Netflix Raising Blu-Ray Rates By $1 Per Tier

Netflix is raising its rates for Blu-ray subscribers (again). The rate change is between $1-$9, increasing by $1 for each successive tier. The breakdown, via Engadget, and what Netflix emailed customers, inside.



(Thanks to James!) (Photo: Maulleigh)

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  1. Randy Treibel says:

    Still reasonable but this was probably a strategy all along. They’ll keep DVD rates low so it doesnt appear as if they are raising their rates. I never used netflix as BBO always was a better price. But i haven’t needed to use either in a long time.

    • socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

      @Randy Treibel:
      I still use Blockbuster Online but not as much as before. I was grandfathered into the $19.99 unlimited plan, but have to return in store dvd’s and blu-rays before I get new movies mailed to me now.

      I tried Netflix, but their streaming content wasn’t all that great. I’ll stick with Blockbuster and hope that they won’t go out of business. If they do, well then im S.O.L I guess. All you haters of blockbuster, just remember what happens when there is only one game in town. Netflix is great competition for Blockbuster but better competition than a monopoly.

    • layton59 says:

      @Randy Treibel: QUOTE: “Still resonable.” Not to my way of thinking. I’ll stick with REDBOX, SWAPADVD, and WAL-MARTS $5.00 Bin and K-MART. Just got a dual disc OLD YELLER + SAVAGE SAM (The OLD YELLER sequel) at K-MART on sale for $6.00 and it is mine to keep with no MONTHLY FEE or any LATE FEES. I heard that SAVAGE SAM is not anywhere near as good as OLD YELLER, but I still want to see it. Hard to say no to $6.00 for Disney titles.

      • yasth says:

        @layton59: Ummm those aren’t Blu-Ray titles…

        Netflix is very handy for things that cost actual money per disc (aka, Early run HBO show, rarer documentaries, art films, etc.)

        If you are happy with shlock, try hulu’s movie selection they have a fairly massive number of $5 DVD selections served up free.

        • layton59 says:

          @yasth: Thanks the advice YASTH. I watched FEVER PITCH on there before going out and getting the DVD with all the deleted scenes. Poster YASTH your arrogance smacks of BLU-RAY elitism. I guess you either sell BLU-RAY or are trying very hard to justify the high cost of the BLUE-RAY movies. To each their own. I come from a generation that watched black and white tv’s without remote controls. So todays 27″ color TV’s are still a vast improvement. DVD’s are far from “shlock” as you say. If I had a 60″ TV in my 10×10 family room I may need Blu-Ray. But then again I may just wait for Green-Ray. I am sure something better is in the works to obsolete your current system.

          • bogart27 says:

            @layton59: Ah… no, nevermind.

          • EyeHeartPie says:

            @layton59: …Wow. Just wow. Talk about being off.

            On topic, I think that if you have a secondary Netflix-ready device, like an Xbox, a TiVo, or a Roku box, Netflix would beat BBO any day of the week. I just signed up for the free trial last week to try it out, and the streaming quality to my 42″ TV over my Xbox 360 is oodles better than the quality to my internet browser. In fact, I watched the entirety of Ratatouille this weekend streamed from Netflix to my Xbox, and after it was done I forgot that it had been streamed, and I walked up to my upconverting DVD player to try to eject the disc.

            • Yokai Monsters Spook Warfare says:

              @EyeHeartPie: Yeah, it depends though…We have a Tivo and a 50″ plasma…and sometimes the quality is excellent, and sometimes it’s awful. Probably depends more on our internet than anything though (we’re stuck with TWC, which is great sometimes, and super awful other times).

          • Blinky987 says:

            @layton59: You’re awesome. Thank you.

      • nakedscience says:

        @layton59: Lay off the whiskey there, bub.

        • Brawndo_The_Thirst_Mutliator says:

          @nakedscience: BAH! WHSIKEY!? When I was growing up, we suck on bottles of TURPENTINE. AND it made US STRONG. Not like you whipper SNAPPERS of today.
          /sarcasm

  2. YNinja says:

    Yup, got that one too and cancelled blu-ray access. Big whoop…I’m deployed and just have the plan so my dad can watch DVDs at home. He has no blu-ray player. So…yeah. Frig it.

    • Optimistic Prime says:

      @YNinja: A buck a month, alright, but $3, it’s not worth it. I’m not seeing where Blu-ray is that much more spectacular over DVD anyhow. If anything, I think it’s worse. It adds letterbox to everything, and DVD is just as clear visually.

      • iam118 says:

        @Optimistic Prime: Ehh, it really depends on the movie. If you can’t see the difference between DVD and Blu Ray on something like Dark Knight, then you need your eyes checked.

      • SudhamayiKabong says:

        @Optimistic Prime: Nope, it doesn’t. Add letterbox to everything, that is. There could be a few factors that contribute to that perception though. For example, what’s your television’s aspect ratio? Do you watch wide-screen DVDs, or do you prefer full-screen flicks? Also, many newer flicks are being recorded in an aspect ratio that will produce the letterbox effect even on 16:9 wide-screen televisions, which is another factor that can lead to that perception. You’ll see the same effect with DVD’s though, so it’s not a Blu-Ray problem.

        As for DVD being just as clear as Blu-Ray visually, I have a unit that upscales my DVDs. Even at 1080i, they don’t look as good as my Blu-Ray flicks do. They certainly look nice, but there’s quite a noticeable difference between 480P video that’s scaled to 1080i and true high-def video.

        That said, to each their own. Even as an owner of a Blu-Ray player and a nice HDTV, I can’t justify the extra cost, simply because I only have Netflix so that my disabled mother can watch movies. I don’t have the time to watch Blu-Ray flicks during the week. ;)

  3. Anonymous says:

    20%? To the point that the total increase represents about 20% of the total cost of your membership? Sure. But they are actually increasing it by quite a bit more than that. The fee for my 3-out plan for instance is increasing a whopping 400% (from $1 to $4) and therefore, I have canceled my blu-ray access.

    • Joe S Chmo says:

      @SavitashriAstraeus: Good for you and better for me. One less person I have to wait on for my next disc to be sent to me. I am watching Planet Earth right now from Netflix. Great Blu Ray and no, it is not the same as on DVD. I won’t be going back to DVD only no matter the cost difference. $4 is not a deal breaker for me. I paid %500 percent more for my Blu Ray player over what I could have paid for an upconverting DVD player so this increase is in line and totally reasonable.

