Netflix Profiles To Stay!

Netflix announced today that they will not be removing the beloved profiles function that let users set up separate movie queues. Hooray! Speaking from personal experience, when two people share one netflix account, having two queues is essential to maintaining domestic tranquility. Looks like they listened to the 1270 people who left comments on the blog post announcing the feature’s removal. An email to subscribers also thanked them for the customer emails and calls that advocated for keeping the profiles. The news was released on the Netflix community blog by one of the Netflix website production managers. Full announcement, inside…

For users of Profiles, I have good news to report: we will keep the feature with no plans to discontinue it.

We were persuaded by the well-reasoned, sincere responses of loyal members who very much value this feature. As someone who enjoys helping his four-year-old daughter manage her one-DVD-at-a-time, G-rated sub-account, I identified with these thoughtful pleas to maintain Profiles.

Because of an ongoing desire to make our website easier to use, we believed taking a feature away that is only used by a very small minority would help us improve the site for everyone. Listening to our members, we realized that users of this feature often describe it as an essential part of their Netflix experience. Simplicity is only one virtue and it can certainly be outweighed by utility.

As for improving Profiles, there are no definite plans in place yet, but, like everything at Netflix, we seek to make it better and we are open to suggestions. Non-users of the feature and new members will be able to access Profiles in 2-3 weeks. Existing users will be able to continue their use, uninterrupted.

We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused.

Enjoy.

-Todd

Emails from Consumerist readers sharing the good news hit our mailbox moments after the news was released. Here’s how some of our readers are reacting:

Rick: “Sounds like Netflix got the message. Personally, I never used profiles, but it’s nice to see that they are willing to say, OK, we made you mad, so we’re going to make things right. I like the tone of this message — not too sappy, silly, or over-apologetic. Most companies insult your intelligence one way or another with their apologies.”

Sonya: “Yay!”

Keith: “Netflix does take us seriously :)”

Di: “I wonder how many people have already sold thier soul to Blockbuster over this. Oh well.”

Steven: “We win I guess!”

Profiles feature NOT going away [Netflix Community Blog] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
PREVIOUSLY: Netflix Eliminates User Profiles, Infuriates Customers
(Photo: Maulleigh)

Comments

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  1. JosephFinn says:

    Hooray! Best news of the day, by far!

  2. Bladefist says:

    consumers promise to boycott ftw

  3. Raanne says:

    best news of the day!

  4. TeraGram says:

    Party party party! Party party party!

  5. Ein2015 says:

    YAY! Netflix listens to consumers! :D

  6. kylenalepa says:

    Even though I don’t use NetFlix, seeing a story like this where a company listens to its users just warms my heart.

  7. mike says:

    This makes me want to cry…I *almost* want to use netflix…almost.

    I don’t rent enough movies in a month to warrent it.

  8. dondiego87 says:

    A shining example of a company’s blog not just being another tube for press releases to leave HQ but rather as a real arena of back-and-forth with customers. Bravo.

  9. i had delayed signing back up with netflix because of this, and now, i’m back on board. congrats to Netflix for listening to their customers.

  10. Xerloq says:

    Hmm… Maybe I’ll sign up now.

  11. alice_bunnie says:

    I just checked my email, and saw this, then headed straight here. I was one that sent feedback about this, and I’m glad my feedback was heard on this and heeded!

  12. Miss Scarlet in the Hall with a Revolver says:

    Well this is very good news. My husband and I were planning on canceling netflix because it wouldn’t have been work all the extra work. I’m glad netflix listened to the customers.

  13. AndyDuncan says:

    I use profiles and while it wouldn’t have been a deal breaker for me (Netflix is still awesome), I would have mourned their loss. Glad to see Netflix doing the right thing yet again.

  14. Myrddraal says:

    Netflix has been and continues to be one of the best companies out there. I wasn’t crying over the loss of profiles but it is really nice that they listen to their customers.

  15. Crazytree says:

    another example of netflix breaking from the norms of corporate america.

  16. joemono says:

    Maybe this was just a ploy to get feedback? I don’t really believe that, but “tell us what you think” doesn’t seem to work as well as “tell us why we just pissed you off.”

  17. samurailynn says:

    I use netflix but I have never used profiles. I never got the notification that it would be going away or the notice that it will be staying. I wonder if it’s just because I don’t use that feature.

  18. mcrbpc says:

    @samurailynn:

    yep, I’m in the same boat as you. Never used them and never got a notice either way about them getting rid of them or changing their minds.

  19. Heresy Of Truth says:

    My husband and I use profiles, and when we heard, we changed over to two separate accounts, immediately. That’s what we get for being so efficient, I guess.

  20. TWinter says:

    Good for Netflix! I use the profiles and think they’re great. Losing it wouldn’t have been a deal breaker for me, but it is a really useful feature for some users.

  21. fearuncertaintydoubt says:

    “Simplicity is only one virtue and it can certainly be outweighed by utility.” – Netflix

    “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” – Albert Einstein

  22. Very happy to see that Netflix did indeed listen to the very reasonable concerns of its loyal customers and act accordingly. Huzzah for Consumerist and other sites that provided visibility to the issue.

