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Frank Dracman

If you call Netflix ask if the call center is in Oregon. That seems to be the only place that has a clue.

CordCutter

I'm having a hard time understanding the move. When something seems stupid and irrational I try to put myself in the decision maker's shoes to think why. The only thing I can possibly come up with is the studios are pushing this, hoping you get into a show, it's pulled and you then go by the DVD set to finish it? But even that's a stretch, you'll just rent it from NF. I don't know, doesn't make any sense.

This accompanying the loss of EPIX HD content is concerning. For a company trying to bolster their streaming side, they've taken 2 steps back this week.

michaelant

CordCutter, I agree this is a bonehead move that is unequivocally anti-customer. I use those dates, especially for TV shows, so I can plan ahead to get them watched before they expire. But on the other hand, I think they're removing this info from the API because if they can fool more people into forgetting that titles have expiration dates, or make people not even aware that titles expire at all, then Netflix must think, cynically, this is in their interest. I don't agree with it, but that seems like the most straightforward explanation.

JJStarflyer

I also use these dates to plan ahead. This change will lead to me watching LESS streaming titles, not more. By the time I realize a show is about to expire it will be too late for me to fit it into my schedule.

Robert Emmerich

Just out of curiosity, is the communications guy who just resigned the guy who would normally be answering a question like this for people? Not implying it's the reason he quit, just that a move like this needs a viable explanation from the company, but I don't see one.
My thought - nf got tired of driving traffic to Feedfliks and Instantwatch and their ilk without being compensated for said traffic. I've said several times in the past on this blog I always thought it was stupid nf made me go to a different website to get info they could have easily given me themselves. Maybe nf will start listing all the expiration dates themselves now like Hulu does? (It physically hurts me to be an optiimist but that's the only explanation that makes a lick of sense.)
Until then, nf continues it's string of boneheaded moves. Guess we'll be watching the stock price fall more today?

Larry Dallas

Get stuff on DVD, never goes away until you send it away.

Michael

Netflix is going out of their way to make sure we don't know anything about streaming availability. First the queue changes where expired titles don't show up at all anymore (thanks Netflix, I had a whole list of things I want to watch and now I don't know what was on it!), now the inability to find out when current titles expire.

Scott

I wonder, when was the last time Netflix made a change that was *positive* for the customer? It would be nice to hear some good news now and then!

David

What is Netflix’s logic in making their service harder and harder to use? They seem hell-bent on chasing away customers lately. Do they have a saboteur making decisions?

IMACynic

This sucks. I, too, often plan my weeks viewing on titles from my queue that will be expiring soon. And since NF sees fit to only give a couple of days notice (if at all) on expiring titles, that is no longer possible.

This will only lead to more customer frustration as people sit down to watch a title, can't find it in their queue, think to themselves, "I swear I added that to my queue," then waste time checking and discovering that it is no longer available. In fact, unless they get both discs and streaming, it will likely no longer even show up on the NF website.

It's like NF wants all of its customers to just fall in line and take what they feed us and like it.

As I've said before NF is a great value...but value only takes you so far. If you continue to make things more and more frustrating for your customers, that value diminishes and eventually they leave. If Amazon ever comes up with a queue and quality, easy-to-use interface, NF will be in trouble.

You can say, "Quit whining. Who cares? It's such a little part of a great overall service." all you want, but NF keeps chipping away little-by-little at all the things that make it great and eventually they will be left with nothing.

Tomguy

Netflix shows itself stupid - again.

This is especially bad for old TV series -- to find out a multi-episode title will disappear in 2 weeks.

Some of those series have over 100 episodes.

I am befuddled as to why companies do such stupid things. Are they trying to upset their customer base?

Eric_Rosario

That particular information made FeedFliks really helpful. I guess now the site is useless.

ole timer

If Planing Ahead is longer then 2,3 weeks then "U"
need to get a LIFE.....

Ellie

For me, this is one of the worst moves they've made yet. I mostly watch television series on Netflix, and I don't appreciate not being able to know whether or not a ten season, 200 episode series will be gone two months after I start it.

Idiot move.

Riverside Guy

Well, it's not like they haven't yanked a series from streaming with no warning... I do not remember ANY warning when they yanked Babylon 5, I was happily watching an episode every 3-4-5 days.

Still, another head scratching move by NF... maybe some of you are correct, they are really trying to dump as many subscribers as they can.

CordCutter

ole timer - it took my family much more than 2-3 weeks to get through Wonder Years and How I met your Mother. As others are stating, you could be looking at 200+ episodes of a TV series, if you're halfway through and only have 2 weeks to finish it, you're screwed. With the expiration date advertised WAY in advance you could plan your TV-series watching accordingly.

