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Netflix still looking for perfect combination of features and price

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 17 Aug 2007 22:11 User comments (22)

Netflix still looking for perfect combination of features and price In an unusual move for an internet based company, online video rental firm Netflix is no longer taking customer service requests via email. Instead, all support issues will be handled by phone in the future.
“We want to make the best movie experience better,” spokesman Steve Swasey said. “We find that people are more appreciative of talking to a live person 24 hours a day.”

The shift comes as the company battles Blockbuster for online subscribers and loyalty. In July, Netflix reported its first quarterly loss in subscribers.

Swasey said there’s not a material difference in cost of moving from e-mail to phone support.

“The very best e-mail program is still not as good as a live person on the phone,” he said.

Netflix also continues to test different price points on plans, apparently sending an e-mail to select subscribers of the three-movies-out plan today dropping the price by $1 to $15.99. The retailer just cut the price of that plan by $1 in July.

Source: Video Business

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22 user comments

117.8.2007 22:44

I seem to always get a moron on the phone every time I call a call center for any company, but still I love being able to talk to a live person.

You can always go to Get Human to get the live numbers for a ton of other companies.

218.8.2007 0:47

3 unlimited for 12.99+2 tax= 14 a month for unlimited DVDs from teh flix.

hell take it down to 10 a month a throttle it to death :P

318.8.2007 6:02

Originally posted by ZIppyDSM:
3 unlimited for 12.99+2 tax= 14 a month for unlimited DVDs from teh flix.

hell take it down to 10 a month a throttle it to death :P
Zippy, you cheap bum, I think the problem is you need a pay raise! ;-)

418.8.2007 8:07

WTF?!?!?
If there's no difference in cost, why not offer both?
I don't want to talk to some clueless operator in India when I have a billing problem! So I now have to call them during the hours of whatever and whatever, wait for an operator and then try to dumb down the description of the problem? "I'm sorry, sir. Maybe you should call back during the day and try to get someone who isn't wasting your time? Like when the technical guy who might understand you isn't at lunch, or who knows where." This was one of the things I liked about Netflix. When you e-mailed them, they took care of your problem and got back to you, unlike Blockbuster who could care less.

518.8.2007 8:20
webe123
Inactive

Originally posted by mspurloc:
WTF?!?!?
If there's no difference in cost, why not offer both?
I don't want to talk to some clueless operator in India when I have a billing problem! So I now have to call them during the hours of whatever and whatever, wait for an operator and then try to dumb down the description of the problem? "I'm sorry, sir. Maybe you should call Next timeback during the day and try to get someone who isn't wasting your time? Like when the technical guy who might understand you isn't at lunch, or who knows where." This was one of the things I liked about Netflix. When you e-mailed them, they took care of your problem and got back to you, unlike Blockbuster who could care less.
Next time BEFORE you go off on a stupid rant...try to READ the post FIRST!

“We find that people are more appreciative of talking to a live person 24 hours a day.”

It DOES say 24 hours a day.....not just business hours. And as far as the India remark, how do you know WHO you are going to talk to?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Aug 2007 @ 8:21

618.8.2007 11:08
jumpgrid
Inactive

I've used the Netflix customer service last Sunday. And it is the Best I've ever used. They were in English, and I got through on the third ring on a Sunday afternoon. Now, I was calling to cancel my account, but that's another story.

718.8.2007 14:29

Instead of calling customer service to cancel your membership, they should allow their users to cancel by using the site.

818.8.2007 16:20
jumpgrid
Inactive

Locobrown, no no, I should have explained it. You can cancel on the site. But If you don't want to cancel, you can put your account on hold for up to three months. I put the acount on hold, and I forgot about it, and thats why I called up.

918.8.2007 22:13

I'm glad Netflix is hurting. They lied to me anyway. There was a lawsuit filed by a man in California about Netflix lieing about UNLIMITED rentals and they were holding rentals a day or two before sending dvds out to post office. This happened to me also.
I got a letter from Netflix saying that if I don't add myself to the lawsuit that they would give me a free month of rentals. I never got the free month.

1019.8.2007 4:40
the2twins
Inactive

lol i h8 them automated machines on the other site of the phone!
_____________________________________________________________________
lol no need to buy them if you think the movies arent worth the money lol i jus watch them on www.plentytostream.co.nr

1119.8.2007 18:42

As someone who worked as a call center representative; I know that a lot of people will get whatever answer 'sounds' most correct and give it to the customer. 4/5 it's correct, but by not checking you give 1/5 customers some really bad info. I always checked more carefully before giving information; but I was a rare exception to the rule.

Look at it this way, you're going to be dealing with an idiot, one way or another. So, if you're stuck wading through a bunch of bullcrap, in order to get your situation(whatever it happens to be) taken care of; isn't it nicer to wade through the crap in a couple minutes on the phone, than to wait an hour(at best) or a few days to a week to get it sorted out via e-mail?

Some places outsource to foreign countries, and many times, you can tell. M$ does it with their xbox live phone support; the reps have an underlying accent, and can only understand words that come up a lot. If you don't use just the right phrase, they get thrown off; and they just pick out a few words they know to try and scramble the next canned response for you. I had to deal with them and an ongoing problem for more than one month, each time I was on hold for more than one HOUR before finally getting through to a manager who had some vague concept of what the problem was(As well as a firm grasp of the English language). It was a nightmare. But only a few companies do that, and reports have been good with Netflix. Not to mention [b]24 hour[/i] support is always nice. It means that no matter what day or time, you can reach out, pick up the phone and chew someone's head off for something that isn't their doing. lol.

