The Netflix Apology - A Little Too Late?
Good old Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix) posted an apology on September 18, 2011 to all Netflix customers. Hastings went on to say "I messed up. I owe everyone an apology." Darn tooting you do, sir.
One thing I didn't like was how Hastings mentioned Borders Bookstores as a sort of example of not foreseeing what customers wanted, forcing them to close. Don't slap down another business already gone under dude, that's not making you look any better. Just stick to the facts.
I'm also not impressed how Reed called his blog post not an apology but "an explanation and some reflections." In the Netlfix blog apology (link in reference section), Hastings did apologize but it's what people see in black and white first right? An "explanation" or a "reflection" could mean anything but neither word is a great substitute for the word "apology."
Netflix is evolving and will now introduce "Qwikster" which shall become DVD rentals only and no streaming. Streaming capabilities will now be handled by Netflix - two separate divisions, if you will. Sure you can't get both via the old Netflix avenue because now there will be two companies and two websites unless of course you want both.
As I said above, before Reed apologized I opted out of the DVD mail delivery and now my monthly nut is around $8 plus tax, even lower than it was when I had both. Qwikster (DVD rentals by mail) will also offer customers the ability to order favorite games for PS3, Wii and Xbox, however, Hasting points out in his apology this will be an "upgrade" similar to when they added the ability for DVD customers to order movies on Blu-ray.
There's a short welcome video (shouldn't it be called a short apology video?) from Reed and the Netflix/Qwikster gang (well really only Reed and the very new CEO of Qwikster, Andy Rendich) and you can find it here. As one of my colleagues said to me, the announcement of a new company (Qwikster) comes after the apology. In her words, "You expressed your unhappiness and we're listening. No, we're not changing the price back, but we will change our name." Oh boy how exciting, not one but two companies!
And, Reed was really nice pointing out that now "There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). Members who subscribe to both services will have two entries on their credit card statements, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix." Just what we need, more items to check for accuracy on our credit card bills.
I wasn't able to find out what the new Qwikster will be charging but pricing packages, most likely, will remain the same depending on the number of DVD movies you want delivered at one time and then of course there will be the extra cost for video games but no late fees.
I agree, the apology came a little too late but it did come and for those who really don't want to spend extra money they don't have and increase their home entertainment systems so streaming is possible, it's a good idea all around really isn't it? You can remain angry at Netflix/Qwikster and as a business owner you can also learn from this faux pax by using some common sense and excellent customer service first and then if your market deems it, raise your prices.