Netflix pledged to block access for customers using unauthorized services to view more varied American content and is working to crack down on such users. However, this has left some Canadian users agitated, and they cried foul on Wednesday.
Netflix vs. VPNs
The content the video-streaming service offers to Canadian customers is limited, and one website claims that Canadians have access to 4,000 TV shows and movies, which is much less than the 7,000 that are available in the U.S. This has led some subscribers to use proxies or servers to access content that’s not available locally.
In January, Netflix announced its plans to clamp down on the usage of proxies, un-blockers or VPNs. It seems that the streaming firm stepped up enforcement over the weekend as many people on social media and online forums are reporting that they have lost their connections.
On Wednesday, a Twitter user with the handle @mrmitchclarke told the streaming service that he would stop paying. The user also attached a screenshot of a Netflix page with the message telling saying that payment cannot proceed. Another user with the Twitter handle @Sethalos said that Netflix is offering “terrible” service to Canadian subscribers.
Making a reference to BitTorrent, the user said, “So what other choice do you have other than Torrent.”
BitTorrent is a free peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol that some users utilize to download movies and shows illegally, although the website also offers many other legal and useful services.
No effect on business
Users of the popular unblocking service Unblock-us have been complaining about an error when trying to connect to Netflix, so the company is offering refunds to them. There are more than 40,000 global signatories to the U.S.-based Open Media’s petition asking Netflix to back off the crackdown. During the earnings call on Monday, CEO Reed Hastings dismissed the concerns that the crackdown could negatively affect business.
Speaking of the users affected by the crackdown, Hastings said, “It’s a very small, but quite vocal minority. It’s really inconsequential to us.”
Netflix charges a monthly fee to subscribers in exchange for unlimited access to its selection of TV shows and movies. The streaming firm has achieved great success with its original shows Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
In premarket trading today, Netflix shares were trading up at $97.11. Year to date, the stock is down by over 17%, while in the last year, it is up by almost 13%. The stock has a 52-week high of $133.27 and a 52-week low of $78.89.