Netflix might be waking up to the reality that no matter what they do nowadays, it's going to piss off a large percentage of their customers.
Remember that whole Qwikster idea? The DVD-only company that was announced last month as the branch-off from Netflix's streaming service? Apparently that idea is dead.
CEO Reed Hastings announced the decision to drop the Qwikster plans this morning on the Netflix blog. It looks like the CEO was swayed by the massive reaction to the announcement, one of the main complaints being that the separation of the two services would just make things more complicated for users. So Hastings emphasized that DVDs will be staying on netflix.com:
It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs.
This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster.
Qwikster.com just redirects back to Netflix.com. It has up and vanished, like a fart in the wind. Nobody will even remember it, right? It's like that awkward moment that you forget about over time - or, unfortunately for Netflix, there's always the possibility that people will not let them live it down.
Two of the top-voted comments on Reed Hastings official blog post suggest that Hastings himself needs to relinquish his ownership of the company. One comment simply states "Reed step down, you blew it, name your next company Trickster." Another comments suggests that Hastings be fired, and outlines how he thinks he has destroyed the company:
Here's a great way to destroy a company:
1. Infuriate customers by nearly doubling prices at one shot.
2. Make sure that significant numbers leave. If they still did not leave because of the price hike, well, kick them out by giving them even less value for the same $ (eg they have to maintain separate lists of movies in their queue).
3. Watch the share price drop like a rock.
4. Reverse the decision with a major PR fiasco that broadcasts the total lack of leadership.
The Facebook reaction has been mostly negative, as you can see from a random chunk of comments from the post alluding to today's announcement -
The Twitter reaction has been nothing if not predictable -
I'll say this for Netflix: It sticks to its guns. And then shoots itself in the feet with them. And then changes guns. And shoots again.
It appears Netflix management got their MBAs in A.D.D.
oh netflix, have some dignity
From my observations, most Netflix users think that it is the right call that they abandoned the Qwikster idea. It was a truly unpopular idea. But some users are so fed up with the totality of the recent changes - they might have completely soured on Netflix as a whole.
Not everyone is sour on Netflix, however. This post made it to the very top spot on Reddit and has hung around the front page all day. It's being shared by quite a few people around the web today -
One thing being lost in today's chatter is @Qwikster. I'm not talking about the defunct service's official Twitter account, I'm talking about Jason Castillo, the soccer-loving, bong-hitting guy who found himself in with 10K new followers the morning after Netflix announced Qwikster. Will he fade from the spotlight? Will he ever get any money from his dad to buy food? We may never know. @Qwikster hasn't tweeted since October 1st.
What do you think about today's announcement? Is it the right call? Are people rightfully fed up with the company or are they overreacting? Let us know in the comments.