Netflix Refunds Money Without Being Asked

from the that's-how-it's-done dept

With so many stories out there of companies screwing over customers or making life difficult for users, it’s always nice to hear a good story. Apparently, Netflix recently had a problem with their Xbox video streaming, and proactively refunded money to customers without them asking. I can’t think of any other company I’ve heard of that’s done that. Hell, I remember a past broadband provider who I would call (regularly) without outages, and the best they would do is say that after the service came back, I could call and then they would process a refund — knowing that when that finally happened hours later, it wouldn’t be worth the hassle to call back in and wait on hold.

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Companies: netflix

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Comments on “Netflix Refunds Money Without Being Asked”

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35 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: To be fair,

Haha uhm, one day of free access on your birthday is 0.27% off of your yearly bill. That’s a quarter of one percent. That can’t be more than a 1 or 2 dollar discount unless you’re paying over 100 dollars a month for just internet service. And if they give that ‘discount’ to every customer, it is very easy to transparently increase your bill by 0.27% (i.e. charging %39.99 a month opposed to 39.90% a month) so it really isn’t much of a discount or refund.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

I’ve written about this problem before. The problem with companies such as Comcast or Verison is that they’re essentially marketing companies. The actual installation and service of their “products” are outsourced. When a company is run by its marketing department, it no longer cares about providing a service. All it cares about is its sales numbers.

Netflix does not have that problem. It still provides a service which it also markets. So it still cares about the service it provides and the customers it serves.

Eventually Netflix’s stock will start to stagnate, as happens to all companies. Then it will be forced to cut costs and outsource operations. Eventually Netflix will also become nothing more than a marketing company. Let’s hope that’s later rather than sooner.

wirtes (profile) says:

Apple did this with .Mac

After their horrible week(s) of botched .Mac service following the iPhone launches in 2008, Apple credited all .Mac customers 3 months free without anyone asking.

Nice move, but I still turned off auto-renew & let my service lapse.

I’m betting that proactive credits are more common that you think. Large, faceless corporations are still run by human beings. And a certain percentage of those human beings understand the positive marketing value of not acting like a large, faceless corporation.

hegemon13 says:

Must be a movie rental thing...

There must be something about movie rental companies that encourages good service…
1. At Hollywood Video, I once complained about how awful a movie was when I returned it, and they gave me my next rental free without a request.
2. At Redbox, the movie I attempted to rent would not vend. I was not charged, I was just unable to get the movie, and I had to pick a different one. Two days later, Redbox sent me an email that said they had been alerted of a problem during my rental, and they included TWO free rental codes. I never contacted them; they just responded to an error report from their machine.
3. Now Netflix does this.

Lesson? Highly competitive markets are GOOD for consumers. Locked down markets like ISPs SUCK for consumers. Not that that’s really anything we didn’t know already, but it would be nice if our legislators would figure it out.

Yakko Warner says:

Where's mine?

Funny. I never got that email.

We had just finished watching one video that evening, and when I went to rate it, I got an error message; and then I was unable to start any other movies or browse my queue. Thinking I had yet another network hiccup that knocked my Netflix login offline (although my Xbox Live login was still connected), I signed completely off and signed back in, only to get an error “You need to activate this device first” followed by “The Netflix service is currently unavailable”.

Not like 3% of my $9/month plan amounts to much to cry about (27¢, I think I can find that in my couch cushions if I looked hard enough). Maybe the fact that my account is less than a month old (but yes, I’m already beyond the 2-week free trial) had something to do with it?

Will says:

This is not news. Netflix always does this whenever there’s problems. They send e-mails and if you want a refund, you click the link. I’m very glad they do it but it isn’t a new practice. Although, I do not think its as mundane as Matt suggests. They offer a refund which in no way is required and the action required by the consumer is minimal. I’ve had to call, fight, mail, bicker, harass other companies (especially comcast) to refunds which were entitled by contract.

Eric the Grey says:

Very happy with NetFlix customer service

Not only do they do things like this (I’ve only ever gotten one, but it was a nice surprise) but they also send out a next disk if the one I had in my queue wasn’t available locally, and STILL have it sent from another facility, so in essence, I get an extra disk for a few days.

Not a lot in the long run, and it probably doesn’t eat into their bottom line that much, but little things like this are what keeps customers happy, and keeps them paying.

It’s a win-win all the way around.

EtG

Jasen Webster (profile) says:

Good Customer Service

By Netflix being proactive with refunds, the company recognizes the art of customer service. Keeping customers is more important than gaining new customers and ,quite frankly, is much easier. Netflix has set a precedence so the next time it has an outage like this, their customers will expect an automatic refund, but I’m sure Netflix realizes this. In the world of business, good business ethics are hard to come by.

Disclaimer: I am not a Netflix subscriber and commend Netflix for their actions.

Kathleen (profile) says:

Re: NOT good customer service

Sorry Jasen, but I was a Netflix customer and the reason I left, purely on principle, was because of their poor customer service. They refused to honor a promotion with one of their affiliates. They apparently had small print in the “details” link. Knowing that they would lose me as a longtime customer and that I would rescind the 1 year gift subscription that I purchased for a NEW customer, based on their promotion, they chose to save their 12 bucks and not honor the promotion. They don’t care about their customers – their attitude is that some other new sucker will come along to replace them.

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