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This shouldn't be shocking. If you sign up for a plan that costs $20 and the card has only $21 on it and then you decide not to return any of the movies Netflix can't get any money for the stolen/lost DVDs.

With a traditional debit/credit card they would just charge the amount. If the card doesn't have the money on it in this case Netflix still gets the money and you get hit with a over draft fee.


The Social Security Debit card issued by Comercia Bank is unacceptable even though it is a Master Card because it is not tied into a checking or savings account. Makes no sense.


This is sorta like the problems RedBox has.....people get those prepaid visa gift cards with $10 bucks on it or whatever then go and clean out redbox's stock and never return the movie.


Why steal a netflix movie?

You can sell it (there is no case), and it probably does not make sense to add to a collection either.

If you're so low, you can always rip the DVD to your hard drive, and return the disc. It basically is the same thing. This at least does not introduce a cost that we all share as netflix customers.


> "You can sell it"

Would be "You can't sell it".

Mr Nethead

Eh, the discs probably could be sold. Albeit not for very much money. I seem to recall a news story from a few years ago about a postal working stealing Netflix movies and selling them to support a drug habit.


I've heard this complaint before, I don't put much stock in it. In fact, the first time I heard it the person was cut off after Netflix tried to charge the monthy fee and the guy had no money in the account (he still had movies in his possession). It's their policy and it makes perfect sense from a business standpoint.

The government accounts that aren't accepted shows the stupidity of government programs, not Netflix policies.


There are always options. If you don't have/want/qualify for or cannot properly manage a regular credit card or checking account, you can always buy Netflix cards from places like Walmart, so there is no break in service and Netflix doesn't risk absorbing the expense of unpaid (prepaid) debit card transactions.

As far as Social Security? There are also options, you do not have to accept the card in lieu of a check, you can opt for direct deposit into either an existing savings or checking account. If you choose not to have either then see above ;)

You'd be surprised how many places do not accept prepaid debit cards. Most simply never tell you, you find out when you try to use the card for a purchase and the sales clerk informs you that the sale has been declined (yet you KNOW there is money on it ;-).


2McAbre, they are no longer investing in the gift cards. They decided that once the supply was exhausted, they were not going to replenish them.


Why is it that you have to have plastic to get anything anymore. Why can't we use our bank information? I don't use plastic


Maybe because you are retarded, Regina.


I use a paypal debitcard that I get cashback on when using as a credit card.

Have not had a problem so far.


In response to JDoors comment..I have been a Netflix customer since 12/15/06 and have never failed to return a movie. I am still a customer. Believe it or not there are some honest people out there.


The whole problem could be avoided with a national postal savings bank, as Germany and Japan have. Then every citizen of the US would have access to basic banking services.

At least it would be better than prepaid cards, which are usually not reloaded (even if reloadable).


Albanychef, I sure hope I didn't come across as implicating everyone who would like to use a debit card as having criminal intent! :D

But like a lot of things, once things get to a certain point policies must be enforced or put in place to address the issue.

I'm sure Netflix doesn't like having to inconvenience good customers to address the mistakes or ill intent of others, but we all shouldn't have to absorb ever-increasing costs either.

The fact is, except for its form-factor, a debit card is not at all like a credit card, and neither businesses nor consumers should treat them as completely interchangeable formats.


Just talked with Netflix CSR who said, "I've heard that a lot of people were having trouble with 'their' prepaid cards so that's why we like decided not to take them I guess...". Obviously, a highly educated employee given her manner of speaking.

When I asked about accepting direct billing payment with a check, she said, "No, we don't do billing anymore either, do you want me to cancel your account?"

What a wonderful question... do you want me to cancel your account? Great customer service skills here, people!

Some of us don't have banks for a variety of reasons, unemployment, lack of trust, bad credit, things lack that. And many merchants won't accept auto drafts from a credit union, like I use.

Banking has been so deregulated - witness the financial meltdown and mess we're in - we need to return to the Postal Savings Banks we had in the past, or deal with a community bank, one that's locally owned, and put the mega idiots out of business who make these decisions and influence the merchants through pressure.


I was told by a customer service rep from netflix that they decide to do this in June and the regular customers that had prepaid accts were not informed because they was already in the system. I think we should have been informed and maybe people would have time to make other arrangement than to be surprised with this.


I just ran into this issue after using my card problem free for months with Netflix. I called Netflix and was informed they consider my card a prepay even though it's tied to payroll.

Guess what? My card works fine at Blockbuster. So those having issues with your cards, try Blockbuster.

I can't believe how Netflix didn't have the courtesy to notify their long term customers of this important change. Now their rival will get my money.


I am very happy with Blockbuster and they are happy to take my Debit Card..and their movies arrive in better condition..


Ehh Netflix is stupid anyhow...
Its not hard to watch movies online for free and its rarely prosecuted...(generally the host or up loader is prosecuted instead)
Thanks to the person who informed of the discontinuation of prepaid cards...
Next time I get one Ill be sure to get re loadable so when the cards run out I wont be screwed...
For the person who wanted to use their bank account directly, You can use paypal to take it from bank and put it on a virtual card or just use paypal...


Netflix is no lonager accepting my Debit Card online or over the phone. My debit card is tied directly into my chekcing account, which always has money in it. It's not a prepaird card, it's just a regular debit card. The CSR said that "the government stepped in and mandated that we can longer accpet debit cards over the phone." I then cancelled my account. I am sure I won't be the only one. Overall, the entire situation is unfortunate. I am not sure who to blame.


I think they should charge in advance. You pay your monthly fee a month ahead that way everyone wins... When I signed up not even 6 months ago I used a prepaid card. I lost my membership over having a prepaid that paid for my Netflix account every month.

Mark Vangelder

If DVD's were outrageously expensive to produce, this policy would make sense. However, the opposite is true. This policy is absurd due to the fact that checking accounts are quickly becoming a thing of the past anyway. The debit card I was trying to use is issued by my payroll department at work. If I were to not return videos, it wouldn't be hard to find me. This is a good example of a bad management decision based on unsound logic.


Like Mark, I was trying to use the debit card issued by my payroll department at work.

I did not even want the dvds. I just wanted to have the streaming option.

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