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NetflixIf you are not one of the 8 million subscribers that Netflix currently has, you may or may not have heard about the DVD rental giant’s disaster last week when their shipping system all but died. It all started last Tuesday when Netflix reported a technical glitch that prevented them from sending out DVDs to subscribers. Those issues continued at many of their 55 distribution centers through Thursday when on Friday they finally appeared to resolve whatever issues they had.

Some customers were very understanding, recognizing that systems can break from time to time while others were downright upset, even threatening to switch to Netflix’s fiercest competitor – Blockbuster.

Myself, I was not really that concerned. So I have a few days with no new movies coming in. I do have a pretty active life and can find plenty of things to do besides watching movies. So I’m more on the side that gave the company some slack. In fact, I have always considered myself a Netflix brand evangelist, especially seeing that I am still bitter at all the late fees I have ever had to pay to Blockbuster during the pre-Netflix days.

When Netflix stated on Tuesday that they would be crediting people’s accounts, I thought that was a good move to attempt to absolve what was turning out to be a very nasty public relations situation for the DVD rental company. That is until I heard the actual amount – 15%.

Now I suppose mathematically, 15% is fair. However, I don’t feel it is enough to really appease customers who are let’s say – very passionate about their movie watching. Some folks seemed as if their life was ruined. And maybe it was for that week. Just look at some of their comments found at the Netflix community blog.


Netflix just lost a long time customer. I am gonna take myself to the video store, and grab a bite. Then I am going to go online and check out Blockbuster. I bet a new customer saves more than 15%.

Now my queue says movies will ship next Thursday. Great work Netflix. My solution is simple – I will cancel my account. I suggest others do the same for a month or two and give Netflix a nice revenue hit so they rethink their 15% discount. For me if the disk are not shipped until next Thursday, that will be 2 weeks.

15% is not adequate, I’m sorry. I get 3 movies at a time, and in a rare moment of PLANNING AHEAD, I returned all 3 movies to get 3 more for my movie party tonight. Suffice to say, no movies arrived, so instead I have to go to the local movie store and rent 3 replacements. Total cost for 3 rentals? $12. Thats about 75% of my total monthly Netflix cost, so this 15% discount is bullshit.

Oh, and I love this one – the conspiracy theory (second paragraph):

I had no inkling there was a problem at Netflix until I received an email today. Movies I had returned last week were just ‘received’? 15% for a week of no movies is definitely insufficient, regardless of whether you are whiny or not. This is a business, we expect a product for payment. Point is our credit cards will no doubt be charged on time.

It’s Friday, a rainy weekend ahead, bored kids and NO movies. But worse no explanation at all about the source of the problem and THAT concerns me more. It’s not about being whiny – I am concerned about hackers, identity thieves and so on. NETFLIX: IS there anything we need to know that you’re not telling us? The truth always comes out so I think if somebody is not being honest now’s the time to tell the customers what the heck is really going on.

There are a lot more – upset people I mean. This is inevitable as there are just some people that demand perfection. Of course we know that no company is perfect and today’s technology is far from perfect. It does have imperfect mankind behind it.

While I can certainly understand technical glitches, I feel pretty strongly that Netflix should have offered minimum 50% credit or nothing at all. 15% is like a spit in the face. It is not the money but rather then principle. Of course 50% would have cost Netflix a lot more money and they know this. However, it may have helped them to get through this public relations nightmare in a much smoother fashion.

Don’t worry, I’m still a Netflix loyalist. I’m not going to be chased away by some technical glitches and a measly 15% credit. I do hope for Netflix’s sake that they learn from this lesson and should something like this happen in the future, that they will take into consideration the feelings of those who have voiced displeasure in the way Netflix handled this situation.

What about you the reader? Whether a Netflix customer or not, do you feel 15% is justified? Should customers have received more? Or maybe you fee they should not have received anything at all? I’d love to hear your opinions.


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