      • Anonymous says:

        @MRsteve:
        A 400% increase in price is in no way reasonable. Unless Blu Ray movies are 400% more expensive for Netflix. If your math works out, fine, serve yourself. I cancelled it until they go back into their right mind.

        • coren says:

          @QuonPhrixus: Yeah it is – the movies aren’t that much more expensive. Assume that the extra dollar is their cost.

          If you get 4 blu rays at once, they need 4 dollars to pay for that blu ray difference.

      • Leksi Wit says:

        @MRsteve: Another reason that Netflix is raising the blu-ray rates is to rectify the current stocking issues of the much more expensive blu-ray versions of films and shows. They are raising the prices to offer a better selection and more copies of blu-ray content. Netflix is a great company, I’ve been with them for years now. I believe that this is not about profit but more about expanding the blu-ray library.

    • Alessar says:

      @SavitashriAstraeus: Me too. I looked at my rental history, 4 out of the last 30 discs I’ve received have been blu-ray. $4 is too much for my occasional blu-ray renting.

    • bifyu says:

      @SavitashriAstraeus: a change from $1 to $4 is a 300% increase, not 400%.

    • radiochief says:

      @SavitashriAstraeus: Oh, get off it.

      Everyone here is complaining that they can get $5 DVDs at Wal-Mart to combat this outrage… Well an average BR-disc cost $20.00, so there’s your 400% price difference you want.

      A dollar extra per disc is nothing, considering that you get BR-disc which costs more (for Netflix) and has better resolution and goodies (for you).

  4. jacques says:

    Glad they’re not raising the rates on the normal customers.

  5. icruise says:

    I had no idea that they even charged different rates for people renting Blu-ray. I do it whenever a BR version is available for a particular movie. I suppose it’s worth it though.

    • XTC46 says:

      @icruise: becasue blu-ray cost more than standard dvds…

      • Keavy_Rain says:

        @xtc46: While this used to be true, I think they’re lowering the price on Blu-Ray’s to make them more appealing. I got Quantum of Solace on Blu-Ray for the same price as the 2-disc DVD ($25) at Fry’s last Tuesday.

        That’s the only time I buy Blu-Ray over DVD. My Blu-Ray player is a PS3, which does a good job upscaling DVD’s so unless the price difference is a few dollars I go DVD.

        As for the Netflix thing, I’m on the $8.99 plan for the streaming though Xbox Live (Only way to get Pee Wee’s Big Adventure uncut in widescreen and Grindhouse in its theatrical format; those two alone are worth it IMO) and while I was considering paying for Blu-Ray access, this rate increase has killed any desire I had.

        I was cool with $12 more a year but $24 a year is asking a lot, especially when I only wanted it to compare the Blu-Ray versions of movies to their DVD counterparts.

        Hopefully as Blu-Ray overtakes DVD we’ll see these fees disappear. I’d hate to have to pay more just because one format is dying and another is taking over.

        • yasth says:

          @Keavy_Rain: There is still a $5 difference of list (and that appears to be holding down to real outside of specials.

          DVD is nowhere near dying yet. Most smaller places are still not quite there yet. DVD still outsells 4 to 1 or more (on average titles, things like Planet Earth, or certain av geek appealing titles excepted).

    • Alessar says:

      @icruise: Up to now, it’s just been a buck for whatever plan you had.

  6. Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

    Regular up-converted DVD’s look nearly as good as Blu-ray DVD’s. Up-converted DVD’s have a sharper picture than what you see at the movies, IMO. Blu-ray is nice, but not worth the added cost.

    • Randy Treibel says:

      @Barney_The Plug_ Frank: To the non picky eye i guess. If you don’t notice the diff between 1080 (even mkv) and 480 upconvert it’s huge to me.

      But then again i play my PC games @2500×1600.

      • Dan Seitz says:

        @Randy Treibel:

        How big’s your television? I’m a filmmaker, I care a lot about this kind of thing, and quite frankly, even people far pickier than me can’t tell the difference until you hit maybe four feet. You have to care, a lot, and frankly, you have to care more about the image itself than the damn movie.

        Besides, Blu-Ray invites gross abuses on the part of both studios and filmmakers. Just look up what Fox did to “Patton”, or what Billy Friedkin did to “The French Connection” (something I’m surprised didn’t hit Consumerist); it’s like we’re fighting the battle to keep colorization from happening all over again!

        • jacques says:

          @Dan Seitz:
          OK, I’ll bite…what did they do to Patton and the French Connection?

          • sebadoh128 says:

            @jacques:

            Apparently, they colorized them?

            I keed, I keed.

          • David Brodbeck says:

            @jacques: I’m curious, too. I tried googling for it but all I found were generally favorable reviews.

            • Anonymous says:

              @David Brodbeck:
              Found this while searching about the French Connection on dvdtalk.com.
              “Fox’s new Blu-ray of The French Connection is already raising a controversy on the web, for William Friedkin’s personally supervised transfer. The original movie had a purposely ugly look; release prints were slimy, grainy and colorless. (I can see the Fox people in 1971 approving any mess that came from Deluxe as ready for the screen: “Looks terrible! Good Work! Ship it!”) The previous DVD release worked digital magic to bring out all the color and detail in Owen Roizman’s cinematography, reducing the grain and boosting the colors to the point where some of the mid-winter scenes looked downright cheerful.

              In a new HD featurette, , Friedkin demonstrates his revisionist rationale. He wanted to mute the colors and retain a lot more grain, yet not lose the sharpness of Roizman’s images. To that end he had his colorist create an element that oversaturated and de-focused the color. This smeary color image was very lightly superimposed over a B&W rendering of the film, resulting in a sharp, grainy movie with pastel colors. Because the colors are de-focused, they don’t stay strictly “within the lines” of objects. Gene Hackman is as sharp as a tack, but his red Santa Claus suit bleeds softly all around him. Blacks clog up at night with almost a hi-con look. New York appears cold and inhospitable. It’s an interesting effect that indeed achieves Friedkin’s stated goal of creating a degraded color image. And he makes no bones about stating that it’ll stay that way because that’s the way he likes it!”

