Thursday, December 6, 2007

Customer Service for the Hearing Impared

Earlier this week someone posted this to the blog comments:
I am BEYOND frustrated with your website.
I can find NO WAY to contact customer service except via telephone!!!
There is no email anywhere under CONTACT US.
There is no online 'chat' type of service either.
Have you never thought you might have a HEARING IMPAIRED customer that cannot use a PHONE? [...]
This was an excellent question, and today I received this note from the Customer Service team:
I am completing training of our agents today for the TTY system... I have tested the line through a TTY service, and the line is functional. The number that will be used for TTY Customer Service is 1-866-402-2619.
So there you have it. I believe it is also being posted on the Netflix website and FAQs as well. Thanks for the feedback.


  1. Almost every time I call (I am a "hearing" to the deaf) I mention I would have preferred e-mail, usually because I have a non-urgent problem that I would rather write and send an e-mail in under a minute for, than wait up to a half hour or so on the telephone for. It was discovered that there are some hard to find ways to use forms to send a question to netflix, but not many.

    One, for suggesting a title, actually is a form, and the helpful dude on the phone who doesn't make the rules e-mailed me after the call with a link to the page to suggest a title.

    So: There's a way to e-mail netflix, but it's HARD to find. Even if the CSR has to end up e-mailing you (like if you get disconnected), there's no way to respond to the person you were talking to.

  2. Isn't it funny? When there was email, I was frustrated that it was so difficult to find a phone number for support.

    I am curious why Netflix went away from the "Customer Support" email feature. It seems it would be more helpful if there was some sort of ticketing system along with the phone system. This is how the business I work at operates but, of course, we do not have 500,000 customers, either.

    Wouldn't it be nice to see the status of open tickets, perhaps on a "home" page?

    I am glad to see that there is going to be some TTY support for the hearing impaired.

  3. This is great news!

    Now if only they added Hearing Impaired (when available) and subtitles to the Watch-it-Now service, my life will be complete!

    Thanks Netflix

  4. I found this page because I was searching the Netflix website for a customer support e-mail and cannot find one! Isn't there a way to have both an e-mail and phone support?

  5. @Michael.

    We very much appreciate you responding so directly and effectively to the most pressing issue vis a vis phone support; namely a TTY interface. But, as anon above says, it's still something of a a mystery to the rest of us why there has to be either phone or e-mail customer support, when so many other companies offer both. Not part of your job description, we know, but you clearly have considerable pull around here.

    Thanks for all you do on our behalf, relentless noodges that we be.

  6. In the last two weeks over 4 of the 5 disks I've recieved have been severly damaged. This rate is rediculus.

  7. If I had a serious customer service issue, I would call about it. But for the non-pressing questions or comments not worth waiting on hold for, I would MUCH prefer email support.

    I'm also hearing-impaired and really REALLY hope to see better support for subtitles on Watch It Now viewing!

  8. You guys have really screwed up your whole customer support system. What is we don't WANT to talk to someone on the phone? We simply want to email a question and get a response! Now we literally have to talk to someone on the phone! ALSO -- you guys have REMOVED the ability to request DVD titles via your website! Why did you guys remove this ability?! Believe it or not, there's still hundreds of award-winning independent films & documentaries that haven't found their way to Netflix yet, such as the great documentary "Uncounted". Nowhere for us to request these titles anymore! And bring back the ability for us to EMAIL customer service! This is ridiculous!

  9. Scott, I totally agree about needing e-mail support, but Contact Us still has the movie suggestion link -

    and Michael added another one to the the top right corner of the blog page (item 3) quite some time ago.

  10. @Scott - The Title Request page is still where it has always been. Go to the bottom of any Netflix page and click on Contact Us, then click on Title Request.

    @Anon with "over 4 of 5" broken discs - You should have a serious talk with your mailman. I rather doubt that Netflix is breaking them before mailing them to you. Though Michael does have an odd sense of humor.

  11. Re damaged discs, 'Hacking Netflix' has an interesting article about USPS wanting to charge NF more because their envelopes (but not BB's, interestingly, which are slightly sturdier) need to be hand sorted. Maybe some substations are trying to save money (or maybe stick it to NF?) by running them through the auto-sorters? I've had maybe 3 cracked discs in as many years, so it's certainly not a system-wide problem.

