Hate Netflix? You're not alone

The video-streaming and DVD-by-mail company gets the lowest marks of any online retailer and trails only Wal-Mart overall.

By Jason Notte Mar 11, 2013 4:26PM
Credit: Paul Sakuma/AP
Caption: The exterior of Netflix headquarters is seen in Los Gatos, CalifThe results of the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index have been released, and once again online retailers have a far better handle on their customers' needs than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

That is, unless you're a certain DVD-mailing, video-streaming service that split its offerings and doubled its prices two years ago while dealing with outages and fluctuating content ever since. Sorry, Netflix (NFLX).

According to 24/7 Wall St., the average customer-satisfaction score for retail companies was 76.6 out of 100. That score jumped to 82 for online companies, but Netflix dropped from atop the customer satisfaction pile in 2009 to the worst-performing Internet company of 2012. Though it still trails Wal-Mart's (WAL) worst-in-America score of 71, Netflix's 75 rating is a steep drop for a company that never quite recovered from its 2011 public relations nightmare.

To give consumers some idea of how bad Netflix's score is, streaming competitor Amazon (AMZN) scored 88 to lead all e-retailers. Netflix, meanwhile, is tied with Sears (SHLD) -- which is basically a ghost ship of a company. J.D. Power's 2012 Online General Merchandise Retailer Satisfaction Report placed both Sears' and Kmart's websites among its worst performers. In the stores, meanwhile, when Sears Holdings isn't trying to sell off real estate and shrink its footprint, it's refusing to spend on store upgrades and marketing while hemorrhaging revenue.

Despite an exclusive content deal with Disney (DIS), Netflix has a host of problems. A service outage on Christmas Eve that Netflix blamed on Amazon's servers is just a reminder of the short leash consumers have given the company since its 2011 price hike. It didn't help that the man who devised the DVD-streaming service split and the ensuing cost increase, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, gave himself a 100% raise just after the Christmas Eve outage.

Two years later, consumers' key qualm with Netflix is still that neither its streaming service nor its DVD-by-mail service has the same value at $8 a month as when both were offered together at that price. Since then, Amazon's Prime streaming service has emerged as a cost-effective competitor, while Coinstar's (CSTR) Redbox and on-demand services continue to hammer away at Netflix's delayed release schedule for new DVDs and aging model for delivery. While the 75 score Netflix received in 2012 is an improvement over the rock-bottom 74 its customer service received for 2011, it's still a bracing reminder of how far the company has fallen in consumers' eyes and how much ground it needs to claw back.

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Mar 11, 2013 5:17PM
I'm not going to forget how that CEO who gave himself a 100% raise said that Netflix customers were unimportant - he said 'leave, we'll find more'.  Arrogant A#$s.  They need to get rid of him.  They can find more.
Mar 11, 2013 5:15PM

I don't mind Netflix.  It's been a year now since we ditched cable and went to antenna.  We use the station web sights to watch TV shows that we missed the night before, most are online the next day.  We still go to the store down the street to rent movies once in a while.


For just under 9 bucks a month it still beats paying over 60 bucks just for basic cable.  The antenna even sends us high def digital for free, 80 buck antenna, paid for itself in 1.5 months of no cable bill.



Mar 11, 2013 8:05PM
What the heck do you want from Netflix for a measly $8 a month.     The fricking TAX on a cable bill is THREE TIMES THAT AMOUNT.
Mar 11, 2013 6:29PM
Everybody hates Walmart so much they just fill their pariking lots up every day. Now thats what I call real hate. The poll sucks.
Mar 11, 2013 5:56PM
Love my Netflix streaming. I really can't think of any real problems i have had other than the occassional slow load at times, but I am not convinced it's Netflix's issue. Of all the online video services, Netflix has been the best and I won't mind paying a little more for their service. Its still way cheaper than Dish or cable.
Mar 11, 2013 6:13PM
Netflix is excellent....this poll is garbage!!
Mar 11, 2013 6:13PM
Sorry, but I LOVE Netflix. Never had a single problem with them, a CD arrives broken and there's a new one in tomorrow's mail, and their streaming vids are great...+ its the best price in town if you're a frequent movie watcher. IMO if you have a problem with Netflix, you might want to look at your share of the problem, eh?
Mar 11, 2013 6:20PM

So why has Netflix stock gone from 56.00 to 182.00 since the summer of 2012?  Are we now investing in failure?  I don't think so.  Personally, I have had Netflix for four years and find it the best of the streaming and renting choices.  Hulu is next and Amazon is last with its often grainy, stop and start streaming.

Mar 11, 2013 7:06PM
I LOVE NETFLIX . We have streaming and DVD rental. I think it is great for it's value.  I really don't see what there is to complain about. I had a problem once a very long time ago. The issue was resolved in a flash. Plus, they are adding new content constantly. Sorry no complaints here...
Mar 11, 2013 6:45PM
Our family really likes Netflix - for the money it is well worth it.
Quit picking on them. You get more than enough for the $$$

Mar 11, 2013 8:19PM
Why is MSN ALWAYS wrong?  I like Netflix.  It seems that most people do.  BTW, answer to the question?  They hate success.
Mar 11, 2013 6:07PM
Take a new survey today and you'd probably find it's Electronic Arts. Their release of SimCity was a total disaster. How would you like paying $60 bucks for a game, only to be told you can't play it because the servers are overloaded? Am I ever glad I read reviews before making a decision on whether or not to purchase it. Needless to say, I voted not.

As to Netflix, I have never had a problem with them. Gosh, folks, if you want to be mad at someone, then be mad at the content providers. They keep charging the distributors more and more for access to the content. That's why your satellite/cable bills keep going up, and that's why online streaming services such as Netflix have to charge you for watching programming from them.
we have Netflix and for under $9 a month (the cost of one or two McD's meals or less if you go to a movie theater), we can watch a huge assortment of movies each month... Since we cannot have unlimited internet in our area, we use the mail service, but that has been great as well... who put out the poll.. from what I'm reading below and my experience, whoever polled needs to check again for the real opinions.
Mar 11, 2013 8:43PM
Not sure what everyone is complaining about. What you get for what you pay for, both Walmart and Netflix are outstanding values. Some people just refuse to be happy.
Mar 11, 2013 6:50PM
I still use Netflix streaming.  I dropped the mail dvd's when they split since I didn't use it much anyway. 
Mar 11, 2013 7:13PM
The problem I have with Netflix is the streaming part. I have started watching series only to find they are no longer available to stream and now I have to order them on DVD. They should be streaming their whole library.
Mar 11, 2013 7:01PM

Netflix is good and the problem they have is greed at the providers.   They have just jacked up the price of the contract to distribute their movies.  Theatre owners demanded that the DVD Movies not be sold or distributed for one to two months after the start in the theater.  That's why first run movies are late by 2 months.

Some cable systems can show them if it has a charge on demand basis.  That's the same problem cable companies have with increasing fees because of such things as

sports channels that have contracts with major games.   The players want far to much to play kids games all their life.   I would like to drop the charge for sports on my cable also. 

Mar 11, 2013 8:04PM
I have not seen a block buster in ages.
Mar 11, 2013 6:48PM
As irritating as they can be sometimes, they also add good value. I use them a lot.
Mar 11, 2013 8:12PM
Not sure why Netflix got such low ratings.  I started using  their streaming service only about 9 months ago.  Never have any glitches.   Movies look great.  I do have 30mbps internet speed in my house however.   Personally, I'd give Netflix a 100 ranking because the price is so dirt cheap there's nothing that really compares to it.
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