Netflix Gives Good Apology To Customers For Monday's Delays

Netflix sent an apology note to customers whose DVDs were delayed by their 11-hour service outage on Monday, along with a 5% service credit. In so doing, they perfectly followed the three-steps of fixing customer service problems:
1. Admit fault, quickly.
2. Say sorry like you mean it.
3. Give conciliatory gift of monetary value.

See now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?


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  1. mike1731 says:

    Not to mention, it’s really nice when they apologize before I’d even noticed there was a delay. Great company, they’re awesome!

  2. Parting says:

    A month has 30 days, so 5% is more than a day worth of subscription. So for one day problem, pretty good compensation.

  3. scarysnow says:

    Netflix has always been great with customer service in my opinion. It’s really a totally vane, positive type of service, so I can’t imagine it would be something anyone would really get angry over.

  4. mopar_man says:

    I think there would be a lot less pissed off customers out there if more companies would figure out this is the positive way to run a business. Apologize, offer an adequate compensation and keep your customers. I really didn’t think it was that hard but I guess these people with the 6-figure+ salaries differ in thinking from myself.

  5. Kat@Work says:

    I have used Netflix for years & loved every minute of it – I wish DirecTv would take a hint from them in the customer service area.

  6. DebbieDoesDamage says:

    Netflix has awesome customer service. I have nothing but good things to say about them.

  7. Kat@Work says:

    WOW! I just got their email 30 seconds after posting my first comment here! HA! I LOVE Netflix!

  8. ElizabethD says:

    Netflix has automated their follow-up inquiries for years. They are awesome, in my opinion.

  9. Angryrider says:

    11 hours? Wow people can’t wait an extra day for their DVDs in the mail?

  10. fluiddruid says:

    I got this email as well. I did notice the delay so I was pleased by this outcome. It’s not much money, but it’s really more that Netflix doesn’t consider it acceptable for customers to experience service outages (whereas having an outage and doing nothing says, “we’re okay with screwing you”). I’m happy to continue giving them my business.

  11. TheUncleBob says:

    Dear companies – Generally Step #3 isn’t even necessary if you do steps #1 and 2 correctly. We’re all human and we understand that, sometimes, mistakes happen. Just apologize – quickly and make it right – quickly.

  12. KJones says:

    It doesn’t even require the credit just as long as customers don’t lose money. The first two parts would have satisfied me.

    I wouldn’t sing their name to the skies, but they did handle this situation properly. Let’s wait and see how they handle the next one: properly, or trying to live off of their old reputation?

  13. Rando says:

    Netflix is amazing.

  14. zentex says:

    @TheUncleBob: amen. a small blip doesn’t require money.

  15. UX4themasses says:

    @TheUncleBob: I agree but GROWING brand trust isn’t a bad thing right? (adding the 5% aka #3)

    Kudos for Netflix for realizing that good CS does not require a huge hit to their fiscal bottom line. They are receiving a credit towards FUTURE purchases.

  16. trickonion says:

    10%, baby

    2 dvds maybe?

  17. frogpelt says:

    This was clearly the OP’s fault.

    He should have realiz–oh wait–nevermind.

  18. knyghtryda says:

    The previous posters are correct. That 5% was just a happy token. The fact that they recognize any outage as a major one and respond accordingly to their customers is what makes this a smart reaction. No cover ups, no spin, just a “oops… our bad, but look, its fixed.”

  19. Mary says:

    Like others have said, I would be happy without the credit. Though, since I haven’t gotten this email perhaps I don’t qualify (because I was shipping movies back TO them during the delay, unless a ripple effect happened my subscription wasn’t changed a bit).

    But still, admitting your at fault and saying you’re sorry goes a LONG way for me.

    The only reason I even noticed the site was down was because I was going to put a different movie on the top of my queue.

  20. gamin says:

    I will be happy just with the apology, but hey 5% off is good

  21. FoxintheSnow says:

    When I got this email the first thing I thought was “someone actually complained about this?” Seriously, it’s only one day.