          • nybiker says:

            @jacques: From a couple of reviewers on Netflix with regards to FC:

            3 stars out of 5 – Stay away from the Blu-ray version of this classic! I was only 7 when this first came out, so I do not have any idea if the graininess was on purpose, but it is annoying to watch on a big screen. I would hope that the regular version is better. I am a huge fan of 60 and 70 era movies so I am not just looking for the quick fix SFX. There was an awful lot to like about this movie, and I can see why it won 5 Oscars (back when the Oscar’s truly meant something, not like today’s liberal popularity contest)! You definitely need to watch this on a Rainy/Snowy Sunday afternoon, it is a classic, and therefore is not a Saturday Night Blockbuster. Hackman was great as usual!

            2 stars out of 5 – This is probably the third time I’ve seen this movie since the early 70’s and its just not special especially on blu-ray. The film grain is so obvious and at times objectionable, I must think that the graininess was intentional by the cinematographer and director. i had hoped the movie was going to be better on blu-ray for the visuals but it seems worse! There isn’t even a musical score to justify being on blu-ray. I always wondered why this is a “best picture”. You have to put that down to “the times” when portraying heroes as villians was so new and unexpected. But the story can be confusing at times and pacing boring for the first hour. When the Frenchman tries to kill Popeye Doyle, the story becomes ludicrous. I suspect the truth is more entertaining than this movie. Two stars for old time’s sake.

            -

            My guess from these reviews is that the picture is quite grainy in Blu-Ray.

            • David Brodbeck says:

              @nybiker: Could be incompetent mastering. MPEG compression tends to exaggerate random noise (such as film grain) because the compression artifacts make the noise spots bigger. The best solution is to run a noise filter on the video source before compressing, but that loses some sharpness. Given that a hyper-sharp picture is what Blu-Ray buyers are paying for, they may have decided to skip that step.

              It’s also possible people are just plain sitting too close to the screen, so the apparent size of the image (and hence the graininess) is a lot more obvious than it would be in the theater.

        • parad0x360 says:

          @Dan Seitz: Im curious to know what you’re talking about.

          Yes they can do funny things with old movies but any movie made in the last 15 years looks fine as is in HD. You dont have to care alot to notice a difference.

          My girlfriend who cares zero percent about picture quality noticed the difference the first time we watched a movie in HD and that was from 10 feet away and she was laying on her side.

      • SudhamayiKabong says:

        @Randy Treibel: I’m with you. I’ve noticed a HUGE difference. Simply put, a 480P video upscaled to even 1080i is not going to look as good as a true 1080i video will.

    • Jason Rose says:

      @Barney_The Plug_ Frank:

      Come on now, for newly released movies, Blu-ray blows the pants off of their 480 counterparts.

      • sburnap42 says:

        @Jason Rose: Not just new movies. The difference between the Blu Ray and DVD versions of the Blade Runner directors cut is massive.

        Of course, you need a really good TV to see it.

    • zoochy says:

      @Barney_The Plug_ Frank:

      It’s just amazing how people all of the sudden stopped accepting advances in technology. The good enough attitude is not needed. Hope you didn’t buy one of those new plasma/lcd tvs. Isn’t tube tv good enough.

      • tc4b says:

        @zoochy: I ‘accept’ advances in technology, I just choose not to pay for them usually. And yes, I’m perfectly happy with my tube TV. I even have a VCR which I still set to tape shows for me.

        Sorry, but TV just isn’t that important in my life that I have to have the latest and greatest in technology.

    • parad0x360 says:

      @Barney_The Plug_ Frank: When people say that it drives me crazy because you really have to have major vision issues to not notice the huge difference. I have an upconverting dvd player and blu-ray AND HD-DVD hooked up to the same tv.

      The blu-ray looks 100x sharper, and far more colorful and bright. You can also see finer details. You try watching your amazing upsampled movie next to a true hd movie and there are tons of tiny details you would see in a blu-ray that the resolution and bitrate of dvd just do not allow.

      You can go on your merry watching dvd’s upsampled to 1080p but you’re kidding yourself if you think they look anywhere near as good.

      • lizk says:

        @parad0x360: Totally agree. We have the same set-up, and the difference is considerable.

      • Optimistic Prime says:

        @parad0x360: I think it’s your mind tricking you into seeing a difference that isn’t there. You paid a shitload of money for your setup, and you want it to be worth your while. My vision is just fine, and I don’t see hardly any difference between upconverted DVD and Blu-Ray, trust me, I really tried.

        It’s very similar to console fanboys, you have to justify your purchase to yourself more than anyone else.

        • superberg says:

          @Optimistic Prime:

          Absolutely untrue. I’ll agree that some Blu-ray discs do not look noticeably different, but this is not the case for all discs. Check out the opening scene for The Dark Knight, which was filmed with IMAX cameras. Or the out-of-ship scenes in Sunshine. The difference is obvious.

          Upconverting can improve sharpness (and a good HDTV will do this just as well as an upconverting player), but it cannot improve color, detail, or audio. You cannot make something from nothing. Upconverting is an attempt to clean up what would otherwise be a blocky or grainy image. It cannot create missing textures or colors.

        • SudhamayiKabong says:

          @Optimistic Prime: No, absolutely not!

          Look, dude, they’re right. I own the five Harry Potter movies on Blu-Ray. My disabled mother owns them on DVD. Just to test whether or not there was truly a benefit to Blu-Ray over DVD, I popped the first Harry Potter DVD into my Blu-Ray player, set to upscale the picture to 1080i.

          The picture was sharp, but I definitely noticed the lack of finer detail. It looked nice, but not as good as the Blu-Ray version does.

          Like someone else said, upscaling a DVD to a higher resolution doesn’t add resolution that wasn’t there. It might make the picture look a bit sharper than it did in 480P, but it doesn’t add any additional detail.

          Anyway, there’s no need to be an ass just because you’ve convinced yourself that Blu-Ray isn’t worth it. Relax. Keep the discussion civil. It’s no big deal.

          Though I would suggest that you read up a bit more on Blu-Ray, since your earlier comment sort of betrayed your ignorance on the subject. ;)

        • Jason Rose says:

          @Optimistic Prime:

          Dude, blu-rays are not snake oil; there is no red pill , we purchase the technology and willfully pay for it because it IS BETTER technology, not open for SUBJECTIVE opinion like picking a color for your walls, or which is better Coke or Pepsi.

    • parad0x360 says:

      @Barney_The Plug_ Frank: Also upconverted dvd’s cannot possibly be sharper than the cinema.

