Thursday, June 19, 2008

Profiles feature going away

As a Netflix product manager I'm tasked with the wonderful job of helping members find movies they'll love. But today my job is more challenging as we've decided to terminate the profiles feature on September 1. Please know that the motivation is solely driven by keeping our service as simple and as easy to use as possible. Too many members found the feature difficult to understand and cumbersome, having to consistently log in and out of the website.

Continuing to maintain the profiles feature for the passionate few who use it (including myself) distracts us from the mission of presenting to all our members the easiest way to find the best titles for them from the 100k plus on DVD and the 10k plus available instantly.

We will do our best to find better ways for families to share accounts than the existing profiles feature and will continue to invest in improving the website experience in many different ways.

- Todd


  1. Yeah, I heard about this on get satisfaction, where quite a few people are upset. I'm not surprised so few people used it though, but darn it, they're gonna be the loudest ones aren't they? I mean, the casual user who doesn't happen to have a family or anything, where you'd want to make sure Jane got her fair share of DVDs at her own pace, without messing up John's pace.

    One guy on hacking netflix thinks it's a patent issue, and I wouldn't be surprised, there's a patent for EVERYTHING these days, probably even this comment :(

  2. If you truly valued your customers you would not get rid of the current system without first having a replacement system ready to go.

    The profiles system is the only easy way that I can keep my wife and I happy using your service, and if I become unhappy due to this change I may have to rethink my movie rental service options.

  3. This is highly disappointing news to me. My roommate and I maintain separate queues under the same overall account and the system, as it is, works perfectly for us.

    You mention looking for better ways to share accounts, but what are we talking about here? Will there still be separate queues and rating/recommendations? What are the plans here?

    And what about the current users? Can we at least be grandfathered into keeping the system as is even if it is without support?

    What about a way to migrate our separate queues and ratings to unique individual accounts? I have thousands of movies rated and hundreds of items in my queue and I'm certainly not interested in inputting all that information again.

    It seems like you're killing off a great feature that really sets your service apart simply because some users found it confusing. What about the many subscribers who use it without issue? It seems like you should offer them more options than simply discontinuing the additional profiles.

    I have to say that, if this purge goes through as stated and described in your post (and email on the issue), I don't think my roommate and I will remain subscribers. I don't want to leave, but without some kind of migration/crossgrade option, re-entering all my queue and ratings on a new account is more hassle than it's worth for a company that terminates features I need & use in such a hostile matter.

  4. I can't believe this. First you take away the RTW page and now this. Do you guys have any concept of what makes good customer service? It's not taking away every good service you's adding new ones. Just like the RTW page removal, this is being done not to help out your customers but for your own selves. I just wish you guys would own up to it. I liked having separate profiles, since it allowed my wife to have her own list and I had my own. Now it will have to go back to how it was before where you have to hope you movies are shipped in the correct order in order to be fair. We all know how well that works. I am thoroughly disgusted with Netflix right now. I was very unhappy about the RTW page but this is even worse. I am seriously considering quitting the service that I've belonged to since the beginning. I am now convinced that if you guys thought stealing candy from a baby would help your bottom line, you wouldn't hesitate. In fact, you would probably pop their balloon for good measure if they had one. Simply put, you guys are money grubbing scum who are doing everything they can to maximize their profits at the expense of their customers. This is one customer giving you the one finger salute.

  5. I'm surprised that more members found it hard to use than useful. Yes, the logging in and out thing is truly annoying, for the main profile owner. But the other profile users don't need to log in and out. Instead of just taking the whole feature out, why not try to figure out a way so that people don't have to re-login?

    Profiles is one of the features that made Netflix so much better than Blockbuster. Since Netflix and BB offers the same service, it's great when it has something that distinguishes it. I keep trying to get my friends to switch over from BB. Everyone likes the fact that they can return videos in the store. It's hard to convince them when Netflix doesn't have neat features that's better than BB.


  6. This is such crap. Eliminating profiles completely removes any reason for my family not to use Blockbuster instead.

    Apparently, profile users are in the minority. That's great for Netflix. They won't miss the 1% transferring to an identical service with more convenient returns at all.

  7. Quite possibly the biggest SNAFU for Netflix. If the termination of this feature goes through as promised, I will definately not use Netflix again. Blockbuster, Vongo, and many others are just waiting to scoop up your customers, why are you eager so let them go?

  8. I hope that a comparable option is released when profiles go away.

    My wife and I have used them since they were initially released.

  9. This is such a horrible idea. Many people use this feature for their families!

    Why don't you change the add button to pop up an AJAX button to specify which profile's queue the DVD should go in, and ask for a password to that profile on that screen? That way, it's EASY to use, and yet still keeps the people (like myself) who use the profile system happy!

    It makes sense to KEEP the profiles, so that kids can't even tell that there are R rated movies listed. With NO profile system, parents will have to unlock and then relock the mature settings on the account each time THEY want to see an R rated movie. You're just causing a brand NEW way to make the system DIFFICULT to use.

    Honestly, if someone thinks the profile system is "difficult to understand / use", then either you need to EDUCATE them better, or make the system easier to use, not REMOVE the feature, and frustrate your loyal members who have half a brain!

    Please contact me if you'd like an INTELLIGENT person to bounce ideas off of, because it sure seems like there's not enough behind the scenes!

  10. "Too many members found the feature difficult to understand and cumbersome", huh? Fuck you, I've had it with this shit customer service. No more complaints from me - Simply canceling account September 1st.

  11. I think it's a neat feature but I didn't use it. Not because it was hard to use or anything like that but because I'm stingy with my rentals. Heck I pay for it so I might as well rent what I want and if the roomies want to watch they can if not then sucks to be them.

  12. Due to this change, I will be investigating other online rental options.

  13. I've created a wikinews article on this nonsense:

    Please feel free to edit the article and comment on it. Potential customers need to be informed so that they can choose another service from the beginning and don't invest the time in a service like Netflix, which they will eventually have to cancel (as I will be doing in September if this goes through).

  14. That last part of the URL on the wikinews article which got cut off was "Netflix_cancels_separate_profiles_for_members"

  15. So, ummm, the reason I'm not switching to is
    going away.
    My family likes three queues
    and would use a fourth one.
    One will suck and eliminate your competetive advantage.

  16. I love Netflix as it is/was.

    My wife, son and I use the individual profiles. Our son loves it as he receives mail in his name. He knows exactly what he is getting and is excited every time he gets the mail.

    We have four ques. One for each of us and one for TV series.

    We recently moved to American Samoa and were thrilled Netflix delivers here. Even though mail is only delivered 2 times a week we still love the service (as it is). We were actually thinking of increasing our rentals to compensate for the mail delay here.

    Between our 4 ques we have well over 1,000 movies waiting to be delivered. We will have to eliminate over half the movies currently on hold and reorder the que in hopes that we all get the movies we want without shortchanging anyone, which brings up another issue.

    Our son loves to rewatch movies. With the current system he can keep a movie for three weeks and it does not impact any of our selections. Elimnating his que would mean we MUST login every time we return a movie to determine which movie we want next.

    We loved the hands off approach we had where we didn't have to worry or think about what was coming. That is decided when we put a movie in the que. We can forget about it after that. Not anymore. Now we have to micromanage a system that used to work exacly as we hoped it would.

    All totalled this pretty much boils down to:

    We were going to increase our usage before and now we are seriously considering cancelling it all together.

    Maybe Block Buster will listen to our wants and create a service you are discontinuing.

    Extremely Disappointed!!

    Or is Netflix wanting to get away from mail and DVDs and just do online / Blu-Ray?

  17. Put me down as a very disappointed one-queue customer. I've been planning on setting up another queue--really looking forward to it--but just hadn't gotten around to it.

    The biggest loss to Netflix from this wildly unpopular decision might be in customer evangelism. Or the new lack thereof.

  18. Take away this very useful option with a vague promise of some future way to make it easier for families? What can you people be thinking?

  19. If you want to eliminate profile and institute something new, that would be fine. What I can't believe is that to save a copy of my secondary queue of 250 DVDs, you guys are recommending I PRINT IT OUT. What year is it again? I'm supposed to print out this gigantic list of DVDs and re-enter all the information manually later? There has to be a better way!

  20. Whether most of your customers used it or not is irrelevant at this point. You may have just created a P.R. nightmare for yourselves.

    This is a major feature. To do this without any recourse to save years worth of customer info really is not acceptable. To allow this to play out in this way raises serious questions about the stability of your company and the competence of its management.

  21. This is a major, major loss of functionality. The stated reason just isn't credible - how exactly do the profiles confuse people who aren't using them? And even if there is a confusion issue, the answer is UI improvement, throwing out the feature entirely.

    The cynic in me is whispering that some bean-counter figures Netflix will gain more in new accounts than they'll lose in people jumping ship to BlockBuster, but frankly that seems unlikely. Based on what's been said, this is a really dumb move - there must be some reason they're keeping to themselves.

  22. 1 Billion Movies - Game OverJune 19, 2008 at 3:32 AM

    While it may be disappointing to see Profiles go away, this change will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.

    If you have any questions, please go to or call us anytime at 1 (888) 638-3549. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Disappointing??? Apologize??? Improve the website??? Inconvenience???

    How about helping those that have large ques to transfer?

    How about actually listening to your customers?

    How about providing better service than your competitors?

    How is reducing your service improving your website?

    I used to tell everyone how wonderful Netflix is.

    Now I will be cancelling our account and telling everyone I talked to, to find another alternative.

