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Netflix Needs To Be Fixed

09/20/2011

Yesterday, in millions of in boxes arrived an email from Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings. Its title, “An Explanation and Some Reflections”. The opening was cordial and carried a positive tone:

Dear So And So,

I messed up. I owe you an apology.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

The message drones on for over a dozen paragraphs of marble-mouthed introduction of Hastings’ plan to split Netflix into two separate businesses – one for DVDs by mail and one for internet streaming.

Now I admit that I scan emails but after scanning Hastings’ email I was confused by his message. Was he apologizing for price increases or creating two “new” brands out of one?

Based upon the fact that yesterday Hastings’ blog on the same subject had over 17,000 comments it’s clear customers are reacting negatively to this email. The lesson seems to be that all those customers who appreciate low prices, innovative products and lightning-fast customer service can swiftly turn when they feel slighted.

As my friend Don Young in Seattle tweeted,  “Sheesh Netflix is so disconnected from their customer. Making it more complex, they’re just not getting it. Sayonara #Netflix”

Today Reed Hastings should be penning, “I messed up. I owe you an apology. PART II”!

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