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Alphadawg7

It's nice that they finally decided to make a statement about it. Yes, they did drop the ball. We may be only 2%, but we are still customers.

Mavis24PATTERSON

Various people in every country receive the loans in different creditors, just because that is easy.

not unpreposterous

What it says: We’ve read every blog post, Tweet, news article and call log to Customer Service by those of you who are upset about this decision. To you, we apologize for not being more upfront earlier.

What it means: We read all your bitching, and we've had record recent profits while many of our costs have dropped, but we're going to BS you about allocating resources because you don't mean jack. So long, suckers.

By the way, Todd, I don't consider that an apology.

Billy

I enjoyed the Friends feature, but I didn't use it all that much. Why? Because it had a lot of limitations that Netflix never addressed.

I understand Netflix's rationale up to a point, but maybe they never passed 2% because Netflix never improved Friends and barely advertised that it ever existed? Seems fairly self-fulfilling.

I'm guessing Top 10 Lists are next? Those don't seem to have made the cut in the site re-design. Sigh...

Opinionated Gal

Alphadog: Sadly, it wasn't niceness that forced them to acknowledge the plans to remove Friends (which they never adequately promoted because it was just an "experiment," not a commitment, but one that distinguished them from the other movie sites and provided an exciting form of community). No, it was protesting Netflixers who forced their hand. And why do you suppose they kept that little change in policy from us until we got so vocal? You think they might have expected a little uprising of angry users? Netflix's policy has become one of outright lies -- including the "cost" and "resources" that go into supporting what used to make the site so special. puh-leeze!

Yawn

Oh boy, what will we all bitch about next....

Johannah

Todd, you and your company suck!!!!

Kilroy

One of the 98% here. Thanks for the apology, Mr. VP -- it accomplished your purpose of keeping the 2%'s whining from alienating us in the 98%.

I personally agree with Billy -- I never saw much use from the Friends List because it didn't really do what I wanted. Netflix tends to make things better, not worse. If it makes sense to have a feature like Friends in their application, then they'll find a way to bring it back -- just rebranded as something bigger and better that can be marketed to 100% of their user base, not just 2%.

Tester

An open post to Todd Yellin.

Since you CLAIM to read every post I truly hope you personally read this one.

Every time Netflix screws something up we members read different bullshit messages made up by your public relations people, and said by people like you, about how sorry you are or how it's going to make things better or some other BS. Guess what Todd...you're not being believed by most of us.

Next time you want to post here Todd please give me advance notice. This way I can put on my hip boots because when your ilk speak the shit gets mighty deep.

James M.

Does anyone know what happened to the links to other seasons of TV shows on a given season's page? It was really convenient to be able to see at a glance how many seasons were on DVD (or to switch to the next season when instant watching) without having to run a search.

Dan

I think part of the problem is that this post should have happened before the redesign. Ultimately this isn't as bad as when they almost killed profiles. Though, the friends functionality really made profiles better. Now if my wife and I add the same movie it's not easy to tell.

I just want to add that with 10 million subscribers 2% is 200,000 customers. When you expand the statistics you find that it's a lot of people. I think they're betting that only a tiny fraction of those people will leave as a direct result of this. That may be true, but the long-term consequence is that we begin to lose faith in the site. I'm reminded again that I need to move my ratings and reviews elsewhere.

TIm

I've never found much value in the Friends feature either. However, this statement should have been made up front 'cuz now it does ring a bit "oops, you caught us".

That said, I get the logic. No business can be successful by being all things to everybody.

What I'm having a hard time understanding why so many, like Tester above, are acting like they dropped their pacifier. If you don't like a decision made by a corporation, you can stop giving them money as a direct and much more effective way to let them know your disapproval. I've done it many times.

jobo

Something still stinks to high heaven here. This is the strangest approach to feature revision I've ever seen.

They demote the feature. Then it just disappears. Man up - set a date and say "On this date we will no longer offer the following". This stealth approach makes no sense. Phasing out will continue?

It leads me to believe the real motivation here is not about the 200,000 customers that use these features but that these people use Netflix much more heavily and are not revenue positive.