      A cinema picture is in HD as is. They tale the cinema source and downscale the image for dvd which means lowering the resolution which in turn dulls the picture clarity. You can recover data that just isnt there.

    • Sanspants says:

      @Barney_The Plug_ Frank: @Jason Rose: Is it true that some DVDs are upscale locked? I thought I read that somewhere, possibly only on the PS3, but I could have sworn something said that not all DVDs can be upscaled.

    • CharlieInSeattle says:

      @Barney_The Plug_ Frank: Unless you have a nice LCD or Plasma TV that is 1080P, then no it doesn’t.

    • xamarshahx says:

      @Barney_The Plug_ Frank: sounds like u dont have a blu ray player, definitely a big difference unless u got a 12 inch tv

  7. Southern says:

    Holy crap, that’s a HUGE increase.

    Oh well, guess I need to drop my plan a level or two to make up for it. I never watch 3 DVDs at a time anyway.

  8. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    This kinda pisses me off, as I got the email as well, pushing my one at a time (unlimited) up to $10.99, the same time their service seems to have fallen off (at least in my area).

    But as I have an HD Tivo, I get unlimited ‘watch instantly’ on my Tivo (and PC) so it’s not cancellation time yet. But one of these days….

  9. Dan Seitz says:

    The range most people start noticing a difference between a Blu-Ray disc and an upscaled DVD is between four and five feet across. So, most people can (and should) forsake Blu-Ray.

    • god_forbids says:

      @Dan Seitz: No, no, no. This is wrong. Why do people keep repeating this? It’s nowhere close to remotely feasible that 720x480px @ 29.97i video thrown through a pull-down, sample and filter process will look anything like a 1920x1080px @ 24p video on an HDTV. Impossible. The difference is jaw-dropping to my non-techie girlfriend on a 13″ Macbook screen. The difference is huge even with down-sampled HD frames.

      Nails, meet coffin!

      What you’re probably thinking of is the difference between 720p and 1080p modes where the source content is HD. That isn’t so visible on sets smaller than 55″.

      • CharlieInSeattle says:

        @god_forbids: Ya I have the Planet Earth series on Bluray. Maybe he’s talking about 1080i vs 1080P. Bluray having a much higher bitrate and being 1080p looks even better than broadcast 1080i. I’ve compared the actual broadcast of Planet Earth to my Bluray, and I can a huge difference on my 52 inch 1080P LCD.

        • Etoiles says:

          @CharlieInSeattle: True: Most often, the broadcast of Planet Earth is not in its full proper HD format. Both Discovery on their broadcast end and also cable and satellite providers on their receiving and redistribution end apply pretty heavy compression.

    • Etoiles says:

      @Dan Seitz: We’re a couple where one have has a graduate-level film degree and the other half works in televsion — in a position where being able to spot errors in individual FRAMES is crucial.

      Some movies are never going to look sharper in Bu-Ray. Of course not. It has to do with the source print or negative and with how they’re mastered. And some movies are.

      Plus some people (like my fiance) will actually watch each and every minute of special features on a disc in which they are interested. And the special features on a blu-ray disc are, I admit, pretty nifty. (Even if I don’t really care about every square inch of armor plating in Iron Man.)

    • Kensuke Nakamura says:

      @Dan Seitz: Absolutely not true, I had a 720p HD TV before I switched to my 46 inch and even that difference is notable, a huge moment for me was in the opening credits of Casino Royale when you see what looks like green computer pixels spelling 007, and in 1080p it’s clearly not pixels but clubs.

    • CharlieInSeattle says:

      @Dan Seitz: Sorry you are full of it.

    • ncpeters says:

      @Dan Seitz: I’ve got HDTVs ranging from a 32″ LCD to a 60″ high-end plasma and they all have Blu-ray players hooked up. From any distance the increase in picture quality is evident. In addition anyone with a good surround sound system will notice a huge increase in clarity with HD sound. People who say Blu-ray is hardly better either have low-end TVs, haven’t actually seen Blu-ray, or are angry HD-DVD fanboys (there are still a lot of those fanboys out there).

  10. [x7productions] says:

    yeah i just got this email. sucks. but not too bad. its only going up $2 for me so ill deal with it :)
    love me my blu-rays haha.

  11. lutton says:

    I might take Blu off my account. Gotta think about it and go look at my queue.

  12. Islandkiwi says:

    I removed Blu-Ray when I got this message. My hdtv is not large enough that I’m going to notice the lower resolution, and I never watch extras anyway.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is it safe to assume that the increase is due to the increased cost of Blu-Rays?

    Based on this, would it be safe to assume that costs would go down once Blu-ray costs go down?

    • Skip Johnston says:

      @ZolaAstraeus: Yes of course! It will decrease by the exact same amount the regular DVD plans have as the cost of DVDs has dropped. Also, I’m getting you the same thing I got you last year for your birthday.

  14. Dacker says:

    I called Netflix Customer Service and voiced my opinion — that the increase is excessive (I’m OK with a $1 increase, not $3) and that the timing is bad, with the economy and such (I was laid-off 10 days ago — one of the 11% here in Oregon.

    • kalikidtx says:

      @Dacker: I emailed the CEO (reed.hastings@netflix.com) but decided not to call. I am sure they had nothing helpful to say am I right?

      • Dacker says:

        @kalikidtx:

        The rep I spoke with was a great guy. (Netflix’s Support Center is about 8 miles from my house, BTW.)

        Basically, he paraphrased info that they were given:
        * The extra $$$ is needed to buy more Blu-ray titles for Blu-ray users
        * Blu-ray discs cost more
        * Blu-ray discs break in the mail at a higher rate than DVDs. (I’m not sure I buy that one.)

        • LordSkippy says:

          @Dacker: I’ve had to send two Blu-rays back to Netflix for problems in the 3 months I’ve had Blu-ray on my account. One was because it was the wrong movie, and the other wouldn’t play – even though it looked clean (no obvious scratches). At first, I thought I was hit by a DRM mix-up, but the replacement played fine. 3 months isn’t long enough to be able form a good statistic, but 1 bad Blu-ray in 3 months is more than usual for DVDs. However, in the years that I’ve had Netflix, I’ve encountered periods where I’ve had 2 bad DVDs in the same month. So, who knows.

