Netflix is among a small handful of companies that are known far and wide for having decidedly pro-consumer policies. Needless to say, that’s a rare characteristic among businesses in the technology and consumer services industries. Netflix regularly fights for pro-consumer causes such as net neutrality, and the company has never been shy in voicing its opinions. At the moment, however, the company is testing a new policy that is the exact opposite of pro-consumer. In fact, some people out there might consider it to be the most anti-consumer move Netflix has ever made.
Even when Netflix has raised its prices in the past, most users shrugged it off as a necessity for the company. After all, Netflix is a publicly traded corporation with a responsibility to shareholders as well as to its customers. But the company is currently running a test in Australia that can’t be shrugged off. In its essence, this new Netflix policy would hike the monthly price of Netflix service for anyone who signs up during the most popular time period for Netflix binge watching.
As first reported by The Australian, Netflix is trialling a new policy that will increase the monthly subscription cost by as much as AU$3 for users who sign up over the weekends. So, users who sign up a new Netflix account over the weekend would be charged AU$9.99 instead of AU$8.99 a month for the Basic plan, the Standard plan would rise from AU$11.99 to AU$13.99 a month, and the Premium plan would increase from AU$14.99 to AU$17.99 a month.
Netflix is said to have confirmed the tests in a statement, but it made clear that the company currently has no plans to actually implement the new policy in Australia or anywhere else.
“We continuously test new things at Netflix and these tests typically vary in length of time,” a Netflix spokesperson. “In this case, we are testing slightly different price points to better understand how consumers value Netflix. Not everyone will see this test and we may not ever offer it generally.”
UPDATE: A Netflix spokesman contacted BGR via email to state that Netflix is currently not testing any price changes like the ones described in the source report by The Australian. Our headline has been updated in light of Netflix’s denial.