Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Netflix does a Notflix

Nasty little email from Netflix came in today stating that multiple Profiles in a Netflix account will be terminated as of September 1st.

To understand this, let's back up and examine why multiple profiles in a single account are useful. Here is a simple example, you have a spouse or a child who does not share your taste in movies, rather then fighting for control over the Que, each can have their very own queue. Each can manage it separately. Say little Bobby wants to rent The Incredibles for the 4th time, that takes a slot out of his queue, not yours. Your movies keep coming no matter how long he keeps the disc.

I use it and I like it a lot, it was just one more sign that Netflix was working to build the best movie rental system for the customer. Now it seems that they are starting to forget about the customer. This is the only thing that can kill them. Blockbuster with all their might, marketing, and cash could not. Nor could WalMart, or even Amazon. They all died at the gates because the one golden rule of Netflix was that the customer was king.

Maybe it won't be all doom and gloom, maybe I'm overreacting, maybe Netflix will survive and thrive.

I'd be a lot more optimistic had they been more honest about their reasons. Instead, they lob up some seriously lame spin, "While it may be disappointing to see Profiles go away, this change will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers."

UPDATE: Seems like Netflix has returned to its senses and reversed it's decision to do away with profiles:

We Are Keeping Netflix Profiles

Dear James,

You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping Profiles. Thank you for all the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are.

We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused. We hope the next time you hear from us we will delight, and not disappoint, you.

-Your friends at Netflix
I'm guessing whoever wrote the first email got a little talking to about 'spinning' downgrades as upgrades. Perhaps in an effort to further that writer's career they allowed him to seek employment elsewhere.

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