We have been Netflix subscribers since the company started and have our commemorative DVD holder to prove it. I recently received notice of the pending class action lawsuit informing me of my options to join the class and reap the reward of the settlement. I decided to pass on the “free” one month subscription as I was sure it would not be worth the hassle and I have been a pretty satisfied customer over the years.
I read an interesting article today about some of Netflix’s shady business practices which has me reconsidering my loyalty. One paragraph in particular caught my attention:
“What’s more, the lawsuit claims, Netflix gave quick turnaround to new customers and consumers who didn’t watch many movies — their most profitable consumers. Avid movie-watchers who burned up the path to the mailbox were selectively penalized, getting movies slower than other members.”
Now I am not sure whether the accusations are valid but, if true, the decision makers at Netflix will have some serious damage control to contend with over the next few quarters. It is interesting to note that while Netflix admits to none of the behavior/accusations it still decided to settle the case. Maybe losing a few million dollars in the settlement turned out to be cheaper than fighting the lawsuit to the bitter end even after factoring in public perception. The lawyers win regardless (as they usually do) and it will be a travesty if subscribers are hit with higher subscription fees as a result.
Let us hope Netflix has learned from its mistakes (if guilty) and continues providing its service at a reasonable price. If not, I will be going elsewhere.