The Dark Side of Netflix

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10/11/2011

Qwikster? What Qwikster?

Netflix has done another 180. Customers got angry about all of the ridiculous changes at Netflix, and now Netflix is trying to un-ring the bell on the stupidest move the company has made in years.

Qwikster was ridiculed as a stupid name, but now the name seems sort of fitting, because the fledgling company did not last very long. The Qwikster spin-off (Netflix's answer to New Coke) proved so profoundly unpopular with consumers, Netflix scrapped the new company, which was really just Netflix in disguise. For now, Netflix plans to keep its DVD-by-mail and streaming services under one name and one Web site.

It is interesting to see how quickly Netflix will backtrack when the company realizes customers have become unacceptably angry. Also note Netflix did not kill Qwikster until well after the consumer backlash got out of control. The Qwikster name was already showing up in advertisements. It was practically a done deal. This mistake had to cost Netflix a lot of money, and it has cost the company a huge amount of credibility. The stakes were pretty high on this Qwikster launch. If the subscribers had not revolted so harshly, there is no doubt they would have gotten stuck with Qwikster.

If you were hoping Netflix is going to take back the 60% rate hike and two separate plans for DVD-by-mail and streaming, keep hoping. The higher fees and service split are here to stay. Although, past behavior indicates that Netflix will reverse its course if enough subscribers cancel.

Netflix has truly failed on this split of DVD-by-mail and streaming. What was once a beacon of innovation (for some) in the business world now looks like a sad, reactive, desperate, and pathetic company. With this whole service-split debacle, Netflix sort of came off looking like, well, Blockbuster a few years ago. Way to go, Netflix. Start imitating the company you once humiliated.

11 comments:

glennsworld57 said...

Just the months of idiocy coming up this whole idea and then cancelling probably cost million. Who do you think is going to pay for that ??

Anonymous said...

Netflix is such a rudderless ship right now. I already DID cancel - and I was (not) shocked by the fact that the most obvious reason why I would be cancelling was not on the list of options on the "why are you leaving us?" survey.

Anonymous said...

the previous commenter is right. the "why are you leaving us?" survey didn't let you choose "Your 60% increase sucks and I don't want to pay double for half the services thanks!" so, the redbox is getting my dvd business but i am seriously considering going back to blockbuster. my sister has had it for a month and she loves their new price structure. i never thought i'd say that i was going back to blockbuster.

Anonymous said...

Suddenly the turnaround for DVD shipments (non-new releases) is slower. A DVD mailed in San Jose Friday morning is only just received on Monday. Previously they would process on Saturday. I should go back to streaming....

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have noticed that they "don't receive" the DVDs I mail back as soon as they used to. They do not want to send me any new releases either, and believe me I used to be able to get all the new releases I wanted (i.e. I know how and when to mail back my DVDs). Am so tired of being lied to. A Netflix membership is getting more like a losing lottery ticket. I have started buying the DVDs I really want to watch, something I never did before.

I plan to downgrade my membership later today from 5 at a time to maybe 2. However I am really worried they will say they don't receive the discs I mail back today. It is depressing, from such a great company to just a scam.

Anonymous said...

Netflix emailed that I'd get a bonus DVD this year -- I normally get two at a time, and (they claimed) I'd get three at once, and they'd need to get two back from me before I'm back on the two-at-a-time plan. Yea? Hardly. I clicked "yes, I'd like this" and sure enough they sent my next disk to me yesterday. Of course, I only had one disk at home, since my other was already in the mail back to them. Today, they got it, and nope, I get no more disks until I mail back my other one. My holiday "gift" from Netflix was one day chopped off the mailing lag between my return Monday and my receipt today (assuming, of course, it even is delivered today). Big, HUGE thanks for the gift, Netflix. Sorry I can't return the favor in some special way to you -- oh wait, I didn't cancel when you upped my cost 30%. Yeah, let my stupid decision to continue my subscription be my gift to you.

Anonymous said...

What is a Netflix?? Xx

Anonymous said...

I don't know the licensing fees for Netflix I have heard upwards of a Billion but NFlx streaming service is appaling! The selection of movies is non existent! Let's get with the 21st century Nflx and only offer streaming services. Let everyone else be old school, in order to survive streaming is the way forward not mailing DVD's! Lameola!! I mean movies from 60 years ago are on DVD or unavailable. I see your dinosaur of a company under the sand like the wooley mammoth soon. Assimilate or die!

Jryad said...

I am glad they did not go through with this.

Anonymous said...

Check out what happened to me.! After being a long time (since 2004) customer of Netflix, they apparently got upset with me and canned me as a customer! What gives? I mailed them back the 6 discs I had about a week ago. Netflix never received them, so I reported them as missing. I never heard anything back from Netflix. Then, I tried to log in to my account. I got a message telling me that my request could not be completed. So, I phoned the customer service number. I told the customer service rep what was happening, so he put me on hold. He returned to the phone a few minutes later and informed me that as of today, I was no longer a customer of Netflix. I was just stunned to say the least. The *** then went on to tell me that the decision had been made by the company, not me. The reason for their decision was that I had lost too many of their discs. I didn't lose ANYTHING, I sent them back like I was SUPPOSED to do. The f'n post office lost them. They said they understood, but once a customer reports too many as lost, then it raises flags, or some kind of crap, and they have to take action. So, they "fired" me as a customer. Now, my question is, how do I make Netflix regret this. I don't mean doing anything drastic, but I want my story to go public, letting people know what kind of company Netflix is. Blaming me instead of looking into the post office, which is the party responsible for losing the discs. Not to mention, the insinuation that I am a thief! I mean, WHAT THE *&%%!!!! I'm so angry right now, I can't see straight. After 7 and a half years of loyal service, these jerks terminate my account. What type of company just up and terminates a loyal customer's account? Fuck them!! This Goddamn shit is personal now!!

timber investments said...

Netlix is fading fast