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Comments

gir

Not that I've ever needed it, but e-mail all the way. No waiting on hold, read replies according to your schedule - definitely e-mail.

Shrike

Email all the way. I hate calling.

machinegunn

I've used Netflix's phone support maybe twice (I can't remember what for). There was a little holding, but not too much, and they were very helpful.

neilk2350

there email support took at least 24 hours. phone support under 15 minutes. i'd rather be on hold then wait to hear back

Tester

Phone support is what I want.

With email you have to wait until they email you back. If something goes wrong you then have to email them again and then, once again, wait until they get back to you. Depending on the problem this could take forever. With phone support if the person doesn't understand the problem or if you're not satisfied you can speak to someone else. Usually you can get things resolved in one phone call rather that multiple emails.

CJ

E-mail support - phoning is so last century. I'm not about to pick up a phone to report a problem I could communicate better by e-mail.

For example, a new release DVD title (released 08-01-07) by NF, "Everything Gone Green", has a serious "authoring" problem - the main menu play selection sends you back to the FBI warning screen; there is no way to actually get to the first chapter and see the movie.

I couldn't find any way to report this problem by e-mail, so I figure NF doesn't want to know about such problems. And I'm not about to try to explain something technical like this to a customer rep on the phone...

Meg

I want the option to do whatever works best for me, depending on the type of issue I'm having. WHen I had to call Netflix two weeks ago for a problem, twice in one day, I was on hold over 30 minutes EACH TIME. I could easily have fired off an email or two in under 10 minutes and would've been perfectly fine with waiting a day or two for a response. It wasn't a critical issue. Instead, I was tied to my phone for over an HOUR that day. And for the first time in my many, many years of being a Netflix subscriber, I thought about canceling my account and giving Blockbuster a try.

Most companies offer both options (or, even better -- THREE options, including chat support). Why is Netflix limiting us to just one??

longklaw

That sucks.

hawk5391

I greatly prefer phone support. Otherwise how would I know what's going on in India?

Meg

Hey, that was my cantankerous comment made famous by Netflix Fan Blog! Yay me, for being cantankerous AND ubiquitous!

Meg

I just went to look some more at this issue, and wanted to mention that, at least for me, the option to send a message via a web form still exists if I have a correction, title to suggest, or web site comment. Of course, I just fired off a "comment" about this -- I'd urge everybody else to do the same if you want them to bring back the option of sending emails when you have a question or problem. Go here and click on "Suggestions": http://www.netflix.com/ContactUs

Becky

I don't see a Web form anywhere.

eviltimes

I have emailed them dozens of times over the years, they have NEVER gotten back to me. NEVER.

Edward R Murrow

Can you imagine the costs associated with answering customer questions from 7 million customers using phone only and trying to get to all phone calls within minutes? Clearly, only a small fraction of the customers call in but I'm sure this percentage of customers is constant while the number of subscribers grows (other than last quarter).

Looks like the lunatic fringe of Netflix management has taken over the customer support function and has no regard for costs.

Meg

Becky, what do you see when you go here:

http://www.netflix.com/ContactUs

And click on the word "Suggestions" in the list of options (under the heading "Requests and Suggestions")? Just the phone number? Not an input form?

If so, that's weird -- they must taking that web form away in stages instead of all at once. I get the phone number (and my identifying code) for all account-based help options, but can see see the input form for all the "Requests and Suggestions" items.

Joel Risberg

I can't imagine what people are finding the need to call or email Netflix about. I've been a customer since 2002 and have never once had a reason to contact Netflix directly.

The web site provides easy point and click solutions to missing or damaged discs, plan upgrades/downgrades, and anything else you could think of. Am I missing something?

Joel

leonardodicrapio

"Looks like the lunatic fringe of Netflix management has taken over the customer support function and has no regard for costs."

Edward, I would love to see how poorly you would run Netflix if you were given the chance. Apparently you haven't noticed that Netflix has been making millions of dollars. I am sure that profit is due to incompetent mismanagement.

Becky

Meg is right! The Contact Us link still works!!