          I plan on canceling Blu-ray access on April 26th, unless they change their minds and comeback with a more reasonable increase (400% isn’t reasonable).

          • coren says:

            @LordSkippy: 300 percent – but even so, they have to buy 3 more blu rays for you that they do for the person with the 1 at a time plan. More merchandise=more cost – makes sense to me

        • SudhamayiKabong says:

          @Dacker: You shouldn’t buy that last one.

          In my experience, Blu-Ray is MORE durable than DVD, and by a substantial margin. And really, until Netflix can send me a DVD that isn’t broken, or doesn’t look like it’s been run across with a Brillo pad, I don’t want to hear that sort of excuse from them. And as that’s an impossible expectation, that means that I never want to hear it. It’s bullshit.

          By the way, with the exception of the broken DVDs, the disks they send me work, so it’s no big deal. Even the Brillo’d ones. And in the rare case that they don’t, they send me out a new one. No worries. Point still stands though. It’s not a quality assurance issue…

          • HogwartsAlum says:

            @SudhamayiKabong:
            It’s not Netflix that breaks the DVDs. It’s the post office. My mail carrier says that happens when some bunghole tries to put them through the sorter.

  15. PunditGuy says:

    Meh — only another buck for me ($8.99 plan + $1 becomes $8.99 + $2). Totally worth it for being able to program my own movie channel in HD.

  16. John Jordan says:

    I hope they plan on doing something about the long waits on some blu-ray titles. I wouldn’t mind the increase if they used at least some of that money to buy more disks.

  17. Thorgryn says:

    I got the email a little while ago and killed my blu-ray access quickly. I am on the 6 out at a time deal and I effectively burn thru my pile of disks every weekend. I was fine when it went up a buck, but when it goes up 6 extra bucks a month, no.

    Of course, I predict that this change will turn off quite a few of their blu-ray customers.

  18. psyne says:

    Getting that email today actually convinced me to cancel my account. I normally don’t keep discs longer than 3 days, but the last batch I got I’ve had for a few weeks. I’ll just mail them back, and forget about it.

  19. nybiker says:

    Am I special or what? Serious question. My 3-disc regular, non-blue-ray DVD unlimited plan is $15.99, not 16.99. I’m a member since July 2006. Was I grandfathered in at the lower price? I recall they had lowered the price, but I didn’t know they had bumped it up for new customers (if that’s the case with the 16.99 rate).

    As for their service, I have no complaints.

  20. suburbancowboy says:

    Dear Electronics Manufacturers,
    If the next generation of technology for watching or listening to music and movies is still on some type of physical media for some reason, please put it in a protective shell like a floppy disc.

    Now I know you like the fact that discs scratch easily, because it forces us to buy it again, but seriously, unless you allow us to legally and easily back up all of our media that we purchased legally, we consumers don’t like the easily scratched discs. I know when the initial designs were bandied about for DVD, it was in a nice floppy disc like shell, but that would’ve saved customers (especially those with small children who can’t make it through a 10 minute mini-van ride without Finding Nemo playing on the back of Mommy’s headrest) a lot of money in the long term, and increased cost per unit.

    I am sure that Netflix has increased costs because of damaged discs, which they in turn pass the costs on to us in increased fees. It’s good for your bottom line. However, 40 bucks for a crappy blu-ray disc is a lot of money. Especially when most movies released are complete garbage.

    Thanks for listening, even though I know you really aren’t,
    SubCow

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @suburbancowboy: FWIW, scratches on the playing side of CDs, DVDs, etc. can be pretty easily polished out. The plastic is about 1 mm thick so you’re not likely to polish through it.

      Now, scratches on the label side, those are a different matter. (This is why you should resist the temptation to set optical discs down upside/down on any kind of surface.)

      • suburbancowboy says:

        @David Brodbeck: I have removed many a scratch from a CD, in addition to having an old Denon Dual 20-bit CD player which was built like a tank, and could play almost anything I threw in it.

        That still doesn’t negate the fact that all of the scratching would be prevented if the discs weren’t naked and exposed the way they are.

    • Odaecom says:

      @suburbancowboy:
      Actually the only disks I have gotten from them that were bad were BD, one wouldn’t play at all and the other just needed a little coaxing.
      The Dark Knight with the cracked center came to me like that btw, but it still played.

    • Brontide says:

      @suburbancowboy: Audio CDs were the worst and they have learned a lot since then. DVD’s are actually quite a bit more robust than CD’s in terms of scratch resistance and error correction. I haven’t seen BD tech, but I would presume that they are at least as damage resilient as DVD. It’s pretty neat tech with two or three type of error detection and correction codes.

      • suburbancowboy says:

        @snowmoon: I haven’t had too much experience with BD, but when HD-DVD first came out, I was still part owner of a high-end AV store. We would have HD-DVD demos and one fine little scratch on the disc would cause all kinds of problems because the data was so densely packed on the disc.
        I hope Blu-ray (and the fact that it was a 1st gen HD DVD player) works better than that did.

      • SudhamayiKabong says:

        @snowmoon: They’re apparently even more scratch-resistant than DVDs. Second-hand info, being that I take care of my disks, but that’s what I’ve read. Google it if you’re interested. ;)

  21. Terry Pasley says:

    I do not agree with the whole “Blu Ray costs more” argument. Sure it is true to a point, but I almost NEVER pay more than $20 for a brand new BLU release.
    Now throw in the fact that Netflix is buying thousands of disks at a time, and I do not believe the new fee is needed. $1.00 fine. $4.00 more…..By by Blu.
    I will just get them elsewhere.

    PS.
    Hey Redbox…… Looks like a good time for a BLUbox

  22. trujunglist says:

    oh.. my.. god… not $1!!!!!! Nevermind the fact that any of you that splurged for the blu-ray in the first place spent way too much money on that for what amounts to getting movies, most of which are new and most of which are complete crap, in “amazing” quality. No, it’s the $1 we have to worry about.

    • Thorgryn says:

      @trujunglist: It is a lot more than just $1.00 they did that last year, and I was fine with that. Now my monthly fee is jumping up an extra $6 every month if I keep Blu-Ray access. Considering that at most I get maybe 2-3 Blu-Ray disks a month that is just unpalatable.

