Monday, October 10, 2011

A Special Message from Netflix

Dear Netflix Subscriber,

We still can’t understand it. When we announced in September our plans to split off DVD rentals from streaming services, we assumed that our customers would embrace the opportunity to maintain two separate accounts (streaming on Netflix and DVD rentals on Quikster), with different websites, different ID names and different passwords at twice the cost of traditional Netflix services.

We were wrong. Since we made the announcement, nearly one million customers have left the Netflix family, and account cancellations continue to arrive daily.

Our investors are unhappy. They see our decision to abruptly deviate from the “ease of use” formula that has traditionally made Netflix successful as a corporate mistake rivaling Coca-Cola’s 1985 ill-fated formula change.

You have spoken and we have listened. The message is loud and clear: if we want to maintain control of Netflix and our substantial annual incomes, we must re-evaluate our plans.

The first step in the re-evaluation process is a review of the origins of the idea. Why did we decide to make the change? Who was responsible? Our investigation has revealed that the source of the idea was a mailroom employee at Netflix’s main offices in Los Gatos, California. You may rest assured that the individual is no longer employed by Netflix and the company plans to post his address, telephone number and photograph on the Netflix website to give you, our valued customer, the opportunity to express your dissatisfaction directly to him. We will also include a direct link to the individual’s Facebook page, so that you may share your frustration with others. Our principal goal is to enable you, our valued customer, to assuage your rage with the same seamless ease that has traditionally defined Netflix.

The next step in the re-evaluation process is righting the wrong created by that ill-advised former Netflix employee. So we are going to keep Netflix as the one place to go for streaming and DVDs. That means no major changes: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Quikster. The only noticeable change is that Netflix will now be called Netflix Classic, consistent with Coca-Cola’s resolution of its own PR fiasco.

Don’t get us wrong – we are still raising our prices more than 60 percent. We feel strongly that the increase is justified by the more than 3,500 second-rate TV episodes that have been added to our streaming selection over the past few weeks. We believe that the addition of thousands of shows no one wants to watch more than offsets our recent loss of the rights to top quality programs such as Showtime’s Dexter and our inability to secure the rights to any HBO programs (curse you, HBO-Go!).

So please, give us another chance. If you are one of the one million Netflix subscribers who left as a result of our former employee’s decision, please come back. We will make your return to the Netflix family as painless as possible. And, to avoid the possible stigma that may attach to perceived “turn-coats,” we will continue to charge your credit card for the entire period of your absence. It will be as if you never left!

We value you as a member, and are committed to making Netflix the best place to get your movies and TV shows.


The Netflix Team

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