Sorry, my bad.

profpudwick

Joel, I felt as you did, until I found a disc on the website with the wrong artwork displayed. The artwork was for a different disc. There is no way to click a box or two to tell Netflix about this problem. So I e-mailed them. What a mistake! Even though I spelled out the problem clearly and reread what I wrote 3 times before sending it, their response was to send me the same disc, as if I had reported that my disc was defective. The problem was not with my dvd, it was with their website! So my queue was delayed 5 days while the dvd that I already had shipped from 3000 miles away. I should have picked up the phone.
Vern

profpudwick

And the problem I reported by e-mail is still a problem. Type in "Tiger: Heavy Tank Panzer VI" and see what comes up: Their artwork for the dvd of the Panzer IV (that's a FOUR not a SIX). I'll pick up the phone and try again to tell them that 6 <=> 4.

profpudwick

I guess ASCII isn't basic enough for this website-- I used the More Than and Less Than characters (above the comma and period on the standard keyboard) along with the equal sign to indicate that 6 is not equal to 4-- I'll try again: 6 NE 4.

gir

I'm curious - 6 > 4.

gir

For the curious, this site allows character entities in comments: ampersand gee tee colon -> >

Old Timer Too

Joel wrote: "The web site provides easy point and click solutions to missing or damaged discs, plan upgrades/downgrades, and anything else you could think of. Am I missing something?"

Throttling. They didn't have phone support advertised when I finally "went away" from them, but I wonder how they would have reacted had I been yelling at them over the phone on their policies??? And telling them about all the money that I had spent and how I was not going to be customer much longer or how I would let all my many friends know about their policies and programs...

Anyone complain about throttling via the phone and what response did you get?

d3vkit

While I prefer email to anything else, I doubt that's the norm. For some reason I think most people like complaining in person, or at least on the phone. I'm guessing that they just received a lot more phone calls than emails, so they simply moved email support over to phone support. Actually would make good sense from a management point of view... if they really received so few emails.
I don't have NF, I have Total Access; I've had to email them a couple times, and was really surprised that they advertise about 4 hours for reply - that was really fast I thought.

Complication

Maybe this is just a sign of the times. I've read several stories on how the younger generation only uses email to talk to older people. It's all mobile text and phone now.

Of course NF is probably having the same problem that today's teachers are having. Kids don't know how to write anymore. They use too much "y" for "why" and "u" for "you" without proper grammar. The employees in India that learned proper English probably can't make heads or tails of many of the emails coming in (insert expletive in Simpson's style India accent here).

I don't blame NF, but I'd rather have the option to send an email. Last time I called, I waited on hold for 20 minutes for them to tell me that they couldn't stop the replacement shipments that got created less than an hour before (and wouldn't ship until the next day). If your just going to tell me "no, can't do it," then I might as well have saved my 20 minutes and read the rejection email reply later.

Bill

Old Timer - I complained also about their many ways of throttling. I was finally given to a VERY snotty supervisor, who said, "Well, that is just the way we do things here. After all, we are NOT Blockbuster."

You can say that again... and again...

Kauri

My experiences with Netflix e-mail support was horrendous. It was like talking to a word processing loop (although I was told by phone that people actually read the e-mails) that spit back pre-fabricated answers that had nothing to do with what I asked. I once tried to tell them that the double disk DVD of Schindler's List they sent me had one disk in Full Screen and one in Widescreen (these were part 1 and part 2 of the film, not alternative viewing choices). The e-mail responses kept defining what the different formats mean, rather than dealing with the fact that since Netflix doesn't advertise the full screen version, probably somebody slipped their own copy of the disk into one of the sleeves. Nothing I did or changed in repeated e-mails could get a coherent and to the point response from the e-mail support staff. I've had other similar experiences with Netflix e-mail support. I don't think human beings were actually reading the customer-sent e-mails.

Lamont

Exact same experience as Kauri. I recently received a disc that was in Korean! A previous customer had swapped out their copy in Korean for the original. The artwork on the disc was the same as the original so a cursory glance would not reveal it was a Korean disc.

E-mail customer support had no idea what I was talking about and also fed back canned answers. Tried to reach somebody on the phone but it was a 20 minute hold so I gave up.

Ended up sending the Korean disc back with big black felt tip markings on the disc "in Korean- no good". Ordered the same disc from BB online, no problem.

Typically, got a response back from Netflix saying that dist. centers do not respond to "notes" sent with returned discs.

jccalhoun

Maybe I'm just insensitive to businesses or something but if i ever got the wrong format or wrong language disk i would just flag it as defective, broken, or that i never got it.

Or am i just cynical and don't expect any company to actually fix my problem and that i will have to take care of it myself even if it means being inaccurate about the problem i report?

gir

No, you're not alone. If I get the wrong kind of soda at a fast food place, I'd assume it'd be easier to order another one than to get the wrong one replaced. Luckily many fast food places now let you fill your own.

