Netflix Apologizes For Brief Outage, Offers Bill Credit

As we mentioned in a recent story, Netflix experienced a crash to its site and streaming services on Friday. Over the weekend, the company not only sent out an apology e-mail to customers, it also offered a small credit to their monthly bill.

While the credit offered in the e-mail (we’ve seen both 2% and 3%) is only a few cents to each of us, it’s still more than most companies are willing to proactively offer when you experience a service. Usually, to get anything similar from a cable or wireless company requires a lengthy phone call and being escalated to a manager.

FYI, the credits are not being applied automatically to your account. You’ll need to click on the link in the e-mail.

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  1. Foodie92 says:

    What if you’re a Netflix customer, and you didn’t get the email?

    • Reading Rainbow says:

      Good question – I didn’t get any email

      • ShruggingGalt says:

        Me either.

        • MMD says:

          Same here…I also didn’t try to access streaming during the outage. My first thought would have been that they’d be able to track who actually tried to use streaming during that time and target those users, but the comments above mine suggest that’s not the case…

          • huadpe says:

            I tried to access it during the outage, except that for me the outage included netflix.com as well, so I couldn’t have registered as trying.

      • bigdirty says:

        No email here either – and I was actually PO’d on friday it wasn’t working

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      Call or write them about it.

    • Chris Morran says:

      Check your Spam folder. It might have ended up there.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      I didn’t get the email either, and we did have a problem with streaming on Friday.

    • nbs2 says:

      I’m torn on whether or not I should bother with it. My account is the 2 at a time/unlimited, which I think is $9.99 – rendering the refund 30 cents. On one hand, 30 cents is 30 cents. On the other, I did go through somewhere north of 6GB with them last month (normal usage is around 1.3, last month was 7.2, factor in Netflix replacing my general commute surfing but not replacing data usage while at work or out and about).

      I couldn’t stream for part of my commute, but I found other media to keep me entertained. If this happens again, I’ll be contacting them.

    • SomeWhiteGuy says:

      No email here either. I’ll be contacting them. Won’t be much of a refund, it’s the principal of the thing.
      I’d be like offering a free drink to the guy next to you because the esspresso machine is on the fritz, but not to you. We’re not all standing next to each other on the Internet, but the offer should be the same.

  2. Remmy75 says:

    I got the email about the issue and credit. With the 2% credit they offered me I was worried it was some sort of phishing email. I was like are they really offering me a 2% credit?

    It was nice they at least acknowledged the problem at least.

  3. IThinkThereforeIAm says:

    Few months back same thing happened… they had a half day or so outage, and they automatically offered a day’s worth of discount applied to your next month’s subscription fee…

    Apparently, for some unknown reason (maybe no Netflix exec went to MBA school) they think that keeping customers happy is good business practice…

    • TehQ says:

      Companies admitting to a mistake and make it up to customers to keep them happy? This is a foreign concept to me. Really though good job Netflix.

  4. Daverson says:

    I never got an email.

  5. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I got the email twice (first addressed to” XXFIRST_NAMEXX”…oops, lol). I was pretty impressed with the proactive step and trusting their customers. I didn’t use it during the time so am not requesting the credit.

  6. YOXIM says:

    I don’t remember there being any outage. I use streaming pretty much every day. Although lately I’ve been going through all the crap I’ve got on my DVR, so maybe I didn’t in fact use streaming at all. Oh well : )

    • Silverhawk says:

      Oh, there was definitely an outage. I don’t use the streaming every day, and it was the ONE day last week that I actually tried to use it.

  7. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I didn’t have problems streaming at home, but I couldn’t stream at all through my iPhone app.

  8. StuffThingsObjects says:

    I didn’t get the email, but I had no problems streaming on Friday.

  9. Arcaeris says:

    I didn’t watch a movie Friday, maybe my girlfriend did… anyway, I clicked that e-mailed link anyway for the free money.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Similar; while I pay for the netflix, there are several other people in the household who use it

  10. Jacquilynne says:

    For free trial users, they offered us a one day extension on our trial. “Service you weren’t actually paying for failed to work for a brief period of time when you probably weren’t actually using it. Have an extra day!” Worked for me. (I did actually try using it during the downtime, but I wasn’t overly put out when it didn’t work.)

  11. bender123 says:

    If only brick and mortar outlets were as friendly as the companies online…

    Netflix has frequently sent out extra discs from my queue for no particular reason, given credits for a late shipment or streaming outage…Proflowers is always insanely nice when Fedex loses a shipment…Zappos, monoprice, Newegg, etc…

    It just seems many online companies “get” service that eludes the places that put a face behind their sales.

    Just finding it odd…

  12. ArmitageID says:

    I got this email and thought it was nice of them to state they had an issue. Did I expect a refund for the brief outage…not at all. I mean….my internet and tv go out more often and mostly your SOL. I did not click on the link to get my refund since I was not doing any streaming that day. I figure maybe they thought giving a partial refund was in order since it was on a Friday when most people may have been settling down to want some movies over the weekend. In any case, +1 for Netflix.

