Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories are in sort of an awkward place. Are they part of America, or not? Sure, they can’t vote in presidential elections, but they are on the back of a quarter. This confusion has led to problems for Netflix users in Puerto Rico. Netflix will provide them with DVDs-by-mail service at the same price as service in the 48 contiguous United States, but considerably slower. However, they won’t let Puerto Rico customers stream movies over the Internet, which would be handy while they wait three or four days for their DVDs to show up.
Some tech-savvy people found workarounds to trick Netflix into streaming movies to their Roku players or other devices, but Netflix caught on and put a stop to that. iPhone application developer HÈctor Ramos has taken up the cause, and is encouraging residents of Puerto Rico to cancel their Netflix memberships:
We have called out Netflix, seeking answers, and all they’ve said is that Instant Streaming is not supported outside of the 50 states. They haven’t addressed the issue of why they are charging us the same price for half the service. Nor have they justified their reasons. Even Hulu, which once blocked Puerto Rico, changed their policy once they realized Puerto Rico IS PART OF THE UNITED STATES.
So, Netflix, while I understand the restrictions of your contracts with movie studios, which is it? Is Puerto Rico part of America, or not? If you’re not going to provide them with a major feature of your service, why charge full price?
Netflix Excludes Puerto Rico, Charges Full Price [HÈctor Ramos]