  22. catcherintheeye says:

    Kudos to NetFlix – and exactly why I will continue to use their service and wish Blockbuster a slow and painful death.

  23. catcherintheeye says:

    @FoxintheSnow: Even if someone did complain (which, if most people are like me, didn’t even notice the delay), I think most likely they realized there was a problem before anyone else did, and took proactive action.

  24. rbf2000 says:

    5% works out to less than a dollar for most people. I’m glad they admitted their problem, and I’m not mad at them, but a dollar for my troubles is hardly worth it. But who am I to complain about free money?

  25. lastfm says:

    What? I didn’t know about this. I shipped my last movie back to them Saturday. They should have received it and shipped the next Monday, but it was not until Tuesday when the shipped the next movie. Where’s my credit!?

  26. thetango says:

    FoxintheSnow — yeah, that’s what I thought too. We’re talking about ONE DAY. I can see if they shipping system was down for a week … but ONE DAY?

    OTOH — big props to a big company for doing the right thing and treating its customers well. They probably have made me a customer for life.

  27. Bladefist says:

    hey, blockbuster would have done the same. “We’re sorry you didn’t get your movies quickly, let us raise your rate so we can have more money to prevent this in the future”

  28. Szin says:

    So refreshing to see such great customer service.

  29. Geoff says:

    My name being Geoffrey, sorta freaked me out seeing that image. Haven’t gotten my actualy Netflix e-mail yet, but, Consumerist did it by proxy, I suppose.

  30. sly100100 says:

    I got an email with 10%. Great deal!

  31. richcreamerybutter says:

    @FoxintheSnow: I don’t think the delay would have resulted in complaints, but maybe a few people made inquiries. If I experience a delay I’m just concerned the movie went into the wrong mailbox, was stolen, etc. and want to keep track of the situation. They are always amazingly prompt, so in the rare instance I don’t receive it on time I know they’re not at fault!

    They also give you a heads-up when your movie ships from another regional center.

    I have been so so pleased with Netflix! My initial hesitation to sign up long ago was due to their selection, but they now rival my neighborhood “film nerd” store in terms of profoundly disturbing titles (don’t ask what’s in my queue!).

  32. evslin says:

    Good on them.

  33. lyndyn says:

    Was there a delay? I didn’t notice… oh, wait. Because Netflix just opened a new warehouse a hundred miles closer to my house than the old ones, and shipping has dropped dropped from two days to one.

    Damn, I love Netflix.

  34. cmdrsass says:

    I know that people are saying they didn’t really need #3, but #3 is what separates a company that merely provides good customer customer from a company that people will rave about. Going above and beyond on even the little things is worth its weight in gold in preserving customer loyalty.

  35. eightfifteen says:

    Any coincidence that the Netflix stock seems to only go up?

  36. novelgirl says:

    Are you paying attention Blockbuster? Never mind.
    My love for Netflix continues to grow. When three movies got lost in the mail, they didn’t harass just sent me new ones. I noticed the site was down, but this email was a pleasant surprise. I wish more companies were this proactive.

  37. Solidgun says:

    It would be nice to see this type of apologies from all companies if they were to issue one. PPL know what they would rather hear when you are given attempt at apolgies from companies and feel worse after hearing it. I am going back to Netflix after seeing this.

  38. The Porkchop Express says:

    @rbf2000: Yeah it’s not much at all, but nobody actually lost any money here. This is a one day delay in something that has been paid for (and more if you watch enough movies)with the understanding that you get your movies in what like two business days? one day delay cost us users nothing and now we get to save a dollar for one month.

  39. picshereplz says:

    I was more bummed out about not having their streaming service that day than by the one day delay on the DVD. Obviously, shit happens and it’s great that they’ve issued a good apology.

    Now, if Comcast could give me a 5% refund whenever their service was interrupted…

  40. mdkiff says:

    I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again – I’ve been a member of Netflix essentially since it started, and this is another example of why I stick with them even through their price wars with Blockbuster. I got this e-mail this morning, after vaguely hearing of the computer glitch on the news and not really caring that I got a movie a day late. Great company – you can’t get much better than this kind of reaction to a minor problem.