  13. TetrisSmalls says:

    They’ve sent me this three times in the past, but since I wasn’t watching during the time of the outage I didn’t bother redeeming credit. It’s been 3% each time as well. I do love their service and get a lot of use out of it.

    I’ve completely got rid of cable and just have my Dell Zino HD with Boxee / Hulu and so on for my viewing pleasures. On top of that, I use my XBox 360 for Netflix and my PS3 for Blu-Ray’s that I receive from Netflix.

  14. herbie says:

    I got the email, but I didn’t have any problems, so I didn’t click the link to get the credit. They’re wonderful, I see no need to take advantage when I wasn’t affected.

  15. c_c says:

    Yea we got this email. Very impressed w/ their responsiveness.

  16. MysticYoYo says:

    I got two emails from them, one at 7:58pm and the next at 10:33pm:

    We are sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused. This is not a great way to begin your Netflix membership. So that you can properly experience Netflix, we would like to extend your free trial by one day.

    I’ll be continuing my membership because I am *loving* my Roku.

    • Merricat says:

      PS3 finally going disc-less for Netflix streaming is what convinced me that I wanted to enroll this month. Netflix sending me a 1 day credit on my free month for being down while I was at work is what convinced me I haven’t made a mistake.

  17. RoadDogg says:

    This email went to my spam folder (no other netflix emails do) so I assumed it was a scam and deleted it. I wonder if there is a way to get the credit without the email.

  18. suez says:

    It’s still spotty. Right this very minute I’m trying to watch something and it’s just cycling and cycling but nothing is coming up. It’s been doing this periodically all day.

  19. chaelyc says:

    If you were in the middle of your 30 day free trial period they’ll extend your free trial by 1 day. Same procedure – get the email, click the link to accept your free day.

  20. Sword_Chucks says:

    I’ve had this happen before, the best part, my thought was: “There was an outage?”

  21. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I got this. I didn’t have any problems with an outage; by the time I got home, it was working again. But it was really nice of them to do this. I love them more and more each day. :)

  22. TWSS says:

    I got that email, assumed it was spam, and didn’t click.

    Hope Gmail hasn’t emptied my trash yet…

  23. Skid Malfoy says:

    I experienced the problem while I was trying to load a kids show for my daughter. It was a mildly frustrating experience since you really have no idea wherein the problem lies. Is it my broadband, netflix, user error, something my daughter did (believe me, it did cross my mind),, my PS3, etc. Luckily, I had a similar problem a few months ago with them so I was somewhat prepared for the possibility that it was a problem on their end.

    I really do appreciate Netflix’s customer service efforts in situations like this. I can only imagine if it was a cable company: “I’m sorry sir, it says in your contract you can expect some service outages, and we can’t be held responsible. Oh, and we’re not showing any trouble on our end, would you like to schedule a service call? Can you be home in about three weeks between Monday and Thursday?”

  24. legwork says:

    I got it, but the timing wasn’t good; I was writing my cancellation note when I got the email ding.

    Canceling for unrelated reasons: the depth of their movie library isn’t great, and additions to their watch-it-now streaming selections are heavily biased toward TV shows. I could easily believe those issues are due to what’s being offered to them by studios but regardless it doesn’t float my boat.

    //waits for huge pile-up of netflix addicts

    • Rose says:

      I ♥ Netflix, but it’s not for everyone, and never will be.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Haha. I’ll only say this: “whatever floats your boat.” I’ve long concluded that people truly do enjoy different things and are sometimes stuck in a “second mind” mode wherein a person can’t comprehend that someone else doesn’t like the same things they like.

  25. Draw2much says:

    I got the email and I was like “There was an outage?” and I Stream quite a bit from them. I bet I’m not the only one who had no idea anything was wrong until they got an email. I wonder how many of those people took the 2% discount even though they didn’t experience a problem?

    I personally didn’t accept the discount. I don’t like taking advantage of a company that’s been as good to me as Netflix has. :-/

  26. Rose says:

    I didn’t get an e-mail, either. I went out and actually rented a movie, instead. Damn.

  27. RedOryx says:

    Netflix is pretty awesome about this sort of thing. Once, for some reason, the #1 movie in my queue got skipped, even though it said Available and the #2 movie got shipped out. I was kinda annoyed, because I’d been waiting and looking forward to seeing #1. So I called Netflix, and they had no idea why it got skipped over and sent it out anyway, giving me an extra DVD for the weekend.

    They are a company that actually likes to — gasp! — keep its customers happy.

  28. guspaz says:

    I got an e-mail for my (Canadian) NetFlix account. It offered me a $1 credit off my $7.99 bill (12.5%). I didn’t try to use NetFlix during the outage, however, so I did not accept the credit (since I wasn’t inconvenienced).