Netflix Sucks in Canada

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Netflix appeared in Canada in the fall of 2010  for $7.99 a month, with the first month being free.  Was I interested?  Oh yea, you bet I was.  I had heard about the U.S. version and was stoked we finally had Netflix in Canada.  When I went to their site and checked the content offered to Canadians I was immediately disappointedNetflix sucks, well the Canadian version at least.  I can not fathom why so many technology fanboys on forums are/were fawning over this service (and their latest, cheapest iPhone plan) and why they so viciously attack those who disagree with their valuation of this product.  What did I find when I looked at the content list via an application one of these fanboys created to show the newest content?  Amazing and current selections such as:

  • Angel and the Badman
  • Wrath of the Titans (the cartoon version)
  • A Walk in the Sun
  • Captain Kidd
  • Lady of Burlesque
  • Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman

And worse.  Not only had I never heard of much of the content there were no current television shows.  They do have Merlin now – season 1 (Merlin wrapped up season 3 this year in Canada).  They also have a ton of old (seasons 1-5 of Kids in the Hall).  I’m supposed to pay to watch re-runs and discontinued programming?  Wait, I can do that already watching television or over the Internet …

More devices means Netflix sucks.

I then learn I have to buy some sort of electronic device that will allow us to stream this product into our television?  What?  I have to buy something to use this product?  We already have a T.V. and a DVD player – we need more?  You can use devices such as PC, laptop, PlayStation (PS3), Nintendo Wiis, Xbox 360, iPad, iPhone etc to stream from Netflix. Some newer Internet-connected HD televisions and Blu-Ray players are also able to stream Netflix.  Our TV is not HD – it is a 32″ beast.  We have base pay as you go cell phones we use. I gave up console video games over a decade ago.  But we do own laptops!  Do I think the content on Netflix is worth the time it will take me to figure out how to hook my laptop into Netflix and I presume my laptop into my television – not to mention figuring out which do-dads and cables will be compatible to accomplish such a goal?  Now, someday soon I may figure out how to watch free TV from the Internet on the TV and lose the television, but certainly not for the Netflix content.  Not while Netflix sucks.

I guess I think of the current service by imagining alternatives that I also wouldn’t see value in …

For example, perhaps I offer a Netflix subscriber the chance to receive the Globe & Mail for $8 a month. In return I give you 20, count em – 20, Globe & Mail daily newspapers, but they’re from 2009. The financial section is something I think many readers would have interest in, so, assuming “rules” are the same for this that and the other thing financial, the columns provide some value to the buyer (how to deal with ETFs, RESPs, Mortgages etc). Reading the newspaper is, for some, entertaining too. The thing is, you can get this item you may want at your local library for no charge if you so desire.  You can also get free movies and television, legally, assuming you have an Internet connection (which you need for Netflix anyhow).

So is the Netflix product worth $8? Not really – neither is outdated newsprint.

Bringing it back to Netflix sucks discussion, the “content” costs $8 a month. Thing is, between your local library, the Internet where I can watch it online, and re-runs on TV  – a LOT of the content seems to be readily available if you dig a bit.  New content can not be found on the Canadian version of Netflix for your $8 a month.  For about $10 per month you can get the movie channel and watch pretty new releases.  Seems like a better deal if you are a movie junkie.

Now, to the subject of the TV bill. Massive isn’t it?  However, television content is current, and, chances are good whatever is shown on Netflix may show up on my TV service as well. That, or the Netflix content, as it stands, won’t be carried by the TV companies as it won’t garner viewership (read: attract advertising) mainly because the content carried by Netflix, sucks here.

My take is that Netflix.ca is a new toy. People get uber excited about it but will quickly bore of it. It is happening now given posts I’ve read at the RFD forums from people who care to say nothing aside that they are disappointed with the content and have cancelled their (free) subscription.

