Netflix, an online video rental and streaming service, made headlines in 2011 when changes to its subscription plans triggered customer outrage. As a public relations (PR) professional, I saw a lot of ways Netflix could have handled the situation better. While its changes led many customers to cancel their accounts, Netflix did not lose my business.
Before the firestorm, I’d found Netflix to be a reliable company with strong customer service. My experience hasn’t changed, and a couple of recent moves by the company have reinforced my commitment to Netflix.
My main interest in Netflix is renting and returning DVD movies by mail. I originally subscribed to Netflix to take advantage of its vast selection of classic films, but I also watch newer releases from time to time. The movies I rent from Netflix consistently arrive quickly. When I get an occasional “bad” DVD that skips or stops, Netflix makes it easy to report the problem and receive a replacement.
This week, a DVD I wanted to rent wasn’t available in the Netflix shipping center closest to my home, so it will take a few extra days to arrive. Netflix notified me it was shipping the next movie on my wishlist immediately, so I wouldn’t have to wait for my next DVD. The company gave me this extra DVD for free, even though I’d used up my DVD allotment for this billing period. Around Christmas, Netflix gave me an extra free rental as a holiday bonus.
New Netflix customers can sign up for a DVD-only plan or streaming-only plan for $7.99/month. Plan that combine both options start at $15.98/month. Netflix makes it easy to change plans by logging into your online account. You can make the changes effective immediately and pay a pro-rated amount for the current billing cycle or let the changes take effect when your new billing cycle starts.
In addition to movies, Netflix offers many television shows, including series from decades past, like Magnum P.I. and The Muppet Show. If you like to watch streaming videos, you can do so with your Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or other Netflix-enabled device. You can also watch movies and TV shows on your computer.
Unlike other DVD-rental services, you don’t have to leave home to take the movie back, and you can keep it as long as you’d like.
Does Netflix cost too much? That’s a call only you can make. What I can say is the company delivers solid customer service to its subscribers with convenience and easy account management. That’s worth $8 a month to me. After all, you can barely buy one box-office movie ticket for that price.