Netflix has apparently grown bored with tricking Americans. Now, the Red Menace is spreading to Canada. Netflix is off to a wonderful start up there too.
According to The Canadian Press, to drum up Canadian interest in Netflix, Netflix hired actors to pose as Netflix fans at a publicity event in Toronto on September 23, 2010. Some of the actors gave interviews to reporters. They did so, because Netflix instructed them to show enthusiasm, "particularly if asked by media to do any interviews."
Certainly, the press is upset about the trick. Netflix is apologizing for the hoax, stating that it was improper. According to Michael Liedtke of the Associated Press, Netflix spokesman, Steve Swasey, even tried to float the excuse that this was all an accident, arising from a fake documentary they needed to make to qualify for permitting. Now, that is a weak excuse. Netflix was probably just trying to fool the Canadian public, and things just backfired on them when the actors broke cover and exposed the scam.
What is wrong with the corporate culture at this shady company? Is Netflix honest in anything they do? Why does this company have to trick people to generate interest? If Netflix will do stuff like this to attract customers, what are they willing to do to existing customers?
Here is some honesty for you. Canadians are getting streaming Netflix service at a cheaper price than Americans. When Etan Vlessing from The Hollywood Reporter asked Reed Hastings, "Are you concerned that American Netflix subscribers will look north and ask for the same discount Canadians get at $7.99?"
The Netflix CEO and founder, Reed Hastings, responded, "How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It's something we'll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed."
So, Netflix does not want to give you American subscribers the same discount as they are giving to the same Canadians they just tried to fool with hired, fake Netflix fans. Reed Hastings thinks his company will get away with this pricing disparity because, apparently, Americans are too self-absorbed to know what is going on in other countries.
Hastings may very well be right about the ignorance of American Netflix subscribers, but do you want to do business with a company run by a man who has so little respect for you that he will publicly suggest you will pay higher prices because you do not know any better?