Seriously though, Netflix is finding that they're really going to have to compete with Blockbuster now; since the big blue and yellow has finally gotten things right(I was there when they first started their online.... And it was far from 'right'.) Not to mention that Blockbuster has a sort of 'bolstered' advertising, since they can advertise all over the store that you walk into anyways.

Netflix is going to have to figure out a new campaign to keep revenue from slipping. After working for BB, I hope that NF outdoes them. Perhaps Netflix just needs to be the umpteenth company to buy out Hollywood Video(Since they seem to get bought out every year or so when they flounder again.) I'm curious to see what they do; and I don't doubt they've got more ideas up their sleeve.

I'm waiting to see more companies like NF and BB do an online system that allows for DVDs and games, there are a few smaller services which do; and the subscribers seem to like it, perhaps that might give NF an edge? Then again, it's not like BB couldn't just follow suit all over again. I'm just curious to see what comes next.

1219.8.2007 18:49

handsom
Yo man whats up how ya been? ^^

I think netflicks needs games as well as keep at their online content,for 24 a month for 4 DVD/Games ontop of their online services they could well retake the net by storm,they need to buyout or join with gamefly,anyone get gamefly do they use more than the papper packaging to protect gamediscs?

thats the only downside to games they are 30-50 a pop.

1320.8.2007 13:05

Quote:
Originally posted by mspurloc:
It DOES say 24 hours a day.....not just business hours. And as far as the India remark, how do you know WHO you are going to talk to?
Yeah, really now-a-days it's a surprise to have the place you call NOT be in India. Maybe it wont be in India, but it most likely will not be in the USA, which means it will be harder to understand who you're talking to.

1420.8.2007 13:38
jumpgrid
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by mspurloc:
It DOES say 24 hours a day.....not just business hours. And as far as the India remark, how do you know WHO you are going to talk to?
Yeah, really now-a-days it's a surprise to have the place you call NOT be in India. Maybe it wont be in India, but it most likely will not be in the USA, which means it will be harder to understand who you're talking to.
The call site is in the USA. Seriously. I've called them, its a Great service.

1520.8.2007 21:29
boober
Inactive

Does NetFlix still throttle? I am looking to jump ship with Blockbuster for raising prices and lowering service. As a former member of NetFlix, I was none too sorry to leave because of their throttling issues. Just wondering if that had been resolved.

1621.8.2007 1:17

Originally posted by boober:
Does NetFlix still throttle? I am looking to jump ship with Blockbuster for raising prices and lowering service. As a former member of NetFlix, I was none too sorry to leave because of their throttling issues. Just wondering if that had been resolved.
if you try for more than 18 videos a month ya they are going to throttle you I suppose.

1721.8.2007 22:15

I would have to say have both versions at the same time cause i have delt with some awful phone support and emails can be a lot better even if they can link to sites that have a manual or a help file for the consumers problem.

1822.8.2007 4:25

Originally posted by borhan9:
I would have to say have both versions at the same time cause i have delt with some awful phone support and emails can be a lot better even if they can link to sites that have a manual or a help file for the consumers problem.
ya ya but that breaks the 20 a month I might want to spend on it :P

1922.8.2007 18:01

Originally posted by webe123:
Originally posted by mspurloc:
WTF?!?!?
If there's no difference in cost, why not offer both?
I don't want to talk to some clueless operator in India when I have a billing problem! So I now have to call them during the hours of whatever and whatever, wait for an operator and then try to dumb down the description of the problem? "I'm sorry, sir. Maybe you should call Next timeback during the day and try to get someone who isn't wasting your time? Like when the technical guy who might understand you isn't at lunch, or who knows where." This was one of the things I liked about Netflix. When you e-mailed them, they took care of your problem and got back to you, unlike Blockbuster who could care less.
Next time BEFORE you go off on a stupid rant...try to READ the post FIRST!

“We find that people are more appreciative of talking to a live person 24 hours a day.”

It DOES say 24 hours a day.....not just business hours. And as far as the India remark, how do you know WHO you are going to talk to?
I did read it. You're not going to get somebody who knows what they're talking about 24 hours a day. If you'd ever worked in customer service, you'd know that.

2022.8.2007 18:15

Originally posted by boober:
Does NetFlix still throttle? I am looking to jump ship with Blockbuster for raising prices and lowering service. As a former member of NetFlix, I was none too sorry to leave because of their throttling issues. Just wondering if that had been resolved.
There was an excellent piece on this last month. They do throttle and they give preferential treatment to low volume renters. They call it a "fairness algorithm." Still, they're better than Blockbuster, who can't even seem to get their Web app to run on Firefox without it slowing to a halt.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Aug 2007 @ 18:16

2122.8.2007 18:19

Originally posted by jumpgrid:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by mspurloc:
It DOES say 24 hours a day.....not just business hours. And as far as the India remark, how do you know WHO you are going to talk to?
Yeah, really now-a-days it's a surprise to have the place you call NOT be in India. Maybe it wont be in India, but it most likely will not be in the USA, which means it will be harder to understand who you're talking to.
The call site is in the USA. Seriously. I've called them, its a Great service.
Yes, they're based in Oregon, for now.
Lots of customer service starts out here.
It just never stays here long, when the prices are undercut.

2225.8.2007 6:08

Having a midrange computer here, and Verizon's cheapest internet service, Netflix's streaming video service works good enough to watch. But lacks quality. Tha's probably why the Web looks bad with Firefox here. Been waiting for Firefox 3. And a better Linux that does everything for a newbee non programmer.

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