The Dark Side of Netflix

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Netflix Bets on Gullible Canadians and Ignorant Americans, Eh?

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?


Andrew said...

As a Canadian I can honestly say that there was no need for Netflix to hire actors for thier little launch party. I had been waiting for Netflix to come to Canada for some time.

Regarding the comment made about Americans, he was accurate in his statement, at least I believe he is based on what I have seen over the years. It's even been proven time and time again that most Canadians actually know more about USA than those who have been born and raised there.

Lastly regarding the price difference, you Americans do get the convenience of hell more titles to watch than us plus the DVD mailing program. Canadians are stuck with just streaming and very limited selection of top movies and television shows. I would be willing to pay $10/month just to have the latest episodes of Family Guy, HOUSE, Survivor plus the same latest blockbuster movies like 2012 not too mention classics like In The Heat Of The Night.

Currently most of our selection appear to be "Straight to DVD" titles so I wouldn't bitch too much about the $1 price difference until Canadians actually get up to the exact same thing as you Americans.

Andrew said...

Just noticed that I didn't complete the second paragraph above. It should have also had the following:

Americans on the other hand appear to know barely anything about Canada.

Anonymous said...

@ Andrew ........ Americans don't need to know much about Canada. Why would Americans spend any time studying up on a neighboring nation that can't even provide it's own citizens with a varied selection of DVD's and streaming video? And don't forget about an auto industry, varied retail merchants, a diverse selection of goods and services, etc.,etc.,etc.! Knowing what's going on in Cant-a-dah is the least of our problems. Even in the mess that we're in, you dolts still suffer from your massive obsessive, passive-aggressive, inferiority complex!

You guy's just can't get over the fact that we kicked England's arse, and Canada KISSED England's arse! And,..... NO, you didn't burn down the original White House,.... the mighty Brits did. Canada is, and has always been weak! You can not survive without America! Your nation is dominated by America. And Canadian's show no interest in changing that fact.

P.s. You'd be hard pressed to find any one from any nation that knows much of Canada's history, or is in any way interested in knowing anything about Canada.

Anonymous said...

@Andrew, it has been my experience that Canadians are self-absorbed pussies. Someday in the future my children will murder you while you are streaming Netflix and steal your oil and water.