  12. Great now if we could get Vista and the 8 devices issue resolved then we will be golden.. Love Instant watch, but having it not work on my vista laptop because the Netflix software thinks its a whole new system despite changing NOTHING. is rather aggravating.

  13. Time for Netflix to implement User Forums throughout the site along the following dimensions:

    1. Customer service
    2. Each movie
    3. top 100

  14. I have a suggestion that has nothing to do with this hearing impaired thing... so this may get lost forever...

    Anyway, I think it would be pretty fun if the top ten lists on netflix had the same helpful/not helpful type ratings systems as the reviews...

    I enjoy when I find a particularly esoteric or weird list of films... and while it is enjoyable to see the random lists that come up in Community; I find that too often these lists are made up of subjects that are already easily searchable on Netflix. For instance, a complete list of Harrison Ford films... well, seriously... I could have just type in his name.

    And the other thing I find are lists like... "Movies that Suck." Well, why would I want to watch a movie that the submitter didn't think was very well made? Or for that matter, why did they even make this list?

    Anywho, I think by allowing Netflix users to vote... we would be able to see the ones that are really great and interesting.

    Also, separate subject... but I miss not being able to leave little taglines on the films that appear on my list.

    Thanks for reading... hope this helps.

  15. All good points. Although at least with useless lists you're forewarned by the title not to read them, unlike useless reviews. And the 'NEGATIVE 5 stars' type lists have occasionally warned me away from movies that have gotten great press or word of mouth, but are IMHO truly awful - like 'Knocked Up'.

    But rest assured that being able to vote lists up or down has already been suggested several times, so it's most likely already on someone's 'things to consider' list somewhere.

  16. "I enjoy when I find a particularly esoteric or weird list of films..."

    When I want to find weird lists, I go to the movie page for one of my oddball favorite movies. Over on the left it shows some of the lists it appears in. I reload the page until I see an interesting sounding list.

  17. While it's great that such a large company is finally getting TTY support, I would also like to point out that there is a deaf relay service that's actually quite good. I have posted some info about it below. I'm not sure where the attitude comes in from this person. Lots of companies do not have TTY assisted customer services.

    That said, I have been asking for closed captions (where available) on the "Watch Now" feature since it first came out. It really makes a huge different for a lot of people.


    TTY to Voice/Voice to TTY

    The most common type of TRS call, involves a call from a person who is Deaf and utilizes a TTY to a person who is Hearing and does hear and speak. In this call type, typed messages are relayed as voice messages by a TRS operator (OPR)[1] (also known as Communication Assistant (CA)[2], Relay Operator (RO)[3], Relay Assistant (RA)[4] or Relay Agent (Agent) ), and vice-versa. This allows callers unable to use a regular telephone, to be able to place telephone calls to people who use a regular telephone, and vice-versa. When the person who is Hearing is ready for a response, it is customary to say "Go Ahead" or "GA" to indicate that it is the TTY user's turn to talk and "Stop Keying", "SK", or "Ready to hang up" when hanging up, and vice-versa.

    Deaf Person on TTY -><-Hearing operator with TTY -> Hearing person without TTY

  18. @Tonya - Closed captions might be coming when they switch to Microsoft's Silverlight. They are waiting for version 1.1 which doesn't currently have a release date, though the "best guess" seems to be March (at MIX'08). Don't know how long it will take Netflix to implement it on the site. I would guess April, but that is just a wild guess.

    Silverlight will also add support for more browsers and some Macs.

  19. @Scott Rose

    You might like the phone support. You yell enough in your post. You might enjoy yelling at customer service reps as well.

    While I agree that e-mail support should come back, I think I'll wait a bit before yelling at Michael about it.

    And well, you are just wrong about the requesting of DVDs as other have pointed out -- you might want to check yourself before screaming about things you do not really know about.

    I applaud you, though. Usually, rants that I see like this misspell the work "ridiculous". You got it spot on.

  20. In the spirit of staying as far off-topic as possible.. I just came across a site that analyses blogs and comes up with a reader level. For the Netflix blog it says: College (Post Grad). I assume it's just looking at Michael's posts and not the comments, but I don't know.