    You won't just loose my business. You are loosing the business I have been bringing to you.

    By the way, an inconvenience is when the service is temporarily disabled. NOT PERMANANTLY REMOVED!!!

    This is an insult and slap in the face to those that use and enjoy the service. Evidently our wants and desires don't mean anything to the Corporation.

    What I am hearing Netflix saying is: "We really don't care what you say or think. This is what we are doing and you will just have to deal with it. Tough luck for you. Don't like it? We dare you to leave! We know you won't so stop your belly aching."

  23. Too many members found the feature difficult to understand and cumbersome

    They they needn't use it.

    But don't punish those of us who find it an extremely valuable feature!

    What sort of business sense does it make to remove one of your significant market differentiators?

  24. I use separate profiles for my family members, and have never found it difficult to use. If some members found it difficult to use, you should have worked on ways to make it easier for them, not eliminated it all together.

    You claim that you will do your best to find better ways for families to share accounts, but don't mention anything specific. If you are really planning on doing something like that, why not do it first, before getting rid of profiles?

    In the email you sent to your customers, you claim that "this change will help us to continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers." What changes are you planning on making, exactly, that force you to get rid of profiles?

    This seems to me like a blatant attempt to squeeze more money out of your customers, by forcing them to purchase separate accounts for each member of their family. Rest assured, I will not be doing that. It may however, prompt me to cancel my Netflix account, and switch to Blockbuster Online, or just start renting all my movies from my neighborhood video store instead.

    Getting rid of profiles is a terrible idea. Please don't go through with it.

  25. I find this sadly typical. You get a small company that caters to its users, is responsive and creative. They request ideas from their power users, and really listen to them, because it makes for a better product.

    Then, they gain market, and they decide that they have enough customers so that they don't have to worry about the minority. They put the bean-counters in charge, instead of the creative minds that put the company together. And they piss off customer after customer.

    Eventually, a new company starts up, with the creative minds in charge, and the original company withers.

    Netflix was the company that brought down Blockbuster. It will be interesting to see who the company that brings down Netflix is.

  26. As Joshua said,

    "This seems to me like a blatant attempt to squeeze more money out of your customers, by forcing them to purchase separate accounts for each member of their family."

    I may consider doing that. But the only way I would is if it is less expensive to have mulitple accounts for one address than one account with mutliple profiles. I would want some compensation for receiving 4 or more seperate bills from Netflix every month.

  27. Oh, this is SO disappointing. The Profiles system works perfectly for our family. Mom, Dad, and 2 kids each have their own queue. We all maintain our own queues. We all like getting the mail in our own names. Having everything in one queue would be a major, major loss of functionality for us and would really cause us to reconsider paying for Netflix. We have really enjoyed the service up to this point, but to have the feature yanked away after it's been so useful - well, that just doesn't seem right.

  28. "Too many members found the feature difficult to understand and cumbersome, having to consistently log in and out of the website."


    Did you ask the members that "found the feature difficult to understand and cumbersome" if they would be happier if it wasn't available? Or did you just assume they would be happier because they won't have anything to complain about?

  29. The alternate profiles is a really great service. I hope that you reconsider your decision.

  30. Just wanted to add my voice of dismay to the group of unhappy customers. This is a huge dissapointment. Profiles is a great feature. What are guys thinking?

  31. Count me as another rethinking keeping my Netflix subscription.
    Losing the functionality is bad, but almost worse is the bonehead excuse provided.
    This does not inspire confidence in your company.

    Hey, but at least we've got a few months to look at the alternatives.

  32. So my brother is going to be rating Gladiator 5 stars and his girlfriend, now forced to be on the same account, will rate My Little Pony 5 stars...I'm sure that will be good for the recommendation system.

  33. "All Profiles rental history will be added into the main account rental history." This may harm the main account's movie rating predictions. The effort that went into Netflix Prize may be lost. My profiles have very different rental and rating histories.

    We are very saddened by this news and hope that the wonderful people at Netflix find a way to solve the usability problems they cite without harming the accounts of their most active users. I frequently recommend Netflix to my friends and coworkers, but this may change.

  34. Profiles are the best feature of Netflix. Getting rid of them is a terrible idea! Please work on making them easier to use instead of eliminating them.

  35. i work in software/web development. there is no reason to eliminate this functionality unless (a) making usability improvements [nicer way to switch profiles, etc.] is impractical door to a POOR underlying application design, or (b) this is purely ploy to drive account upgrade.

    probably (b).

    my wife and i have a 1-disc unlimited plan currently with two profiles -- one for her and one for me. this system has worked WONDERFULLY, and i've promoted netflix to friends (especially those with kids) largely on the basis of this management convenience. i'm guessing that the sales department are hoping that after september 1, folks like us will pay extra for a 2-disc unlimited plan just to have the same control of their account that they currently pay for.

  36. "We will do our best to find better ways for families to share accounts than the existing profiles feature"

    It is absolutely unacceptable for you to remove the profiles feature before you replace the functionality.

  37. Well if there isn't a replacement for profiles in place I will be canceling my subscription at the end of August. I am sorry but this feature is the main thing that makes the service work for my family. I don't have time to juggle 3 peoples queues into 1. So long Netflix was good while it lasted....

  38. Profiles were one of the main reasons I opened a Netflix account. My wife and I don't need separate queues, but we sure don't want to watch the same movies as the kids. Without profiles we'll have to check the queue every time we send a movie back and maybe rearrange things. That is, if we keep our Netflix account. Time to start shopping around.

  39. I love the separate profiles. I rent a lot of TV shows in addition to movies. So I have one profile just for movies, and one just for the TV shows. This prevents me from constantly having to update my queue to make sure I get next DVD in a TV series instead of a movie.

    I am very disappointed how Netflix is moving away from customer friendly options like this and the "Releasing This Week" (I currently go to Blockbuster's site to find out what's releasing each week. Do they offer Separate profiles? If so that will probably be the key in me switching over now.)

  40. This is a terrible decision - the rating prediction system is exactly what makes netflix so great, and combining profiles will damage the rating prediction system. I will most likely be canceling my account as well.

  41. this is ridiculous. piss off your most loyal users.

    "some people don't understand how to use it" is not an excuse.

  42. Just to let you guys know, this is not a MINOR feature. It is a nessicary one for me and my family. If this is taken out without replacement, you will be losing a large number of family accounts. There are other services out there. I have an account for my family, and so do both sets of parents. That's three accounts. You may say that not many people use it, but that is not true. Perhaps by percentage that is true. Just know that you will most likely lose that percentage of customers. And if you figured you'd get MORE accounts from us because of this, you are very wrong, this violates my trust in your company, meaning that I will NEVER do business or recommend your service. If you have a replacement service AND you migrate the queue lists then that is another story.

  43. Aaak! Why are you taking away this feature!? To help you understand the impact of this decision, here's what you could call this feature instead of 'Profiles':
    - Domestic Tranquility
    - Keeping the peace
    - Marital Bliss
    - Yours, Mine and Ours

    Pleeeeeeze reconsider!

  44. This is one of the features of NetFlix that my wife and I liked best. Can you explain *exactly* how this improves our experience. I used to unconditionally recommend NetFlix. No longer.

  45. Next from Netflix . . .

    Netflix to discontinue use of "adding machines" for movie rentals.

    Citing mass customer confusion over how to use their "electricity boxes" for effective movie rentals, Netflix has announced they will no longer allow DVD rental by computer. Unhappy customers had complained of CONFUSION and DISORIENTATION caused by the bright shininess of their monitors and the WHIRRING, WHIRRING of computer internals. "Boxes make me dizzy," one befuddled Netflix users said.

    Netflix suggested users pony express new additions to their queues or they could do that thing where you hitch a bag of mail to a passing-by train. Of course, if this also confuses, Netflix suggest shouting movie titles very loudly and hoping a Netflix representative hears you. One poor sould was heard roaming through the streets shouting, "CRASH!" into the night air.

    When pressed for comment a Netflix representative said, "People began using their machines in unforeseen ways. Take profiles. Profiles are frightening and scary. How can one person be more than one person at the same time? That's witchcraft where I come from and we must discourage that type of behavior." He continued, "We at Netflix decided that it'd be better to discontinue the use of 'devil boxes' for movie rentals rather than being forced to boil a bunch of our customers."

  46. I have to agree that the lose of this represents one of the key features that has made me a loyal customer of netflix. If one wants to maintain a viewing of separate genres of films, profiles are an excellent way to do this. With the removal of profiles it will now be necessary to interleave the films in one queue to achieve the same effect in the flow of movies delivered from netflix. Less confusing? , more convenient?, NOT.
    I have to agree that this must be motivated by something other than what is being told.

  47. This is terrible news! My husband and I love this feature because our taste in movies is soooooooooooo different!!! We have 3 profiles set up one for him, one for myself, and the last for the series that we watch together. We just got his mother to join BECAUSE of this feature (she has a very picky family). We are incredibly disappointed with Netflix over this, especially since we have loved every part of their service up until now.

  48. This is a terrible idea. The Profiles feature is the main reason we use Netflix and by taking it away, not only will you be taking away the feature- you will also be taking away my wife's ratings and profile information. This is tragic- I have been a member for more than 5 years and this is the first time I have lost faith in Netflix.