    • RodAox says:

      @trujunglist: I agree with you completely…..because in blu-ray format snowdog beats the hell out of any classic on DVD let alone VHS

    • AdvocatesDevil says:

      @trujunglist: Yeah, considering a lot of people who are complaining probably get 10 or 20 movies a month for that $14 or $15 they’re paying, it seems like a lot of whining!

  23. lotussix says:

    i don’t have netflix, but have a couple questions.

    1. do the streamed movies stream in some sort of higher quality?

    2. if they don’t, do you think that high definition streaming will be available for the people who opt to have the higher tier?

    • SpenceMan01 says:

      @lotussix: You can stream in HD if you have a player (XBox, Samsung, LG, etc) and a connection fast enough, no extra charge. I’m not sure if you can do HD on the PC or not. Regardless of the picture, the sound is not in surround sound.

      • MrEvil says:

        @SpenceMan01: I do beleive the Set-top units and the 360 get a better quality stream than you do in the web browser (either Windows Media or Silverlight players). I know on my 360 I can get alot of current season TV in HD (just like the broadcast) but not on my HTPC hooked up to the same set.

        However, often times my 360’s stream craps out and has to drop the quality anyway. So I started watching on my HTPC so the show wouldn’t halt 5 mintes in telling me my connection had degraded.

        I blame my cable company personally.

      • SudhamayiKabong says:

        @SpenceMan01: But not if you have Comcast! Because Comcast actively interferes in the streaming of video content. And in the case of Netflix, any such interference will result in a degradation of video quality.

        Now I gotta hunt for the FCC finding on this particular matter so I don’t look like a paranoid ass. :P

  24. lizk says:

    I think the increase is different depending on when you joined and activated Blu-ray. The difference for us was a jump from $23.99/month to $28.99/month, and we couldn’t justify that.

    Instead of dropping Blu-ray, which we still want, we dropped down to the 3-at-a-time plan from the 4-at-a-time plan. We’re also looking at other movie rental options, as Netflix just isn’t competitive price-wise anymore.

  25. Aeroracere says:

    It strikes me as odd, since DVDs were likely the same price as Blu-Ray discs were when Netflix debuted, and yet we didn’t see a price *decrease* as that price declined.

  26. endless says:

    i was torn on doing it for 1$.

    no way im paying 3$ a month for blu.

  27. parad0x360 says:

    A few months ago when they raised the blu-ray price by $1 I lived with it. Now another $2 increase is just a ripoff. I can afford it, $3 is not a big deal but I dont rent enough blu-rays for this to be worth it.

    Im voting with my wallet and taking my $3 a month back. Thanks Netflix.

  28. RodAox says:

    Most users are going to face a 1$-5$ and I cant believe this many people complain about it. Skip the morning coffee twice a month or once if it is from Starbucks, skip eating fast food once, or skip a pack a cigarettes…. and shabang increase is paid for.

    IT IS 16 CENTS PER DAY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

    By the way blu-ray sucks in my opinion, it is just a way for the studios to resell the good movies of the past. In addition do you really need to see all the detail in snowdogs the blu ray edition ? movie sucked irregardless of format…. format doesnt make the movie…..

    • Anonymous says:

      @RodAox: What if I choose the skimp on Netflix instead? We are consumers and we have a right to voice our opinions. I cancelled my account today because I do not wish to deal with a company raising fees on me when the economy is already tough. They made their choice, I made mine. All is fair. However instead of $14.99 a month now they have 0.

    • SudhamayiKabong says:

      @RodAox: I rent movies for my disabled mother, and I don’t have a whole lot of time to watch them myself. So if I were to add Blu-Ray on to of that, it would be a waste. Maybe not at a dollar a month, but definitely at four.

      Now with all that having been said, some of the bitching does seem awfully petty to me.

      Take SulochanaArcesius, for example. The guy has the disposable income to support paying $14.99 a month for a non-essential service, but Netflix dares to ask him for an extra three bucks if he wants to watch Blu-Ray movies on top of DVDs, and he cancels his service outright and acts like the company is taking him to the cleaners. That’s over-doing it a bit.

      • RodAox says:

        @SudhamayiKabong: I agree with you bud however the question in my mind is, do people with not enough disposable income really need the setup such as lcd tvs or 1080i tvs on top of blu ray players etc.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This is a bunch of bull. DVDs were the same price as Blu-rays in the early days and there’s no doubt Blu’s will go down. Will we see a reversal of these fees when that happens? I doubt it. Furthermore, NetFlix is understocked on BluRay discs all the time. Waits are always very long for new BR titles. Takes crazy balls to jack up prices on a service you already aren’t delivering on. This is more likely a reaction to people bailing from Netflix. Also, upcaling does improve the playback of a standard DVD, but only so much. I prefer BluRay by far and have a hard time watching DVDs (esp on newer films) as the authoring and compression are glaringly obvious after watching BR.

    • SudhamayiKabong says:

      @SharadiniHaruhism: Well, the wait time could be down to the amount of movies you can get out at one time, as well as how many movies you get a month overall. Folks who have lower-tier plans tend to have access to new releases quicker than folks like me, who have the three at a time plan.

      The specifics of why they do that sort of thing are out there on the internet, but it’s more an issue with Netflix itself than it is an issue specific to Blu-Ray.

  30. Anonymous says:

    C’mon people. I agree it’s a bummer, but buying ONE new BD is gonna run you at least $20. On the 3/time plan, another $4 a month seems a small price to play for this access. For the price of 2.5 new BDs a year, you can rent as many as you can watch.

  31. rwalford79 says:

    Im already in the process of canceling my account and even wrote on Twitter to Netflix about it.

    I was only a customer 3 months, but if they can jack up the price of a rental 400% then lord knows what they will do when they want me to pay for 4 At A Time when I rent more then 10 discs a month.

    • SudhamayiKabong says:

      @rwalford79: Seems to me like you’re being a bit paranoid.

      I’ve been a Netflix member for a few years now, and on average, I get about 24 movies a month. I rent them for my disabled mother, who is an AVID movie watcher. I’m still paying the same thing I do now as I did when I started the service.

      Besides, this doesn’t apply to you unless you rent Blu-Ray flicks on top of your DVDs. If you don’t, then you have nothing to worry about, and this is a silly, knee-jerk reaction. If you do, then to each their own.

  32. chutch says:

    I was considering dropping my plan entirely when I thought they were going to raise it by this much last year. Now, they have raised my plan by $4 in a very short period of time.