    To all the folks who reacted to the initial move by labeling the profile users a as bunch of whiners, who offered completely useless alternatives as workarounds, or who simply chimed in to let us know that they didn’t use the profile feature: thank you so much for joining the discourse, and for contributing nothing. Couldn’t have done it without you.

  23. The_Truth says:

    Maybe someone can help me out?

    I cannot find how to add a new profile to my account. Ive been to the accounts page and cant find the option there any where.

    Any help would be appreciated!

  24. dopplerd says:

    @The_Truth: From the Netflix press release:

    “Non-users of the feature and new members will be able to access Profiles in 2-3 weeks.”

  25. meisenberg says:

    i called them after reading the first posting here…hooray for customer support!

  26. The_Truth says:

    @dopplerd: Ahh yes, i just read the full thing to and saw that.

    Thanks!

    Although not thanks for making me wait to use this Netflix!

  27. Acheman says:

    What confuses me is that more people aren’t using these things. I use Lovefilm, which is essentially the British Netflix, and even when I’m the only one using my account I set up different rental lists so that I could specify, for example, that I only wanted one of my three disks to be a full-length feature film since I only watch those at weekends. Seems to me there’d be a sizeable chunk of people who could get use out of this feature somehow or another.

  28. lizk says:

    I was so glad to see this in my inbox. We were trying to figure out how we were going to manage our DVD rentals going forward, as we didn’t want to manage 2 accounts separately (and be charged for 2 accounts separately!), but we also could never manage one queue together. We were going to go back to the brick-and-mortar box rental store until this announcement came out. Netflix Profiles FTW!

  29. JennQPublic says:

    I’m not a Netflix customer (yet), but I would seriously consider doing business with a company that actually listens to its customers. Good job, Netflix.

  30. sleze69 says:

    Has Netflix ever actually explained why they were going to cut this feature? They already implemented it so KEEPING it shouldn’t have cost them anything.

  31. NikonGal says:

    I wonder if these profiles are only for certain types of accounts. I don’t have that option with my 3 a month type of membership.

  32. trujunglist says:

    I’ve never used profiles but I decided to write in anyway, because I thought it was pretty shady for them to take away a well used feature and chalk it up to providing a better user experience. I personally noted that my user experience was not harmed in anyway due to profiles, as the web page loads extremely quickly, the queues work fine, I get my movies on time, etc etc, and that I would be interested to know how my experience as a Netflix user would be enhanced if they did go ahead with profile removal, since they didn’t say anything in their initial e-mail. Glad to see that my feedback didn’t fall on deaf ears.

  33. kyle4 says:

    I think this was probably a publicity stunt so they could use this example to say they cater to consumers.

  34. r081984 says:

    I wonder how much money they just made from all this free advertising.

  35. Mary says:

    So, since this feature was actually bogging down the site and getting rid of it was supposed to bring new features that might be more universally loved and used, exactly who “wins” here?

    Because I was one of the people (probably the bulk of Netflix customers, just not the vocal bulk) who would rather have the new features than the profiles.

    Also, those of you who think it was all just a publicity stunt, do you have any companies you actually like and trust, or do you assume everything all of them do is a terrible thing?

  36. FCL says:

    I’m a new Netflix member (joined in the last month), and the profiles feature was news to me. It’s definitely something I’d like to be able to use. I’m anxious for the next 2-3 weeks to pass, so I can move all of my kids’ movies into their own profile, instead of constantly having to remember to bump Underdog down my queue to ensure I get something that I want to see.

  37. robbiemd says:

    Seriously folks….do you really think you caused the big mean thoughtless company to reinstate your profiles? This was one of their most popular and distinguishing features! What better way to market this feather in the cap then to threaten to take it away. Read the comments above…everyone is so thrilled they’d never think of cancelling their membership now and using Redbox for a dollar a movie right? If you really believe they were considering this then give them a call and ask what they intended to replace it with. I did…that’s when you hear the big sucking sound of bull@#$&! I’m not a cynic folks…just a disillusioned idealist as George Carlin often remarked.

    Kudos to the folks at Netflix marketing…they’re tipping their hats to you in Boston.

  38. Dieholmes says:

    My Dad works for Netflix in Los Gatos and I can assure you all that this is not a PR stunt.

    It was a genuine oversight by an awesome company who has ruled in favor (shocking, I know.) of the small percentage actually utilizing the feature.

    Creative marketing ploy? Nope.

  39. animatedantmo says:

    I was unlucky and joined Netflix a few days before they announced the removal of the profile feature. So i assumed the fact that I never had any way to add/use it was because of that. Turns out I was right, I just got off the phone with a csr and she said that I have to wait a few weeks before it will be restored :'( Guess its better than never having it :)

  40. oregongal says:

    Whew! That was my reaction when I got that email. Now if we can get them to try something cool and different like PicLens while their at it. I mean, after all, if Amazon and the like can do it, why not NetFlix?