  49. Netflix Profiles was the best feature they could offer to families with subscriptions. My household has one profile for my wife and I and a second profile for the kids. Each profile has very different settings, ratings, and rental activity, and Profiles has been invaluable for us. As a former Netflix employee (2000-2005) I am disappointed to see a service I love cutting my favorite differentiator... especially without offering any alternative first. If anyone thinks we will pay for a second account in lieu of a second Profile they're crazy. We'll just have to cancel and put that extra money towards buying DVD's for the kids instead. *sigh*

  50. This is a heroically stupid move, NetFlix. Expect your customers to leave for your competition in droves.

  51. Are you people HIGH? "Some of our customers are morons, so we're going to dump what is probably the most useful feature of our business model. Customer service? Suck it."

    I agree with the previous poster who theorized that you want to get out of mail delivery completely.

  52. Wow, another company that is going to improve their customer's experience by eliminating a useful feature. The elimination of profiles without a suitable replacement strategy will have a negative impact on my family's use of Netflix. If you make your service more difficult for families to use, we simply will find another solution. I don't want to have to spend my time rearranging the single queue to ensure that everyone gets their share of movies.

  53. Multiple queues was a *godsend*, and it's a deal-breaker for it to be taken away.

    1) I like action, drama, etc. I do *not* want "Gilmore Girls" recommended for my list b/c my wife enjoys it.

    2) I resent that my only other option is to go to a more expensive 2-account system.

    If it's a patent, license it. If this is some marketing guy's idea to drive more revenue, this is the straw that will break the camel's back.

  54. I officialy call shenanigans on you Netflix.

    "...this change will help us to continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers."

    How, exactly?

    Many of your customers are using this service as a secondary profile. They have put lots of time and effort into rating movies, and building their queue. Now, without any sort of transition you are just going to erase all of that information?

    I am a web developer and it would take me about 1 day to create the ability to upgrade your profile to a separate account. If this is truly about money (which I assume it is), then you have to be crazy not to implement this type of feature.

    If the ability to upgrade existed, my additional accounts would definitely take advantage. Instead, we will probably look for another service that isn't driven by the almighty dollar.

    Don't insult our intelligence by pretending this is about customer service, when you will be dramatically inconveniencing thousands of customers.

  55. I'm sorry, but when this feature goes away, so do my family. There is no way we can keep a Netflix subscription going without multiple profiles, it't would be just too painful.

  56. "Too many members found the feature difficult to understand and cumbersome"

    Many people find cars with manual transmission difficult and cumbersome. Yet the automakers don't stop making cars with manual transmission.

  57. This is horrible news. If this indeed goes through, I will be among the droves that cancels my account on September 1st. I can also say that all my my friends are saying the same thing - this is removing Netflix's competitive advantage.

    If you have NFLX, you may due well to sell as soon as possible...

  58. So you want people to sign up individually to keep their own list and rating system separate and that way you make an extra few bucks of each person who does that. Guess what? You can fix it by Sept 1 or Ill find someone who wants my business and wont screw with me to make a few extra bucks per member. And you can bet your ass I will not be re-rating over 1400 movies because you want to cripple the service I started paying for and liked.

  59. I will be canceling my account when the profiles feature goes away. Stupid move.

  60. Please don't take this feature away!!!

    With all the new stupid community features, you're taking away one of the most USEFUL features on the site?

  61. Will think seriously about ditching Netflix because of this.

  62. As you can see from the previous comments, it's evident to most that Netflix is either colossally stupid, or is lying to us.

    Don't try to claim that you're doing this for our benefit. If you're doing this because multiple profiles are causing a technology problem for you, just admit it. If you need to charge an extra dollar or two per month per queue to recover excess costs, do it.

  63. We reactivated our account a month ago to discover this news -- not only that profiles were going away (the customer service rep said it wasn't a good use of computer resources according to Netflix engineers?), but that our account wouldn't have access to the feature, despite having been around for a few years, since we never created profiles before.

    It's really unthinkable to me that you would disable a feature like this without having a new, better system waiting in the wings. I'm disappointed.

  64. I just signed into my account and CREATED A NEW USER ACCOUNT. If you are going to be getting rid of this service, then why don't you TURN IT OFF, or at least tell people you will soon be screwing them over.

    I have been a loyal customer for 5 years, but now I hope the avalanche of shit that is coming your way sinks your greedy company.

    This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass, Netflix.

  65. I called customer service (1-888-638-3549) about it, hoping to register my complaint through official channels (if you do this, be polite! It's not the phone rep's fault).

    Anyway, it sounded like she had already heard about this a few times, and the suggested approach to deal with this is to post a suggestion on their site.

    If this bothers you, I would recommend making sure that Netflix knows about it. Post your complaint to their Suggestions page. (

    Be honest, be sincere, be polite, and let them know how much it bothers you (likely to the point of seeking competitors).

    Good luck! Like others have said, for me, this is a deal breaker - Profiles is the key feature keeping us with Netflix. Without it, in-store drop-off and in-store rental is far superior. I'm sad to leave Netflix after evangelizing it for so long, but if it goes away, I'll go with the superior product.

  66. Just by perusing the comments, I agree. My wife and I have completely different tastes in movies, and it would take an enormous amount of time to manage one queue for the both of us. We now have a DVR which we did not have when we started to use Netflix so we will be canceling once they remove the Profiles.

  67. I would gladly pay a couple of extra bucks to keep this feature!!!!!!!

  68. This is very disappointing, I use this feature to filter out the garbage from my children (who have their own queue) and reduce conflicts on "whose movie is on top" the wife. Might as well go to blockbuster down the street now. It was a good run folks, thanks.

  69. Everyone else is missing a vital point here. Netflix is on record as stating that their shorter than longer term plans are to eliminate all DVD shipments entirely in favor of their streaming technology.

    So whether they support 1 queue or 100 queues will become irrelevant once their basic business model changes. If for one will drop my account when (not if) this occurs.

    In the meantime, I'm with all the others who state that multiple queues, allowing family members to maintain they own lists, is a major reason I stafrted with Netflix in the first place over some of their competitors.

  70. Very disappointing. Ask MLB.COM what happens when you remove a feature, Condensed Games in their case, that subscribers love.

    I see that MLB.COM has since reversed that decision. But not before many, including myself, cancelled their service.

  71. Eliminating profiles is a terrible management decision. My family uses 3 profiles and it keeps the peace in my home. We will be cancelling our membership if this goes through.

  72. Removing Profile Queues from the Netflix service is a terrible mistake. One of the most useful features of Netflix was the customization of the lists. Its perfect for families and couples to maintain separate lists. I hope that this is not a ploy to get families to invest in multiple Netflix subscriptions. My family has now been forced to investigate other services. Its a shame that you decided to handicap what has been a wonderful service for us.

  73. It's hard to believe but Netflix has actually come up with something worse than eliminating email support and the ability to email customer service. I never thought it would be possible.

    Netflix, if this feature is popular but difficult to use, then make it EASIER, don't eliminate it.

    This marketing disaster could even give New Coke a run for the money! Wow, I didn't think they could be so ridiculously incompetent.


  74. I can't believe Netflix is doing this, and with scarcely any explanation. I just don't buy the argument that the profiles feature is a "distraction." Distraction from what?

    I've been a loyal subscriber for four years. My wife has a separate profile with her own movie ratings. It is infuriating that all of this will just disappear on September 1. Netflix needs to consider the fact that we make joint decisions about how to spend our money. I don't want to lose all my movie ratings, but since hers will be going no matter what we do, our reasons NOT to try Blockbuster's serve will be much less compelling. I don't know if I will be able to replace Netflix, but I am damned sure going to try!

  75. Did the casual user even KNOW about profiles? I don't get how they could be confused? Couldn't you come up with a fix instead of removing them altogether? Like figure out a way for people not to have to keep logging in unless they DO have more than one profile? I won't stop using Netflix over this, but it does make me think a lot less of the company.

  76. Dumb move. Having mutlipe queues in a household with different tastes is helpful.

    If I were the Product Manager I would do more research or atleast conduct a survey of ALL of those using this feature.

    Again bone head move

  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

  78. I'm floored. Are they really doing this? It's not April 1st is it?

    I don't want to go to Blockbuster but I have to vote with my wallet on this one.

  79. This idea is a terrible setback. I agree with so many others that the profiles feature is perfect for ensuring separate lists and even distribution from those lists.
    It would be much better to be able to have extra profiles and set movie allotment to fractions so that a family of several could automatically have movies from there several lists on a rotating turn basis.
    Last time I looked, intelliflix still had profiles. This feature is important enough, that I will probably switch to another vender, even if I have to sacrifice some level of service or features.

  80. How dare you take away individual accounts! If we have to consolidate our que's it will destroy everything I have been doing. I spent a lot of time remembering and entering in all the movies I have seen. This will be a big let down to have to lose this, not just to me but to fellow customers. You go through with this and I will never ever look at you again. How ungrateful of you to just banish my account this will help nothing in improving customer relations. I have told so many people about NETFLIX and how great it is because of this feature. You do this I will tell all of them how much you disappointed me. I love your service don't do this to me, please.

  81. I can't believe they are doing this. This is one of the better features out there. I am going to have to start considering other options. And to think I was going to purchase one of the set top boxes.

  82. The profile feature was critical to managing the queue for my wife and me. I am extremely disappointed to hear this news, and I would encourage you to reconsider.

  83. *sigh*...This poor blog is turning into an outlet for disgruntled customers.

    More and more I get the feeling that the vast majority of Netflix subscribers, at least according to Netflix, are a bunch of completely illiterate hicks that can barely tie their own shoes, much less navigate a website.