    I decided to stick out the original increase in cost. I’m sticking around this time, but Blu-Ray has now been removed from my account.

    While I didn’t like the $1 raise in fees that came just a short time back, I understood and thought it was fair. An extra $3 I don’t believe is a fair price hike (at my plan’s level).

  33. joecoolest says:

    I immediately opted out of the Blu-Ray upgrade entirely. In fact, after discussing it with my wife we also decided to drop our account from the 5 at a time level to the 3 at a time.

    Thanks Netflix!!! for prompting us to reconsider all of our fees that we were paying you. You just saved us an additional $14.00 a month ($13.00 plus $1 old Blu-Ray fee) on top of the $5 a month increase for which we opted out.

    • SudhamayiKabong says:

      @Stephanie Haller: Hmn. That sounds pretty good. Too bad the local Hollywood’s selection is utter crap, or I might be inclined to check that out.

      I may still. Is that 39.99 a month?

  34. Adam Moore says:

    bullshit, i only get blu rays on a few movies a month, way too much, that is a 20% increase in my total monthly cost for 3 movies a week. come on netflix. if they dont figure this out i am dropping it.

  35. Rob Mattheu says:

    I think this is actually a test by Netflix to see what the market will bear. If enough people drop the BluRay option, then they don’t have to up their BluRay order, and they get more money for the BluRay discs.

    One would think that Netflix would have the upperhand with studios in this case, given the fact that renting BluRay promotes the format which helps promote sales of the players and the more expensive discs. Having Netflix as a customer would help move more volume of discs and would also create a larger base of Blu Ray players installed over time.

    My guess is a backlash will occur and Netflix will back off to some extent.

  36. Zane Perry says:

    Netflix account canceled! So Long!

    [www.zaneperry.com]

  37. Stephanie Haller says:

    Full disclosure: former Hollywood employee.

    This is interesting. Hollywood Video recently unveiled their Power Play – for 39.99, you get unlimited movies and games (up to three at a time, two games max) – including Blu Ray, as well as 50% off previously viewed movies and 10% off concessions. No due dates, no late fees – and you can come in multiple times a day.

    You can’t do that with Netflix – in that 24-hour turnaround, I could have been up to the store and back – twice. On the weekends, between a 12-8 shift, you might see the same customer THREE times.

    I buy a ton of DVDs – so that 50% off deal is a nice touch. It’s better than the employee discount, that’s for sure.

  38. lessemm says:

    Blu-ray is basically the only reason I have Netflix, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one out there like this.

    I can stream some movies at a reasonable quality, I can get on-demand movies in 720p or 1080i, but having a physical Blu-ray disk in hand is the only reasonable way I’m aware of to get 1080p quality plus all the Blu-ray extras.

    If you can’t see or appreciate the difference between watching a 720p or 1080i movie on a premium movie channel (especially when it’s been further compressed by your cable/satellite provider) and watching a Blu-ray disk of the same movie, then you are lucky — no need for you to spend money on a Blu-ray player or movie rental.

    For those of us who appreciate what we get from Blu-ray, I think Netflix is pushing us away by raising these fees. I’ll definitely be looking at other options for Blu-ray rental.

  39. whuffo says:

    I got the email today and while it’s only 3 dollars in my case, it’s a completely unwarranted increase. They haven’t improved their Blu-Ray service one little bit – certainly not enough to justify a 300% fee increase.

    I’m going to sleep on it tonight and decide if I want to keep on with Netflix or not. If they pull this kind of bull in a down economy, what have they got in store for us next? It’s a trust thing and they blew it.

  40. shadowboxer524 says:

    I was going to cancel as a result of the increase, but then I saw the option to put my account on hold. Either way, Netflix won’t be getting my money for the next couple months. I’ve only been a customer for a 3 months, but the increase has pushed me away. I’ll reevaluate the service in June, as I’m not convinced right now…

  41. Crazytree says:

    Total ripoff. I have an 8x plan and watch a great deal of classic and foreign films. I watch a Blu-Ray MAYBE once a month.

    So essentially I’m being charged $9 every time I watch a Blu-Ray.

    I’ve always been a fan of Netflix, but they’ve gone too far here. The $1/mo. was reasonable, this is just out of control.

    I’ve always felt that Netflix was pro-consumer, but to charge me $9 every time they ship a Blu-Ray movie to me is just a f’n ripoff.

    Sorry Netflix, but the love affair is OVER. Get your junk and GET OUT!

  42. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    It’s an extra $6 a month for us to keep BR service. Big deal, that’s one fewer hangover breakfast of fast food. I understand why people are upset, but I just can’t bring myself to get fired up about this. (Plus my boyfriend would throw a hissy fit if his gigantor TV wasn’t used to the fullest of its ability.)

    • SudhamayiKabong says:

      @h3llc4t: I don’t think it’s worth it in my case, but yeah, getting fired up about it seems a little strange to me.

      One thing a lot of people seem to be unaware of, is that the cost of most membership’s dont even cover the costs for Netflix to ship us these movies, depending on how much you rent a month.
      I know most people wouldn’t care about that even if they knew it, but it seems to me that if Netflix were simply out to gouge us, they could have done so on that basis alone a long time ago.

      This charge is small, and no big deal if you watch enough Blu-Ray flicks to justify it. If not, opt-out.

  43. CharlieInSeattle says:

    I only signed up again a month ago, and they are already bumping the price again, so time to cancel again.

  44. Matt DeGoey says:

    I think the cost of most Blu-rays, particularly catalog titles, is just absurd to begin with. I remember I was psyched when Young Frankenstein was coming to Blu, then got a little less so when I learned the asking price was $35.

    $35 for a catalog title? I mean it looks great and everything, but still.

    Amazon is easily your best friend when it comes to new releases or even Blu-ray in general. They recently had a massive, MASSIVE sale on Blu-ray titles, that I sadly couldn’t take part in since I was unemployed at the time.

    Best Buy actually has fairly decent prices on new releases. Most of the ones I’ve picked up have only run me $25, and that’s only a bit more than say a 2-disc collector’s edition DVD, but with great picture quality.

    They also tend to mirror Amazon’s smaller sales, with maybe a slight discrepancy of a buck or two higher on Amazon’s price. However, since the price of those movies usually being $20 or less, you don’t get free shipping through Amazon unless you buy two titles. So basically if there’s only one title you want, check your local Best Buy.

