It seemed like such a good idea in theory. Apple TV customers most likely want to use Netflix. They have iTunes accounts. So let them sign up for Netflix on the AppleTV, and bill the Netflix subscription to their iTunes account. Simple! Streamlined! What could possibly go wrong? A lot of things, as it turns out, if the customer has any interest in using their Netflix account on any device other than an Apple TV. Not even devices using other accounts and other operating systems, either: other Apple devices.
Reader Vynny ran into this problem, and tells his story.
Since March owners of Apple TV 2nd gen and beyond have been able to
sign up directly for Netflix and have the account billed to their
iTunes account via the Apple TV. I did that a few months ago and it
was a seamless procedure that worked perfectly. No device IDs to fuss
over or separate billing to worry about.
Every month I get a bill for $7.99 added to my ITunes account and get
sent the invoice to my iTunes email address.
Yesterday I decided to download the Netflix app for my iPad and that’s
where everything went down the toilet.
Firstly the app needs a log-in and password. But what log-in is it
after… my iTunes log-in? How could Netflix know what my iTunes
password is to confirm who I am?
So I called Netflix’s 24/7 phone number and was connected quickly to a
chirpy chap who managed to tell me a whole bunch of incorrect stuff -
highlighted as follows:
1) You use your iTunes log in (you don’t, it doesn’t work)
2) You cannot view shows and movies on any other device than apple TV.
When I pointed out that I was therefore not receiving the same level
of service and features that others are he said that’s incorrect
although did not elaborate.
3) You CANNOT watch movies and shows via Netflix on a PC at all
regardless of how you signed up. (What!?!)
4) You must use iTunes and go through the iTunes app specifically and
go from there to Netflix (again – what? No such option exists in
5) The iOs Netfclix app is not for people who signed up via an iOS
6) The iPad Netflix app talks to Apple on every log in and not to
Netflix for confirmation. I asked what about people who didn’t sign up
for Netflix via Apple iTunes… no answer was forthcoming.
7) Not many people use the option to sign up for Netflix via the Apple
And so on… any excuse to cover the fact that they just didn’t know
how I could fix the problem. I asked to speak to a supervisor who
1) I must change my Netflix password. I don’t have one and none was
issued but I must change it apparently.
2) Changing my password for Netflix would NOT affect my Apple TV
connection. When I pointed out that my iTunes account’s password
that’s used on the Apple TV would be different than the new password
Netflix she said it wouldn’t. I don’t quite understand that logic.
In my estimation I would have to change my iTunes password to THEN
match my Netflix one. This affects two iPads and two iPhones and an
Apple TV. I’m not prepared to even risk that nonsense.
3) I should speak to Apple as they can’t control what Apple do, even
though I signed up through a Netflix app.
I pointed out it would be easier to cancel my Netflix account now and
just sign up via a PC which would give me a separate Netflix log in
which would work on almost every device known.
She agreed. Nice.
So if you’ve sign up for Netflix via the super-easy Netflix app on
your Apple TV please, PLEASE tell me how you log in to a different
device to view Netflix content.
Netflix don’t seem to know.