    I imagine the Netflix testing lab, with employees in white coats and clipboards shaking their heads disapprovingly as the drooling, slack-jawed "focus group" pounds their keyboards while picking their noses.

  84. It seems to me, by removing the ability to maintain multiple queues on one account, you are greatly reducing the effectiveness of your 'Movies You'll Love' service. Right now, I know the suggestions on my tab are based on movies I watched. Some have seemed like unusual suggestions but, most of the time, I do actually like them. If my son and wife are inputing to this suggestion list, I am very likely to write off the unusual suggestions as for one of them, and miss out on some real gems.

    In addition, I rely heavily on your multiple queues to allow my five-year-old son the freedom to independently build his own list. With your decision, you are telling me that (if we stay with your company) he would no longer have that freedom. The excitement and joy of going to the mailbox, and getting a Netflix package with his own name on it, knowing that it is something just for him, will be gone.

    The functionality that multiple queues gives us, is very important to the way my family uses your service. I have an e-mail in to Blockbuster asking for more detail in what they can offer. I do not like Blockbuster's history with regards to business practices, but I will go with whatever company allows me to manage things in a way that fits the dynamic of my family, even Blockbuster.

    As for logging in and out, each member of my family has their own account on one of our systems. When my son logs into his (parental controlled) ID on our computer, he opens the link to Netflix, and it goes right to his account. No muss, no fuss.

    Please, continue to allow us, your customers, the ability to maintain multiple queues.

    Thank you for your time.

  85. It is difficult for me to believe that a company that does such sophisticated technical stuff (recommendation engine, supply/demand algorithms, etc.) finds allowing me to set up separate queues for myself, wife, and kids an insurmountable programming challenge.

    I'll be shopping around come September.

  86. It seems to me the reasoning for this change is flawed. If, in fact, it is difficult/confusing for some folks to manage through the profiles and have to "log in and out" - the answer is not to rid ourselves of this useful feature, but to make it easier to use, or offer easier suggestions for use (i.e. I have one password for me as "administrator" and another for each of my family members - this makes it quite easy to go between queues).
    Frankly, I do not look forward to going back to the days when I find the next movie in the queue (one I want) to be delayed for some reason and for my weekend viewing instead receive another Godzilla film (that my son had on the queue when his turn came up).
    I will admit if this chanage goes through as mentioned, I can be easily swayed to switch to another mail-in dvd rental system who does offer such a program.
    Thank you for your service thus far, and I hope you will come up with a better solution then you offer now.

  87. Like most of the people here, the ability to have multiple queues is the only way my wife and I can use netflix without constantly fighting over what to put in the top of the queue!

  88. Todd's comments add nothing to the discussion. If you need to redesign the website to clean up code, you do a redesign that incorporates the key features. You don't blow away functionality without a suitable replacement and then tell customers you're "improving" the website.

  89. I am really disappointed about losing the profiles feature. My husband, daughter and I have completely different viewing habits and this will cause me to spend more time online managing our combined queue, which I never had to do with Profiles because it was so genius. I have stayed loyal to Netflix from the beginning, but with this nuisance I may have to switch. Yuck.

  90. What an absolute stupid decision to get rid of Profiles. If there are actually people in the world who find it "cumbersome and confusing" to log into an account and click a button to add movies under their own name, then they probably need to get some type of basic training in how to use a computer period! My goodness, nothing could be more SIMPLE!!

    This was the most efficient, and EASIEST way for me to regulate my child's usage and parental ratings. She has her list, I have mine.

    I can't believe I told so many people to sign up for Netflix, and now you are turning the company into crap!

    This decision was obviously based on your lack of truly caring about customer satisfaction and convenience.

    Netflix had the perfect setup, it wasn't broke, so why are you breaking it now?!!!!!!

  91. My fiance and I really enjoyed and used this system a lot, as we have very different tastes in movies, so we are sad to see it go. It would be helpful now if the emails regarding receiving and shipping went to more than one email account so that two parties can be active in assigning movies in the queue.

  92. So this is just a ploy to get people on the bandwagon to use your TV streaming system? I don't want to stream movies to my TV I want to be able to have a Disc that I can move around to different TV's or take on trips so that I can mail it back later. This has to be one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard of. When did throwing away customer service and convince become a way to make money? looks better and better all the time.

  93. "Yes, this is horrible, this idea."

    I'm completely stunned by this. So how many people were confused and how many used profiles? This seems like a very weak, possibly contrived, reason.

    Perhaps Netflix is trying to discourage group accounts. The recommendations feature will be diminished for each of us with the whole family as the basis.

    I hope they reconsider.

  94. This deicision is idiotic in the extreme. I think Netflix underestimated the furor that would result. If Netflix goes through with this decision I will cancel my subscription. I suggest all who are upset do the same. Hit them where it hurts, in the wallet.

  95. I'm really disappointed in this. My wife and I have been using Netflix a little less recently with the arrival of a new baby, and this removal of a key feature of our shared subscription program may make us cancel our subscription altogether.

    Please reconsider.

  96. I am very sorry to hear this and would strongly urge Netflix to reconsider! We currently have three profiles, one for myself, my husband, and 10-year-old daughter. Profiles work perfectly for us & keep the peace in movieworld. My husband and I can watch movies at our own pace, "That's MY movie, please don't send it back until I've watched it." My daughter has control over her own queue. No one hogs the queue by "frontloading" their faves. We never end up with three kids movies for the weekend or three adult movies when there's a house full of slumber party girls. All of these scenarios did happen before profiles; now we each have our own movie (at least in transit) at any given time. If there is an aspect of the service that users find "clunky" then Netflix should remedy that aspect rather than pull the service. If profiles go away, I'll be shopping for movie services.

  97. Please reconsider the decision to remove profiles. Netflix will be painful to use without the ability to have more than one queue.

  98. When I set up profiles, I chose the option. I don't recall being forced to use more than one profile. If some users find multiple profiles undesirable, can't they just use one profile??

  99. I don't understand this decision at all! Like several other people I thought this was an email scam! Surely, people who found this feature too difficult or cumbersome to use just went ahead and did not use it at all... So why punish the rest of us who absolutely love it? I read that you promise some kind of replacement service for the profiles; how about having that ready before you cut us off? Deeply disappointed.
    PS: Every Netflix subscriber I know uses the profiles feature...

  100. I agree with Daniel. A replacement system should have been operational before yanking the current one, and our family will stop using the service if it becomes a real hassle in September. I believe more people would have used the feature if it was promoted more and placed on a more prominent place on the site. Anyone using the internet to begin with should not have found it THAT difficult to use once they found it. It was just like using multiple email addresses with one internet provider account. Very unlike Netflix to make such a mistep when it comes to customer service.

  101. I've got to agree with those who are upset about this decision. Unless there's some alternative way implemented for my family to use the service, we'll likely be looking at other providers. While separate profiles for each member of the family made some things more complicated, it also enabled us to each feel like we were being listened to.

    On just a gut level, I feel like I've been punched. Both my wife and I spent hours rating and reviewing movies, and to have that wasted is brutal. Where yesterday I would have counted myself as a netflix advocate, today I can actually see myself looking at other options.

  102. I have never been more disappointed in a company. This was the best feature of Netflix and completely eliminating great functionality before you have a replacement is ridiculous!!! If its removed then we will most likely switch services, along with our friends and family.

    I don't understand the rationale that it will make it easier for the customer. If the customer cannot understand how a sub-profile works, then they don't need to set it up in the first place!

    I think its Netflix who's confused, and NOT the customers.

  103. Come on iTunes, hurry up with the digitizing.

  104. Are we sure that this is not a scam email. Because the email I got looks slightly different then the ones that I usually get from them?

  105. There's not much I can add to the many comments already posted about this travesty. My wife and I each have our own queues, ratings, and recommendations, and losing that is going to be a major deterrent to continuing Netflix service. We pay for the convenience of Netflix, and not having to micro-manage the system is a big deal.

    Yes, even from the outside, Profiles look like a hack, but they are very useful nonetheless. I agree with another poster: if you really thought this through, you'd have a better replacement system ready to announce now. Completely losing all of the history associated with the profiles is not acceptable customer service.

  106. Wow, I am shocked Netflix decides to do away with this major feature with no replacement or a good explanation. Just because majority of the users get confused is not a good reason to get rid of it. For those dummies, why not just give them the ability to turn off the feature. By the way, the 5% of the users that live and die by this feature are probably your most loyal and passionate users - the ones that recruit new customers for you. Nice job of pissing them all off.

    The separate queue is a very useful feature for me. Like some of the posters have explained, I have two separate queues - one for my wife and I and the other one for my kids. That way, I can keep my kids' movies separate and I can allow them to pick their own movies (with the filter turn on). When I first joined Netflix, I thought this is one of the features that makes Netflix the break the mod, cool, "get the web" company vs. the stodgy Blockbuster who has no clue.

    Netflix is now going backwards. Very smart, guys.

    Blockbuster, if you are smart, I would quickly add this feature to your service!


  107. Cancel our 4 disc account:
    We use this feature to seperate our movies from tv series. We are able to keep a smooth flow of tv series during the week while saving the movies for weekends. Netflix is shooting itself in the foot because it's little thing's like this that make it better than the competition. I will find a new service because of this poorly thought out decision.

  108. This is just stupid. Those idiots who find Profiles confusing don't have to use them. Why take it away from the people who do use them? My wife and I have had no problems at all with the feature. Without it, we will have problems. I will have to look at alternatives to Netflix.