A good idea is to use you current access to media you already use to find these shows or movies. To take that $100 a year and put it toward your mortgage, RRSPs, investments, RESPS, TFSAs – donate it to charity, to those in need. When Netflix actually provides you with content you can not get elsewhere for less than you already pay – spend your hard earned money in places that will benefit you or others you care about.

The alternative is spending more time in front of the television simply due to the fact there is something on the TV you have not (or maybe have)  seen even if it is awful content. Work on your relationships, friendships, family, house, investments, personal grooming, your pets – the important things. After that, take care of the little things – trimming your nails, cleaning the toilet, raking the yard – things that need to get done, but are not super important.

I think things like buying more home than you can afford, paying for parking tickets when you park beside a fire hydrant, and purchasing this particular product – are not smart financial moves.

To those who chose this product, the best to you. To those who read my take as someone who won’t buy Netflix (now) and noticed that a number of people who have tried this service are equally discontent with the content, I hope some of my rambling helps. I’ll check in on the Netflix content again in a few weeks months to see if the content has improved. I’d much prefer to pay $10 a month like our US cousins do for their Netflix subscription for awesome, current programming vs paying my current cable bill.  Now that service would be a deal.

I think Netflix sucks.  I know not everyone will agree.  Share your thoughts on the Canadian offering!

74 thoughts on “Netflix Sucks in Canada

  1. Well, with this line up of shows I never heard of, I agree with you!
    Haven’t tried netflix and I doubt I will do in the near future. Long live the internet where you can watch pretty much any content you want.

    1. It really doesn’t get a whole lot better.
      There are some movies that had some popularity in their day – I even own some on DVD – but they aren’t anything you can’t catch on a re-run via cable numerous times a year. Additionally, most of these movies and re-run TV shows can be found on the Internet, free and legal to stream or download.

  2. It really depends on your taste in TV. My husband and I don’t have cable and we find most current programming a bit mindless. We love documentaries, quirky shows, British comedies, and other eclectic things, which Netflix has in abundance.
    So here’s what we do: if there’s a current show that we like (the Office or Big Bang are the only two we currently follow) we watch it on the website the next day. Otherwise, Netflix provides a lot of value to us. We have a long list of shows we want to watch on there, and between the Wii connected to our tv, my laptop, and DH’s Ipad, we can watch it anywhere. It provides conversation, too- right now we’re watching a show on Alexander the Great and we’ve had really interesting conversations about it. We will prop the Ipad on the table at dinner and watch a little every evening. Netflix was how I discovered quirky shows like Little Britain.
    So long story short, it matches our eclectic taste very well and for us the value is there.

    1. Valid points Stephanie. I have heard the documentaries can be quite good. And yes, everyone does have their own taste. I don’t see us ever getting a Wii or an iPad so the convenience isn’t there for us. If you like British comedies perhaps this is a great product – but to each their own, as you stated. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  3. We cancelled cable a while ago and were going to sign up with netflix. We did a trial and like you realized how much it sucked. You don’t get nearly the same content you get if you were a USA citizen. We got rid of it and still don’t have cable.

    1. Do you watch TV online at all? We’re in the process of getting rid of the cable as well – phone too. Just pay for Internet then get MagicJack for a land line – $170 a month will go to less than $70. The hardware will pay for itself. But this is revealing too much of an upcoming post!

  4. I have heard Netflix sucks for Canadians before. Although there seems to be an overall outrage about the price hikes. Hopefully content will become better soon.

  5. I agree, the Canadian version leaves something to be desired. My friend has a subscription and when we went down to Orlando he was able to access the U.S. version on his laptop. He was blown away by the difference in content available.

    I guess the question is, why does the Canadian version suck? Do our media monopolies own and control the current content and are not allowing it to be released through services like Netflix?

    I noticed that Shaw Cable is currently set to release their own version of Netflix.

    1. Very likely Echo. The media and telecom giants up here do not like share which has been proven time and time again.
      That being said, there are some pretty big heavyweights in the same industry that let Netflix in the door and beyond. Different regulations (good ol’ CRTC!)?

