Posted on June 18th, 2012
Last summer, Netflix announced a 60% price increase without any explanation– and I, like thousands of other subscribers, was outraged. Why should I suddenly have to pay double for the same service I’ve been using for years? So, I reacted the same way that thousands of other angry customers did– I took out my frustrations through Twitter. Only a few hours after the announcement, nearly 11,000 comments were posted to Facebook alone. #DearNetflix was trending on Twitter, as customers argued that quality had decreased while prices increased. The worst part of this entire debacle is that CEO Reed Hastings refused to respond to customer feedback for two months! When describing the “social media revolution” in Chapter 5, Katie Delahye Paine makes an excellent point that companies need to redefine timeliness. Netflix customers chose to express their frustrations through social media and the company deliberately did not address these concerns for two months. Some Facebook users even complained that Netflix had deleted their comments!
I had always considered myself a fairly loyal customer. I recommended Netflix to all my friends and followed the brand in the news, but I couldn’t support their bad communication decisions. Netflix had betrayed my trust and my relationship with them began to deteriorate. When Reed Hastings finally did respond, it was a lengthy apology titled “I messed up” which still lacked a clear explanation for the price bump. Hundreds of thousands of members felt that the apology was “too little too late” and dropped the service. Since then, several news sources and social media bloggers have heralded the incident as one of the top social media disasters of all time.
Photo Creative Commons courtesy of Soopahgrover