  109. Come September my husband and I will be switching services. I’ve already been to the Blockbuster website. This is ridiculous! We have been long time members of Netflix and even encouraged our friends & family to join. I couldn’t be more disappointed.

  110. Actually now I am pretty sure that this is a scam. With out clicking on any of the links on the email it website it directs you to is That is NOT there web address!

  111. We have loved Netflix since joining a few years ago mainly because of the Profiles system. This is a very unique and useful feature and it has kept us with Netflix. My husband and I have a queue and our daughter has a queue; it has worked wonderfully. However, if the Profiles system is eliminated in September we will NOT open up two accounts and we WILL be dropping our Netflix service.

  112. Todd that is flat out a lie, only a few use it because netflix never told anyone it was there...Never knew about it until a friend told me...Now netflix is taking something "EASY" to use and making the paying customer micro manage their queue's so family members with different taste have a movie to watch and not one family member with all the movies being delivered to them....Come September 1 I see a lot of new blockbuster clients.

  113. I don't buy it? Too confusing to use? PLEASE! Don't lie to your customers.

    My wife watches ten DVDs per month. I watch one. One queue simply will not work.


  114. I will be canceling my NetFlix subscription if this change goes into effect.

  115. This needs a much better migration path. I DO NOT WANT my wife's history in my quene.

    The only alternative I see for this functionality is multiple accounts. If that is what you want, than offer an easy way to migrate, rather than merging everything.

    I have been a loyal Netflix user for years. It has been very easy, and this feature especially so.

  116. Nice to see Netflix dumb it down so they can cater to the lowest common denominator. I think this is a cop out on your part. If you can't create a UI simple enough for these morons then you are stupider then them dum dums :-)
    Regardless if you remove profiles I'm canceling my subscription. Have fun servicing the idiots of the world. Helo Block Buster!

  117. Get rid of the goofy social network and keep multiple profiles (or at least multiple queues).

    Let some other person create a social network from netflix.

  118. This is a GREAT disappointment since it is the one feature that makes Netflix work in our household. My husband and I can maintain separate profiles, which allows us to happily manage our membership. We get to view the movies we want when we want without having to discuss or argue about it. Now that we have kids of movie viewing age we were on the verge of adding a list for them and increasing our membership level. Sadly, that won't happen.

    We really value the seamless hands off approach where we don't have to worry about which movies were coming for each of us after we initially put them in our separate queues.

    Come on Netflix, please HELP the confused people learn how to use the profile system -- don't just wipe out the whole thing for everyone. Do you really want to just do it the EASY way? Keep the functionally for those of us who want to use it. THEN migrate us all to the new and improved version WHEN it is available!

    I hope you will reconsider this decision. In the meantime, we will be looking at other movie services to compare benefits.

  119. Honestly, this is a horrible idea. My roommate and I, two very different people, keep our own profiles on our own computers. I've never had to log out and switch profiles, and if I did, I like to think I'm capable enough for that. I'm sorry Netflix made such a poor business decision.

  120. I am furious about this. It will likely affect my subscription in a negative way.

    Having two profiles in my household was key for my wife and I.

    Combining queues is a step back and will not fly in my home.

    Very upset

  121. There is nothing I can say that has not been said 100+ times already, but hopefully enough complaints can stop what appears to be a ridiculous decision that has ZERO merit to the consumer.
    As most comments state, this feature is paramount to me and my wife, and we will also seek an alternative to Netflix if this pursues.

  122. I think they are lying about the reasons for discontinuing the service. There may have been areas for improvement, but we were using it just fine.

    The PROFILES is the main reason I chose Netflix over BB.

    I will not move my queues and will not be a subscriber when profiles goes away.


  123. I think this is absolutely absurd. My family uses the profiles heavily. I set one up for my wife, 1 for me and 1 for the kids (3-disc plan)
    Our queues are VERY different and I love the fact that I can set the rating limitations for my kids. I don't understand what's so hard about using the profiles, My 7 year old daughter has no problems whatsoever (except getting her sister to agree with some of the movie choices).
    If this actually happens I will seriously rethink having my account. The local library has a very good selection of dvds and they do not charge to check them out.

  124. Dropping the profiles function is extremely disappointing.

    Blaming the decision to do so on a limited number of idiot members that didn't like having to login and logout too often is ridiculous and insults the intelligence of the large number of non-idiots using the service.

    May as well switch to Blockbuster.

  125. I dont understand how this was confusing to users. If they dont understand it then they just wont use it. Please do not do away with this, seperate queues and ratings are needed for a successful husband and wife relationship!

  126. This “solution” is absolutely not thought out in regards to how it is going to affect your customers and therefore your business! To just say "gone, deal with it" smacks us loyal customers in the face. No offer to AT LEAST consolidate the queues and allow us to reorganize or something??

    As many have said, this will now make me shop around for another service! I have not shopped Netflix against other services because I have been so happy. Frankly, maybe I could have saved a few bucks, but it didn’t matter if I was being treated in such a great manner and your service was impeccable. I have talked to everyone I know about your wonderful service, but this “solution” isn't just a change.

    This change speaks to how you plan on treating your customers in the future. Not only do you no longer provide a solution to having two queues, which is invaluable to households with more than one movie watcher, but your lackadaisical method in removing the valuable feature should be seen as an indication of how you feel about your customers. To remove a feature that you KNOW many use and rely on and not even offer a replacement feature, or even a way to make the transition easy on us, is ridiculous. Whatever corporate managers sat around the table and thought this would be a good idea will hopefully be fired after the fallout from this comes back to bite Netflix. Did they honest think that you wouldn’t lose many of your customers over this OR, as some companies are silly enough to think, that losing some won’t really hurt seeing as you’re doing so well?? Loyal customers is what built your company and your ticking off many of them.

  127. I'm an avid netflix fan, and this is very disappointing to me. I think profiles was one of the most useful and unique features of netflix (my wife and I used it to keep separate queues, and the day I bumped her quota up to getting 2 of the 3 movies out from her queue was one of the best received guestures I've done since we got married, heh). I can understand if it complicated matters and/or not enough people used it, but please provide SOME other way to achieve the same effect. I'm also not wild about how this was handled--you just told everyone "they're gone, no discussion, no replacement, deal with it". I didn't feel warm and fuzzy about that, and given how many fans netflix has, I think this could have been handled in a much less enraging way. I'm not going to cancel my subscription over this, but it's a clear blow and a setback, and I've heard more outrage about this decision from more people than any other consumer-service decision from another company in recent memory, so that should be a strong signal back inside Netflix to think about how to do things differently next time. Thanks, js

  128. I promise to CANCEL my service if profiles are removed. Worst idea EVER!


    Profiles are, in my opinion, perhaps the #1 thing I like about Netflix.

    We've been using it for years now for each family member to manage their own queue - now I have to lump movies like "Kill Bill" in with "Thomas the Train".

  130. As a Netflix member I'm tasked with the wonderful job of renting movies I'll love. But today my job is more challenging as I've decided to terminate the Netflix Account feature on September 1.

  131. Ok, thank goodness my wife hadn't wasted time rating a bunch of movies. That's the only good thing about this change. Besides that, this is the worst news I've heard from Netflix in the almost 10 years I've been using the service. If some people are too stupid to use the feature that shouldn't make the rest of us lose it. Those people can simply turn the feature off, if there would be an option given to do that. I know I have too many movies in my queue, and I appreciate I have a seperate watch now queue, but with 480+ movies in my queue, there is no way I'm going to be able to integrate my wife's 150+ movies into my queue. So this change is made WITHOUT a good replacement ready to go. Understandable? But without an increase to the main member's queue limit? Maybe you're only pissing off the hard core, but they are the ones that have stuck with you through the years with all the competition and price fluctuation. I guess I get to look forward to getting reamed on BluRay's next even though the excuse about them being more expensive doesn't hold water. They aren't any more expensive than DVDs were a few years ago.

  132. This is a bad, bad decision.

    Just two weeks ago I helped a friend set up queues for the first time. He was sick of getting his roommate's movies come in the mail with his name on it. I showed him how to set up queues and select his own movies for himself.

    Right then he turned from an indifferent Netflix user to a Netflix evangelist. He was so thrilled and was kicking himself that he didn't have to deal with the single queue problem.

    Well, not anymore.

    Let me say it again. This is a bad, bad decision.

  133. As I just wrote to Netflix suggestions:

    Please do not cancel the Profiles feature. This is one of your only differentiators, and frankly, if it is removed, I will be shopping around. Blockbuster and GreenCine both look very promising.

    I will even accept it if you have to charge a couple of extra bucks for this feature to be enabled. But if you remove it entirely, dont count on me remaining a customer.

  134. The profiles feature is the one thing that truly made Netflix a great service. When I first discovered it and started using it for my family I actually started telling my friends and extended family how fantastic Netflix was.

    I have little kids and teenagers. With three separate profiles we could easily manage what movies were coming for each of those distinct audiences. Having the ratings limits on a per profile was perfect. Having one ratings limit for the profile will *not* provide the same level of functionality.

    Please don't remove this feature. Not until you have something that provides the same functionality. I would suggest that you solve the usability problems with the current profiles and make it easier to use than abandon it for something with less functionality.

    Please reconsider.

  135. Have you read these replies? Have you read the Community Forum, and now the dozens of other blogs such as Gizmodo, Digg, Twitter, etc. that are now talking about it? This was not rarely used, it was not complicated (it was just like having multiple virtual accounts under one account), and it was indispensable for many people including myself and my wife.

