Hurrah for Netflix! In a move that I hail with a standing ovation, the company has opened a customer service call desk operation that’s based in the good ol’ U. S. of A. There’s an excellent article in The New York Times with details on the company’s move to ward off hot competition from big guys like Blockbuster. No outsourcing or offshoring; the call center is housed just outside Portland, OR, and is open 24 hours a day.
But here’s the part that disappoints me. According to the article:
. . .in July, Netflix took an unusual step for a Web-based company: it eliminated e-mail-based customer service inquiries. Now all questions, complaints and suggestions go to the Hillsboro call center, which is open 24 hours a day. The company’s toll-free number, previously buried on the Web site, is now prominently displayed.
Why remove the option to get customer support via e-mail? My husband and I have to be in the running for Platinum membership in Netflix, and I’ve always felt they had one of the best websites ever for member service. The few times we had problems, I simply had to drop an e-mail and things were fixed. I happen to prefer web-based solutions or e-mail to phone calls, simply because I tend to be introverted and would rather maintain control of the situation without having to interact with people.
Who assumed a call center could eliminate the need for Web-based support? An extrovert, no doubt. Netflix should think about what having both options means to its members.
Bring back e-mail support!