Yesterday’s blog post by Reed Hastings, one quietly posted on a Sunday, caused a mighty uproar by… Sunday. In fact, by the end of Monday, the post had almost 5,000 tweets, and 22,000 comments. That’s probably a world record – I’ve never been to a blog post where I was physically unable to read through all the comments!
People cannot believe that he apologized but didn’t give us anything back. People cannot believe that he’s truly splitting the services in two by creating Qwikster (the DVD-by-mail side of the business). People are incredulous!
Perhaps mistakes are being piled on top of mistakes, but remember and understand this – the fact is that no business has ever been able to levy a 60% increase on its loyal customers. Please, find me one.
It does not matter if this move made sense to Netflix’s management. It does not matter if their unsustainable business model forced them to do this. It does not matter that you can slice and dice this by just choosing one service for $7.99 (hey, that’s a 20% savings. Look what we did for you!)
Their loyal customers (SO loyal) did not see this coming, did not deserve this, and are vocally rejecting it. These customers are not a fickle bunch, forever changed by a free/freemium society fueled by free Gmail, Skype, Dropbox, etc. They were brand ambassadors, and a 60% increase (forget that it was only $6) was a big slap in the face. Netflix did not show them the love.
RATHER AWESOME POSTSCRIPT
Look at the lightbox popup window you get on Blockbuster.com today. Ouch!