  6. SPF- I can’t speak for Canada, but their US selection is getting worse and worse as well. And now that they are doubling their prices there is little incentive to stay a customer.

    From a cash flow perspective maybe that was a smart move for them if they lose less than half their customers its a net gain. Of course, I think they will ultimately lose market share and are now doomed. The only way they can continue to compete with cable’s On Demand service is good titles and low price. If they don’t have either of those things, trouble.

  7. I actually wrote about Netflix today as well, giving a few alternatives for Netflix due to the US price hike. I think part of the problem here in the U.S. is that there really aren’t a ton of great alternatives when it comes to streaming video or DVD services. Yes some of the selection leaves something to be desired in the U.S. as well, but at least we get some somewhat recent shows and movies. What alternative do we have? Amazon streaming, Blockbuster (sucks), and a few others..

    1. Americans have it great compared to up here. At least you can get decent titles – even if they are more expensive. And you have some services that let you get TV shows (current) online too – but Canadians are blocked from getting. I need to mask my router to make it look like it is in the US to get access to those sites. There is quite a bit for free out there but you need to know where to look and then make sure it isn’t illegal content.

  8. We have had netflix for years in the USA and loved hit. However, now they are raising rates. For $8/mo. we use to get DVDs and streaming movies. Now, we have to choose one or the other for $16/mo.

    The result, we are dumping both services. You can get so much from our cable and the internet that netflix isn’t needed any more.

    Good luck to them…I think they are going to need it!

    1. Hi Freddie – do you get NEW movies on Netflix? (something Cable likely doesn’t offer I’d think). If you spend more than $8 per month at a video store I think at least one of the services would be worth it. We have NO DVD option here, and, the movies, as mentioned, included the ones in the article, some good ones I’ve seen a few dozen times and a bunch more junk (IMO). Nothing “new” (as in the last 2 years).

  9. That Canadian offer sounds awful, but I’ve got to admit that many of the US shows (on live stream) are lame documentaries pushing an agenda or are movies that are just plain stupid (well, i’m not interested in them anyway).
    After they announced the price hike, H & I talked it over and decided we were going to go to 1 dvd, no streaming.

    1. I though the service in the US got up to date HBO content and such? Perhaps I gave it too much credit? But then, ask any Canadian user who has had a chance to compare the two – as Echo pointed out – and they will be salivating.

  10. I have netflix and i do watch it quite a bit. I personally wasn’t really a fan of the DVD’s by mail, but i do like the streaming movies. If they could just raise the quality of those movies i would get alot more use out of it. There is so many bad films to look through to find a good one. I seem start movies, but never finish them.

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  14. I can understand why you think Netflix sucks. I used to not think so but now I do. I’m keeping my streaming service but kicking the rest to the curb. So. Not. Worth. It.

  15. I don’t watch much TV these days, so I haven’t gotten into any series lately so I don’t really miss TV or the lack of these series on Netflix. Netflix is good for watching movies, documentaries, and things like that, and the price is good compared to a cable plan. It helps that our TV has direct support for it.

    If you want to look at why the selection in Canada sucks, you need to also look at the licensing scheme and other crap that goes on. People are venting criticism at the company that should really be directed elsewhere. Same with the recent move to split the DVD and streaming service.

    1. I do gotta say I was disappointed though when I couldn’t find some of the classic movies on there. In any case there’s always the good old Internet as the backstop for everything else. ;)

    2. I don’t hate the company but I dislike their “service” as it is offered in Canada. I can go to the Internet for everything on Netflix so I don’t see why I should pay for depricated content.

  16. I use Zip.ca and have been very happy with their catalog. Most of what I get are documentaries and British shows/movies and their basic package works well for me.

  17. It’s Dec. 1, 2011 and netflix still officially sucks. Got it yesterday with high hopes which were quickly dashed by just scrolling through the available content. Netflix, you have a great concept. Streaming to my xbox360 works great with no hiccups. Your content is ancient. Your “new arrivals” section contains movies I’ve seen so long ago that I can’t even remember how far back it was.

