The Dark Side of Netflix

Netflix Underground is not affiliated with Netflix, Inc.


Reporting Netflix Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Violations

If you are exercising your Netflix class action lawsuit settlement benefits and notice any potential violations of the settlement terms or anything unusual, you may wish to contact the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco ( in regard to the Frank Chavez vs. Netflix case (Case Number: CGC-04-434884). Judge Thomas Mellon was involved in the settlement.

The attorneys for Frank Chavez are Adam Gutride and Seth Safier of Gutride Safier LLP (

Click here to read about your settlement benefits.

Click here to read the Frank Chavez vs. Netflix settlement agreement.


Missing-DVD Pitfall in the Netflix Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

If you intend to exercise your settlement benefits from the Chavez vs. Netflix class action lawsuit, be very cautious about the missing-DVD pitfall in the settlement. If you accept DVDs from Netflix, you will have to make certain you return the DVDs within the allotted timeframe and that Netflix acknowledges the returns. Otherwise, you risk being charged for the missing DVDs.

Many former Netflix subscribers have complained their credit cards were charged for missing DVDs after canceling their Netflix accounts. The reports of this practice are so common that Netflix looks suspiciously as if they might be pretending to not receive DVDs from canceling subscribers just to squeeze extra money out of each departing subscriber. This practice has never been proven, but the occurrences raise suspicion.

If this dishonest business practice does exist, the Chavez vs. Netflix settlement beneficiaries are at a considerable risk of being charged for DVDs which Netflix does not acknowledge receiving. A beneficiary ending a three-out plan could easily be on the hook for $60 or more after his/her free subscription month. That is a lot to pay for one free month of DVDs.

If you are concerned that Netflix may fraudulently charge you for DVDs you actually returned, you may reduce your risk by taking some extra precautions. The steps below could help you dispute any illegitimate charges on your credit card from Netflix.
  1. A few days before your free subscription ends, delete every title from your queue. This should prevent Netflix from shipping more DVDs to you.
  2. At least one day before your subscription ends, use the Netflix Web site to report as missing any DVDs you have not yet received.
  3. Return all of your DVDs to Netflix within the allotted timeframe, mailing the DVDs using USPS tracking numbers and/or signature verification. This will provide proof of return.
  4. Save full documentation of your actions.
In the following months, carefully check your credit card statements. If Netflix still charges your credit card for missing DVDs (or makes any other unjustified charges), immediately contact Netflix to dispute the problem. If Netflix does not fully credit the unjustified charges to your credit card, contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. In many circumstances, your credit card company will reverse the charges, and you will not have to pay.

If you feel Netflix is a completely honest and ethical company who would never attempt to cheat you, then none of these precautions are necessary. However, if you think Netflix may be a shady and greedy company, which is always looking for ways to milk its customers, be cautious. If Netflix fooled you once, shame on them. If Netflix fools you twice, shame on you.


You Win, Profiles Feature Will Survive for Now

Amidst a subscriber outcry, Netflix has reversed its decision to eliminate the Profiles feature. For now, the Profiles queue management tool will survive.

This whole episode has been ridiculous. From the beginning, the move to eliminate Profiles never made sense. What was Netflix thinking? Why is Netflix so out of touch with its customers that it was unaware many subscribers were deeply attached to this feature? Besides, what sort of company eliminates features from its service? Isn’t the whole idea of innovation and progress to keep adding features and options to enhance overall service?


Netflix to Eliminate Profiles Feature

Netflix is planning to eliminate the Profiles feature on September 1, 2008. Some customers use this feature all the time and love it. Others do not care. Regardless, why would Netflix take away a feature that many customers like so strongly? Could the Profiles feature really cost Netflix that much money? Is this just a publicity stunt? This move just does not make sense. If you have any theories or thoughts about why Netflix would make such a strange move, please post them here.


The Credit Card Chargeback: Your Magical Ability to Turn Back Time

Did you know, that if any shifty merchant ever places an illegitimate charge on your credit card, it is your consumer right to dispute the charge with your credit card company? All you have to do is dial the toll-free customer service number on the back of your credit card and tell a service representative that you wish to place a particular charge in dispute.

Your credit card company will investigate your claim. If your credit card company determines the shifty merchant has unjustly charged your card, your credit card company has the power to recover your money from the shifty merchant in the form of a chargeback. In a chargeback, money is taken from the merchant (often along with penalties) and refunded back to your credit card account. In summary, the shifty merchant loses your money and you get it back like nothing ever happened.

If a shifty DVD-by-mail company places illegitimate charges your credit card, consider opening a dispute through your credit card company. You might just find you have the magical ability to turn back time.


Complain, Complain, Complain: Giving Netflix Real-Time Feedback

If you get cheated by a corporation, your options are limited. You can boycott the company, badmouth the business to friends, involve the government, or start a consumer advocacy Web site like this one. If none of those options work for you, you can always resort to good old-fashioned complaining. Ah yes, the time-honored tradition of just picking up the phone, getting a customer service representative on the line, and detailing every little thing that annoys you about the company.

Complaining is a very common consumer tactic, and that is because it works. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Unhappy customers who do not speak up, get ignored; however, the ones who keep speaking up, get heard. These vocal consumers often get results in the form of discounts, refunds, freebies, upgrades, etc. Even if these disgruntled patrons do not get perks for their efforts, they do get the benefit of emotional release. Whining can be extremely cathartic.

If Netflix has wronged you in some way, you can always give them a call and let them know exactly how you feel about their transgressions. You do not have wait for a special occasion either. Every time Netflix causes you an inconvenience, frustration, or delay, maybe they should hear about it and explain to you why the weekend is approaching, a single DVD is being shipped from Honolulu, and two of the DVDs you mailed back on Monday have mysteriously not yet been “checked in” by Netflix. If Netflix is doing weird things to your account, the least the company can do is explain why.

Complaining can get results, and one of the most effective methods is via phone. Fortunately, reaching Netflix is cheap and easy. You can call them toll-free at the following numbers.

(800) 279-5688

(800) 585-8131

(888) 638-3549


Rude Netflix Customer Service

In The Huffington Post, an article by Ron Galloway ("Netflix Death Watch") claims indifferent, arrogant, and rude treatment from Netflix customer service representatives. Have you noticed Netflix customer service representatives getting more unpleasant recently? If so, post your Netflix customer service story here.