Bad Netflix, no biscuit!

Grrr. I've been a Netflix member since *wayyyy* back in 2000. It was a pretty awesome service back then. Then in 2005 they added "queues", which let you split your account up into virtual sub-accounts. This was fantastic and I've been a big proponent of the feature ever since it launched. In brief: our account is on a grandfathered four discs at-a-time plan. It used to be that if Karin wanted a movie I didn't want to watch I had to go futz with the queue to put it on top, and then if I sent back the next disc I'd rearrange and so forth. It worked but the queues made things much simpler. Karin got her own queue, she could log in and get her own recommendations, manage her own queue and so forth. If she sent a disc back, she got the next disc on her queue. I had my own queue, we had a queue for discs we both wanted to watch, and then the final disc was a queue for television DVD's. I loaded up all of the Sopranos into that queue and whenever we sent back a Soprano's disc, then next one showed up. It was really very cool. I wish I could write it is very cool but Netflix has decided to remove the queue feature. All the work Karin put into customizing her recommendations or I put into customizing mine? Simply thrown away.

Here's the very short blog post on the matter. While I'll admit it was a bit clunky and some improvement would have been nice, there's a serious baby & the bathwater problem here. I skimmed the 200+ comments and found this one which seems reasonable to me.

I called customer service (1-888-638-3549) about it, hoping to register my complaint through official channels (if you do this, be polite! It's not the phone rep's fault).

Anyway, it sounded like she had already heard about this a few times, and the suggested approach to deal with this is to post a suggestion on their site.

If this bothers you, I would recommend making sure that Netflix knows about it. Post your complaint to their Suggestions page. (

Be honest, be sincere, be polite, and let them know how much it bothers you (likely to the point of seeking competitors).

Good luck! Like others have said, for me, this is a deal breaker - Profiles is the key feature keeping us with Netflix. Without it, in-store drop-off and in-store rental is far superior. I'm sad to leave Netflix after evangelizing it for so long, but if it goes away, I'll go with the superior product.

I'm not quite sure about using the "Suggestions" page to send a complaint, but as far as I can tell Netflix doesn't have an email address for customer support, and they list their current wait time at over 10 minutes for the phone support. So I just posted the following message to them:

I received an email about your elimination of the Profiles feature and like many other customers I'm very disappointed. I've been a Netflix subscriber since 2000, and a happy Profile user since they were introduced int 2005. Profile were one of the key differentiating features that made Netflix superior to the competition in my mind. Don't remove Profile unless you have a comparable replacement service.

Furthermore by removing Profile you are apparently discarding rating information that improved your recommendation service. Every time we return a disc we receive an email imploring us to rate the returned movie to improve our recommendations. If you discard all this data, you're intentionally "resetting" your recommendation algorithm to lose 3 years of rating data.

If a competitor introduces the Profile feature I will almost certainly switch my account to them. Netflix has been a fantastic service for the past 8 years, but this is a major step backwards in service quality.

Please reconsider this. Your email states "this change will help us continue to improve". I strongly disagree. If you want to improve or rework Profile than do so. But eliminating the feature outright doesn't help customers that don't use it and is a serious disappointment to the customers that do.

I'm entirely serious about being willing to investigate competition. If Blockbuster capitalizes on this and implements a similar feature I would switch from Netflix in a heartbeat. I've been a big fan of Netflix for years but this is just a dumb move. I've been a big fan because they've had a better solution than anybody else. Now they are choosing to both lost functionality and discard the data (recommendations and profiles) that would nominally tie the user to staying with them. Phenomenally poorly thought out.

I have to assume that they know all this and that they have decided that enough of their user base doesn't care about Profiles. But I also suspect that the "taste makers" and the people who jumped onboard with Netflix back when they were the only game in town will skew more towards the heavy users who derive a lot of value from Profiles. Netflix is in the opening stages of convincing their users to switch from discs in the mail to streaming, and that's a dangerous window because if I make that switch I could switch to an Apple TV or Xbox 360 at the same time. It's a poor moment to anger their hardcore consumer base.