    I will be cancelling my free trial by the end. I hope in the near future netflix is bring good and recent content and I would be happy to come onboard. This is for Canada btw. : )

    1. It is surprising with all the subscriber losses, profit loss and stakeholder sell off in the US that Netflix hasn’t made a single effort to improve the offering here in Canada (to gain more business).

  18. Holly shit. Netflix must be insane to charge for those shittie collections. If you watch moderately, either, TV or movie, most likely you’ll be extremely disappointed. Come-on, Netfkix, you guys cant do better of fold your bag file for chpt 11. What a rip-off

  19. Netflix sucks bigtime!!

    This is the age of improvement, new technolgies, high def, etc.
    To jump into the market and have a considerable leap back from an already existing netflix in the USA is just shooting yourself.
    You are open to get swallowed by the next guy with a buck to come along and take over.

    Youre in, or youre out…. And im very surprised no one has swallowed you yet.

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  21. I find that Netflix for us is quite handy then again i am younger and have all those consoles (wii, iphone, xbox etc.). i like the fact that i can watch the movies or shows that i like over and over again. and that it is quite handy. i close the browser on my wii at home and i could continue, where it stopped, and watch it on the iphone on the go.

    And sure i agree you can watch most anything online but if and when (and this has happened to me before) the person who uploaded the video decides to take it down or there’s a copyright infringement, you have no choice but to wait for another person to upload it. it’s the waiting game that i think i’m not very good with. it could take 30 mins or 30 days you never know and for me, that’s a bummer.

    my cousin and i both have netflix and we borrow each others account sometimes. i really dont see much of a difference between the two, she lives in california and i live in saskatchewan.

    i have nothing against their customer services either. theyve been nothing but good to me whenever i’ve had an issue.

    ie.// Agent Cody Banks (the first one) was having issues with the sound, you can hear the background music but not the voice audio.

    they were nice and fixed it for me within a matter of hours. not bad at all. netflix has got me unfortunately.

    1. For some folks Netflix makes sense, just not us. I still find the programming very outdated, movies too. Most of the shows can be found on Network websites, not just uploads. Mrs. SPF has found some great movie streaming sites too.

  22. We got NetFlix about 3 years ago and were very excited. Since last 2 years Netflix has gradually degraded their site content quality .Currently it is sadistic tasteless choice with very few limited new or popular content.

    Netflix has placed numerous Pages after pages of same movies titles listed under different categories .It seems to make no difference how many pages one goes through .I could sit and list the repeated movies which gets boring very quickly and makes for wasted time trying to find something to watch or totally giving up.

    The quality of viewable rating seen are far apart from the ratings claimed on certain content or should be much lower or not even listed as a movie.

    If you are someone up to date with current movies and watched at least 2 or 3 year old shows and movies or watched anything like robocop in past decade else then you are not missing by joining NetFlix. Do not expect to find much in terms of newer content since last 7 months I have hardly seen anything new I added that was heard of. Netflix doesn’t feel obligated anymore to listen and provide quality content material to clients. It is now using new clients wit past popularity raves as a cash cow. There is much more free content available on the internet similar as was in past from You-tube free movies .

    Final note am very disappointed with Netflix overall performance instead of improving services and content that it is removing content and replacing with outdated and unheard of movies and other content.

    1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment! I just can’t justify paying for what Netflix provides. Like I said, I could be a sucker and buy 3 yr old newspapers but no one in their right mind would do that.

      1. I guess we only get this type of service in Canada. There are other companies in US but not in Canada. In U.S they offer more content companies like Amazon and other companies who want the customer base direct. New to the expanding in Canada is Hollywood that are willing to go offer better choice through cable t.v definitley not the lower cost and make it harder for Netflix to obtain license for movies.

        So Netflix has issues and that is probably why they are downgraded content we are seeing. But why give us Canadians the bottom of the barrel pit. We became customers to support Netflix a way to expand instead we get shot first for taking their services not a good move for expanding in a business concept.

