At this point, Netflix is almost considered a household bill much like the gas and electricity. And while the streaming service is, undeniably, a luxury to use, many members are happy to allocate a budget for the streaming service.
The cost of living crisis has been seen many customers vigilantly checking their bank statements and looking at where cutbacks can be made and pursestrings can be pulled in, from direct debits for unused services to monthly subscription boxes you probably don’t need.
That’s exactly how I discovered I’d been overpaying for my Netflix account for four months, costing me an extra £16, and was about to be £20 had I not noticed.
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Netflix offers users three different payment options, the first being the basic package, which jumped from £5.99 a month to £6.99 a month in a recent price hike. This package provides ‘good quality video in SD’ and can be watched on any phone, tablet, computer or TV, but only one device at a time, making it ideal for people who live alone.
The next deal up is the standard plan, which is now £10.99 up from £9.99 a month. The standard package sees ‘great quality video in full HD’ and can be watched on up to two devices at a time, which is the plan my household has been signed up to for the past 18 months.
Finally, Netflix also offers a premium plan for those wanting to watch on up to four devices at a time. The plan costs £15.99 a month and has seen the biggest price increase, having been £13.99 before April. It provides ‘best quality video’ in Ultra HD and HDR, and can be viewed on four screens at any one time.
I had comfortably assumed that our plan had remained the same throughout the years, and we were expecting the £1 price increase in our April billing. But after hearing whispers on social media about other people’s plans increasing to the highest price package, I was quick to check my own account.
It was here I realized I’d been paying £13.99 a month instead of £9.99 a month since December – but I don’t appear to be the only one.
lynn beattie, aka Mrs MummyPenny , a consumer expert wrote on the Mirror : “Some people said they were expecting to be paying (with recent price increases) either £6.99 or £10.99 per month but were actually paying £15.99. I shared this on my Facebook page and immediately got messages from followers upon checking that they had been unknowingly paying too much.”
Lynn shared responses from her followers, such as: “Thank you so much I had no idea I have been paying £15.99 for months.” A second said: “I managed to change it after I had paid it for months.”
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Going back through my emails from Netflix in December, I can’t locate any that say ‘your plan has been updated’, which is the subject line of a Netflix email received in April when I downgraded myself to the standard package once more.
However, I have previously spoken about how I was a victim of account hacking, only discovered when my ‘continue watching’ section looked a little suspicious. I later discovered someone had been watching Twilight, Teen Wolf and Tinder Swindler from Vietnam.
This leads me to wonder whether my package was secretly switched by my hacker – though I can’t understand why I wouldn’t have been notified.
Netflix said: “In order for a Netflix subscription plan change to happen, it must be confirmed by a person on the account. Netflix does not update a member’s plan without their explicit approval. If you did not see the email, please confirm that the email address associated with your account is correct.If you did not see the message when you signed into Netflix, it’s possible that someone else who may use your account saw it and took action already.
“Any member who has experienced an unexpected charge should change their password and get in touch with Customer Service so they can investigate the issue further. To learn how you can keep your account secure, please visit the Netflix Help Center.”
Sky TV deal
Sky is offering Sky Q, Sky TV and Netfix for £26 in its Spring sale. The package is £46 when you add sport
You can check your own account to see if you’ve been overpaying by going to account settings, followed by billing details, where you can see the monthly payments and which card they were charged to each month.
If, like me, you find you’re overpaying for your account, you can click ‘change plan’ and re-evaluate what package you’d like. As a three-person household, we find the standard package works best for us, but others may want to consider the basic option. Netflix does state though, that account downgrades will only take effect on the next billing date.
The streaming service added: “A plan downgrade with a lower price takes effect on your next billing date. You can continue to use the features of the higher plan until your next billing date. For example, you can upgrade from Basic to Standard, and then upgrade from Standard to Premium in the same month. However, if you downgrade your plan, your downgrade will only take effect on your next billing date.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.