Yesterday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reiterated what has been the party line since announcing its controversial price hike earlier this month, that the company is unhappy that you’re unhappy, but that it’s all going to be better in the long-haul. And it looks like, for now, customers are giving the company the benefit of a doubt.
“[W]e feel bad about having customers upset with us,” said Hastings during a conference call to discuss the company’s quarterly earnings, “but we feel great about the amazing new content we’re going to be able to license in the fourth quarter and next year, which will further propel our growth and subscriber satisfaction.”
Hastings said the company had braced itself for an onslaught of angry customers following the price hike announcement, but:
believe it or not the noise level is actually less than we expected given a 60% price increase for some subscribers. So we knew what we were getting into. We tried to be as straightforward as we could, and that has worked out very well for us. In terms of the customer support line, it was a very short amount of time that it exceeded our capacity there. And now, our service levels have returned to our normal great service levels.
Over at Ars Technica, they point to the lack of a similar competitor as a possible reason for the tempered customer response to Netflix:
The truth is that there aren’t many services that offer the same combination of offerings as Netflix with as wide a selection and on as many devices, so Netflix still has room to play before really upsetting its users.
As we recently pointed out, Blockbuster has attempted to lure away irate DVD-centric Netflix customers by offering a free trial to its discs-by-mail service.
And this week, Walmart has decided to join the fray by putting its Vudu-based streaming service onto the Walmart.com homepage.