  21. Along with the other comments here, I would also like to be able to either email someone or have the option to call someone. Seems rediculous there is no access to these people. There are people there, right?

    I hope the folks at Netflix read these comments because I have been experiencing a strange problem the past couple of days and I want to know what and why. Over the past 2days, whenever I open a Netflix window, I see a big caution banner at the top telling me my email address is invalid and they have not been able to send me emails. It tells me to access my account and verify my email address, which I do and it is correct, so I save and it seems to be OK. Next day, same thing. What is the problem? Has anyone else experienced this same thing?

  22. @karen - You are the first to mention that problem here (that I have seen).

    This page gives the number you should call for changing your email, etc:

  23. Hi Baff,

    Thanks for that phone number info. I called CS and got things cleared up. It seems to be a new conflict between my phone company and Netflix. Sounds weird but everything seems to be ok now.

    Thanks for your help.

  24. @Baff (re blog grade). Great find! But you're being far too modest, seeing as how somewhere between 40 and 50% of the material is supplied by your own good self. Michael's contributions are certainly at the highest level of epistolary scholarship, but all those 'y'all' s and 'i' s really can't be doing our aggragated grade much good ;-)

  25. A question about lists... are they created for the person who creates them or for other people to read them?

    I thought it was a way for me to keep track of movies in a way I find most useful. Like a list of all Harrison Ford movies, but in a different order than Netflix gives me. If that's the case, I would hate it if other people were rating my lists. But if they're made for others to read, then I agree, being able to rate them would be really helpful.

  26. @Ang. As I understand it, they're out there for everyone else to read unless they're deemed to be queue overflows, triggered by certain tell-tale words or phrases. Lists for our own personal use are best created as a document on our own computers rather than as a Netflix list.

  27. "I would hate it if other people were rating my lists."

    Supposedly if you have the word 'queue' in the title for your list, then it isn't visible to others. Friends can still see the list though.

  28. I cannot wait until Mac users can use 'Watch Now' so that I can stop reading about it. It's getting boring.

  29. I think Baff pointed this out: This Mac issue is Apple's problem, not Netflix. They are protecting their iTV disaster and are making it hard for Netflix on purpose. Take it up with Apple. I'm tired of reading it about it here too.

  30. A thread about the hearing impaired? Well, that last Anonymous certainly qualifies, since Baff has make it abundantly clear that, while Netflix are clearly not to blame for the actual situation, they have a responsibility to find away to offer all of their members a comparable level of service per $.

    Sorry you brought up this very sore subject once again, Seth? Well, like so many things, we can assure you that it's far more tiring to experience than to read about.

  31. "I think Baff pointed this out: This Mac issue is Apple's problem, not Netflix."

    I never said any such thing. It is 100% Netflix's problem. No if's, and's, or but's about it.

  32. I never said any such thing. It is 100% Netflix's problem. No if's, and's, or but's about it.

    Why is it Netflix's problem to write Apple's codex. The content is offered to Apple, now they need to make it available on their platform. We've been told before many times - Microsoft wrote the code for Windows viewer, Apple needs to write the code for Mac viewer. Why is that so hard to understand?

    And I think the poster above hit the nail on the head. Why would Apple want to provide the ability to watch someone else's movies on its platform when they already offer that service. It would only cut into their own bottom line of a service that is already reeling.

  33. @anonymous 8:28 PM... Thanks for the reply. I thought lists started out as a personal thing but then grew from there when the community features were created. I have only one list that I care about and it's in Excel where I can sort by whatever I want. Much easier that way.

    @nobody in particular... I've stated before that I don't really understand all this codex crap but I have one question: If other sites (like ABC) can figure out how to stream their shows on Macs why can't Netflix?

  34. If other sites (like ABC) can figure out how to stream their shows on Macs why can't Netflix?

    Once again, it's not that Apple can't figure out how to do it, it's that they offer their own service for watching on the Mac, so why would they want to help Netflix's service?

  35. @Squeaky Wheel: That's just it. I didn't bring it up. It was quite clearly already being discussed. I'm sure it is tiring to expereince it, but see, I don't have a Mac. But I do still use dial-up, and hence have never been able to use Watch Now. Also, I have never cared.