  23. I’ve noticed Netflix Canada has been removing content like crazy recently to the point where the only thing left to watch is Futurama. I’m quite sure they are down to only a few hundred titles now. There were several titles I wanted to watch again, but they are no longer available. At this point, I’m going to have to cancel the service as there is nothing new left to watch except a bunch of b-rated movies that I have no interest in.

    The other kick in the pants recently was that Netflix Canada has started adding TED talks content. This is a real joke since you can just go to the TED website and watch their content. Yay! Let’s pay for free stuff.

    1. Once the U.S. service tanked entirely I was sure the Canadian offering would stink it up even further. As I think I mentioned, you can catch those movies on normal television! (if you have cable in addition to $8 Netflix).

      I haven’t checked the content on the .ca offering in some time. It was too disheartening never seeing content I really would enjoy. To dream of the U.S. offering of this product (in its heyday that is) – we’ll never see it. I hope another company does it right. I do believe that the Internet will be the future, but it has to be done right. Even if it costs more than $8/mo. Cable is killer @ ~$50 per month – i’d pay 50% of that for good streamed content.

  24. I love Netflix’s in Canada! For me the $7.99 pays for itself.
    I have found many new tv series that I started to watch from the beginning, and now am watching on tv.
    Breaking Bad, Californiacation ( spelled wrong) Weeds, The Tudors, 90210, and am on Bones.

    For me it’s less than 2 movie rentals – and can easily waste a sunday watching episodes

    I thought the same thing for a long time = Not going to be worth it. But one day I was bored enough with what was on tv, and signed up = and haven’t looked back since.

    1. I guess I find this product to be another time waster I just don’t need. We don’t rent videos either as Rogers and Blockbuster closed up shop in our city and now we have to travel quite far to get to a mom and pop video store.

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  26. 2012 its no better. Tried to use it. 5 out of 6 older movies they didnt have. No current movies that I wanted. Daughter watched some Heartland shoes she had missed before she got interested. We binned it and dont miss it.

  27. I know your pain . So here I am I’m going to watch the sc-fi classic starship troopers and you know what? IT KEEPS ON STOPING EVERY FEW MINUTES! I am breaking down in tears here because I CAN’T WATCH THE DAMN THING! And their selection I mean like The Anime on it they have like only 4 series on it! FUCK YOU IM GOING BACK TO DVDS AND START A COLLECTION. Of STUFF like bleach iron sky darker than black starship troopers . And all the other crap that Netflix Dosent have or Plays at low quality!

  28. Agreed! When I got a new phone one year, I had unlimited data for a month so I signed up for Netflix. What a disappointment! There were a few movies that I was interested in watching (and season 4 of my FAVOURITE show which isn’t available on DVD here) but aside from that… No new content, no updated content, high internet costs to stream all this media…

  29. I agree, the content for Canada truly sucks. I even went to Argentina last year to visit some family and I was surprised by all the good movies and shows that they have but we don’t.
    The cost is worth it for me because I use it a lot. I always find something worth watching. However, I really wish we had the same selection (or at least close to) other countries.

  30. I just checked out the content on Netflix for Canada a few minutes ago, from all the hype i have heard i figured they would have thousands of movies new and old, tons of television programming, all the hbo series.. I was just going by the on demand i used to have with my Roger’s cable…. Roger’s on demand gave you tons more then netflix does, and you got it for free when you had the tmn channels… Needless to say, i will not be getting netflix..

  31. It’s not only Canadian netflix that sucks, it’s also Mexican netflix. We can’t even see movies without the goddamn subtitles. They imply that in Mexico nobody speaks English and we forcefully need them because we’re too stupid or something…Not just that, in Mexico we have something called “Telenovela” (soap opera), it seems that these have some sort of priority, even if they are over 10 years old. Overall Netflix Mexico isn’t even as good as Netflix Canada.