If you upset and discourage them maybe they will leave. In biz school there is a school of thought about how to get rid of unprofitable customers.

Failing that - if you subtly make it harder for them to discover new content they like perhaps their utilization will drop and they will no longer be unprofitable customers.

It could be as some have suggested that Netflix wants to steer people away from the so called long tail titles and away from mailed DVD's to their instant watch titles in general.

The thing is - their approach makes no sense looked at from the customer POV - so the trick is finding the perspective Netflix is using where it does make sense. The financial angle is the only one that's resonated with me to date, otherwise why would they so openly antagonize their most vocally enthusiastic customers?


P.S. - the removal of the related movies for TV series and movie sequels makes no sense at all to me in any scenario.

things

I dunno...I really like this feature. Please keep it guys.

Jeff Chambliss

I did not use the Friends feature and will not miss it. But they should have notified all customers at the time they made the decision to phase out that feature-BEFORE its functionality was removed. That would have just been good customer service.

Seth

A+ answer that could be used in a textbook.

They made a mistake, they addressed it and candidly explained it. You will see fewer than 1 in 100 companies handle something like this.

ack154

Sadly this won't stop those 2% from whining about it. Though I hope they remove all of the stupid "reviews" about it. Just ridiculous. Frustration with feature removal is no reason to act like a f-ing 3 year old.

eviltimes

A poor excuse for a human being. Or a corporation. I am currently raising money to take the "unprofitable" DVD rental business away from Netflix. And I will promote a healthy social environment to keep my customers happy. Have fun streaming limited content over a low bandwidth system, Reed. I'm sure you've already profited enough from your soon to be former customers.

JNGross

Its very simple: Friends is another tool for recommending content that is outside the managed experience that Netflix wants to control. Netflix wants to direct you to the esoteric, older low cost titles with their engine. People who rely on Friends (much more than 2%) are costing them more $$ than the average subscriber b/c the former tend to rent more current material. New material costs much more to rent than old.

Perkins Cobb

I don't care about the friends thing, but the wording in that press release (and aspects of the site redesign) confirm my feeling that Netflix is now aggressively pushing customers toward their low-res, limited-selection streaming library, so that they can hasten a scaling back of DVD shipments.

(NF also seems to be a lot less attentive to the stocking of new catalog DVD titles over the last 6-12 months, even as the number of catalog releases drops like a rock.)

Sock Puppet

@ ack154 So your answer is to act like a 2 year old and whine cause we wont write actual reviews for you anymore? BooHoo!

@ jobo & James M. The removal of related movies, sequels and TV series is supposed to make it easier for us to find related content. That is according to Todd from Netflix.

@ Billy Absolutely... Lists are going next, they are phasing out all the friend features, and lists was mentioned as another to be removed.

The part that I have a problem with is that someone who is supposed to be in charge of making the site decisions has his own site.

toddyellin.com

How are we supposed to feel confident he knows whats best for an internet site, when he does not even know how to resize an image or setup a home page?

Tester

@Tim:

Where, in my post, am I acting like a child?

I simply said that Netflix always has feeble excuses whenever they do something the members don't like. I also said that I believe their excuses are BS.

If you equate someone saying how they feel with acting like a child then welcome to the club because you also said how you feel, (about myself and others), in your post.

Jonnywhoops

I used and liked the Friends features, and I'm sorry to see them go. That being said, is this really something to get so passionate about?

Netflix is a company which must, on a daily basis, make decisions about where to dedicate resources. Ultimately, like any company, their choices will either prove to be well made or not. For some customers it will be dispositive and cause them to leave, for others they will like the changes or not care.

Here, if the loss of the friends feature so fundamentally upsets you that it outweighs the benefits of the other services Netflix provides, you should remove yourself as a customer. If, on the other hand, this is something you don't care about, or something you care about but not enough to leave Netflix, then you should stay. Let's remember, though, that Netflix is fundamentally about delivering us movies in various formats (online, through the mail). That is, and should remain, their core function. Extras, such as friends features, are very nice for a tiny percentage of us but not CORE to what everyone joins for - getting movies.

