Walking the line between nerd and cool.

We Apologize For The Inconvenience

I just got an email from Netflix that ended that way.  Essentially, Netflix is eliminating profiles, the feature that allowed you to have multiple queues on a single account.  The entire text of the email is available on their FAQ.  Jaime and I used this feature to allow us to each have a list of movies we wanted to see at home at all times.  They are going to take away one of the best features they offer.  How is this a good thing?

They aren’t helping themselves any by not giving any of the reasons for doing this.  It will help them “to continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers”  Really?  Well that’s good.  What am I gaining by giving up profiles?  Will all the movies be available via Watch Instantly?

Maybe Blockbuster’s alternative isn’t so bad after all.  But hey, at least they apologized for the inconvenience, so I guess it’s ok.

Update: Netflix has responded.  This is a “final decision.”  And the stupid train just rolls along…


11 responses

  1. I got this this morning, too. The whole tone of the email made me quite angry. It’s full of simple untruths, as you posted – this change does not improve the Netflix website for me (currently in the set of ‘all our customers’), and they’re not sorry, or they wouldn’t do this.

    I’m positive that some bean counter looked at profiles and said “If they want that functionality, they should buy a second account.” That is certainly NOT happening. One way or another, I’m going to ensure that Netflix gets less of my money as a reward for this.

    June 19, 2008 at 11:26 am

  2. Alicia Z

    Is that like saying, “No offense, but…” and then someone says something offensive??

    June 19, 2008 at 11:32 am

  3. Smythe: Jaime is ready to make sure they get none of our money. 🙂 I’m pretty close to that right now as well.

    Alicia: Yea, it is kinda like that. Another good one is when they apologize for how you feel. “I’m sorry you feel that way, but…”

    June 19, 2008 at 1:25 pm

  4. Jaime

    As the secondary profile to our account, it is just maddening that they are going to erase my profile entirely and seriously expect us to say “OK” and keep paying the same amount of money each month.

    It’s like they want me to switch to Blockbuster or something.

    June 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm

  5. Jaime

    And another thing… I’ve heard that they are coming out with some “new features” which don’t work well with profiles. They better be some phenomenal new features. And I mean phenomenal.

    June 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm

  6. The problem is not profiles, though, it’s that they don’t want to fix the poor implementation of profiles that got them into this mess. The problem is that it costs a lot more money to fix the old system than blast it and start new. Digg and Slashdot have both covered the story, so I’m sure they are getting slammed with complaints.

    June 19, 2008 at 5:48 pm

  7. Posted an update above. Sounds like they aren’t budging. I also signed the petition to save profiles. Go me.

    Someone pointed out that if the 2% of users who actually enjoy profiles spend $20/month with Netflix, they are risking $38 Million dollars of revenue on this move.

    Another person noted that this also undoes a lot of advertising about how the ratings/recommendation system is superior to all others. Now you can’t distinguish between users in a household, so the ratings all get lumped together (well, actually you have to re-rate everything on the sub-queue) and we get crummy recommendations.

    June 19, 2008 at 6:12 pm

  8. Pingback: Fun Netflix Protest « Intersections

  9. Jaime


    June 19, 2008 at 10:26 pm

  10. Pingback: Mob Power « Intersections

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