    But the thing that is worst about removing it is that you are pulling the rug out from under people without giving them any means of transfer or giving a new way of working first. That's terrible customer service and a very unprofessional way of working. That is what is going to drive people away more than the feature itself.

  136. I currently get 5 DVDs at a time. We split these between my wife, my kids and I. With this new change and having everything compressed into one queue I'll have to seriously reconsider if staying at that plan level makes any amount of sense. I'm thinking the kids would benefit just as much if not more by having an allowance to purchase movies on iTunes. When this takes effect we will move down from the 5 DVDs today to 1 or 2 at a time and that lost revenue will go to itunes or amazon. I imagine your goal is to limit the amount of movies I actually watch so that you don't have to pay the studios as much, sadly you are also shifting the money to your competitors and taking it out of your own pocket with this boneheaded move.

    Too bad we are seeing decisions made to cripple the customers who really use the service. It was confusing to log in and log out to switch profiles? that is the justification for this? It is confusing to me to share an account with someone.

  137. This is incredibly disappointed. I've been a very happy customer for over five years now, and when I was able to implement the Profiles feature, my household were all happy customers. Isn't it possible for people who find the option confusing/annoying to simply, oh I don't know--NOT USE it? How difficult could that be?

    If you intended to replace it with a similar option, I'd understand, but there's not indication that this will happen. I'm losing one of the features I most value about your service. If it's true that we Profiles users make up a small percentage of your customers, then it's probably also true, as others have said, that you won't miss us when we're gone.

  138. Doesn't this totally negate the recent contest where people were competing to improve the recommendations Netflix gives? I thought the recommendations were pretty good, but now that my wife and I will both be rating movies in the same account the suggestions will go to crap. I guess there's no point in me visiting the "Movie's You'll Love" tab anymore. Heck, there doesn't appear to be much reason to stick with Netflix since now they're the same as Blockbuster with a longer turnaround time.

    From what I've read here and on Slashdot, I'm not alone.

  139. This really defeats the purpose of marketing multiple-rental memberships to families. If the current system is truly being terminated because "too many members found the feature difficult to understand and cumbersome," then they should have made an effort to implement an alternate, easier-to-understand, less cumbersome version in its stead -- not eliminate it altogether with some vague promise of improvements in the future. I loved Netflix, but I will be taking my business elsewhere if the the profiles are eliminated.

  140. Oh, goody. Yes, let's pander to the lowest common demonimator. "It's annoying for ME to have to log in more than once." "Ok, we'll get rid of this service for EVERYONE!"

    Seriously, Netflix, this feature is one of the main reasons I chose this service over Blockbuster. And, to get rid of it without a replacement AND without a simple way to consolidate my queues? "Print off your queue and re-enter everything"? That's your solution? This is some of the worst customer servcie I've ever seen, and it's making the website FAR more complicated than it was before. If some of your users didn't logging in, why didn't you just recommend that they stop splitting up their queues? Instead of forcing all of your users to consolidate.

    The only word I can come up with the describe this situation: stupid.

  141. Folks who don't need this feature simply don't use it. My partner & I will seriously have to reconsider our Netflix membership... Managing two completely different preferences on one queue seems to be far more complicated than learning how to use profiles!

    I agree with "daniel said" about having a replacement system in place before taking away profiles. It seems highly irresponsible in terms of customer service.

  142. Wait a second. No company in their right mind would have made this decision based on what we've been told. THE TRUTH is probably more like this: We have users scamming us by keeping 2 queues in violation of their membership agreement (people in different households sharing a membership?). We aren't going to make it that easy for people to scam us. Netflix: welcome to the world of the cheapasses who will scam any company no matter how great they are or how good of a value they are. This about the collateral damage this decision is causing and RECONSIDER!

  143. I literally just activated my second profile (for my wife) a few days ago, even upgraded to two at a time to do it, and now this.

    My wife and I have completely different tastes in movies and this is really going to screw up our recommendations.

    I don't understand how this is going to make things better. It really seams like I'm paying for something now that I'm not going to get in the future, but I'm not going to be charged less when it's removed am I?

  144. This is truly a poor decision by Netflix. Like many others, I find User Profiles to be an extremely useful feature. I share my account with my wife, and we have entirely different tastes in movies. I am not looking forward to juggling a single queue with her where there is no guarantee that we won't end up with 3 of her movies and none of mine. I'm certain that if you put your heads together, you could come up with a solution to the handful of customer complaints about logging in and out between profiles and still "simplify" the user experience without sacrificing such a valuable feature.

  145. This is a crappy decision.

    I have the 3 unlimited plan and have a queue for my wife, myself and my kids. We all maintain them separately. The kids' have the ratings controlled and by killing the profiles feature, we're now going to have to manually do this? I'd rather have hot lava poured down my throat.

    Deal-breaker of a decision. I'll keep my account until August 31, and then cancel. I was already on the fence anyway, but this pushes me over.

    I'd rather you kill the community features and keep the separate profiles/queues.

  146. I was stunned and disappointed to hear this news. I've been a very happy user for many years now, and have always talked up the service.

    Not anymore. This is, quite possibly, one of the stupidest decisions I've ever seen made by a business.

    We will do our best to find better ways for families to share accounts than the existing profiles feature and will continue to invest in improving the website experience in many different ways.

    If you consider this move an improvement, I'm afraid to see what other poor decisions will be executed in the future. Of course, unless you pull your heads out of the sand and reverse this decision, it won't really have too much of an impact on me. Come September 1, I will no longer be a Netflix member.

  147. I've been a Netflix member for years. I love your site and don't think I've ever before complained about your customer service, but now I am.

    Please do not eliminate the profiles feature until you have a replacement in place. I use the feature regularly and do not find it difficult to use.

  148. Bottom line is they see 2% of their subscriber base utilizing an option that is creating an unstated (yet likely very high) amount of customer service activity. (Heavy number of how the heck do I do this? calls.) They see losing a potential 2% as better than continuing to field the calls. As most Corporations these days they either 1. don't comprehend or 2. don't care about the number of potential customers that 2% are going to take away with when they leave. They also understand that a large percentage of the people who complain, are going nowhere. So, people, vote with your wallets. It's the only vote that counts in the USA!

  149. I am sorry but your rhetoric doesn't make sense. I don't see how maintaining this features is a distraction or "...will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers." Furthermore, in my opinion, the reason this feature is underutilized is because it is poorly promoted and not well understood. Fix it. Don't end it. This is a critical feature in my household and something that adds great value to my Netflix experience and subscription. This is a poor decision in my opinion and I am very disappointed.

  150. "We will do our best to find better ways for families to share accounts than the existing profiles feature and will continue to invest in improving the website experience in many different ways."

    Well perhaps you should find these "better ways" to appease your customers before taking away such an integral part of your service. Please tell me how it is less confusing for me to have to diligently watch my netflix account, moving movies around my queue in accordance with who is sending what movie back when. Please know that if I find a similar service who offers individual queues, I will not hesitate to terminate my netflix account.

    Perhaps you should try to educate your customers on how to use your services instead of denying them to those who appreciate and value them. Perhaps your sole goal should be to offer the best service you can, not the most dumbed down service imaginable. I don't think it's fair to deny your paying customers a service that you offer because people complain that they have to log in and out netflix when changing users. I'm sure they can manage the task just fine when checking their individual email accounts. If it's that confusing for these people, they can simply not use profiles. It's a choice, it's not mandatory. It seems like laziness on your part to simply do away with something because some people don't know how to use the internet effectively.

    I'm not happy with this decision. I'm not happy at all. And I fail to see how this will make anything easier for me.

  151. You've really rocked a boat here. I hope that you take all of these negative comments into consideration; these are your paying customers. Some people found it difficult to use? Then maybe they shouldn't use it. Or, perhaps, you could simplify it. Not eliminate it. That said, seeing as how you'll likely go through with this ridiculous customer service nightmare, I hope you at least provide an easy way to merge the existing profiles into one and, I would hope, increase the queue size to accommodate these merged profiles.

    Ideally, I'd like to see you change your minds. So, it seems, would many others. I don't know as this would drive me to cancel my membership, but it will make me look more closely at other, similar, services.

    Again, if it was the concerns of customers that brought about this decision, perhaps you should read these posts closely. These people are customers, too.

  152. This is extremely irritating. I have three people with three different tastes in movies in my household. I can get around this by constantly, actively managing my single queue to make sure I don't accidentally end up with three Disney Princess DVDs out at once, but Netflix should not be making me work more to optimize their service when I know you have software that could do this for me.

    Before profiles, we had a constant struggle in our house to try to be the last one to reorder the queue before the next DVD shipped. Profiles fixed that in a fair way.

    The only problems you noted ("log out, log in again to change profiles is too complicated") should be easy to fix in software without throwing the whole system out. You should have had a better system ready to go before you made this announcement. I'm a software engineer, and I think I'd get fired if I did something like this to my customers or told my managers we couldn't make this work.

    I've noticed is that Watch Instantly never worked from anyone's profile except the main account holder. I wonder if you're throwing your old, loyal DVD-renting customers (like me) under the bus to try to simplify and improve things for your shiny, new Watch Instantly customers?

  153. This is the only feature that sets Netflix apart from competitors. It doesn't seem Netflix is interested in listening to their customers.

    I'll be terminating my account effective Sept. 1, 2008. Won't be recommending the service to anymore friends & family.


