Our family has been using Netflix for quite some time now and have been relatively loyal, despite their occasional lapse of forward-thinking judgment (fans likely remember when they tried to remove the secondary queue…). The service itself has been nearly flawless, while their handling of customer challenges and complaints second to none.
Even the best companies have their hiccups and growing pains and Netflix has been struggling with rising costs and increased competition. The most recent set of announcements, however, have sent my husband and I scurrying for an alternative option. The first announcement raised prices, while the second outline the division of their DVD mailing and streaming services in a new site, Qwikster (for DVD mailing) and the current site, Netflix (or streaming). We simply didn’t want to pay more for less content and less services. And we REALLY didn’t want to maintain two separate accounts (streaming and DVD mailing) where we currently have one.
Much like the queue incident, Netflix saw a roaring outcry from customers. The result? A drop in company stocks and the estimated loss of more than 1 million subscribers.
Despite the challenges, Netflix was prominent as a partner at the recent Facebook press conference announcing massive changes there. And then they announced a new exclusive contract with DreamWorks Animation for all of their movies. Hits like Kung Fu Panda and Shrek will now be available only through Netflix streaming.
So what does a company do when their fans cry foul? A good one takes a step back, apologizes and regroups. There is nothing to be done about the price hike, but Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced a change of plans for the ill-fated Qwikster service. The change is that there will be no change. For now, anyway, Netflix DVD by mail service and streaming service will remain one.
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