A price increase is coming for many Netflix customers. Subscribers that were grandfathered into the streaming video service's $7.99 rate two years ago can soon expect to pay the company's going rate at $9.99 for new customers, unless they are willing to accept only standard definition (SD) resolution.
Back in 2014, when Netflix announced that it would be raising the price of its streaming service by one dollar per month, from $7.99 to $8.99, the company promised current subscribers that it would honor the $7.99 rate that they were paying for an additional two years as a "Thank You" for their loyalty. When the company added another dollar to the monthly cost of the service in 2015, raising it to $9.99, the previous guarantee remained in effect, and those customers who received the two-year promise still remained at the $7.99 price point.
It appears, however, that with the two-year loyalty period nearing its end, Netflix is getting ready to pull the plug on that plan and raise the price for all customers to $9.99, regardless of when they signed up for Netflix or how long they have been customers.
In a recent letter [pdf] to shareholders, the company announced that "In Q2 and Q3, we'll be releasing a substantial number of our U.S. customers from price grandfathering on the HD plan and they'll have the option of continuing at $7.99 but now on the SD plan, or continuing on HD at $9.99 a month." That means customers who wish to continue paying $7.99 for the service will only receive standard definition (SD) content.
Users who are unsure what plan they are currently receiving can visit Netflix.com on their computer and access their account by clicking on the drop-down menu next to their name in the upper right corner of the screen. By accessing "Plan Details," subscribers can see what their current rate is and if they are in fact grandfathered in on the old plan and until what date they are guaranteed the $7.99 rate. Netflix will likely send notifications to customers in advance of their old rate's expiration.
Even if you're in for a $2 per month increase, a Netflix subscription is still one of the best deals around. In addition to the host of movies and TV series available for streaming on the service, the company has continued to ramp up its production of new, exclusive content, with fresh seasons of hit series such as "Orange Is The New Black" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" coming this spring.