  154. Up until now I’ve been very pleased with Netflix and have seen them actually implement a couple of my ideas on queue management.
    If they do not replace the profiles with something similar regretfully I will have to vote with my dollar and cancel. I’m not excited about going over to blockbuster, but I know of no other way to voice my displeasure.
    I also can’t believe they aren’t even offering to move profiles into a new account. It would be an easy money maker for them and help appease some users.
    It would be very easy to expand on the overly simplistic queue they have now and I only hope they do.

  155. I really like Netflix and am happy with the service.

    But, I do think this is a lame way of going about eliminating profiles. At least give the subscriber a button to transfer the movies in the queue being eliminated to add it to the bottom of the main queue.

    It would be nice if you would at least add some list to store to for other family members, so when I arrange the main queue I can add my other family members suggestion as I see fit.

  156. Every statement made by Netflix about this seems calculated to make people angrier.

    Netflix is not providing a decent migration path for people that want separate queues.

    Netflix is not letting us know how they plan to support families that want to share accounts.

    I guess Netflix just doesn't want to mail DVDs any longer.

  157. The worst part is the refusal to create a way to split a profile (with all of the ratings and the queue) into a new account or even make it transferrable. Deleting or merging the ratings/queues is the stupidest possible way to go about this.

    I loved Netflix, but this is seriously going to result in canceling my account.

  158. How very quaint. Let's remove a feature solely because some people apparently were confused by it. I'm not sure I buy that reasoning. There simply must be some other reason.

    If anyone at Netflix is actually reading these comments, you need to pay careful attention to what I am about to type in. This change has given me cause to consider just terminating service completely. We have already stopped our DirecTV service because of overly corporate thinking and lack of good customer service. We canceled our telco because they were arbitrarily raising rates every quarter. Netflix is trying hard to be next on the list. At the very least, we will most likely go down from 3 DVDs at a time to 1. Combining queues is simply not an option, since I have almost 500 DVDs in my queue, my wife has almost 300, and the one for our kids has almost 200. We simply are not allowed to combine them because of your own arbitrary limits. Netflix is not a necessity, it is something extra we willingly paid for because we liked the service and the company. When we stop liking the service and the company quite as much, it is very easy to kick you to the curb.

    When will they stop making manual transmission cars, since I personally know many people who are confused by those! Let's take this 'remove things because they are confusing' to its logical conclusion.

  159. My wife is a very non-technical computer user and having a separate queue wasn't too difficult for her.

    This is LAME.

    Last week I was contemplating upgrading my account so my wife could have an additional disk in her queue, but without this feature it won't be worth it. In fact, when I found out about having profiles I upgraded from two dvd's at a time to three (and was now thinking about going to four). With this change I'll probably drop back to to two.

  160. "We will do our best to find better ways for families to share accounts than the existing profiles feature"

    Wouldn't the smarter business decision have been to do your best to find this better way before removing the feature?

    Tell the truth, it's being removed because it's just too hard to field the calls using $1/hr employees in India who barely speak English, can't follow the instructional cheat sheet and barely understand the interface themselves! :)

    Did I get close?

  161. I am sorely disappointed.

    This feature kept the peace in my family. One queue for me, one for my wife, and one for both of us.

    We will certainly be downgrading our account. No point to having all those movies anymore.

    A disgruntled customer,


  162. Does Blockbuster have profiles?

    Netflix just wants to make more money by forcing people to have multiple accounts instead of profile queues.

    And they insult us by not giving a decent reason.

  163. No more reasons not to give Blockbuster a try. Their in-store exchanges helps out when I break-down and end up renting locally (which wastes the savings from using an online rental).

    Blockbuster might not have profiles, but then again Netflix won't either, but at least they won't be shitting on their customers.

    I'm cancelling, question is now or on September 1st.

  164. Another example of a company that doesn't give a shit about customers!! Only thing they will understand is loss of money or bad publicity. I can help with the first one by cancelling my account and I'll help with the second by giving a big public F**K YOU to netflix.

  165. I think removing this feature is a horrid idea. Are they trying to make Netflix less user friendly?

    Instead of my husband and I having separate queues and knowing there will always be a movie in the house he wants to watch, I'll now have to watch our queue and constantly shuffle it to make sure. He was actually getting pissy before the separate queues about how it was always "my movies" that showed up.

  166. I've been a long-time Netflix subscriber and professionally in customer facing roles for more than a decade. Don't give lame, vague excuses. Don't take away a feature that is invaluable to a core dedicated group because it's confusing or difficult to use--fix the problems that MAKE it difficult to use or have the successor functionality in place with an easy way to migrate data. I should've sold my stock in the company long ago and my long-standing subscription may be gone soon.

  167. Dear Netflix,
    This is very disappointing news. From day one of our Netflix membership, my wife and I have used separate profiles to organize our movie choices. I thought this was one of the more innovative pieces of your UI and frankly am amazed that it's going away. I have a large number of friends with Netflix memberships and virtually all of them use profiles... whether to separate their movies from their other family members, movies from TV series, or just different genres. I urge you to reconsider this decision, and hope you will keep your ears open to the community feedback on this matter.

  168. This is simply a terrible decision by Netflix with NO accompanying information about "here is what we will offer instead, and you'll like it X times better because..."

  169. I've been with Netflix for 5 years, even bought on of the new streaming players, and from day one I've enjoyed my Netflix experience. Today was the first time I ever thought that maybe I should think twice before I recommend this to friends, maybe I should shop and see what other options are out there. I joined Netflix because it was a great idea; it made renting movies easier than going to the store. We use to have to schedule a time to meet up and go to the store to rent. Then we walked around the rental store trying to figure out what was where and who turn it was to pick. Netflix changed that: I could set up my queue, my wife set up her own, and we filled them without having to battle for who's movie we were getting or even meet and discuss. With this change I'll be reordering my queue and battling with my wife on whose movie is supposed to come next again. Aside from driving to the store Netflix won't be easier or even different than our store experience.

    I hope Netflix will heed the large number of customers who say they will leave if this goes through. It may be only 1% use the feature, but it seems those who do can't live without it and chose Netflix for it. I wonder if like me they are long time customers as well. I know I will be among those carefully considering my options if the queues are removed.

    I think Netflix has just reacted the wrong way to customer complaints. That feature is a pain to use and I'm sure to support as well. That is because it was a bad implementation of a great idea. Customers want to see it improved not destroyed. The logging in and out and piggy backing on the account features was a bad design decision. Accept that and redesign the feature to work better. Multiple profiles and queues was brilliant and extremely useful. It be a lot smarter to redesign the feature to be easier to use or more intuitive (ie use tags, separate payment from movie selection, or just not have separate passwords the other profiles) and then migrate the existing data and customers over to it. Why scrap all that customer ranking data which is used for recommendations and useful for marketing as well as anger so many customers at the same time. If you had a new replacement feature that was going to duplicate the functionality on Sep. 1st that would be one thing. Just dumping this on your users and telling them to migrate all that data by hand is another. They've built up that data over years and after this even if you someday reimplemented the idea that data will be lost. It is just bad customer service as well as bad business to throw away that many man hours of you customers' time.

  170. This is extremely disappointing. My wife's been using her own profile for getting the movies she wants to see for probably over 2 years now.

    We tried sharing a single profile for a short time and recognized immediately that it just doesn't work for us so we happily went back to PAYING MORE to rent more movies for the both of us.

    There's a blockbuster right down the street from us so maybe we'll use their online service and return movies there. I've always talked people out of using Blockbuster and told them to use Netflix instead. I've loved using Netflix for as long as we've had it so that's not my number one choice, but this seems like a really bad move on Netflix's part. Tell us what you have in mind to replace the profiles please.

    The crazy thing is that I just sat down with my wife a few days ago and got her to use the ratings functionality of the site so she could get recommendations. Only took a few minutes and she LOVED the results. As far as I can tell, that was all just a big waste of time for us. Forget printing out a queue of hundreds of movies and entering them all over again manually!

    Also, we just purchased Gift Subscriptions for her parents and mine. That's 2 families with teenagers just about to move out that we turned on to Netflix. My parents LOVE it and say they're going to keep the service after the gifts subscription runs out. Maybe they won't if they have to go through all the hassle of sharing one queue.

    This is getting long, but I just thought of one other thing. My wife adds movies to her queue from her laptop at home or while she's at work or the library. She's never had to ONCE deal with me logging out and her logging in. She never logs in at all on her laptop. When you use separate logins on Windows you never have to deal with that either. It couldn't possibly be any more simple for us and I'm sure it's that way for tons of people.

    So disappointing :(

  171. Extremely disappointed that Netflix is removing one of the most important features to me. Now recommendations will be completely off, and the queue will just be messy (who added what?). Expected another canceled customer.

  172. This feature removal pretty much makes the Suggestion Engine useless for anyone besides single people with no significant other or family.

  173. I find this an awful change to make - particularly with nothing built in to replace it.

    Taking away a functioning, useful feature that a number of people use, not giving a particularly compelling reason why (people who find it too confusing have the option not to use it) and not offering anything to replace it - there's no logic behind it.

  174. This is a terrible idea. Before profiles I was constantly shuffling stuff around in our queue to make sure I wouldn't end up with 3 of my wife's romantic comedies at the same time. Now I have to start doing that again!?

    Does Blockbuster offer a profiles feature?

  175. Like many have said Profiles are what keep things running smooth in my household and are the reason I upgraded from 2 to 4 discs at a time.

    I might cancel my account, but I can guarantee I will be downgrading my account when profiles disappear. I will just start using Red Box to get new releases.