  36. ABC, etc., get their money from advertisers, not viewers, so we're 'paying' for the download simply by having to watch a commercial beforehand - therefore there's no need for them to encrypt the footage. But for the studios, by contrast, every unpaid-for (ie pirated) viewing of a movie is actually costing them cold hard cash, so they try to make sure that only paying customers can access them, by - in effect - padlocking the content with a code embedded in the download which (in theory) only someone with the right decoding key can view (as another poster put it so well). Microsoft provides one, but Apple doesn't.

    It only becomes a 'problem' for Netflix if enough people either cancel their membership, downgrade their plan, or don't sign up in the first place as a direct result of not being able to download movies, at which point you can be sure that they'd find some way to compensate anyone that can't use 'Watch Now'.

    In the meantime we can only assume, from their deafening silence on the subject, that they're just rolling their eyes like everyone else every time we bitch about it!

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Trust me: no one here is rolling their eyes. We're actually working tirelessly on it -- trying to convince Apple to open up while we also try to develop a work around. And for what it's worth, we're also slowly but surely fixing all those issue that keep members from using it even if they have a PC (And making it more worthwhile for Mac users once its available widely) like adding more titles and improving the usability in a dozen ways. The Mac part of the equation is just one thing that we are addressing.

    A lot of people here are working on this all of the time, and NO ONE is rolling their eyes at your frustration. Seriously.

    PS: feel free to be angry at Netflix, but it would be more constructive to talk to Apple about their policies. We're not waiting for them, but it sure would speed things up...

  39. Great to hear, Michael, thanks. And my apologies for being snippy. But I did say "...we can only assume...", since we hadn't heard a thing about it in QUITE a while.

    Having had so much of their intellectual property stolen from them over the years I can't imagine Apple co-operating with a would-be competitor at this point unless there's something in it for them, percentagewise, but I'll certainly bug them if you really think it'll help.

    Much appreciate the update.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. No thanks, nor apology, required. It's a thorny issue and not something i myself am working on. But i can't tell you how friggin' smart the guys who ARE working on it are, and if a winning solution can be delivered, these guys can do it.

    I apologize for not mentioning it sooner. It isn't my field but it didn't look like anyone else could break away to talk to y'all [or would you rather me type "to all of you."] It's Saturday and i'm playing with my kids; catch y'all later.

  42. ...or would you rather me type "to all of you."

    NO! Just couldn't resist the good natured rib when I read Baff's great post about our blog grade!

  43. "Why is it Netflix's problem...?"

    It is Netflix's service, therefore it is Netflix's problem. Apple, Microsoft, and others may well be part of the solution. I'm not saying it is all Netflix's fault, just that it is their problem.

    @Michael I think you should go with "yous peoples" ;P
    Seriously though, "y'all" is just fine.

  44. @Baff

    I have to disagree with you a bit here Baff. Of course, it "may" be Netflix's problem, but I really do not think it's that cut and dried.

    If it were only their problem, I believe we would have seen the issue resolved by now.

    People may not like analogies, but here comes one, so duck. It is the fault of the cable provider if you order HD content and you have no HD television to watch it on? This analogy is a bit simple, and can have holes shot through it, but the point is that one company cannot be responsible things that are too far out of their reach to be responsible for.

    Do they have to offer support for:

    Ace Explorer 2
    Lively Browser

    Maybe just browsers that have more than a 5% market share should be supported, but that would only be IE, then.

    Perhaps, you mean it's their problem because you pay for a service you cannot use, and want to be able to opt out that service thus getting a price break. I think that would be a reasonable request.

    What I think netflix should do to patch the issue is to be totally upfront in their advertising about what computers VOD (video on demand) can work on. Then, let the user decide if they want the extra VOD service.

    Something like this may work:

    3 disks unlimited
    3 disk unlimited with VOD

    This does not fix the issue with the player not playing in Firefox or with Mac browsers, but at least people who cannot use it won't be paying for it.

  45. Trying to be objectiveDecember 8, 2007 at 8:39 PM

    Well put, NFJ. My one disappointment with this blog (and perhaps all blogs) is that we're usually talking AT one another rather than exchanging ideas.

