commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for the ‘customer service’ Category

Retailers want a bailout too

In an interview on CNN, Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst for the NPD group, said that when retailers give discounts of 50-60% they’re about breaking even.


And now they want a bailout because they’ve been making 50% profit on what they sell??

Maybe in this economic climate the government should give them the tax subsidy they’re looking for; but in return the retail czar (like the “car czar”) should make sure they make no more than 20% profit.  This will help consumers and the economy a whole lot more than guaranteeing their fat profit margins by spending Federal tax dollars.

Netflix can’t maintain queues; can they be trusted with credit cards?

I received the following notice in my email today, from Netflix, a web-only movie rental company:

Important News Regarding Netflix Profiles

We wanted to let you know we will be eliminating Profiles, the feature that allowed you to set up separate DVD Queues under one account, effective September 1, 2008.

Each additional Profile Queue will be unavailable after September 1, 2008. Before then, we recommend you consolidate any of your Profile Queues to your main account Queue or print them out.

While it may be disappointing to see Profiles go away, this change will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.

If you have any questions, please go to or call us anytime at 1 (888) 638-3549. We apologize for any inconvenience.

– The Netflix Team

This is my response:

(Also published as an open letter on my blog.)

Dear Netflix,

I wanted to let you know that if you go through with eliminating Profiles, the feature that allows me to set up separate DVD queues under one account, I will likely cancel my membership with you.

It is disappointing to see Profiles go away, and I don’t see how this will improve your website – or your business. I do know that if you can’t manage to hire web programmers to maintain a feature that’s worked successfully for so long, I really don’t see how I can trust your remaining web programmers to keep credit card and other information confidential.

If you have any real explanation other than shoddy programmers or being unable to pay enough to programmers to run a web-only business, please feel free to contact me.