    I hope this move saves Netflix a lot of money because in the long run it's going to lose you a lot of money also.

  176. The loss of this feature will factor heavily in my decision to switch to blockbuster. Without profiles to help sort my family's movies and keep things fair, the service will become more of a nuisance than an enjoyment.

    If the feature was truly too complex for some users, simply offer the option to disable it in the main account, or find some innovative way to improve the usability.

    However, despite your public protestations, this is more obviously a move to force your users into spending more money by nudging them to buy separate accounts for the people who used to share an account with profiles. Please don't be dishonest with your own customers. It does them a disservice, and by extension, yourself.

  177. I've called Netflix to express my disappointment about losing the profiles and was basically told, tough the decision has already been made. Come Sept 1, I will be canceling my subscription and joining Blockbusters. I have two kids, a wife, and I who all like completely different movies. The profiles allowed us all to get what we wanted. I have no desire to get on Netflix on a daily basis to re-arrange my list so that we can take turns getting the movies we each want.

  178. Continuing to maintain the profiles feature for the passionate few who use it (including myself) distracts us from the mission of presenting to all our members the easiest way to find the best titles for them from the 100k plus on DVD and the 10k plus available instantly.

    That's the same line of BS you guys gave us when you took the Releasing This Week page away.

    The site has not improved in any way since that happened and no, it's still not any easier for me to find the movies I want, in fact, it's harder now that my primary way of finding Netflix's new additions has been eliminated. Considering we were told that it was being done to improve availability and delivery times, I have yet to see an improvement in either. (Yes, I know there's still a link to the RTW page and I have it bookmarked, but I shouldn't have to considering that it should be a part of the main website, not hidden away for only those of us who still know the special secret link).

    You guys gave us a bunch of canned excuses as to why RTW weeks was removed and now we're getting the same corporate speak about why you're removing the profiles.

    Look, I don't even use the profiles so it doesn't effect me either way. However it's more than obvious that this feature was something depended on and highly valued by a lot of your members. I don't understand the logic in continuously taking away features that your loyal members have come to rely on. After all, it's what we pay you for. The fact that Netflix isn't even offering some way of migrating the information that will otherwise be lost is just beyond unprofessional. If I was someone who has been using the profiles, that would have me so pissed that I would cancel my membership for that reason alone, simply on principle. Do you even realize how much time and energy some people have put into creating and organizing their separate profiles? Removing this feature without an improved replacement being made available is in a word: idiotic.

    While I'm still a customer, Netflix still has not gained back the respect it lost from me during the RTW debacle, and this latest brilliant move, couched in phony language that's suppose to make us think it's for our benefit, only helps to further lower my overall opinion. Don't insult our intelligence by taking away what we pay for and then tell us that it's for our own good, especially considering that the last time you did so, nothing good has as of yet come of it.

  179. Wow stupid move. I am canceling my account.

  180. Todd @ Netflix:

    Sorry, I'm not buying the reason you stated. It makes no sense that you would completely eliminate a useful feature that confuses some people, instead of figure out ways to make it better. It just doesn't ring true.

    Oh, and if people are a confused at the "" link someone put up's Fabulous service - the wait may be longer on some movies, but they are a friendly, community oriented site with an emphasis on more obscure movies.

  181. I'm highly disappointed by this decision. My husband and I have very different tastes in movies, and, he watches his films at a far faster rate than I do. I suspect our best option will be to reduce our subscription to 3-out and I'll just stop using Netflix for my own personal movies, and go to Blockbuster when I want something for myself. And I won't have to wait for my movie to ship.

    It's a shame that Netflix doesn't want our money, since I'm unwilling to spend more on a service that has suddenly reduced the value I am receiving for my money. The brilliant minds who came up with this 'Let's offer less service, but charge the same for it!' have clearly not realized that the Netflix service still has competition in pay-per-view, Amazon Unboxed and Blockbuster.

  182. Lying is wrong. Even when it's your job. This quite obviously has nothing to do with making things easier for any customers, including those who didn't want to use profiles to begin with.

  183. This is very disappointing. I bet the real reason for canceling this feature has nothing to do with "staying simple".

    I find that hard to believe.

    I'm still a Netflix "fan for life", but If I had my choice, this feature would stay around.


  184. I definitely think you should leave the profiles feature—it's awesome! ..and so many people use it!!

  185. my husband and i have used the profiles feature since soon after it was available. it has been extremely helpful in dealing with our differing tastes in movies.

    video entertainment is easy to come by these days. netflix is getting rid of one of the few features that set it apart. frankly, after receiving the email last night, my husband and i decided we don't need our netflix account. there are too many other options out there, most with better customer service than was represented in the notice email.

  186. As others have no doubt said, this is terrible customer service. My husband & I watch different movies at different paces, and having separate queues is the only way he can get the movies he wants and I can get the movies I want, when we want them.

    It seems clear to me that this is just a not-so-subtle way of getting me to purchase two memberships, one for him and one for me, needless to say at a higher monthly cost.

    This is a bad bad bad idea, and I may give up my membership all together and just get a one-at-a-time membership for my husband.

  187. Very disappointed in this decision. Your description of the reasons is not detailed enough.

    It's your job as a product manager to make the hard stuff simple for us to use. I know... I've done lots of internet product development.

    I'm not saying YOUR job is easy, but punishing your customers isn't the answer.

    Please be (at least) more forthcoming with the reasoning.


  188. Before today, Netflix could have raised my monthly subscription fee by $10 a month, and I still would have paid it. As annoying as this is, I might even be willing to suck it up and just open a new, separate account for my girlfriend. However, the fact that I am being given no option to transfer her existing ratings/friends to the new account is COMPLETELY UNNACCEPTABLE.

    None of the reasons given for this make any sense. Many users found it too confusing? So don't use it!

  189. Just like all the posters before me....My roommate and I have a 3 disc plan with 3 separate queues. One for me, one for her and one for TV shows. This would be a great hindrance to us if you go through with eliminating this service. I can't possibly see how you would feel this is a good decision given the outrage you are receiving from your customers. Like many others have said I will be pursuing new avenues of DVD rental should this change go through. Simply on the principle of crap ass customer service you will not be receiving any money from me any longer.

  190. I will cancel Netflix on September 1 because of this. Not only is the profile feature essential to our use of the service, but I'm upset that all my ratings and history will be dumped. Bad move. If it's not changed I will be gone.

  191. Another (till this decision) very satisfied customer who will be, at a minimum, downgrading his account rather than adding another one to compensate for the loss of this critical feature.

  192. I am sorry for your job.

    I was never happier with a service than when the separate queue system was added. I had been using your resources to log on 5x a week just in order to adjust our single queue to allow for our children, our TV on DVD viewing, and our own movie watching. I will not go back to constantly editing a single queue.

    It is worth my time to just spend the money on either a single regular price DVD per month if it is not worth keeping, SwapADVD, will cleanup the waste. Also, a slew of Redbox rentals can be had for my fees here.

    I am a software developer and I know that because some customers are confused by an advanced feature is only reason to think of a way to make it friendlier, or admit it is advanced and suggest those users can do what everyone must now do against our will.

  193. This is horrible! We use the queue as a way to keep peace in the family. Brother, Sister, And Parents each get their own queue and thus we avoid fights.

    Will you be replacing with something for families?

  194. Another vote here for "this sucks".

    Why doesn't Todd or Netflix tell the real reason they're removing it? To provide better service is a BS reason, kinda like when the CEO quits to spend more time with the family.

    So long, NetSux.

  195. This is a copy of a mail I *attempted* to send to Netflix - apparently the email address the original notification came from is invalid, and there's no way to get a valid one via the website.

    Hello Netflix -

    You've made me a very unhappy customer. My wife and I *loved* this feature.

    We use this feature to keep our movies separate. She knows that when she returns a movie, she'll get another one she wants to see. I know that when I get around to watching my movie, and return it, I'll get one I want to see. There's no arguing about which movie needs to be next in the queue - the profiles take care of that for us. She's happy, and therefore I'm happy.

    And I'm sure we're not the only ones who use the feature this way.

    I fail to see how *removing* a feature that people use helps "improve the Netflix website". Removing a feature that is used is *not* an improvement - it's in fact exactly the opposite. Calling it an improvement is an outright lie, as I'm sure you realize. As a long-time customer, I do not appreciate being lied to.

    On September 1, 2008, my wife and I will need to re-evaluate whether or not to maintain our Netflix subscription, which we've enjoyed for years. This will weigh quite heavily upon our decision, and I'm sure others feel the same way.

    I strongly urge you to reconsider this change.

  196. You shouldn't remove the service before a replacement is ready. You are downgrading the Netflix service. I will have to downgrade the number of discs I receive, without creating a new account. It seems that you will lose a lot of customers and money.

  197. If you remove profiles without first implementing a replacement, I will switch to AppleTV fulltime.

  198. My wife an I have totally different tastes in Movies. I watch about 1 movie a week. She watches maybe one movie a month. You are making more money because she does not watch that many movies, but ties one up in her queue. We will be simply drop to a one at a time plan. Stupid move Netflix, and your explanation for it does not make sense.

  199. I just want to add to the general response--I use profiles, too, and am not too happy about the loss of the feature. I also checked out the FAQ and saw:

    "Do I need to do anything? Consider moving all DVD titles in your Profiles Queues to your main account Queue. To do so, log-in and visit this page"

    So I went to "this page" (the profile management page) but didn't see any way to move DVDs from one profile to the other.

    Not very helpful!