Friday, March 1

Why Netflix Is On The Way Out (and should be)

After contacting a Netflix representative about a problem I was stunned by the complete lack of customer service. I am a retail manager. Good customer service is almost always easier then poor in the long run, and bad customer service is not excusable to me. Netflix is worse then just poor customer service, they appear to have made the choice to have no customer service, just the bare bones of something that might be mistaken for it.

As my wife says, "Don't just take my word for it." 

This appears to be normal. Below are copy and pasted quotes of conflicting statements and lies the Netflix representative told me. As well as statements that clearly show there is no customer service going on.

Nothing denotes poor customer service more then lying to the customer. At different points in the conversation I was told by Cheryl-
  • I checked with a few people higher up then me 
  • I have one person higher than me
Note: Cheryl originally tells me she checked with a few (a few is by definition 3 or 4) people higher up but later says she has only one person higher then her. It makes me wonder if there is even an actual supervisor or just another 'customer service' rep she would transfer the chat window to make the customer feel like things were going somewhere.
  • it is just a bug we haven't been able to fix yet.
  • I am not sure how all that stuff works I don't make websites 
  • if we do it for you, then we have to change the entire way our system is set up for everyone
Note: It goes from being a bug, to Cheryl not knowing anything about it, to suddenly knowing exactly how it works and that it's a big change (to place an account on hold- something done through the system every day for non gift subscriptions). Sounds like the bug was just a line and a lie.
  • Cheryl: I am not able to take any personal information over the chat due to privacy policies.
  • (me)Please have tech contact me, the information should be in my account. I waive any privacy concerns about accessing my phone or email contact info. 
  • Cheryl: As i said I cannot have them call you. I can send the complaint up but there is NO way to get them to call you. 
Note: Cheryl never previously said that she could not have them call me, she told me she couldn't take info for privacy policy reasons, when I (the customer, not customer service) offered a possible solution to that Cheryl's response reveals she was feeding me a line earlier to cover the real issue... lack of customer service or even a real attempt at customer service.
  • I can transfer you to my supervisor if you would like, he will tell you the same thing though.
  • I don't have anything like that, we are the customer service so we take all complaints and then send them up to our tech team that runs the site.
  • I personally do not have any information. I have one person higher than me then our tech team they do not have an email or number all complaints go through the representatives.
  • I totally am on your side on this and if there was a way for me to put your account on hold I totally would
  • I really want to help, if I could 
  • I totally understand you wanting to leave because of this I wish I could change your mind but if this is the deal breaker I am not too sure what else to do
Note: These are not the statements you would expect of real customer service representatives. Real customer service has a way to serve the customers. These are the statements you would expect of someone whose job is only to listen, but do nothing. Cheryl repeatedly admits, that while she agrees this is wrong, neither she nor her supervisor have any ability to do anything. 

These are direct quotes made by Netflix customer service that show the real issue with this company looks much like the choice to not have actual customer service was made. The set up here rings true of what you would get should you sit down and decide that you did not care if you screwed over your customers and had no interested in resolving real problems. There is no way to find a resolution to an actual problem with Netflix. The Netflix version of customer service could only possibly be helpful in situations were there was not an actual problem but a misunderstanding. 

Calyn and I have been further surprised upon talking to friends and family to learn that many of them have been cheated by Netflix, double charged, jerked around, not refunded- but they still use Netflix. Why!? There are so many other choices, why continue to use a company that has screwed with you and not made it right when there are multiple competitors?

American companies can survive with poor customer service as long as there is some way to eventually get things figured out- even if it's a hassel to the consumer- but no company with any competition can survive with no customer service. Because when a problem happens, as it will eventually, the customer is left knowing they are so completely in the right that there is no doubt about never using the company again. Why would I ever again use a company that has demonstrated a complete lack of true customer service? When some customer service is demonstrated a poor end result can always be shrugged off as just getting the wrong representative, not handling it correctly yourself, etc. In this case though there is no doubt about the problem or why the end result was (and unless the service is fixed will) always going to be a poor one. 

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