The Dark Side of Netflix

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1/28/2007

Netflix Undergrounder Uses Better Business Bureau to Deal with Netflix

Netflix Undergrounder, James Kelly, has chosen to enlist the help of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to resolve his frustrations with Netflix’s business practices. Click here to view his official complaint.

Most people realize that the power of the BBB is very limited; however, the BBB does provide an important service. Through the BBB, customers can get attention for their complaints. While a big company like Netflix may pay little attention to complaints directly from customers, even the biggest companies know that blowing off the BBB is unwise. BBB members agree to certain requirements and can face unpleasant consequences if they show a pattern of bad business practices.

Kelly may never receive significant monetary compensation for his troubles with Netflix, but he has done something important. By filing a BBB complaint, Kelly has created a permanent record of Netflix’s abuses, and he has forced Netflix to address the charges.

Netflix has to invest time and money to address complaints filed with the BBB. Every additional complaint filed with the BBB against Netflix means Netflix will have to spend more time and money addressing the complaint. At some point, Netflix may find that displeasing customers is more expensive and troublesome than making sure those customers are happy.

One complaint on its own is not much of a hassle for Netflix, but volumes of complaints could create a major problem for Netflix. If just a fraction of the disgruntled Netflix customers filed their grievances, Netflix might have to address a flood of complaints, and the BBB would have to start asking Netflix some questions about why the company angers so many customers.

If you have a complaint about your Netflix service and you think Netflix is not taking you seriously, you might consider enlisting the help of the BBB. At the very least, you will make Netflix pay attention to your concern.

Click here if you want to file a complaint against Netflix with the BBB.

Click here to find a lot of the information you will need from Netflix’s BBB profile.

Click here if you would like to use James Kelly’s complaint as a model for your own complaint.

Good luck with your BBB complaint, James. Hopefully, you will see some satisfying results for your efforts.

6 comments:

jrkelly said...

Well I finally gave up. Netflix refuses to change their advertising and the BBB won't do anything with just one complaint. My last two DVD's took 4 days to get from Jackson, MS to Vicksburg, MS (45 miles) and 4 days to get back. My last DVD took six days from Chicago and more than two days back ( I reported it never received). I canceled my Netflix account today. With their six day reporting for receiving and returning, Netflix could actually limit you to 3 DVDs every 12 days. Until more people complain to the BBB, Netflix will be able to do what they want with their shipping policy. One or two people cannot fight this battle. If the BBB gets about 200 complaints in one month for the same thing, they will have to do something. I urge you to file a complaint with the BBB and force Netflix to stop their hidden practice of limiting DVDs to medium and heavy users. If you don't, you only have yourselves to blame when Netflix does something else. Blockbuster isn't as bad as Netflix but they do throttle. However, with Blockbuster you can go to the store and get a movie by turning in your DVD. Blockbuster also allows you to report a missing DVD after 3 days. So after trying both Netflix and Blockbuster, I would have to recommend Blockbuster over Netflix. Personally, I am through with online movie rental companies.

jrkelly said...

I received my response from the BBB today.

Complaint ID#: 261313
Business Name: Netflix, Inc.

We have received your most recent correspondence in the above-mentioned complaint case.

You have indicated that you are NOT satisfied with the business' response in the matter.

However, in the judgment of the Better Business Bureau, the business has made a reasonable effort to resolve the matter. Although, we realize that you may still feel the matter is not resolved, we have closed the case.

Sincerely,
Cathy Jasper
Consumer Services
BBB Complaint Department
cathy@bbbsilicon.org

It's like I have said, one person cannot fight this battle. The BBB will not take one person's complaint aginst a BBB member.

Anonymous said...

I actually get great service from Netflix. They receive my movies on THE NIGHT I mail them, and new ones are mailed out the next day. I go through about 20 movies a month

Editor said...

Dear Anonymous,

The excellent service you are getting sounds like the service customers normally get during only the first few weeks of their subscriptions. Netflix typically waits a few weeks before cheating the heavy renters through throttling measures. So, how long have you been receiving 20 DVDs per month?

David Reynolds said...

You're certainly not the only one, jrkelly. I was about to file a complaint myself before I looked at their profile out of curiosity.
The BBB has received almost a thousand determined complaints in the last three years. (http://sanjose.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=68&bbb=1216&firm=206533) Despite this, they close out every single one of them the same way they did yours and list Netflix as a trustworthy business. Why? Because Netflix pays for "accreditation."

The BBB complaint process is designed to do exactly what it did in your case - waste a lot of your time, and leave you feeling helpless to do anything. Don't play their game; tell your story to your local TV station's "Problemsolvers" or "Fraudstoppers" or whatever they call themselves. (Most have websites for this.) Or tell a dozen friends what happened. Or make a website loaded with Netflix keywords that provides links to sites like Netflix Calculator. (http://www.monash.com/search_engine_ranking.html is good for tips on search engine visibility.)

If Netflix or their proxy the BBB keeps you feeling alone and helpless, they win. If you and the thousands of other people Netflix jacks keep spreading the word a few people at a time, reinforcement of the message will let people know they're not alone. They'll spread the word themselves, and eventually Netflix will become a joke for their peculiar definition of "unlimited."

"Netflix? Yeah, they're great, like an all-you-can-eat special! You just have to wait an hour for them to cook every serving, that's all..."

Darvin said...

BBBOnLine is the Better Business Bureau program to identify trustworthy web sites in the US and CA. people are extremely dissatisfied with the company. There are so many negative reports abot the company. I learned about this on this great site www.pissedconsumer.com. There are also many consumer feedbacks about the company there. And they are far from being positive.