Christer Ask

so how do we start a petition. stupid analogy, but wherever I shop clothes or groceries, going in to the store I will know if they have what I want or not and generally can tell if I will have to go get it now before it is gone and I will not find my size or flavor. However, this is not a decision for the customer, it makes their service lucrative to remove something without explanation and not providing an option to get it otherwise. They could link from the website to subscribing to their dvd business or something but this is bogus. The only reason they do not want to communicate their expiration that I can see either their API is faulty and delivering wrongful information or they are having an harder time securing longterm contracts. Either way it is an internal decision used to give shareholders an advantage and increasing ability to gain investors by withholding information. Speaks to the uninformed subscriber, not me.

Kale Barton

I'm so tired of being frustrated by a company that I really, really love. Honestly, if you hopped in a time machine, and went back 2 years, and told me Netflix would be giving me headaches virtually every 3 months, I would've laughed in your face....For me, it started last May with the PS3 UI dumbing down change over, and things just keep getting stupider, and stoo-pi-der. Each and every change made, more frustrating, less convenient, head scratching why did they change something that didn't need changing WTF moments...

Taking away this info from feedfliks and instantwatcher makes no sense at all, unless they plan to incorporate it into their own site-something they should have offered from the very beginning.

I need to know as far in advance as possible, when a title in my queue is due to expire. I don't like having to rush through a tv series-you can't enjoy it when trying to cram as many episodes in panicked marathon viewings....and some movies, you have to pick to right time when you're in the mood, especially if it's not some generic Hollywood, safe comfort food flick.

moviegeek

Another stupid decision, what next get rid of the queue?. Reed Hastings wants everybody to get information on content from their friends on Facebook, it's time for him to go

Emory LaserWolf

Anti-customer. That sums up Netflix as a company.

Perkins Cobb

I wasn't kidding when I called Swasey a rat deserting a sinking ship. He's the front-line guy who had to spin this kind of nonsense. Makes sense that his would be the first of many golden parachutes.

The real question now is, what will this blog be Hacking next? In a couple of years, it won't be Netflix.

CordCutter

http://www.homemediamagazine.com/netflix/netflix-cfo-multiple-stream-sub-plan-coming-year-27263

I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but it's worth posting. I didn't know there was a limit on concurrent streams. I have streaming +1 disc out at a time, does that mean I have a limit of 2 concurrent streams? Our family would never have more than 2 and now that I think about it, I'm not sure how often (If at all) we do that.

Brandon

I think Netflix's angle is that expiration dates more than 2 weeks out are probably still up for renewal. Thus, they do not want people thinking that content is going away when it is not.

I'm not saying I agree with it, but that is probably their angle.

Splarka

As we saw with the Starz media, there was a secret cap on how many views Starz was licensing the shows for, rather than a time limit. Probably, if many new contracts are going to be in this vein, then Netflix wants to hide the maximum expiration date so that when the show is yanked prematurely it seems normal.

Also, shows often do get renewed, as Brandon said, making those expiry dates premature.

Additionaly, Netflix probably never expected the expiry field to be so popularly utilized via the API.

Add all these up and it makes a modicum of sense. However, I certainly won't be adding anything new to my queue, and canceling my subscription when I finish those. Luckily I wrote down the expiration date of everything in my queue when I added it. Sorry Netflix, but you left us, we didn't leave you.

Jamie

I have defended other changes they have made but this changes sucks and directly impacts my viewing. I priortize what I watch based on what is expiring first. Now if i get 2 seasons into a 6 or 8 season show then find out I have 2 weeks left?

Stupid. This company is stuck on stupid.

Matt

Didn't Netflix say they were going to announce changes before they applied them, a few months back? The easiest thing for them to do is include an expiration date for each title they have. Now with this done, most people won't watch streaming tv series. Maybe this is why Netflix is doing this, they won't have to pay for tv series.

Any takers?

FearNo1

I agree this is a dumb move. I hope you all have called netflix and complained about this move instead of just posting here. I called and told her how frustrating this change is and that many are angry with the change. I mentioned that the changes netflix have made have been anti-consumer. She mentioned that netflix values the feedback from their customers. That prob was BS but its still good to let them know how you feel.

Tim Brownhouse

I echo all the sentiments expressed here about this decision. However, it's with great relief to report that all those Epix/MGM titles are streaming in HD again.

IMACynic

@FearNo1

You probably have a better chance of your voice being heard by posting here. The CSR likely listens to your rant, then hangs up and goes to the next caller without ever noting or escalating your concerns. However, it has been mentioned that Hacking Netflix is periodically checked by NF execs.

Justin Blake

despite the recent changes i have still yet to find a better site to watch movies and tv shows on with the quality that netflix has, all the other sites i have found are really crappy and doesnt come close to the selection that netflix has

Truck

This is clearly a hostile move directed at FeedFliks and InstantWatcher. Netflix doesn't care about customer complaints, either. Check out the Reno 911 page- it's page after page of people that have called and complained that the episodes are out of order, and it's been that way for years.

sam

Those dates are so misleading, I don't know how often I see something set to expire just because it's being negotiated or about to renew. I don't see it as a 'hostile anti-customer' move so much as a move away from misleading information.

