netflix for the recent price hike, and claims 22 million others have been affected as well.
George Keritsis signed up for Netflix when he saw that he would only have to pay $7.99 a month for the life of his account. He is now suing the streaming giant for breaching his lifetime contract by increasing his monthly price to $9.99 a month, according to a class action lawsuit proposed on Wednesday in California federal court. The claim from Keritsis states
"For a period of time, Netflix solicited persons to subscribe to Netflix's streaming service by guaranteeing that Netflix would not increase monthly subscription prices as long as the subscribers maintained the subscription service continuously"
Wondering If The $7.99 Lifetime Guarantee Was Too Good To Be True
Keritsis claims that he saw an ad for Netflix that promised a lifetime payment plan of just $7.99 a month. Thinking that it was to good to be true and that there must be a catch to this, he phoned Netflix to confirm if the claims are true. The customer representative confirmed that the advertisement was true and that all accounts made during this time would be "grandfathered," so Keritsis subscribed to the streaming service. His rate was then increased in October 2012. While his rate was only increased by 69 cents to $8.68 per month, this was still a breach of of his contract.
Earlier this month, Keritsis received an email from Netflix that stated his deal had come to an end and that he would have to pay $9.99 per month. Keritsis then phoned up the customer service team. That's when he realized his contract had been breached, as Netflix raised the price of not only his account, but ever other supposedly grandfathered account on the service.
Over 22 Million Subscribers Could Join The Lawsuit
Keritsis is suing Netflix for breach of his contract and has claimed that 22 million other people have been affected, too. The complaint states that Keritsis is calling for everyone whose contract has been breached:
"All persons who entered into an agreement with Netflix for a streaming plan at a subscription price that Netflix promised not to increase for as long as they continuously maintained their subscriptions."
Netflix have been cutting deals with major movie studios to gain the streaming rights for their movies, and that isn't cheap. Their recent pricey deal with Disney to acquire the rights to all live action Disney films from this point on just went into effect, thus necessitating one need for the recent price hike.
The streaming service has also gone all-in on original programming in recent years, and that doesn't come cheap. Creating an action-packed, graphic, 13-episode season like this costs money, after all:
But while Netflix no doubt expected many users to cancel their subscription due to the price hike, I doubt they expected a class action lawsuit being brought to their doors.
This isn't the first time Netflix has caused controversy
This is the second time Netflix been at the centre of controversy this year as the streaming service stopped users from accessing American Netflix if they were using a DNS blocker. America has undoubtedly the largest library on Netflix, so it would make sense for users to attempt to access it. Netflix was not losing any money from this method, so it came as a shock to see them punish their users for no reason whatsoever. If anything, the company lost money through many customers cancelling their service in frustration.
Netflix has yet to comment on this lawsuit, but many are hoping that this is a wake-up call for the company. Many have claimed that Netflix has lost sight of what made it so big in the first place, and that was a cheap alternative to watch your favourite movies and TV shows. The price hikes and region locks have only furthered these claims and one can only hope that they listen to their customers.
Have you cancelled your Netflix service because of the price hikes or another reason? Let me know in the comments.