In the News! Netflix Further Snubs Their Customers!

13 Jul


Today on July 13th, 2011, Netflix’s Vice President of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey, issued a formal statement to MSNBC following a monumental social media outrage with the company. After yesterday’s announcement of subscription price increases, and over hundreds of thousands unhappy customers all voicing their displeasure via social networks and customer service lines, many reporters were unable to reach Netflix for comment. MSNBC’s Technolog acquired an exclusive statement on behalf of Netflix which addresses and minimizes customer concerns:

He said the timing of the price change was “appropriate” and that “$6 more is a remarkable value, a latte or two every month. For most folks it’s absorbable,” adding Netflix was “sympathetic to those in terrible financial straits.” But, he said, the reaction was “expected.” “We anticipated some folks were not going be happy with the change. It didn’t surprise us.”

Swasey said, “30,000 or so is a sub set of 23 million subscribers. They’re not speaking for the majority. But, their opinion is important and we value them.”

For Netflix, he said, the separation of the plans was a consumer-focused decision that “provides a simpler, easier Netflix experience. Some people don’t want streaming, some only want DVDs.” He also said Netflix would be devoting more resources to DVDs, while also adding that Netflix’s future expansions, such as Latin America, would be streaming only. Streaming titles numbered about 20,000 a year ago, he said, and while he wouldn’t reveal how much they’ve added, he did say it was “more than you can watch in a lifetime.”

Source: MSNBC Technolog

What Swasey downright denied is the company’s blatant disregard for the 1st Amendment of the United States; thousands of user comments are vanishing from Netflix’s Facebook “Fan” page every few minutes.

From MSNBC Technolog: “As to accusations of deleting Facebook or other online comments? He says that isn’t happening.”

Already angry consumers are watching their freedom of speech taken away in real-time, and many comments which are erased do not contain any profanity or slanderous messages. As users become aware of their disappearing opinions it has become crystal clear Netflix does not care who cancels their subscriptions and why. In his comment to MSNBC, Swasey does not clarify which 30,000 subscribers he estimates as the sub set of 23 million, however based on observation it seems the reference belongs to the number of Facebook user responses alone. Over the course of the last two days, and despite Netflix’s attempts to diminish complaints by erasing feedback, the total number of Facebook specific comments have reached over 50,000 and growing rapidly. Steve Swasey underestimated his totals by a long shot as the majority of Netflix’s customers do not solely use Facebook and today’s 50,000 comments cannot possibly reflect the exact range of unhappy consumers.

Aside from deliberately subtracting a mass of responses on Facebook alone and denying it, Mr. Swasey took a stab at consumers wallets by arrogantly comparing the affordability of price increases to one, or two cups of latte.

“$6 more is a remarkable value, a latte or two every month. For most folks it’s absorbable.” 

What Swasey appears to suggest is the average American consumer’s indefinite abilities to pay for lavish beverages as well as sustain the price increase imposed by Netflix. If Steve Swasey is indeed fortunate enough to afford lattes, he is delusional to assume his customers are all able to do the same. In tough economic times, many consumers have given up spending on luxury items and instead invest in necessities alone. Netflix appeared as an excellent deal to the population which needed affordable entertainment and could not afford to splurge on luxurious investments. Those exact people who have already given up their one or two lattes per month due to necessary expenses, are most likely the consumers hurt by and opposed to Netflix’s 50%+ price increases. Not only is Swasey insulting customers with supposed statements, he does not seem sympathetic towards those who will not longer be able to afford Netflix’s service after September 2011.

If Mr. Swasey’s official statements to MSNBC were in effort to do damage control in Public Relations he has failed miserably. If he was appointed to increase further account cancellations, he has accomplished this task; just minutes after MSNBC’s report went live, approximately 10,000 additional consumers reported subscription cancellations and disgust with Swasey’s statements.

If you are bothered by Steve Swasey’s remarks towards the American Consumer, or just want to express exactly how you feel about Netflix and their recent decisions, you may contact Swasey directly:

Steve Swasey
Vice President of Corporate Communications
Office  (408)540-3947
Mobile (925)899-8108

additional contact information:

Netflix, Inc.
100 Winchester Circle
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Direct Headquarters (408) 540-3700

Headquarters Fax (408) 540-3737

Public Relations (408) 540-3939


One Response to “In the News! Netflix Further Snubs Their Customers!”

  1. j.p. July 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    all I want to do is…. SCREAM.

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