With nothing else to do on a Sunday evening, thousands of Netflix customers across the country decided to overlook the company’s controversial price hike and order a film. If they’re paying (double) for it, why not use it at least, right?
One reason why not is that Netflix was down for five hours Sunday. Starting at 4pm, customers were greeted with the message: “Netflix is currently unavailable. Try again later.” No please. No sorry. No nothing. Just, “Try again later.” The apology came on Netflix’s Facebook page, where it wrote, “For those of you having problems streaming tonight, our apologies—we’re aware of the issue and working to fix it as quickly as possible.”
The problem has long been fixed, but people are still commenting. The big difference now is that the comments are considerably more tolerant of Netflix now that the issue has been resolved. Inevitably, many of the comments link the outage (which is not uncommon, even on the biggest websites) and the price hike, with one person writing, “You should have made sure you had a better streaming system first, not to mention a much better catalogue of streaming shows before this price increase takes effect.”
On the technical side, some users suggested that the outage was the work of Anonymous or some other group of hackers, who took the site down to protest the price hike. More likely, however, is that the outage was the result of server problems. Regardless, it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Blockbuster is taking advantage of dissatisfaction with Netflix by offering deals for former Netflix users. It is offering Netflix refugees a one-month free trial period if they sign up for a one-disc-at-a-time plan at $9.99 a month or a two-disc plan costing $14.99 per month. In order to be eligible for the plan, new Blockbuster subscribers must submit a piece of a Netflix envelope. The plan does not offer streaming.