Netflix: Why are people still so mad?

By Posted in - Marketing on October 17th, 2011

It’s a More Monday! Maybe you’ve already heard the story, and now here’s a little bit more!

It was a dark and stormy night when I opened up this email from Netflix.


And unfortunately, the story doesn’t get much better from here. In case you’ve missed it, Netflix recently announced a price increase, lost a million subscribers, announced a split between its DVDs-by-mail and online streaming (via Qwikster) services, lost even more subscribers as stocks tumbled and now, is taking it all back (except for the price increase – drat).

Even more unfortunate, most people aren’t taking things as lightly as I am. With thousands of recent additions to the instant streaming movies and TV shows library, including the company’s most recent acquisition of the rights to stream the CW shows, I am left wondering, what’s with all the hate mail, ill-fated comments and general malcontent? Why are people still so mad?

In a recent chat with Mike Allen, advertising aficionado and creative director, I received some insight. “They had the golden goose, and they killed it themselves,” he said. According to Mike, the company, which almost single-handedly put Blockbuster out of business, had one very big, very simple appeal: low cost. Now, people are leaving by the millions because they don’t want to pay the higher fees. “And not to mention they pulled this in the worst economy possible,” he added.

Kris Schindler, PR expert and social media star, agrees. “This is a great example of a company with a lot of brand loyalty that has created its own crisis,” she said. “Netflix should have been communicating all along what makes Netflix so great in the first place, focusing on the new improvements.” In that case, the price change wouldn’t have been so unexpected (and disrupting).

I couldn’t agree more.

But honestly, it’s not the price change that hurts me the most (I was halfway expecting it). What hurts the most is that it was too much, too soon, and now, I’ve got nowhere to go. Aw shucks, Netflix. Why’d you have to go and ruin something so good? I really want to break up with you, but I can’t because where else can I go to watch an entire season of Twin Peaks in just one sitting? I guess this means we’ll stick things out…for now.

Now it’s your turn. Why are you still so mad about the Netflix changes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. We’d love to hear more on this More Monday!



(5) awesome comment(s)...

  • Susan Powell - Reply

    November 8, 2011 at 2:31 am

    I think Netflix is still the best deal around, but I’m mad at them and am not going back. At least not now. Here’s why.

    I feel jerked around. I expected the price hike and could have lived with it. When they wanted to split the business, I was really upset and swtiched to GreenCine. I like GreenCine (but that’s a separate topic).

    I was considering going back to Netflix, and was signing up to do it, when I discovered that now, I HAVE to have streaming. I can have streaming and DVD’s and I can have streaming only, but I can’t have just DVD’s.

    It just bugs me that they are going to give me fewer choices. I like streaming (though the choices used to be limited–I hear they are better now), but I am tired of being manipulated.

    I’m sticking with GreenCine. They seem like a great bunch of movie lovers that have some off beat films.

    • Josephine Butler - Reply

      November 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      Susan, thanks for your input! I have never heard of GreenCine, but it’s nice to know that there are some comparable services out there — I will definitely check it out. I also agree with your comment about feeling jerked around. I think the indecisiveness of company leaders is ultimately what made customers angry — not the split and not even the price hike (like you said, I could have lived with both).

  • Evelyn - Reply

    October 20, 2011 at 3:05 am

    On one hand I applaud those willing to give up privileges to instantly receive guilty pleasure t.v. series with a click of the mouse. On the other hand did we all really think this “too good to be true” deal would last forever at such a low rate?

    I’m a little bummed that now I have to pay more if I still want the option to gain access to all those other obscure movies and shows…but in the end I think it’s worth it.

    Many of my friends and family have opted (with the price increase) to actually give up cable and keep the Netflix. With so many shows and movies available with the service, not to mention other websites, cable and satellite don’t seem to be worth the expense.

    I did think it was pretty funny that with huge negative response at the price increase and plan changes they decided to completely separate the services. Who really thought that would be the best move?

    Anyway, I’m with you…I’ll keep my subscription the way it is for now.

    • Josephine Butler - Reply

      October 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Eve, thanks for your input! I totally agree — Netflix is way more affordable than purchasing a cable TV package (sometimes I can’t believe how much cable TV actually costs)! That’s one way I justify paying more for the services. I won’t allow myself to have both 🙂

      • Dana Hughens -

        October 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm

        Interesting. I never really thought about it replacing my cable subscription. I feel like I just had a huge “ohhhhh, now I get it” moment. I’m a little late to the game. But think about this… I am not a Netflix subscriber. Now I’m considering it. Maybe all of the attention — positive or negative — now has me considering it. Plus, I kinda want to be cool like Josie.

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