  41. oregongal says:

    They’re* not their … geez

  42. synergy says:

    I actually whooped at this news and immediately forwarded to the ball and chain, the other profile on my account. Netflix DOES take us seriously! And that is why they are at the top of the list for best customer service!

  43. Darn. I’ve had two un-deletable profiles since I opened my account with two friends 3 years ago, and I was hoping I could finally get rid of them.

    Oh well, Maybe I’ll find a way to put them to good use. Netflix, why won’t you let me delete old profiles?

  44. ShadowFalls says:

    You still have to see this as impressive. A company that actually listens and acts to the demands of its customers, instead of just doing whatever the hell it wants.

    Could you have said Blockbuster would have cared what its customers wanted?

  45. lemur says:

    @Meiran:

    Also, those of you who think it was all just a publicity stunt, do you have any companies you actually like and trust, or do you assume everything all of them do is a terrible thing?

    I believe all companies are aiming to increase their profit and that they will commit unethical acts to achieve their goal. No, I make no exception. Some are just less evil than others. And yes, I’ve been on both sides of this drama: as a customer and also as someone working in a company which was trying to sell services. I left one company I worked for in part because the ideals which existed when I joined slowly eroded. When I left, it was considered okay for marketing to BS the customer with things the engineers knew very well would be impossible to deliver.

  46. Blackneto says:

    Look for a rewrite of the system in a few months.
    Profiles were broken according to one of the responses from netflix when this issue first broke news.
    They were an add on that wasn’t quite coded correctly.
    We like the profiles but there is one glaring problem:
    Problems with damaged discs.
    My wife has a few times had to call netflix to get a replacement disc sent out because she cannot report the problem on the website because her profile isn’t the primary one. Neither can I report it because it doesn’t show up in my queue.

    This might be one of the problems they were trying to alleviate but time will tell. Like I said, look for a big programming change in the next few months.

  47. crabbyman6 says:

    @Blackneto: There is a way to report a damaged disc from the main profile without calling. I think it even tells you how to do it when you try to on the secondary profile. Its not overly clear, but its certainly possible since I had to do this very thing two days ago.

  48. Blackneto says:

    @crabbyman6: I saw the instructions.
    It didn’t work.

  49. Blackneto says:

    @crabbyman6: actually I should say I just found out how to do it in my profile for all movies.

    But we have always recieved the message stating that only the primary account holder can report.

  50. mrkniceguy says:

    @Meiran: I agree. They had mentioned new features. Now I’m sure those features are gone. I guess I learned a lesson in this. I should have called and told them I don’t use profiles and find it very annoying, asking them to delete it. Oh well, I guess I know for next time.

    I wonder if I can call them and still have them delete my profiles.

  51. mrkniceguy says:

    @mrkniceguy: Well, looks like they’re working on a way for users to delete profiles. To bad they’re working on that instead of new features…

  52. tinyrobot says:

    Well played Netflix. Well played. I (heart) companies that listen.

  53. AnxiousDemographic says:

    It sounds like they really did take our concerns seriously!

    I’m a Netflix subscriber, and I use the profiles feature, and I protested in both their blog and via email support. I really didn’t think they would change course though, I am very pleasantly surprised.

  54. synergy says:

    @Blackneto: I don’t know why you couldn’t report problem disc’s from your wife’s profile. I’m the main profile and have reported problems with my husband’s discs. Although I’ve never checked if he can do it himself. Usually I’m more on top of the Netflix than he is anyway…

  55. synergy says:

    Hmm. Got a little happy with the apostrophes. Whoops.

  56. sean77 says:

    @robbiemd: it wasn’t their most popular feature. Fewer than 3% of netflix customers used profiles. It was a rarely used feature.

  57. PingPongDarts says:

    @sean77: Not trying to start an argument, but where did you get that number? I know a bunch of people that use profiles all the time so I would have expected a much higher percentage. Maybe not “one of their most popular and distinguishing features!” as robbiemd kind of gushes, but very useful nonetheless.

  58. Mary says:

    @PingPongDarts: The numbers I read were from 1% to 3%, coming from various Netflix CSRs and statements on blogs like Hacking Netflix.

    And when I calculated the number of people who had signed the online petition to keep profiles that was circulating compared to the number of subscribers, I came up with 0.002%.

    Until this story broke, nobody I had met in real life had even heard of profiles. I really don’t think it was as popular as people keep claiming, it’s just that the people who were upset about it flocked to the internet to complain.

  59. tweemo says:

    SWEET.

  60. MissGayle says:

    I, for one, can honestly say that this has influenced me to choose netflix. We have – this very week – called Direct TV and our subscription with them ends with this billing cycle. We will then subscribe to netflix and be very happy that my husband and I and the kids can have our separate profiles. Without the profiles, it would absolutely not have been worth it.

  61. SinA says:

    From Netflix FAQs:
    Q:When will the Profiles feature be available for new users?
    A:In response to recent member feedback, Netflix will keep the Profiles feature. Existing Profiles will continue to work. The ability to set up new Profiles will return July 15, 2008.