Xmas Eve Netflix Call

Argh. I sent a Netflix DVD back in the wrong envelope. Checked the site and they tell you just send the other disc back in the wrong envelope with a note and your email address.

No big deal on their end. But today I see that they’ve actually checked in the wrong disk in the wrong queue (I have three separate queues) and so instead of 24: Season 5 Disc 3 in my hands on Wednesday, I’m going to have West Wing: Season 1 Disc 2.

I think you can see the problem here. I’m right in the middle of 24 which comes four episodes to the disk. We all know that each episode leaves you hanging as to the fate of the free world. I’ve got two Netflix queues working and sending alternating series discs. I have to make sure Jack can vanquish all known enemies. (Season 5 is the nerve gas attack along with the assassination of former president David Palmer. Plus I think the Chinese still want to get their hands on Jack about that little incident of the covert break-in at their DC embassy in Season 4.)

I’m watching West Wing with Mary at a much slower pace and West Wing DVDs are double-sided with eight episodes per disc.

So I call Netflix. I didn’t know they had a help line until today but it turns out they fully implemented it in July and dropped email support. It’s a 24-hour service. I spoke with Netflix rep Maryanne. She noted that West Wing was shipping today and she couldn’t do anything about that but she could send me my next 24 from the other queue immediately. She hoped to ship 24 today but it might be Wednesday. If you’re counting, I’ll have four DVDs out on my three-DVD subscription because Netflix (or at least Maryanne) wants to make sure my 24 addiction continues to be fed.

This is excellent customer service. Netflix makes sure I get the DVD I really wanted even though I’m causing them extra work on their end because I screwed up with a DVD in wrong envelope. It was also really fast service. After a short hold time, Maryanne was able to do the entire deal herself. She didn’t have to consult a supervisor or manager for any permissions. She told me that she’s worked at other call centers and Netflix’s is one of the best and makes her life easy by granting her enough power to really aid customers.

Maryanne told me that there have been some complaints that Netflix no longer provides email support. But she said that the phone is much more efficient for dealing with their type of customer problems. Email can be vague. She gave an example of an email she received (before they shut down email support) that simply said “Gone with the Wind”. That was it. Another stated “Does this happen often?”. No further information. So you move to a back-and-forth email mode before you even have an inkling as to what the real problem is. With phone support, they can get all the information they need immediately and handle the problem quickly and efficiently.

Getting my next 24 is a great Christmas present from Netflix. It also gives me hope as we approach another new year that at least one company is trying to figure out how truly provide service in this digital world and that sometimes going back tp POTS (plain old telephone service) might be the answer. (OK. We could use Skype instead but that’s another issue.)

Happy Holidays everyone. Try out Netflix if you can. They deserve a look. (Disclosure: I don’t own any stock in Netflix and I just met Maryanne today.)

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