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Did Netflix Pull a Blockbuster?

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By flatpickn
June 25, 2008

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I received an email today from Netflix that concerns me as a stock holder (and aggravates me as a customer). They have decided to eliminate profiles which gives the customer the ability to have multiple queues on one account. The email just says in September they will be eliminating queues, click here for more info. The more info just says sorry for the inconvenience, consider moving all of your movies into the main queue. Nice. My thoughts:

1. Maybe I'm only 1 of 5 accounts using profiles and they could care less if I leave. That's fair.

2. My wife has 86 titles in her queue and my daughter has 112. I have to move them all manually into the main queue (not the type of customer service one would expect from a company ranked as mentioned in this post http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22564753) or...

3. To maintain like service I could split my current 3 at a time plan (at $16.99 per month) into three separate 1 at a time unlimited plans (for a total of $27.00 per month which amounts to a significant rate increase or.

4. I could analyze my CD usage habits which really justifies something closer to needing one 1 at a time unlimited and two 1 at a time 2 a month plans (for a total of $19.00 per month) still a rate increase and on the occasional month I want more than 2 movies, it's an additional aggravation .

5. What do people do that have the higher numbered plans? I have always assumed that people with the 6,7,8 at a time plans used the queues to manage their accounts. Maybe I'm wrong about that. But if I'm not, then they have just created a big aggravation for their high end customer. Does this make the higher numbered plans less desirable?

6. Does anyone have any input on why they would make the change? Does this somehow position them to better provide movies on demand? Is this a departure from their original customer base (DVD renters) in an attempt to capture on demand customers? I can't see the rationale behind the change.

7. If the change just had to be made, they could have (should have) automatically merged the queues, not left it up to the customer to do it. Better yet, they could have offered to split the queues into individual accounts (maintaining like service) at the current price until the customer makes an account change.

Basically I see it as a reduction in service coupled with a slip in the customer service department for no apparent benefit. Am I missing something in the big picture?

Tom - who knows that it is a statistical improbability that he will ever watch all of the movies in his queue.)