    But as someone that happens to have one of the the last Macs off the assembly line before they introduced the Intel Chip version that can also be loaded with Windows, I've gradually become persuaded over the many, many weeks of 'discussion' about this issue that there are so many different scenarios out there - e.g. "I have an older Mac", "why should I pay to install Windows?", "I use dial up", "I refuse to watch movies on anything other than my new 200" Plasma", "the selection sucks", "I only watch foreign movies and need subtitles", and so on - that only this 'opt in' or 'opt out' suggestion would really be fair. In other words, not 8 membership plans, but 16, each with its Video-on-demand box to tick for a few extra bucks. And this should continue even after they finally manage to make it available to everyone.

  46. An opt in/opt out plan does seem fair but I wouldn't agree to pay for something that I'm not positive I'm going to feel like using every month, so I'd never use the feature.

    But how about this? Since Netflix is giving its members one hour of online viewing for every dollar we spend per month in membership fees, would a pay-as-you-go type plan work? Say, a dollar per movie. But that would mean we'd be paying for something that we currently get for free. Unless they lowered prices again, that would be kind of crappy. Funny how an idea sounds good until you put it to paper.

  47. "Funny how an idea sounds good until you put it to paper."

    Yea, just imagine how the Founding Fathers felt!

    But these are probably the very kinds of smart and self-contradictory discussions that have been going on behind closed doors at NF over the last few months. Let's just hope so, anyway.

  48. I am sick and tired of Mac users complaining that they can't connect to the 99% of us in the Windows World. Are they children? Have they been living in a cave? Did they not know that Mac is dead and the entire planet runs on Microsoft Operating Systems?

  49. How nice that you were able to join our little discussion, Mr Gates.

  50. Absolutely agree with that. I simply wanted to send a suggestion to the appropriate department at Netflix, and their lack of helpful information -- no way to really contact them with a simple suggestion or without calling -- has led me here. This is the only place I could find to post my suggestion. On the blogger's side, though, I agree the customer service portion of the Netflix website needs a major overhaul. Other than that, I think Netflix has an absolutely AMAZING website and the features work very well.

    My suggestion regards the five-star rating system. For a long time now, I have encountered the same problem when going to rate certain movies. You see, the ratings go like so:
    1 star-hated it
    2 star-didn't like it
    3 star-liked it
    4 star-really liked it
    5 star-loved it

    What is MISSING is a category for "it was okay," because nothing above fits that. If you converted to a new six-star rating, you could make it the third star, between "didn't like it" and "liked it." There are surely others that go to rate a movie and cannot (like me) bring themselves to say they liked it or didn't like it, but would rather let others know, "it was okay." JUST A SUGGESTION! THANKS!

  51. Many agree with you about needing an 'OK' category, but the general consensus seems to be to add the sixth category using a '0 stars' rating so the existing format wouldn't have to change. FYI, Netflix' recommendations program reads 3 stars as 'so-so', boosting 4 and 5 stars, and downgrading 1 and 2 stars.

    Finally, suggestions can be sent using 'Contact Us' at the bottom of the page.

  52. “I am sick and tired of Mac users complaining that they can't connect to the 99% of us in the Windows World.”

    Actually, it’s about 94% of Internet users who use Windows as their operating system, but that shouldn’t preclude people from asking about compatibility with service software.

    They are certainly not children. Children couldn’t afford Mac computers; I can barely afford those computers. They are not living in a cave; they feel the operating system is better than Windows. I am in agreement with that, in most cases.

    I am a Windows system engineer but have found the Mac to be much more intuitive to use, much easier to secure and much less likely to crash. In fact, I have only seen crashes when running parallels with Windows.

    Just because many more people use Windows does not mean that a good debate cannot ensue about the VOD (Video on Demand) services that Netflix provides.

    Mac is far from dead, by the way. Companies do not die by gaining market share, even if it is just a little over a few years.

    My issue is not with people complaining about the lack of support for VOD on Mac computers but with where the total of the blame is placed. When speaking technically, there is no way that Netflix cannot be %100 responsible for a player not working if the receiving end (Apple) does not want it to work.