  41. @Kat@Work: Unlike DirecTV, Netflix has competition from the likes of Blockbuster Video as well as numerous smaller outlets. They have to be on top of customer service; DirecTV only competes with cable, and does so by sucking slightly less. It’s a sad commentary on the state of American capitalism that so many of our service industries have been reduced to “we suck the least.” Still, Netflix has gone above and beyond. I also had no idea they had an 11-hour outage on Monday until reading this article.

  42. elephantattack says:

    @picshereplz: SERIOUSLY (I’m on charter but it’s all the same), I don’t think I’d be paying for cable. I think I’m going to start ordering Netflix now.

  43. crackers says:

    @richcreamerybutter: I totally agree. I recently got into Czech New Wave cinema, and I’m thrilled with the Netflix selection! And, of course, I’m dying to know what’s in your queue…

  44. olivia2.0 says:

    It’s worth pointing out that they might have given the 5% so they didn’t have to use employee-man power dealing with the customers who would try to call in and get a credit. By giving everyone 5% they are saving themselves time and work, if not money.

  45. randombob says:

    Yeah I’m a recent Netflix convert (from nothing), and I’ve already had one or two issues that required a call…

    BUT, they handle it. Phones are answered promptly, they actually look into the situation, then take ownership of it, and resolve.

    Things happen, we understand. It’s what you do about that fact that will define you. And Netflix is defining themselves very well, IMHO.

    And yeah I got the email this morning.

  46. TheNewDecider says:

    I’ve used Netflix for over 5 years and have ALWAYS been treated well. I am a raving fan and I admit it.

    I used to get extremely frustrated with standing in lines, poor selections, dealing with nitwit clerks, and paying outrageous late fees at traditional video stores.

    Companies like Netflix and Redbox eliminated a lot of the overhead and annoyances and focused on delivering value.

    A little technical slip-up is forgiveable when they are a model for excellent customer service and value.

  47. benh57 says:

    But do they ‘take this matter seriously’?

  48. richcreamerybutter says:

    @CCS: totally working my way through Svankmajer, in addition to many questionable French, Japanese, and American 70s and 80s horror, smut, and sci-fi titles, balanced with old “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” and “Kids in the Hall” episodes. FYI: they apparently have season 1 of “Mighty Boosh” which impressed the shit out of me.

    And, I do genuinely feel bad about my neighborhood place, since they DID deliver by having a copy of “The Possession of Joel Delaney” on VHS (still not on dvd to my knowledge). However I simply cannot afford $3.25 per rental…not with my appetite.

  49. volenti non fit injuria says:

    I’ve been really debating whether to get NetFlix or Blockbuster. With all these great customer experiences, I think (when I decide to get in on the DVD rentals) I will be joining NetFlix. Thank you.

  50. itsgene says:

    I was so astonished when I got that email that I tried to find an email address on their website to respond to. I wanted to basically say “Thanks for such a nice gesture, it really wasn’t necessary.”
    But I couldn’t figure out who to send it to.

  51. thalia says:

    To be honest, when I got my films today I didn’t even notice that they were a day late until I got the email. I LOVE YOU NETFLIX!

  52. lovelygirl says:

    <3333333333 Netflix! Viva la Netflix!

  53. lordargent says:

    chouchou: A month has 30 days, so 5% is more than a day worth of subscription.

    Also, most accounts are allowed to have multiple DVDs out at one time. So unless they were supposed to send you three DVDs out (assuming the standard 3 out plan). It’s an even better refund (even if, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a little less than a buck).

    3. Give conciliatory gift of monetary value. In a timely fashion :D

  54. skilled1 says:

    Just for admitting the problem before someone was actually affected by it, and going out of their way to remedy the problem, Netflix should be voted for one of the ‘best’ of 08.

    Way to go Netflix.

  55. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    @ilikepie: I can here to say that. Good job. :-)