Consumer Confidential: Netflix's new plan, Wal-Mart's price match, BofA's bank-by-text
--Heads up, Netflix subscribers. The company is serving notice that it's gradually getting out of the DVD-by-mail business. Instead, Netflix is going all-in with online streaming of movies. To facilitate that transition, it says it will offer its first unlimited streaming-only subscription for $7.99 a month, and raise the price of its unlimited DVD-by-mail plan by a buck. Netflix says the plan will take effect immediately for new subscribers and in January for current members.
--If you're like me, you recycle all the advertising stuff that comes with the newspaper on Thanksgiving. But maybe you'll want to keep it around for a few extra days. Our friends at Wal-Mart say they'll match any advertised price this weekend as the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear. The company says it will match all competitor prices beginning Thanksgiving Day and running through the weekend. The offer doesn't apply to online purchases.
--As part of banks' continuing march into increased use of technology, Bank of America says it will offer bank-by-text service beginning around the middle of next year. Customers will be able to transfer funds and respond to fraud alerts via text messages. No word on pricing of the new service, but my guess is it'll be free for a year or two. And then, after millions of people sign up, the fees will creep into the equation. The same happened with ATMs. I don't see why it would be any different this time.
-- David Lazarus
Photo: The Netflix distribution center in Sunnyvale, Calif. Credit: Randi Lynn Beach