The other night I had an outage on my Netflix. I thought for sure it was my wireless connection for my PS3 that was the issue. I tried everything, resetting the router, powering down, restarting and even resetting my PS3 and nothing. Finally I went on the Netflix website and looked for the contact info. I found the 866 number on the website and there was even a message that said the hold time was about 9 minutes. Well that was my first clue that something might be wrong with the Netflix system, but who could say for sure? So I called and there was an outgoing message which explained that there was high call volume and that I should call back later. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. So I called again and got the same response. I wasn’t sure what to do so I went onto Twitter. For some reason I didn’t find Netflix on twitter – they are there (you can see from my images in this post) so I put a message out there saying that I thought there might be a major outage or something, but that I was disappointed that I could not get through on the phone. I made it a point to include “Netflix” in my tweet because normally these days companies are watching for that sort of thing and they will respond in a situation like this to see how they can help. I got nothing. The website boasts 24/7 customer service on the phone, but it seems to me that it should say “24/7 except when the call volume is high. I went to sleep that night frustrated because I couldn’t get answers and still wasn’t 100% sure if the problem was mine or theirs. The main point being I needed an answer to the basic question, “was there something I needed to do, or did I need to sit tight and wait for Netflix to sort it out?”
Next Day GoDaddy
The next day (yesterday) I was working on my Accounting For Real Estate Book in a Blog when I noticed things were starting to run slow. Having had this experience before and having lost hours of work I quickly copied my post from the WordPress editor to a notepad. Sure enough in another minute when I went to save the actual post as a draft in WordPress everything went down. I checked all of my sites and nothing. In fact every single one of my sites (and there are many) was down and they are all on different plans so something was wrong. I was on the phone with my friend Marc when I told him, “I need to go because every single one of my sites is down right now and I need to figure out what the fuck is going on.” I had to call Godaddy – as you can imagine I was sort of panicked! So I called and went online at the same time. The phone line was giving me a busy signal. It was like Deja Vu all over again :). So I actually took a break at this point and went and checked my Netflix and that was working fine now so I had my answer. That one was Netflix’s issue and they had it resolved. Thang G-d! Back to Godaddy. I immediately went on Twitter and started posting. Someone else replied to me and said they were having the same problem so that gave me some comfort. Then I got through on the phone (I was retrying incessantly and obsessively and compulsively – I have issues). The minute I got through there was an outgoing message that said something like, “If you are experiencing an outage we are aware of the problem and we hope to have it resolved shortly.” Relief. I hung up knowing I just needed to move on to something else until they had it resolved but at least I know that it was a problem they were aware of and that they were working on it.
I was able to find GoDaddy on twitter, but I didn’t need to. They were on it. Soon I received a DM (Direct Message) from them explaining that they were working on the issue and sure enough on their Twitter account there was plenty of activity confirming that they were working on the problem.
At the end of they day I was able to get the information I needed Quickly from Godaddy so that I knew the problem was being worked on and that it was on their end so there was nothing that I needed to do except wait. I can live with that, these things happen and I am not one of these idiots who feels that everything should just work 100% of the time. I am much more interested in how the company handles it when things go wrong, because things do go wrong, especially when you are dealing with technology.
Why Netflix Loses Big time on this one
This morning I came to my computer and noticed an e-mail from Netflix. I easily could have looked this over because I do frequently get e-mails from Netflix but the subject got my attention, “We’re sorry you may have had trouble watching instantly.” Even this I may have looked past because by now I knew the problem had been resolved I watched 2 movies on it last night with my wife. Still because I was so aware of the issue as a direct result of being so frustrated with the lack of acknowledgment on their part I looked on and they were offering a 3% (of $7.99) credit totaling a whopping 0.2397. So do you think I really care about the money? Of course not. I realize they may be spreading this out over many subscribers so it may be a lot ot them (but not really when you consider that they are still getting the other $7.75 from all of the same subscribers and the credit is not being given to everyone – only those who catch the e-mail and click on the link to “accept” the credit.
Considering that I spent about an hour of my time trying to figure out what was wrong because there was no indication from Netflix I am sorry but the slightly less than 24 cents doesn’t really excite me, and now I spent more time which I can never get back by reading the e-mail and clicking through to get the credit. Hopefully this post will generate some Adsense revenue for me and make up some more of what I’ve lost in terms of time. If there was a competing service out there I would be looking into it and I would be willing to pay more than $7.99 or $9.99/month ($7.99 is what they were willing to base their credit on) if I thought there was better service involved. Having received this e-mail I was curious and I went on Twitter again. This time I was able to find the Netflix twitter account which gives it’s “support” account in it’s profile. I checked the feed and there was absolutely nothing on there at any time acknowledging that there was a problem. Only a single tweet acknowledging the problem had been resolved. Then I get the e-mail but not until well over 24 hours had passed since the original problem. Maybe I am expecting too much!
Also I went onto Netflix’s main site and there is not a single social media link on their site. It almost seems as though they are deliberately avoiding the use of what everyone out there is using to communicate with their customers. Shame on you Netflix – personally I see this as a huge, wide open opportunity for a competitor to come in and take your market! It would be easy for someone who had the resources to invest in providing a similar library of movies. Then all they would need to do is offer half way decent customer service and I know I would switch in an instant.