  32. Just got the free Months trial version, however after reviewing the content and searching for a few titles I discovered that the service here in Canada is nothing like the service I had when I lived in Wisconsin. Why is it that everything in Canada has to be a severely watered down version of what is available in the USA! Even the HBO and IFC networks are garbage compared to the US versions I enjoyed while living there. Canadians get the short end of the stick and pay more for it on every item or service. Needless to say I will be canceling my Netflix Canada account at the end of my free trial!!

  33. Well, with this line up of shows I never heard of, I agree with you!
    Haven’t tried netflix and I doubt I will do in the near future. Long live the internet where you can watch pretty much any content you want.

  34. DNS servers are one way to get Netflix US, even if you have a Canadian Netflix account, but you have to setup every device and it’s sometimes a hassle that doesn’t work out and you end up still having restrictions.

    With a VPN enabled WiFi router, you can have an always ON connection to allow ANY device to instantly access ANY US or UK content with no limits for just $5/month and a one time setup. Best of all, your online activity is encrypted and kept private from your ISP. To find out how to easily setup a router for a persistent connection and enjoy more US and UK content than just Netflix, visit ihelpinnovate

  35. Netflix in Canada really does suck! When recently travelling to the U.S. I noticed that there are so many other Tv shows and movies available in the U.S. than in Canada. It is simply not fair! Seriously thinking about cancelling subscriptions.

  36. If you can’t figure out how to stream Netflix from your computer sans a third party device then you are ******* ******** and probably shouldn’t be operating a PC anyway.

    Oh yeah, Netflix Canada still sucks.

  37. I had Netflix for a couple of months then I canceled it. When I saw the selection that the US Netflix had I immediately canceled. I tried a few ways to get the US Selection but it was too much of a pain in the ass. If you (Canadian) see what the US Netflix has to offer you will not want to pay $7 for the Canadian version. It’s that simple.

  38. The cheapest tv service i could get was in excess of 40 bucks a month. What did I get for that? a few news channels and some TV channels that showed very little original content, just the same old blurb looped over and over like Two and a half men and bloody Mike and Molly. For the sake of a few hours after work I could not justify paying that sort of money for crap.
    Even though Canadian Netflix is no where near as good as USA or UK at least I get to choose what repeats i want to watch. Canada is held by the balls. Bell and Shaw/Rodgers buy up popular blockbuster shows and Netflix cannot get the crumbs until the Big Bullies have finished with them. That is why Netflix has started making their own shows and damn good they are too. Even though I too sometimes complain about Canadian Netflix I still say its well worth the 8 bucks as opposed to the 40+ rogers wanted to screw out of me. the leftover money I used to buy DVD’s

  39. Netflix Canada still sucks three years later…A disgrace that the Canadian content is so sub-standard relative to the U.S. site.

  40. Been off and on for a couple years now and I have to say nothing has changed. Just going to buy a regular dvd player. Get more value for my money at that point.

  41. Yes I totally agree that Netflix is a complete waste of time and money for us Canadians for sure. All that is offered to us is lower than B Grade movies. Nothing new. Apparently we aren’t as important as Americans. Funny how are money is though. Not impressed. Same result for Tubi as well. They send me an email with a pile of great looking movies! I download the app and sign up. Only then do they inform me that pretty much everything they offered is not available to me because why? I’m Canadian! Well then quit sending me your useless emails and advertisements then! Extremely annoyed by both. If they have nothing to offer in Canada then don’t offer at all! Thanks for nothing!

  42. Netflix nowadays is a fascinating service for watching TV episodes and movies. I like to spend my time with Netflix. And this article wondered myself. I didn’t know anything about this problem in Canada. I am sure that this situation will be decided as soon as possible.

  43. Yes.. Content for sure.. But what I can’t stand, is when movies have a considerable amount of dialogue of a foreign language, crucial in understanding overall plot.. This is just rediculous..
    I end up giving it a bad (thumbs down) rating.. Is that fair? Please get your shit 2gether nf

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