Saturday, March 21, 2009

Uh, Netflix Sux, M'kay?

I just signed up for Netflix, and within 10 minutes cancelled my account. Want to know why?

Three reasons:

1. I wanted to watch video through my TiVo, but nothing about this service mentioned that I had to have an HD TiVo to use it, until after I had already signed up.

2. Still, I thought, I can always just watch regular DVDs. So I started browsing. When I hit the eighth straight title that was only available in Blu Ray format, I said WTF?

3. So I thought I would contact Netflix to find out why they don't offer the movies I want either as instant download to a regular TiVo box, or in DVD format, but I couldn't find any way to actually contact them, either by phone or email. That's some customer service they got there.

Hence - Netflix just lost this customer forever.

A few years ago, I had a Netflix account, but I cancelled it after three straight DVDs that wouldn't play due to their poor condition. After this experience, I don't know what would bring me back. Even free Netflix forever would be pointless, as I have nothing with which to play what they offer. In this economy, I wonder what Netflix is thinking, excluding the vast majority of their potential customers.


Anonymous said...

The Netflix Ready Device list at explicitly states that only HD TiVO devices are supported. Every page in the signup flow that mentions TiVo support indicates that only HD devices are supported.

To get Netflix's toll free phone number, members can click the Contact Us link that's at the bottom of every page.

There are a vanishingly small number of titles that are available on Blu-ray but not DVD. I think you may have misunderstood the "available on Blu-ray" messaging.

Heroinhead said...

Jeff, in 1983 my father was murdered, dismembered, boiled & flushed down the toilet by infamous British serial killer Dennis Nilsen. I am posting about this in my blog. Maybe you'd like to have a read?

If not, excuse me for disturbing you.

Best wishes, Shane.

Jeff said...

Anonymous, thanks for that info. Clearly, the Netflix website doesn't do a very good job of conveying what should be obvious information. Yet another reason not to use them. And if reading the comments section on their blog is any indication, they have numerous other problems and are losing customers left and right.

Looks like the only thing they do well is marketing, and leaving anonymous comments.

Jude said...

I love Netflix, but then again I don't have any other options in my rural area. In two years, I've returned 3 damaged disks; lost one and found it before the year was up, so received a full refund; and watched over a hundred movies online via my computer screen. My kids have started watching via their XBox 360. You can hate Netflix if you want, but I love it. That's one Crook to another (the only reason I followed your link).

Anonymous said...

You were able to find the link to post at the Netflix blog but you complained about not finding the "CONTACT US" link right next to it. There's also a "HELP" link at the same page you know.

A poor way of driving traffic to your blog, I think.

From a very satisfied Netflix customer.

Jeff said...

I clicked either the Contact Us or the Help link, I don't remember which, but I do remember that all it was was a bunch of FAQs. As this is somewhat part of my day job, I'm not overly impressed by Contact or Help pages in which the ability to actually contact a living person is buried 15 navigation levels into a website and only has one correct path to success, much like those old Adventure Path novels. From the comments on the blog, it seems Netflix customer service is less than stellar.

In any case, the only reason I wanted Netflix was so I could watch movies via TiVo, but for some reason they require you to have an HD TiVo. Why is never explained. My TiVo is connected to broadband, and I can buy movies from through my Series 2 TiVo, I can buy Disney movies through my TiVo, but for some unaccountable reason Netflix is only available if you have an HD TiVo, even if the movie you want to rent isn't HD. That's fucked up, dood.

Thanks for driving traffic to my blog.

Anonymous said...

How about giving a list of the movies that you claim are only available in Blu Ray format. I have never had any movies, new release or otherwise that was only available in Blu Ray. Sounds like you did not take the time or make the effort to fully investigate what you were doing to me. I have been a Netflix customer since they first started and have never once had any issues. Most of the people that complain are just stupid or lazy and don't know how to browse a simple website.

Anonymous said...

In addition to what I said above.

1) Within two clicks I found that the Tivo HD was the only one that supports Instant Watch.

2) Within 3 clicks I had the phone number to call for customer service

3) The only DVDs that are only available in Blu Ray for rental are ones that were only released on Blu Ray, which as far as I know is none.

Again, you are obviously an idiot.

Jeff said...

I never said I wasn't stupid or lazy, like maybe 90% of the country. So why is Netflix so dead set on losing that easy dollar?

Going back to the website, I see where I was wrong. But I also see where I made my mistake. When I see available formats, and one is a hyperlink and the other isn't, it's a fair assumption that the one that isn't hyperlinked isn't currently available.

Oh, and thanks for returning to comment and making my hit counter spin. I have other Netflix complaints, if you're interested.

For example, I see ads all over the place for Netflix for $4.99 a month. But when I signed up, it was for $8.99 a month for the same level of service as the advertised $4.99 a month. Maybe I had a Comcast flashback. Maybe that initial sticker shock affected my unwillingness to give the site a chance. But once again, most of the time you have one chance to grab that customer. Customer stupidity is something you have to make a reasonable effort to design for. Whining about shitty customers isn't a good business practice, and neither is bait and switch. Sure, it turned Comcast into a corporate giant, but Comcast is the most hated corporate giant in the lives of most of its customers. If it weren't for cable monopolies, Comcast would have gone out of business years ago. Following the Comcast business model is not a smart strategy for long term growth.

Jeff said...

Insulting your potential customers is right in line with Comcast. Are you sure Netflix hasn't been bought out?

I should be able to find out on the first page that the service is only available in HD.

When I click Contact, I want to see the email address (or address form) and toll-free number on the first click, at the top of the page.

As a long time web user, I am accustomed to getting the customer service runaround, so when I don't see contact info on the first click, I know the company has no real interest in hearing from me. I know they are placing obstacles between themselves and their customers. That is not a company I want to do business with.

Anonymous said...

I still say you are an idiot. Judging by the content of your blog I am right. I am glad you didn't keep your Netflix account, 1 less moron to take a DVD that I might want out of the inventory.

Jeff said...

And you are so cleverly anonymous, who would ever guess you are a Netflix employee (or possibly more?) pretending to be a satisfied customer?

But it is one big ol' beautiful internet, ain't it? I can say Netflix sux and you can say I'm an idiot and there's nothing either of us can do about it, according to our legal departments.

John said...

I've never used Netflix ... and I never, will. Why would I use a service that has their advertisements POP-UP in my face several times a day? I have expressed my opinion about Netflix in a few words on this site:

http://www.netflixsux.comI don't care what they offer, or how great they are ... if they've got to invade my privacy, they SUCK!!

Anonymous said...

Netflix is about to loose another cust... they now have some deal with one of the major studios were we have to wait a mouth after it released for sale befor they even offer it for rent.. and if you even try to get any new release the day after it come out LOL very long wait will show up and you will wait 2 + mo to get that movie if your lucky

Anonymous said...

One more reason to tell Netflix to take a flying leap... to watch their "instant movies" you cannot use Linux... and if you use Windoz they want you to down load Silverlight which is about as close to malware as you can get and still be legal. Their customer service says that Linus "does not support Netflix" LOL... I told him that the reverse was closer to the truth. As a Linux user... Netflix can kiss my...

Anonymous said...

statment 1.- silverlight is not malware dude, it is as malware as flash or java or any other contained vm/interpreter can be.

statment 2.- all other things said on it page about netflix are right...

exept by the troll who says netflix rulz...