Netflix: Complain and Get an Account Credit
I watch a lot of TV and movies. According to FeedFliks, I watch about 75 titles per week on Netflix, and I probably watch another 5-10 titles on Hulu every week.
Watching so much Netflix has given me the opportunity to experience all the pros and cons of a Netflix membership. Overall I’d say my $7.99 per month is well spent: I get access to thousands of titles and I don’t have to watch commercials. However, there are a few things that drive me crazy.
First, Netflix doesn’t work on Linux. Some may say this is because of platform that Netflix uses to serve its videos, but in reality it is a anti-consumer choice meant to prevent Linux “hackers” from cracking their DRM. If they can get videos playing on:
- PlayStation 3
- Xbox 360
- Apple TV
- Google TV
- Seagate FreeAgent Theater
- Sony Dash
- WD TV
- A pile of Blu-ray players
- A pile of TVs (with no special attached hardware)
- iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
…then they could get it working on desktop Linux without much trouble. They choose not to, and I’d appreciate it if they’d stop pretending it is an insurmountable software limitation.
So instead of running it natively, I have to run Linux, which runs VirtualBox, which runs Windows XP, which plays my Netflix videos. Frustrating.
Second, Netflix frequently crashes. On my desktop (Linux) and laptop (Windows 7), Netflix dies part way through shows all the time. It happens even more frequently when I pause a show. To make it worse, when the page is refreshed to bring it back to life, it often forgets where I was at in my show.
So I complained. It didn’t solve any of the problems, but it felt good to vent to the company and maybe hopefully raise a tiny bit of awareness that Linux people are frustrated at the lack of support, and that I’m annoyed that my videos crash all the time.
A few days later, I got an email apologizing for my troubles watching instantly. The interesting part of the email was a link that provided a 3% statement credit on my next bill. While I appreciate the gesture, I can’t help but thinking to myself: Really? 3%? As I said, I watch a lot of TV, so I suppose it makes sense that my patronage is only worth 25 cents to them, but a credit of 25 cents just seems.. well.. tacky? rude? pointless? a backhanded apology?
Anyways, if you have a problem with Netflix, maybe it is worth 10 minutes of your time to call and complain. Who knows, you might get a 3% credit, too!