Sunday, April 24, 2011

Netflix Customer Service: Cat Chart Level 2

Schizophrenia indicator value: Cat 2:
Lessons learned: Supervisors can and will do things when front end reps say that supervisors will have the same power as them so there is no point to talk to one. The thing supervisors have that front line employees don't is the support from above when they make a decision. Front line employees are rated for the amount of people they don't have to give money to. And at Netflix in particular, they apparently don't care if you cancel.

Netflix has now reached a monopoly status. Netflix has rendered inert such giants as Blockbuster and Wal-Mart. When you beat Wal-Mart's deep pockets, you really have accomplished a step towards power. Meanwhile, it seems Netflix realizes that their customers depend more on good customer service (their only connection point with the customer) rather than bad customer service. To that end, they have obviously taken pains not only to supply American customers with American telephone customer service reps, but good ones at that. However, a particular moment of telling schizophrenia may have just occured.

Playstation 3 owners have suddenly found themselves without Netflix. Sony, PS3's blunderbus owner, is apparently entirely at fault for this interuption in service due to, once again, the inability of an Internet dependent company to spend the money necessary to do something about hackers. Instead, Sony has been baiting hackers by heavy handed tactics to keep their PS3s running official rather than hacked operating systems. Sony thumbed their nose at hackers, basically.

Hackers, who have rather large egos considering their parasitic nature, felt that harming Sony's network would command a little respect. Sony Network has been down for over three days now illustrating their own incompetance in deploying proper defensive strategies. Enter Netflix, which depends on this network to deliver movies to my TV, although there are other ways, such as computers or laptops.

Two separate calls to Netflix got the unreal response that no credit would be given. Both Reps had hard times defending this stance. Netflix was working fine, it was Sony. "Umm, yes but you aren't providing me the service. Why should I pay?" Friendliness oozing from their pores they attempted in every way, shape and form to uphold the policy that had me paying for services not rendered. "Your laptop would work. You pay in advance. It's not our fault. "  But I couldn't watch movies on my TV, bottom line.

I asked to talk to a supervisor but was disuaded. Finally I did get to a supervisor who basically said, "They do what the company tells them to. He said to wait it out and he expected I would receive compensation from either Sony or Netflix. It was an ongoing problem and at the end it would be easier to figure out what to do, rather than deal with partial refunds to customers here and there and have that complication in the equation." Why had the frontline people not presented me with this reasonable solution? There was no satisfactory answer to that question, really, unfotunately.

I tried analogies, the best of which was this one: I go into a grocery store to by skim milk. The grocery store does have milk but, due to dairy farmers whose milking machines have been hacked, no skim milk. I having a weight problem choose to buy no milk but when I get to the register I am charged for milk anyway. It was a great analogy and somehow I managed to get 23 days of Netflix free. (YMMV) Now if I could only view it...

Schizophrenia scale:

AT&T is the known only company to reach level 4.