    Blu-ray is awesome, and even on my smaller 32″ Sony Bravia 1080p I notice a difference between upscaled DVDs and Blu-rays.

    Just gotta know how to shop smartly for the movies.

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      @Matt DeGoey: Yes, but you don’t always purchase a film if you want to see it. I know I’ve rented some truly heinous films from Netflix that I would have been pissed if I’d purchased. Buying cheap films is nice but that’s not really what the post is about.

  45. Anonymous says:

    C’mon people, Blockbuster doesn’t charge a thing for BluRay. Cancel your NetFlix accounts and use their competition! Cancelling BluRay is just what they want you to do, saves them money.

    • SudhamayiKabong says:

      @ShrutiBollocks: I might consider it if my city had a local Blockbuster to which I could return movies when the need arises. Without that, a part of the service is crippled, which in turn renders the whole service unuseable to me. Without it, there’s no benefit to using it over Netflix, and besides, I’ve heard some pretty rough things about Blockbuster’s turn around.

    • orlo says:

      @ShrutiBollocks: Blockbuster’s selection is somewhat lacking. Half of the titles you listed as available on their website you will never be able to receive. (It’s true I pick a lot of obscure titles)

  46. Saboth says:

    I lowered my plan from 3 out at a time to 2 out at a time with blu ray. $18 (with tax) is reasonable to me, but a 300% price increase from 1 to 4 is not. So instead of $21 a month, I will be paying $17 and just doing without a movie.

  47. vastrightwing says:

    Even though bluRay is clearly superior to DVD in quality, I just don’t care. BlueRay doesn’t increase my enjoyment of the movie enough for me to care.

  48. DavidC. says:

    I too am on the unlimited plan with 3 out at a time. I immediately canceled my Blu after getting my e-mail yesterday.

    I remember when the dollar increase happened, I was like okay well they are going to fix their Blu shortage and I will actually get some HD movies. WRONG!!!

    The problem has not been fixed and I’m pretty close to canceling. I waited three months for freakin “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan”!!! Regoddamndiculous.

  49. diasdiem says:

    I’d be pissed if I was on one of the larger plans. I mean, there are only a few movies that are on Blu-Ray that I’m interested in seeing. I would never have 5 rented at one time, I’d have one, two tops. It’s unfair to automatically charge a person $6 when their actual usage would be what you’re charging someone else $2-3 for. They should have BD on a usage plan, like DVDs. Let you decide how many BDs at a time you will be watching and charge accordingly on top of your DVD plan. Like if I were on the 5 DVD plan, but would only have maybe 2 BD movies at a time, charge me $3 on top of my plan. So I could have 3 DVDs and 2 BDs rented at once, or 4 and 1, or just 5 DVDs for the same price. But I could never get more than 2 BDs at one time. It’s bad enough that they charge extra for Blu-Ray, which last I checked Blockbuster doesn’t, but upping the prices in such a way will probably end up hurting them, at least until Blockbuster finally goes under.

  50. iam118 says:

    Yeah I dumped blu ray access. I’m horrible about watching my discs on a regular basis as it is. I mostly just keep netflix around for streaming on my xbox.

  51. mbz32190 says:

    Blu-Ray only looks better if hooked up with Monster Cables

  52. xamarshahx says:

    time to cancel and go to the store.

  53. PDX909 says:

    Netflix would still be a great deal if they hiked the price another $10. Never been happier with a business as I am with them, well apart from Home Grocer.. (RIP)

  54. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I have been with Netflix almost 10 years (after December I no longer have to specify almost), and this was the biggest rate hike they ever hit us with.

    Granted I am grandfathered on a better price for the 4 at a time plan, I just canceled my blu-ray access.

  55. vliam says:

    Let me get this straight…

    I’m paying 14 bucks a month for “over 100,000 DVD titles and a growing library of more than 12,000 choices that can be watched instantly.”

    Now, they want another 3 dollars for access to 937 Blu-ray titles?

    Screw that.

  56. TheKingBoar says:

    The real question is why do Blu Ray movies cost so much extra? Is it Sony’s licensing fees? When are they going to realize that people aren’t going to pay $40 for a 2 hour movie?

  57. SudhamayiKabong says:

    Hmn. I was considering adding Blu-Ray to my plan for an additional dollar a month. For four, I’m a little more hesitant.

    • SudhamayiKabong says:

      @SudhamayiKabong: I should qualify that statement by saying that I only have Netflix to begin with for the benefit of my disabled mother. She’s stuck at home, and enjoys watching movies on her DVD player.

      I have a Blu-Ray player, but I just don’t have the time to commit to watching movies these days. So I can justify the cost of the service for her sake, but anything extra would be a waste.

  58. HogwartsAlum says:

    I don’t have a Blu-ray player, so I can’t get Blu-ray discs through Netflix anyway. Since the BR player will play DVDs I’m not worried. I don’t have to get rid of my movies when I do get one.

    But what I don’t like is how much more expensive they are. I’m not paying $30 or more for a movie unless it’s a VERY special edition or very rare DVD. THAT’S TOO MUCH.

  59. Rob Mattheu says:

    Let’s take a look at my Blu Ray Queue — Quantum of Solace — Very Long Wait, Marley and Me — Very Long Wait, Slumdog Millionaire — Very Long Wait, Bolt — Long Wait.

    Heck, even my non Blu Ray releases are in long waits. So I’m being throttled and charged $4 extra for the pleasure of being throttled in High Definition.

    Since this additional $4 provides no guarantee that I’ll be able to get my Blu Ray new releases any sooner, can someone tell me why this is a good idea again?

  60. Squeezer99 says:

    who the heck has out 8 dvds at a time?

  61. FrankenPC says:

    You know…I’ve just dropped Bluray and dropped the 4 a month plan to 3 a month. Why? Because they didn’t have a single link to send questions to.

    That’s right. I could not find the link to send them my dissatisfaction about their rate increases to so I dropped 10$ off my plan.

    If everyone did something similar…I BET they would post a f’ng link to talk to someone.

  62. Anonymous says:

    FYI, ALL BluRay discs have a scratch resistant coating as mandated by the developers of the technology. This is because the optical tech is so sensitive. Most CDs & DVDs are made without a scratch coat these days to keep costs down. But, apparently they need to develop crack resistant discs since it seems that Netflix is having big problems with cracking which may be the reason for this price increase.