    The only remedy seems to be to offer users a way to opt out of the VOD service if they feel it is not valuable for them. They can already do that if they want to drop the entire Netflix service altogether and walk to the video store, but this probably isn’t what most users have in mind.

    Debate is good, even if it irks Windows users. Debate causes change and sometimes it even causes progress.

  53. RE: Rating Lists.

    I really like to read others' lists and I get a lot of movie suggestions from them. I've made many lists, also. Some of those lists are for my benefit (although I don't care if others can see them) and other lists were created so others can find movie ideas but I don't want to have ratings for lists. There is enough rating and ranking going on, IMO.

    The influence ranking is being gamed by a few. I've seen a lot of quick simple reviews by members who seem to be writing to get that rank up.

    So, I'm not interested in rating lists. I'm just pleased that we have members who share their lists with me. However, I think it would be interesting to see if someone has actually added a movie to their que from one of my lists. If NF could do a hash count of how many times someone (other than the list owner) has added a movie from the list - that would be fun.

  54. I have no interest in people's 'rank', having generally found the numbers corresponding more to output than either wisdom or originality, but would love to be able to home-in on those lists that my fellow members consider helpful since so many of them seem to be either totally obvious or totally arbitrary. But boy, every so often you come across a real gem, clearly reflecting years of exuberant obsession, and those deserve to be celebrated.

  55. michael, from netflixDecember 9, 2007 at 7:44 PM

    The influence ranking is being gamed by a few. I've seen a lot of quick simple reviews by members who seem to be writing to get that rank up.

    IT might be getting gamed a bit, but for the record, a lot of quick simple reviews won't do it. Your rank will not improve just by writing a lot of marginal reviews. They need a lot of helpful votes (both quantity and ratio with unhelpful votes) to see the rating improve. Just writing stupid reviews not only doesn't help, it can drive your ranking down if now MORE of your reviews aren't really useful (the ratio of good reviews to bad ones increases). It's not a perfect system to be sure, but the obvious ways to try to game it won't matter.

    In case you cared.

  56. michael, from netflixDecember 9, 2007 at 7:46 PM

    PS: I agree that voting on lists is a good idea. We're working on other stuff right now, but i do agree it is good.

  57. Michael,
    Not sure where to post this, but there really is a major flaw with the Netflix community website. We have "left notes" for our friends on over 100 movies in the past. (Yes, we literally have left notes on over 100 movies.) However, this month we added some new friends into our list of friends, and they can NOT see any of our notes. The very reason we left these notes in the first place is so our friends can read them -- but now these notes do not "carry forward" to new friends! We're not about to go through all 150 movies again and "re-send" the movie notes to these new friends of ours all over again, yet without us doing that tedious manual painstaking process, we can't get our notes to our new friends. I don't understand why this design flaw was allowed to be a part of the Netflix website. We WANT all of our new friends to be able to see all of our old notes. Isn't this what notes were for? Can you please fix this?

  58. @ Scott Rose.

    In other words, BRING BACK THE FUNCTIONALITY OF MINI-REVIEWS. We're wit ya all the way, Dude.

  59. Michael said : "In case you cared."

    Like it's really possible for you to think that we don't?

  60. RE: Gaming the Rank

    One glaring problem with the current system is that generally, negative reviews (even well-written ones) are commonly marked as "Not Helpful" when in reality, the voters mean "I Don't Agree With Your Review."

    This means that most of the highest-ranked reviewers have a history of reviewing nearly everything in a positive light.

  61. this is dumb- deaf don't use TTY anymore. They use Video Relay Service now, not TTY. Jeez.

  62. I have mentioned to my friends before that the links buttons should, at least, be changed to “I agree” or “I disagree”. I am not so sure that more points should be awarded to people who have “I disagree” more than “I agree”; that does not mean that the post was not substantial and well thought out.

    The “flag this” button should be used for posts that are obviously there just to increase ranking just as it is used for vulgar comments or a post that is not a review. I love seeing 5 stars and then “Hey, my disk was broken!” I’ll flag that every time.

    I would guess that the more friends one has, the more likely one is to get more helpful votes – or any votes at all, since new reviews show up on the community page.

