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The End of The Netflix I Loved

**Update December 22, 2005**

***I am being ignored by Netflix***

I am Boggled by the changes to my Netflix Rental History. Recently Netflix changed the way they offered up my rental history. In the past they would send you your entire history in an email with all of your account information. It was a great service to customers and enabled programs like Netflix Freak to build on the Netflix experience by integrating all your rental histroy and ratings into the program. It made it easy to see if you were renting a movie you had already watched or to find out that you had forgotten to rent the 2nd disc in the Second season of Six Feet Under. It allowed you to rate all the movies you had viewed and sort them by your ratings or Genre. Being a movie freak I loved that. Being the kind of guy that believes I shouldn’t have to lower my expectations of service I had to speak my mind and sent the following letter to NetFlix Customer Service. I will let you know what happens, if anything, as we go along.

Hi Folks,
I first became a Netflix member back in 1997 when you had the prepaid value packs. Later on you went to a monthly subscription service. I left for a little while in 2003 because I got busy with a newborn and an 18 month old Son. I came back after 5 months and rejoined and was thrilled that you kept my rental history and I was able to to see all the movies I had rented were still tied to my previous and current email address. That’s catering to customers!

Over the years I have turned dozens and dozens of people on to Netflix. I really love it and the people that I have sent to Netflix do also. I love to share my favorite movies and I love to be able to talk about a movie and see my entire rental history.

I know that I am just one customer and with most companies they just don’t care about one customers business. I have felt that Netflix was different and that you “Got it” and did care.

The recent change to the Rental History availability and the full rental history email saddens me. I believe that it is Netflix’s first move towards being a company that doesn’t care. In this day and age where conversation with your customers are important, I find it difficult to believe that this new process was implemented to benefit anyone other than your Attorneys. Please bring back my full rental history. I love to play with it, manipulate it, and I love the sense of history I have when sharing it with friends. I take pride in how long I have been a member. I love the way I can use it with the program Netflix Freak to interface with the Netflix website and manage all aspects of my experience and history with Netflix.

I don’t expect that anyone will actually read this, nor do I expect that I will get any kind of personal response other than the auto generated propaganda email response. That saddens me as well because the Netflix I joined in those early days created an Evangelist in me. I felt that everyone should move to your service and that Netflix was going to change the face of movie rentals which you have. In a recent interview with Reed Hastinds he commented that the best customer Netflix can have is the one that forgets to rent a movie. That will never happen for long, for why should a customer pay if they don’t rent. I can live with my account being throttled because of the quantity of movies I rent. Heck, I just changed my subscription to the 6 at a time plan to actually get more at home. I understand that business is about averages, some custumers rent a lot, others just a few, in the end you hope your averages work out and your profitable. The most important thing you can have though are happy customers that evangelize your company.

Please bring back the sense of customer and underdog attitude that made your company great. Give us back the full email rental history and let us do with it as we please.

Signed

A Former Evangelist for Netflix who is now just a customer.

Rick Cummings

Please call me if you want to talk about it. Although I don’t expect that to happen.

Of course as soon as I sent it I received the first automatic response email. I have yet to figure out why companies bother with these types of emails. I would prefer one the just said “Thanks! We got your email! Here is the auto response from Netflix:

Dear Netflix User,

We appreciate your recent feedback about the Netflix service. Due to

the overwhelming number of great ideas we get from customers such as

yourself, we cannot reply to every customer individually. However,

all comments and suggestions are forwarded to the appropriate

departments for review and consideration.

If you have a question you need answered right away, please visit

our online Help Center at http://www.netflix.com/Help. It covers a

wide variety of commonly asked questions.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Netflix makes every effort to

maintain its site and strives to give its customers the best DVD

experience possible.

Sincerely,

Your Friends at Netflix

Great, I wonder who came up with the great idea to change my rental history. How many companies ever listen to and implement the great ideas their customers give them? I am so done with companies that don’t care. If I’m daring I can always reply to it. Do you think anybody reads the email that goes to the reply address nobody@netflix.com? Sure gives me a warm fuzzy that they appreciate my business! I will post more later.