There's nothing wrong with letting Netflix (or any other) company know that you disagree with one of their decisions, but to act as if such things are personal affronts, or to attack corporate representatives for trying to explain the policy, is both silly and demonstrative of a fundamental misunderstanding both of how corporate decisionmaking occurs. Nobody did this TO you, it's just a choice a for profit company made. Either accept it or leave.

Zatz

This headline is awesome. Maybe accidentally. Is Netflix a murderer? Or they don't like Courtney Cox? :)

Tester

@Sock Puppet:

"How are we supposed to feel confident he knows whats best for an internet site, when he does not even know how to resize an image or setup a home page?"

ROFLMAO

Bob

Sorry Johnnywhoops, I didn't realize you were the one who told us what we can and can't get passionate about.

Can you forgive us?

May we breathe now please?

Bob

I just don't buy that removing Friends suddenly frees up tons of other resources.

I just don't buy it. Is it really that expensive of a feature to run?

Are you telling me they have a "Team" assigned to that aspect of things?

I mean, Netflix makes over 100,000,000 per year and it's eating up too many resources to run this simple feature?

Sorry, I just don't buy it. I just don't see how difficult it is to throw a tab next to Critics reviews with friend reviews on it.

Are you trying to tell me that the "Memebers Reviews" & "Critics Reviews" are taking up a lot of Netflix's resources as well?

Is the ratings system such a complexity that it's using up tons of "resources" too?

I just don't see how the removal of the feature benefits anyone. I've yet to really get a full explanation on that one.

Tester

@Jonnywhoops:

"Either accept it or leave."

Who died and left you in charge of what I can, or cannot, say. You either accept what I post or don't read it.

things

@ tester

"Since you CLAIM to read every post I truly hope you personally read this one."

I don't think he means comments....a comment isn't a "post."

Hank

Hah Hah Hah! I think this person has summed it up quite nicely!

Click to View

Hank

Some people are slow learners or just disingenuous whiners.

Some are just realizing that these decisions are fundamentally financial. Shocking, I know.

Some are only now noticing that Netflix is trying to push people towards networked content and away from mail delivery.

Some have finally clued in that Netflix is no longer building a rich set of community features and in fact have been deemphasizing them and phasing them out for the last two years.

Some might only now be dimly comprehending that Netflix is not going to pander to their least profitable customers.

For a tightly knit community of "power users" you guys are surprisingly ill-informed.

Hank

Bob, if you keep burying your head in the sand you'll never understand it. Netflix has told you and I've told you several times in several ways the rationale for such decisions.

You just don't want to hear it. But if ignoring the realities of business let's you keep your righteous indignation then more power to you.

Tester

@things:

"I don't think he means comments....a comment isn't a "post.""

I believe we have different interpretations as to what a post is. Assuming you're correct though, I would still like his to see it.

Clay

I could care less about the friends feature. Didn't even know it existed. Still, I see what some have said about Netflix hiding recent releases. It is so bad I go to blockbuster.com to see what new movies are out. Inglorious Bastards is STILL on very long wait? Local BB has tons of them on the shelf. On blu-ray.

i

what would be better is if they integrated with existing social networks to provide better functionality. i didn't want to maintain a separate friends list - just use my facebook friends and let me see what they're renting and let me push my reviews and recommendations to them.

PatB

Please be more exact in your handling of headlines. I fully expected to read an explanation of why the management at NetFlix had stopped killing their friends. I presumed they chose to continue their policy of killing their enemies. But no. It had nothing to do with corporate murder policies at all. I was sorely disappointed.

things

@ PatB

LOL....now that I reread it....

Ben L

Does this mean they're getting rid of the friends page (where you see all your friends in one listing and what they've reviewed)? Because I hope not. I go to that page all the time to see what others are watching.

Seth

Alternate headline suggestions:

Only Two Percent of Customers Care About Friends, Says Netflix VP

Netflix VP Says It Was Wrong to Kill Friends and Not Tell You

Netflix Customers Prefer Movies Over Friends


Seth

Just for the record, two percent of Netflix's customers: 200,000 people.

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