I know that across millions of customers you can find plenty of screw-ups, but based on my own experience NetFlix runs a tight ship - very, very few errors (I can't even remember the last one).

geezer


__________________________________
Meg is right! The Contact Us link still works!!

Sorry, my bad.
__________________________________

Well, Meg is kinda right. I suspect that the link is purely for suggestions. A bit like the suggestions box at the office dropping directly into the circular folder. A disclaimer at the top of the email form states that comments won't be responded to by the folks at Customer Service. Unlikely they'll ever see them I'd think.

The old response form was limited, too. It sorta forced you into several non-applicable response routes. I'm not a phone person and would like to see a workable email response system or even a life chat.

GumOnMyShoe

I prefer telephone support, but just canceled my Netflix subscription because their support is sorely lacking. I've had problems with them holding back movies or going through three weeks in a row where they received only one, not three from me, so they could only mail out one, etc. even though all were mailed the same day. The last straw was when I waited five days to call them and complain that of the three movies they said they sent, I only received one. Did they offer to send out replacements? Of course not! They wanted me to wait a bit longer. So I waited another two days, then called to say I still hadn't received them and was now going to cancel. The response was a quick, "I can help you with that!" Of course they can. If they had been that accommodating two days earlier and sent replacements, I would still be a member. And by the way, here it is two weeks later and the movies never did arrive.

They really do NOT care about customer service OR their customers!

noe638

It seems a little ridiculous that a site that relies so heavily on people using their computers and the internet (managing queue and watch now) would expect their customers to sit on the phone to get something resolved. Not to mention the average Netflix customer has probably used email and the internet for a good portion of their lives.

Is this designed to discourage people from contacting customer service? Wouldn't it be better and easier for staffing if people could get to the tickets when they had time as opposed to ramping up phone support?

I have called and gotten horrible responsiveness. I have also used email and as others have mentioned just gotten plain wrong answers, as if they randomly picked a couple of words out of the email and then tried to answer my question.

I think the answer is not eliminating email support, the answer is better email support.

hueristix

I feel online chat help is the best of both worlds.

Phone support sucks because you are on hold and must listen for your lucky moment- usually to some music you really don't want to hear, and especially not over the phone where it sounds like crud.

I can't see how email is a good replacement though- unless you have 1-2 weeks to deal with something... if Netflix taking an extra day or 2 to mail you a disc pisses you off, how can email work? Now maybe if they guaranteed an answer within the hour, I would dig that.

Online chat, when offered is my first choice. It is basically IM'ing or TXT'ing- a phone call but less annoying. Of course a great company has to offer many paths to customer service, and although like Joel I think it is rarely needed, I would love to see live chat help during business hours for Netflix.

Edward R Murrow

As they say, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." - Boileau

If churn has increased even more and NFLX goes negative yet again for customer acquisition, then one of the factors could be the management and implementation of how the customer service function at NFLX has degraded over the past year or so.

What will customer service management think of next? Cancel phone support and force us all to actually write letters to get issues resolved?

cccp

#1. Customer Service isn't in India- ever called? Plus, it states right on their website.
#2. Customer service doesn't have scripts,from everyone I've talked to. I do believe they did have pre-done email responses that can be personalized, because they get the same issues over and over and over.
#3. If you're having a disc issue(authoring,etc.), NF does want to know - if the disc doesn't play after FBI warning, ever think it was a manufacturing issue & that NF would want to know about it? Also, some Sony discs have additional security on them (aarcos) that not all players can play.
#4. As some others have said, there is some geek/tech way to get instant viewing on a MAC.
#5. Reed Hastngs has even address the ridiculouness of throttling conspiracy ya'll love so much to rant about: NF doesn't sit and plot & plan on how to not get you a new release that's in limited copies. It tries to give to everyone, and if it cannot all at one time it'll give preference to whomever pays more PER MOVIE, not per your acct. since a customer could pay like 17 a month, but with heavy usage be paying .75 a disc while another customer doesn't cram a ton of movies in their service and ends up paying 4-5 dollars a movie. Anyone think of that in all the hysteria? Plus, there are only so many copies of any movie printed up by the movie company - NF has more than one hub to pull from, unlike your local BB store where if it's not in there, you're screwed.
#6. Online customer support/chat WOULD be great and fit in w/ premise of being an internet based company.
#7.Ever think about blaming the Post Office? If NF doesn't get your movies, it isn't really their fault. They could only mark in what they receive in. I'm sure there's plenty of people who steal movies & then say NF lost them. Just like BB, they deal with a 3rd party, a federally run party at that.

I've only had one broken disc from them, and the next day they shipped a replacement out. Nothing to cry over.

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Andrew Messenger

I'm not calling. If I don't get an answer electronically, I'll cancel my service before I call them.

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