CordCutter

Thanks Tim. That's good to know, I'm relieved.

I have yet to call NF about this, any ex employees or previous callers know how to talk to someone that matters? I know some places if you ask for a mgr they just send you to some shift supervisor that isn't really in mgt. I'd like to avoid wasting my time by talking to a 9-5er that is just gonna read from a script.

troll

so starz went away now this b.s. whats next .
oh i know the departure of netflix

Daniel L

NF makes it so hard for me to want to stay their customer. They keep doing stuff like this, over and over and over. It just doesn't make sense why they would degrade their own service intentionally.

Someone from NF should clear up this reasoning, without giving us a bunch of spin and BS.

Crow550

Most of the time the same Titles always cycle in and out anyways.

So it's not that big of a deal. Still a bit annoying though.

What would be really nice is if the Title you have in your Queue that is gonna expire in two weeks if it said over the cover art expiring soon! Like they say new episodes added.

This is only being done to save some extra cash.

For a company that claims to be making bank they sure like to pinch pennies a lot.

They are most likely doing this because of the Facebook deal not going through which would give them tons more cash.

Netflix needs to quit doing what they think is best for us and well ask us before they do this crap.

These companies just don't get it.

Tim Brownhouse

@CordCutter,

It is virtually impossible to speak with anyone of weight with Netflix. The buck stops at the condescending, yet know-nothing automatons who read the scripts, and just want to "Getcha up and running."

Really, Netflix reps are among the most contemptible of any major company outside of creditors. Try to explain simple concepts to these turds, and not only do they fail to grasp, but they grow defensive, discourteous, and accusatory: "Okay, sir, you've been talking in circles for five minutes..."

Tim Brownhouse

Like, here's a concept that no rep can grasp (or otherwise, they're playing ignorant): whenever there's any sort of streaming problem, Netflix reps are so quick to outsource blame to the ISP that it's practically a reflex. They will look at some "snapshots" from recent streaming sessions, tell you that "you're only pulling 1.4 megabits per second," and tell you that you have connectivity or bandwidth issues inside your home.

What I've realized, and what these proles continue to deny, is that these 'snapshots' tell me nothing about my bandwidth, and everything about the bit rate of the content (which is highly variable). The aforementioned "1.4 megabits per second" represents the amount of data being transmitted at the moment of the "snapshot," and thus merely the bit rate of the content itself (unless they somehow know the native bit rate of that point in the timeline, vs. what's being transmitted to me -- and they don't know that. Moreover, these reps do not even know what a "bit rate" is.) So, if something is SD and not HD, 1.4 mbps is the norm. Therefore, my bandwidth might average 18 mbps, but Netflix will tell me that it averages 1.4 mbps because their system is measuring *their* content's bit rate and mistaking it for my bandwidth.

The simplest analogy is this: my living room has ceilings that are 8 ft high. Into the living room steps a guest who is 5'7" tall. Netflix comes along and measures my guest, and then tells me -- fucking *insists* -- that my ceilings are 5'7" high.

Based upon the Roku's debug mode (which Netflix reps are unfamiliar with, and I've found that most of them have never even used the device), and various speed tests I've performed, I know that I average about 13 mbps on my wireless connection, and HD content generally streams without a problem.

So, Netflix's troubleshooting system, which relies heavily upon this erroneous "snapshot," is deeply flawed. I've tried to communicate this on over a dozen occasions, to no avail. The general response tends to be an inability to comprehend, and the patronizing "I know you may not want to hear it, sir, but there's something going on with your home network." No there's not. But, this broken troubleshooting strategy allows Netflix reps to easily shift the blame to a third party source, absolving them of any impetus to assist the customer. Next call, please!

$8EntertainmentRules

Tim, you're calling one of the largest membership services in the US. What sort of changes do you think will be implemented based on a single customer calling in? All the representative can do is take the feedback and notate it. No company that size is going to instantly change based on one customers feedback. Even with all the posts on here, let's say 5,000 different people post on this site, that's nothing compared to the 20+ million, most of whom are perfectly happy with their service. The great part about Netflix is there is no contract, if you're that angry with them then show them and cancel your account. Otherwise you can call and nicely give your feedback to the CS rep, but don't blame them for it not being implemented or sounding distant, do you know how may crackpots call them every day thinking they can run the company better than everyone else? Well guess what, the folks calling in have never run a multi-billion dollar company and the Netflix execs have, so obviously they know a little about what they're doing.

Tim Brownhouse

@$8EntertainmentRules

I truly don't expect any impact to result from my call, but the idealist in me wants that; the idealist in me wants Netflix to take a break from their long string of inexplicable, anti-consumer, pleasure-suffocating decisions. The shareholder in you would obviously like me to shut the fuck up and write only praise.

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