I’m a Netflix subscriber. Have been for years. Unfortunately, Netflix just doesn’t have a whole lot that I care about anymore. Is that partly my fault? You bet. My wife and I were pretty much glued to any show that we were currently interested in. We’d watch it, hardcore, until it was done. Hours per day. Good times.

Unfortunately, that means that I’ve got to look elsewhere for content that I’m interested in that Netflix doesn’t have.

Enter: Hulu

Now I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Hulu and how great it is. I was intrigued. I wanted in on this freebie secret. So I got on my Roku, entered my free trial code for Hulu Plus, and was on my merry way. Before we get to the point of the post, let’s jump back to yesterday.

So there we were, watching some food shows (which Netflix is absolutely devoid of) on Hulu, painfully enduring ad after ad after excruciating ad. I thought to myself: “Self, what are you doing? You’ve got a free trial of Hulu Plus! Let’s put these ads to rest.” A few minutes later, we were set. Hulu Plus: ad free. I mean, it had to be. I was paying for their service. Certainly, they wouldn’t play ads for paying customers. Surely you jest. Wait..what? They do? THEY DO?! Oh God..and..and you say there are just as many ads for paying customers as there are for free customers? Seriously? There must be a setting to turn them No? Oh.

So here we are. Perplexed. Bamboozled. Paying customers. Ads. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

So after a few hours of torture, we turn off the Roku for the night, and I have hate mail ideas festering in my mind for the next day.

Next day:    4:00 PM EST

It was time. Hate mail must be sent. This is crazy. I’m outraged. I never send hate mail for services that I dislike. But this was personal. Why? I don’t know. But I was mad. And someone was going to be on the receiving end of my fury. For your viewing pleasure, here is the email that I sent to Hulu expressing my supreme dissatisfaction with their service. Enjoy.

Dear Hulu,

I’m a recent subscriber to your service. I play the content you provide through my Roku. I am also a long time subscriber to Netflix.

I’ve got a serious issue with the number of ads you place on your content. Now, I’m not upset about the presence of ads, because I understand that you don’t have the number of subscribers and the media database that Netflix has. Am I a little confused that you place ads on SUBSCRIBER accounts? The ones that pay money each month so you can stay in business? Absolutely. But I understand.

What I don’t understand is why, in a 42 minute episode of “MasterChef”, I must endure through, at the very LEAST, 5 minutes of advertising. That’s 5 commercial breaks, each being an average of one minute long (two ads at 30 seconds a piece). Now, I can understand that volume of ads for non-subscribers; you’ve got to keep your business afloat and subscribers need perks over free loaders. Now I said an average of one minute long. Sometimes, a commercial break can be 3 minutes long. So that number of advertising minutes jumps to 7 minutes.

Again, I understand that you must advertise. But THAT much? To SUBSCRIBERS? That’s pretty absurd. I’m currently on my free trial, and I am absolutely certain that I won’t be paying past it. I was excited at first to be rid of the ads once I subscribed (and I planned to switch from Netflix), but once I made the jump from free to paid, and got the same number of ads? Ridiculous. That is no way to treat subscribers to a service.

I know that this email is not going to change anything. Hell, it probably isn’t even going to be read. But I feel better knowing that, as a consumer, I’m standing up for something that I believe is wrong. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to fund an idea as absurd as 7 minutes of advertising in a 42 minute program for paying customers.

So there we go. If you’ve had ads shoved down your throat by Hulu after handing them your money, please, send them an email. Surely this company has enough money to at least cut the ads down.


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