If you’re a Netflix user, or just anyone who kinda sorta likes movies, you’ve likely heard about the 60% increase coming your way if you plan to keep streaming your movies online and getting DVDs at home. Personal grievances aside, what’s most alarming is the complete ambivalence Netflix is showing to their customers on their social media accounts.
While their fans have been all a-flurry protesting the price hike, Netflix has sat idly by, not even giving the slightest acknowledgement of the outcry. In the more than 66,000 (mostly negative) comments on their Facebook post, the more than 5,000 (mostly negative) comments on their blog, and the (mostly negative) #DearNetflix hashtag getting a new hit almost every five minutes, Netflix has remained tight-lipped. No “we understand.” No explanation. Nothing.
It could be that they’re still figuring out how to address the masses, but in an instant world, businesses can’t wait 3 days to respond to their customers. So any apology that surfaces now I suspect will not be greeted with open arms by their patrons. In case you haven’t learned from prior faux pas, these things don’t just go away with time. If you upset your customers and they’re taking the time to let you know, you need to take to the time to address them. Have companies learned nothing from Gap? From Kenneth Cole? We all know that Tuesday’s posts announcing the price increase isn’t going to be their last post on social media ever, so what could they possibly say to follow up?
But Netflix isn’t the only TV/movie provider that fell short on social media this week. If Blockbuster had kept their ears to the ground, then they would have capitalized on their biggest competitor’s biggest misstep. When GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons’ publicized killing an African elephant for sport, causing a flurry of angered Web users, other Web hosting companies jumped on the chance to (successfully) steal away customers by offering discounts for domain transfers and even charitable donations for every new domain purchased. So, we ask you Blockbuster, why didn’t you follow suit and discount your online streaming and DVD option for anyone who switches from Netflix to you?
UPDATE (7/15/2011 at 2:17 p.m.) Blockbuster has acted and hopes to take away some of the Netflix users by offering a 30-day free trial, but after that 30 days, they’ll have to pay $2 more than they would at Netflix. Is that enough for you to make the switch? (Thanks to Will for letting us know about this.)
What do you think? Would Netflix have saved a few customers if they just acknowledged their fans’ frustrations on Facebook and Twitter?