Thursday, June 26, 2008

Your Netflix failed you, and I have failed you

if I post a picture of Richard Clarke on my website, did I just go on some list?

In this space, in 2006, as part of my evangelical mission to bring you all into the Netflix fold, I boldly claimed I could solve the last problem you had with the queue management system. I promised that I could save your Netflix marriage.

Now Netflix announces that come September, your multiple profiles will be no more. They are not vague about what will replace them. well... nothing, they say. Good luck with that.

Let me try to organize my thoughts here, so I don't sound like a completely crazy person (ship sailed exhibit A and B).

I had abandoned my own extra queue because I was never going to watch those workout videos anyway, much less work out to them. I had considered a documentary queue and a TV series queue, but then I missed the opportunity to create themes (Charlies Wilson's war, the real story behind charlie wilson's war, Dr Strangelove, etc). I am upset for you. I am upset because you listened to me (I am brilliant, after all) and now you are back to fighting about whether Spiderman 3 is queue-worthy and to add insult to injury, you now have to MANUALLY consolidate your queues.

I am so very sorry.
So is this guy.

I invite Cranky Product Manager to weigh in on this one. I link to her as incentive.

Here is Netflix's explanation:

"Not very many of you used it anyway. "
Down at The Mill we rip seams like this with alarming frequency. Netflix reports 2% of customers use the multiple profiles feature, and they are probably right. The fact that it is 8000 consumers bothers them not one bit. In functional design, you play the odds.

Even Deisel admitted he had never heard of it (see comment) and he is a developer/genius as he humbly confesses. I gasped, but I think he had already built a robot to sort his queue for him anyway, and didn't need multiple queues.

"Nobody else got how it worked"
Be careful what you wish for, Customer Service.

"We're trying to keep it simple"
I know this one! Pick me! It means, we never built it right in the first place, and now it is a performance suck and doesn't scale.

"....distracts us from the mission of presenting to all our members the easiest way to find the best titles..." OOo, snap. Search features - IN; Account management -OUT

We will now take questions from the floor.
Does Netflix think I am going to BUY a 2nd queue?
I don't think so. I think they really don't know how to keep it it from breaking whatever it is it breaks or is blocking in some Exciting Netflix 3.0 universe. Which appears to be downloading to TV and possibly getting out of the postal game.

Are they replacing it with some other feature?
Doesn't sound like it.

Why shouldn't I just switch to Blockbuster?
They don't have that feature either, but you are supported in taking your business elsewhere. Netflix is not the only game in town, and they do appear to have driven off Start-Up Island. Might as well go back home.

Where the 2% are ranting:

7th Grade style petition
Sample letter template
Noble insider new-guy
Really angry consumer
Strategic analysis

I wish you luck in consolidating your queues, working things out with your roommates, negotiating Movie Night with your spouse.

Recommendations ~~
Rotating being queue managers and don't clog your queue with multiple episodes of things.
Or just go out. Whichever.


  1. Well, I didn't know about that feature, either. And I've poked around on their site trying to find just such a feature, unsuccessfully. So, I'm ticked off all around! They had profiles, and I wanted them. Now they're taking them away, and I never got to use them. Blerg!

  2. NetFlix sucks now. Since they made you pay extra for the disks they are reducing the online immediate content. I won't be keeping my membership long. They blow now. Worse than Direct TV and that is saying something.


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