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My biggest complaint with Netflix lately has been their total "retrenchment" from "true" customer service. Having joined in the summer of 2000, I'm virtually a charter member. I started out as a "4 out at a time" DVD customer, and was "grandfathered in" at the "3 out at a time" price when they had their first price increase. I used to be able to send Customer Service an e-mail, requesting DVD titles that they didn't carry. Oftentimes they would add these films to their library in short order (or even answer if they couldn't or didn't want to). I joined Blockbuster & Wal-Mart on several occasions (FREE TRIALS for 30 days) to rent the stuff Netflix didn't carry. I wrote them about what I was doing and they started adding a lot of esoteric films to their catalog, so I dropped their competitors. If I had a DVD in my number 1 position for a few weeks that they couldn't fulfill, they'd would send me a 5th DVD as sort of an apology. When streaming first started, I would notice a problem on some films & send them an e-mail & they would fix the problem quickly. Well, now they've squashed Blockbuster (Wal-Mart gave up long ago). You can't e-mail anyone anymore - you're only option is to talk to some Customer Service rep, who promises "to relay your concerns to a higher authority". Yeah, right. In the meantime, Netflix has become fixated on streaming & has stopped supporting a lot of smaller DVD distributors, no longer carrying a lot of new or catalog releases from companies like VCI, MONDO Macabro, Dark Sky, Mya, etc., etc., etc. They aren't replacing worn out discs that are still available in the marketplace for sale, simply listing a growing list of catalog titles as "unavailable". Their streaming library is littered with B-features that most users will never view (although I've watched a number of these), but they routinely add foriegn features without supplying dubbed or sub-titled copies. If you call to complain, nothing is ever done. Then they mess around with the Instant Watch queue so that you can't sort anything, delete anything, etc., but when you call to complain you get nowhere. Now, I'm faced with a 50% price increase come September 1. And there is no way to get satisfaction from their Customer Service Department when you complain, because no one is empowered to do anything. I want Reed Hasting's physical Office mailing address and his e-mail address. This blog would provide a great service by posting those little pieces of info somewhere. I'm tired of messing around with peons & I want to go right to the top. I'm not sure this bozo is paying any attention to what he's let happen to his company. And I don't give a crap what kind of licensing fees he has to pay for streaming, 'cause I didn't ask for that in the first place. I might be better off going to Amazon for that, at the rate NF is going. In other words, I'M NOT HAPPY!!!!!
I'm virtually a Charter Member with NETFLIX and have been on the "4 Out at a Time" plan from the beginning. While I rent plenty of New releases, my original reason for joining Netflix was to order catalog titles of older releases, simply because local video stores rarely stocked any sort of significant assortment of these types of titles. My primary focus was older Horror/Sci-Fi & Classic titles. For years, Netflix seemed to carry everything I wanted and if they didn't have it, you could E-Mail them a title suggestion, and they would often times add it. In the meantime, I experimented with other video rental companies, such as RAREFLIX, Wal-Mart Online & Blockbuster and was able to see a number of films that NETFLIX didn't offer. However, NETFLIX quickly caught up, so I dropped all of these additional services. Up until recently, my satisfaction with their DVD service level remained high, but I began noticing about a year ago that many newly released catalog titles that I wanted to rent remained in my "SAVED" queue (Release Date Unknown) or were not even being offered. The ability to suggest titles via E-Mail also disappeared. I called Customer Service to complain about this and the technicians were "very sympathetic" and indicated that they would communicate my problem upstream, but nothing has ever happened to rectify it. In addition, I've had umpteen titles in my queue move through a variety of statuses - "Short Wait", "Long Wait", "Very Long Wait" all the way to "Unavailable". In nearly every case I've checked, the "Unavailable" title is still available for purchase, but Netflix has opted not to repurchase it. I can understand NETFLIX making an "educated" decision not to restock a title that has generated marginal traffic due to low demand, however, I'm not happy with them offering new catalog titles that never move from a "SAVED" status to "AVAILABLE", nor am I happy with them apparently severing relations with some of the smaller DVD companies & no longer offering any new releases from them (i.e.; Companies like Synapse, MONDO MACABRO, Mya & others). I will say this in their defense - I'm rarely ever been throttled on New Releases; I enjoy consistent 1 day service (shipment to receipt); and they routinely send me a 5th DVD if something I've ordered ships from a Distribution Center well beyond my service area. I also enjoy their streaming service on both my TV and our family PC's, however, I don't want to rely on streaming only. With Blockbuster going up for auction, my fear is that NETFLIX will not have any viable competitors in the DVD/BLU-RAY delivery arena, which means that they can pretty much ignore customer concerns & begin to also dictate pricing, leading to more & more cost increases. The big question is "WHAT IS THE BEST VEHICLE FOR COMPLAINING TO NETFLIX"? It's pretty obvious that calling Customer Service isn't it.
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May 21, 2010