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Manhattanite Susan Uman has filed a class action suit against Netflix and Warner Bros. over their recent agreement on a 28-day delay in new release availability at Netflix. The lawsuit calls the deal a “scheme to restrain trade” and claims that subscribers were “damaged in that they still pay the price Netflix previously charged for each of its subscription plans,” before the Warner deal and were “forced to pay artificially inflated subscription fees”.
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According to the NY Daily News, Uman is arguing that the deal “decreased the value of her Netflix subscription because the Warner Bros. films are now off limits for a month”. Marian Rosner of Wolf Popper, one of Uman’s lawyers, called the accord between the two companies an “illegal conspiracy”.

Insiders who are also Netflixers, give us your opinions. Has your Netflix subscription been “devalued” by the Warner deal? Is Uman an advocate for the mistreated masses or one more example of rampant litigiousness in our society?
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25 Responses to “Netflix and Warner Sued Over New Release Deal”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    rb [visitor]

    Hmnnn…I don’t have Netflix but Susan Uman makes a logical point that she is no longer receiving the same goods/service she signed up for but still paying the same price for her Netflix subscription. However, I was just wondering say if you have a subscription to HBO and The Sopranos was your favorite HBO show but then the series ended, could you then claim your HBO subscription price should be lowered because HBO no longer has your favorite show–THE Sopranos?

    • Member [Join Now]

      But that is a single show that has a very short shelf life and you know that when you purchase HBO.

      • Member [Join Now]
        Cypherdude [cypherdude]

        A solution for current Netflix subscribers is to put their account on “Pause” for 3 or 6 months and not get any DVD’s at all. The customer can restart their account when a special DVD arrives which is difficult to obtain locally. On example of difficult to rent DVD’s are series which are shown on Showtime or HBO. Small local rental stores are not affected by this 28-day delay.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Steve [visitor]

    Is she locked into a contract with Netflix? If not, then she is free to cancel her subscription if she doesn’t think it’s worth the price.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    joe d. [visitor]

    2 points. 1. She will be able to download via pc or netflix enabled device more WB films. So she is losing value, but also gaining value. Regardless of whether she cares.

    2. Netflix is only restricting the value of her subscription for at most one month. She has the right to cancel her subscription at that time. For the period of which she has the restrictions, she has lost something of value. So, sue away, but if I were the judge, I would just cap the value of her claim to $8.99 or however much she pays per month.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      rb [visitor]

      Good point that the judge should just cap the value to one month –$8.99–because she has the freedom to not renew subscription at any time if it’s no longer worth it to her. Was thinking though, could she claim ‘bait and switch’ stating that Netflix ‘baited’ or offered new releases on day one of their release date to get her/others to subscribe, and then once she/they signed up/subscribed Netflix ‘switched’ to a 28 day delay.

      • Member [Join Now]

        I think what they are arguing is unfair pricing. That Netflix and WB got together and found a way for them to both make more money and screw the consumer out of it.

        This deal in no way benefits the people, only Netflix and/or WB. They are “Restraining Trade” and forcing people to use other services or purchase the DVDs from a licensed retailer.

        I don’t know how far she will get, it seems crazy, but she’s not wrong. I pay 20 a month for the ability to get new releases on they day they come out, not a month.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Jeff [visitor]

        Ha, The reason for the suit is not just one person is effected by this. all netflix users are affected. so multiply 8.99 by millions and that is where the suit should be capped. This effects me and many lower income netflixers in the following way. I cant have access to a movie for an extra month. I cant watch it online either or on a setop box. I cant afford the set top box or the cable internet needed for streaming the video. This is why this should not be done….

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Firstlawofnature [visitor]

    What did Shakespeare say? The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Volcanicast [visitor]

    I’m going with option *2* there. And as to the bait-and-switch argument, I seriously doubt she signed up in the past couple weeks. If she signed up when new releases were available on the first day, then the ad was not lying.

    I’m curious, though, do the new ads (or even the old ads) mention day-of-release shipping?

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    slidecage [visitor]

    this is what will happen if they win the lawsuit

    The lawerys will get 50 million each… if it goes to class action all of the people who are members of netflix will get a 99 cents off your next month bill


    i just went back to netflix in jan 2010…

    in feb 2010 (first paying month) i rented 23 movies for 18.18 That is 78 cents per movie … 12 of those movies being new releases ….. show me another placei can get 23 new movies for 18 per month….. I dont watch movies online yet (pc isnt good enough but might buy a blue ray player this summer

    I might leave redbox in APril though cause lack of movies will hurt finding 20 movies a month to rent

    I find netflix sort of a better vaule cause i was able to get some movies that i will NEVER be able to rent from Redbox and probally would never find even at a video store

    Shes crushed , dead snow,,, walled in

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    SeanDavid [visitor]

    I’m kind of with her on this one. I mean, I would not have considered suing, but this whole thing is quite upsetting. I signed up like a week or so before this deal happened and now I spent all last month with new movies that were out, sitting in my queue with red release dates next to them. I’ve been forced to rent old movies and TV shows (one disc at a time!) that I could get free at the library. That is NOT what I signed up for.
    However, I feel this will start to balance itself out later this month when I start getting the delayed titles. While I’m waiting for delayed titles one month, I’ll be watching the ones from the previous month, so it should work out ok.