    But I do think I accidentally stumbled onto a way to game the ranking, unless there are not really any points given for this. I was reading other posts on a movie I had reviewed and my post finally showed. I clicked on the “helpful” link, thinking it would say, “Hey, Junkie, you can’t vote on your own post. Are you high?”

    Instead, it let me vote. So, I went back to my community page where I could see my tallies up to the day. Then I went back and voted on a few other reviews I wrote, and the next day, each post I voted on that I wrote was deemed helpful by yet one more point.

    I wonder if this is why I see some reviews deep in the abyss that are marked helpful by 37 of 37 and 59 of 60 and so on. If this is the case, then rank really can be gamed and quite easily.

  63. Ok, so I'm completely clueless about blogging, so...sorry! I just didn't know where else to write a positive comment about NF, since the "contact us" area on the website is really just for problems, as far as I could tell, and I hate using the phone, so I'm wasn't going to sit on hold.

    Anyway...LOVE NF! You all can complain all you want about different aspects. Frankly, creative, constructive criticism ALWAYS has a positive effect, whether it be to improve what you want improved, or to show you that you need to move on. Obviously, you guys are the ones I should thank IN ADDITION to NF for the fantastic customer service I always get from them. They are listening to you and constantly making improvements. Constructive criticism works best if what/who your critiquing listens. Well, NF is apparently listening. Let me share an experience I had last month, so all of you know what a great company it is that you're supporting.

    I live in SoCal and though I wasn't evacuated, my part of the county lost postal service for several days during the wildfires (actually several weeks before all was back to normal), and you don't always think about the little stuff like your movies showing up. You're worried about bills, and paychecks, etc. WELL, NF took it upon themselves to put my account on hold until they were sure that my movies would be delivered in a timely manner. They also suspended any payment due them until everything was cleared up. They emailed me when they did this, and then emailed me again when they had heard from USPS that the issue had been resolved.

    When you're in a really crappy situation, sometimes the little things make the biggest difference in just getting through the day. NF, showing that there are humans behind the website and mail delivery, showed me that they cared about ME during a difficult time. It was unexpected, surprising, and one of the neatest things I've ever seen.

    So, you guys keep blogging, and I have no doubt NF will keep listening. Obviously, if we weren't all happy with them, we'd walk down the street to HV or BB, the evil corporate machines who love to steal our money! :0) Have a great holiday, however you celebrate, and stay safe!


    A loyal customer

  64. michael, from netflixDecember 10, 2007 at 8:56 AM

    Yes, members can vote for their own reviews. Once. This isn't enough to game the system. (Oh, maybe a teensy bit, but not really).

  65. @ Michael

    Thank you for the clarification.

    That's what I get for not really understanding the behind the scenes. I had not tested voting more than once for a review.

  66. To Anon (8.30 am). Thanks for letting us know about Netflix' great handling of the recent wild fires situation in your area.

    We might whine about this or that from time to time (like, what's with the incomprehensible and archaic insistence on a 5 day week in such a competitiveness business??!!) but I don't think most of us would bother to blog if we didn't love so many other things about Netflix's site and service - which, perhaps unfairly, we've rather come to take for granted. That is, I'm not sure that we'd even notice the occasional splinter if the rest of it weren't so painstakingly smoothed and hand polished.

    So I hereby add my own thanks, Team, in case you don't hear it from us quite as often as you should.

  67. "I wonder if this is why I see some reviews deep in the abyss that are marked helpful by 37 of 37 and 59 of 60 and so on."

    Until about a month ago, it was possible to vote on reviews every day. So, most reviews you see with those sorts of ratios were heavily gamed. There were some people that had given themselves 1000s of helpful votes. In a year or 2 the system should recover from it and those people's reviews should no longer be glued to the front page of every movie.

  68. Yes, it's a shame in a way that they didn't wipe the slate clean and start again, but that would have punished all by-the-rules-playing members as well; presumably the vast majority. And I'm already beginning to see lots of names that I don't recognize occupying - and deservedly so - those coveted first 3 review spots, so a couple of years to decontaminate the system sounds about right. And once we can (hopefully!) re-shuffle the reviews using criteria other than allegedly helpful, then the damage can be wholly undone.

