Back in 2008, I wrote a review on Epinions.com about my experiences using Netflix as an American in Germany. That review got tons of hits and made me some serious money. I even got emails from people moving to Europe courtesy of the military. I have posted that review for posterity’s sake, but I thought I’d offer an update.
Last year, I cancelled Netflix. I had been a member since 2001, but since we were in Texas and had U-Verse that had all the programming I wanted, I didn’t see the need to continue paying Netflix. I never used it when we were in Texas. Besides, I had been a fan of their DVD service and noticed that it had really gone downhill. Not only was it expensive, but the DVDs were arriving damaged or replaced.
Fast forward to yesterday, when Bill and I realized our DVD player somehow got broken. We rarely watch DVDs anyway, though we did bring a bunch of them with us. I started thinking about Netflix again, which recently started operating in Germany. I had signed up with a VPN, Unblock-Us, which allows me to stream content from the United States by hiding my IP address. A lot of military folks were using it for Netflix, too. So I went back to Netflix and, not surprisingly, found that they were ready to welcome me back with open arms, as it were, at just $8.99. Bill managed to get our Roku working and now I can stream content from Amazon Prime or Netflix on my TV, computers, or iPad. While I’m at it, I might go back to Hulu, too.
Of course, there is something to be said for watching German cable, since it might help me learn the language… but then, I live life as a shut in anyway. What’s the point of learning German? Just kidding. I’m still keeping up with my Duolingo lessons every day! And I’m slowly making some progress, too.
Netflix keeps me entertained even in Germany!
Apr 4, 2008 (Updated Apr 25, 2008)
|I give credit to my husband, Bill, for introducing me to Netflix.com over six years ago. At the time, we were still dating and both of us were broke. He explained the novel concept of choosing DVDs from Netflix and having them mailed to me. I keep them as long as I want, then mail them back in a postage paid envelope.
I’ve been using Netflix since December 2001 and for the most part, I’ve really enjoyed the service. The Web site is very easy to use and, thanks to Netflix’s suggestions, I’ve found a lot of great movies that I never would have watched otherwise. I keep a long queue of movies continually ready and am always excited to get them in the mail.
Though I’ve used the unlimited three-at-a-time plan for most of the time I’ve been a member, there was a time when I used the unlimited two-at-a-time service because I was broke. At one point, this plan was discontinued, but Netflix allowed me to keep using it because I was a valued customer. They did warn me that if I changed my account, I would not be able to get the two-at-a-time plan again. Looking at Netflix’s site now, I see that the two-at-a-time plan is back at a base price of $13.99. I am currently paying $16.99 for the privilege of having three DVDs out at a time. I think that’s a better deal. Netflix.com allows subscribers to have as many as eight DVDs out at a time for a monthly fee of $47.99 or as few as one at a time limited to two a month for $4.99. There’s a plan for everybody!
Changes since I moved to Germany
Before I moved to Germany, I thought I would have to discontinue my Netflix account because I would be living overseas. Netflix does not ship movies to international addresses. However, to my great delight, Netflix will ship to APO/FPO addresses! Because my husband is in the military, I have an APO address. Netflix will also ship movies to U.S. territories such as Guam, Palau, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa, to name a few.
I placed my account on hold for about six weeks while Bill and I waited for housing. Once we got set up with a place to live, it was a simple matter to resume the service.
Naturally, because I now live in Germany, movies take a lot longer to get to me. When I lived stateside, it wasn’t uncommon for the turnaround on my movies to be within a day or two. Now, getting movies takes about two weeks. I wish it took less time, but everything takes longer to get to me nowadays. Also, Netflix.com has a feature that allows subscribers to watch movies on their computers. Unfortunately, that service is only available to people who are located in the United States.
Netflix.com charges sales tax, but since I moved to Germany, I have not had to pay tax on my monthly membership as I did when I was stateside. I have my account set up to automatically debit my bank account every month for uninterrupted service.
I’ve been very pleased with the selection on Netflix.com. I have found some excellent documentaries, old TV shows, and obscure comedies that I never thought I’d see again. Netlfix generally gets new titles quickly and they are easy to find on the Web site.
If something goes wrong
Every once in awhile, I’ll get a movie that is too damaged to play on my DVD player. Once, I even got a movie that turned out to be a cheesy DVD someone had used to replace the film I wanted to see. Netflix has always been pretty good about sending replacements and not charging for damage that wasn’t my fault. A couple of times, I’ve had movies get lost in the mail. Reporting the lost movies is easy to do on the Web site. Again, I’ve never been charged for a lost movie and if it eventually shows up at Netflix, they send an email to let me know.
Though I’ve never bought any myself, Netflix.com does sell used DVDs for $5.99. The used DVDs are guaranteed to play, come with a hardcover case, and are shipped via the postal service free.
If you happen to be a popular person with a lot of friends who are movie buffs and Netflix subscribers, you can set up Friends and Community preferences to see what your friends are watching and get recommendations. I only have one friend doing this with me, but I know it’s a popular feature.
I’ve enjoyed using Netflix.com for the past six years. I predict I’ll keep using Netflix for years to come.