    P.S. If they sign similar deals with other studios it will really start to be ridiculous and not worth it to me. Also, if the STUPID F*ING US POST OFFICE stops delivering on Saturday it will drastically cut down the number of discs I will be able to get each month, therefore decreasing the value of my subscription, making it no longer worth the money. I will be forced to cancel. I already feel like I’m only getting half of what I pay for because I cannot stream shows from them. Why? Because I have no ROKU or any other way of getting it on my TV, and the quality of the stream on the computer is really quite bad. Plus, it’s uncomfortable to sit at the computer chair.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      rb [visitor]

      You bring up a really good thought that Netflix should start to anticipate right now because it looks like a sure thing that the Post Office is going to eliminate Saturday delivery…(which I think is actually smart/cost effective of the Post Office in this economy) If/when this happens, I can definitely see a lot of Netflix customers complaining that the value of their Netflix subscription has been diminished since there would be one less day of the week that they can return/RECEIVE dvds.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Sara [visitor]

        as far as not getting new releases, I have been a member of netflix and/or blockbuster online for the past 5 years. I do prefer netflix because their shipping is so much faster. Anyway, I RARELY get new releases when they first come out anyway. It is usually at least a month or two after release. With the 28 day wait we actually might get them sooner than usual because some people will go rent them somewhere else or buy them like Warner is hoping. So the wait really isn’t going to affect ppl much.

        As for the Mail not running on Saturdays, yes it would be good on the economy and save the PO money. BUT, I also feel that netflix should consider lowering their prices IF the PO stops Saturday delivery. Then again the PO will probably still raise their prices even if they do stop Saturday delivery. I think that case will hold up in court more than the current one.

      • Member [Join Now]

        I was thinking about that when the announcment was made regarding Saturday delivery. I can get two sets of movies/week currently, but without Saturday delivery, I expect to only get one set per week. I plan to scale my membership back to one at a time after two more months, as my backlog will be cleared. I plan to get more use of the membership by using the streaming service when it is available for the Wii console (shortly).

        Except for TV shows, I rarely get new releases from netflix – I can get them from redbox or blockbuster express much sooner.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mikey P. [visitor]

    I am frustrated with it, because it has prevented me from borrowing a few new films, such as the recent Justice League: Crisis on Two earths animated film. My initial reason for joining Netflix, however, was to be able to rent more obscure movies that typical video stores did not offer, and Netflix still offers me that so I will certainly not end my subscription. It definitely leaves me with a sting because part of what I pay a membership fee for has been taken away from me.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Lisa N [visitor]

    I agree, not so much with the lawsuit but I recently renewed a netflix subscription in order to get the new releases I can’t seem to get from redbox in a timely manner, but now I also can’t get them from netflix either..I also use my library for free dvds, as I like to get a whole series at one time and not one disk at a time. I lowered my netflix to 2 disks out, and may just end up canceling until I can stream to the wii..My internet is constantly buffering the netflix now and it is too frustrating to try and watch online. But still I am not buying the movies!! unless I really want it and love it, hear that Warner Bros??

  10. Member [Join Now]

    This whole waiting 28 days for new releases is damaging in iteself. If I don’t get to watch a movie in theaters or rental first, I don’t buy it. I don’t like to miss the discounted sale price when they first come out but I’m still not willing to buy it even at that price if I might not even like it.

  11. Member [Join Now]

    I’m surprised someone is actually fighting back.
    I’m seriously thinking of ending my Netflix subscription.
    I should of known since I’ve had trouble since signing up almost on day one.
    I had signed up with Netflix just shortly before the whole Redbox vs Universal lawsuit started.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike A [visitor]

    I believe this lawsuit is frivolous and should be thrown out before it goes to far. For most new releases that are popular, you seem to have to wait a bit anyways to see them as they only have so many copies and they go quickly. If you want to see a new release the day it comes out, go to the store and rent/buy it. I’m most interested in what happens with the streaming movies. If WB and Netflix start allowing even new titles to be on the instant streaming to computer/tv service 2 months or even 3 months after their initial release, that would more then make up for not being able to rent the day it comes out.

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    bisky pepperlot [visitor]

    she is NOT damaged by a full month. they will have a hard time showing ANY damages at all. the damage is the cost of waiting 28 days for a new release FOR THAT MONTH and she had better specify what release she was expecting from time warner.

    you know what’s funny? so many people are harmed everyday and they cannot find lawyers. then you read about this sewage.

  14. Member [Join Now]

    “Is Uman an advocate for the mistreated masses or one more example of rampant litigiousness in our society?”

    The latter. This lawsuit is utterly ridiculous and should’ve been tossed out & her lawyer sanctioned.

    • Member [Join Now]

      In a best case scenario, her lawyer will negotiate some vouchers, just like the last netflix settlement, and will make out like a bandit.

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Angela [visitor]

    That’s ridiculous. Even when new releases are “available”, depending on their popularity, you may still have to be patient to receive your request in the mail. If something you want to watch is not available, watch something else. This individual, like a two year old, is throwing a temper tantrum over not getting her way; you’d think an adult would understand that instant gratification is not a given in life. What a waste of resources and time.