  69. How about a 'Hall of Shame' for those reviewers whole ranking has drastically plummeted since they've no longer been able to vote for themselves!

    < ;-)>

  70. I would like to have Netflix offer the movie :Angelo, my love by Robert Duvall. Can someone from Netflix notify me if you get some copies in. Thank you, Kathy D

  71. How about a telephone number that works in the US Teritories - even if it is a toll call?

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  73. Michael... I know customer service isn't your department, but since you were nice enough to post about it, I thought you'd be kind enough to forward this info to the right people.

    The customer service pages still don't have the TTY number on them (the ones that say Answers by Phone). Also, people still use the term "TDD" (as opposed to TTY) so maybe TDD should be added to the "Instant Answers" help database (as well as keywords like "hearing impaired" or "deaf").

    Just a suggestion.

  74. Hearing issues aside: How come Netflix won't accept customer questions via e-mail?

  75. customer service for anybody. You have changed the look so that only a few new releases show. when I ask Help how do I see more, it says click on More new releases at the bottpom. There is no such option.

    what happened to the new releases section? This is extrmely frustrating and worse than shopping at the local video store.

  76. Tell me how do you deal with sum one who has half a mind to think more than see more less no notes.pls test isa new strings channel theroy has it worked c the see less on more to mind sea ca the way ah ok it comes back to yah think!!! Hounding pest keeps resounding rings in a mind u x the game no xox just whole thinking ++out side this square? are you in there??mmmm buzz shhhhh chi out of sorts? maybe yes maybe no

  77. The the past portal?

    Only the few will long as they keep it dated!

  78. I am very upset with Netflix and I am on the verge of canceling my membership. I have had movies on the top five of my list that have been out there for well over a month. I could of walked into Hollywood or Blockbuster and rented these movies now. I get the feeling that the new site is just smoke and mirrors, a way to keep customized thinking they are getting current stuff when they are actually getting old dated movies. This week is it, if I don't get one new release movie then Goodbye Netflix and hello Blockbuster!!

  79. I'm glad I found this thread, although I find it rather humorous that it went from being about customer service issues related to the Deaf and lack of email access, to being about other topics.

    As a Deaf customer myself, I've been quite frustrated with Netflix lately. You can't say you have a special line for Deaf customers and NOT put it out there for us to see.

    I also agree strongly that having a contact form, ticket system, or a way to email customer service is absolutely a necessity. Not everyone wants to waste time telephoning. And not all of us even like using the relay service due to how cumbersome it is and the lack of education / ignorance on the part of the rep. you usually end up getting to "help" you with your problem.

    I plan to cancel my subscription to Netflix. Their service in the past was much better than it is currently. I find it personally hysterical that the bigger a company grows, the poorer they become in valuing and appreciating the very customers that made them successful in the first place.

    Reinstate email access immediately (or some form of it thereof) ... more customers would appreciate it.

    Thank you.

  80. I'm impressed that Netflix responded quickly to your concern with a great response. When a customer is upset that's the best time to reach out to them to solidify that relationship and create a lifetime customer. I saw a great interview on Fox where the president of Mindshare talked about that.

  81. I have no idea why I have to wait 25 minutes to ask a simple question. Most companies, but and small should take a few lessons on customer service. I'm have a business of my own and I know exactly where I'd be without good customer service...out on the street. A good resource I found is a book called Deliver and Measure by the President of MindShare.

  82. What this really comes down to is customer service and meeting the needs of a customer. I am a true blue beleiver in good customer service and I think we all should be. I too would be frustrated if I were this customer. I'd like to recommend a customer service book that is amazing with advice and tips to better our own customer service skills.

  83. I am so frustrated today, I went to all the trouble of finding this blog post and adding my $.02. I started out with a minor customer service issue/question, which has now snowballed into a hugely frustrating problem because I don't have a spare 20 minutes to wait on hold, and there's no email or online customer service. Offering a phone number is fine, but there was no reason to take away email customer service. The NF press release says it was to avoid 'non-responsive' customer service, but it seems to me it would be better to train CS reps better, rather than just doing away with service. I've been a loyal NF customer for several years, but am considering (for the first time) switching to BlockBuster, assuming they have 21st-century customer service.