A simple idea for a better Netflix experience

Over the weekend I wasn’t feeling well, and spent most of my time browsing Netflix on the Apple TV. I found Sports Night, a series I’ve always meant to watch, available to “watch instantly.” I sped through the first season in a day or two, and hoped to finish it quickly (it was a short run). On the third day, I found that Netflix had pulled the entire second season. Just the second, not the first. Just the episodes I hadn’t watched. I went to Twitter, and found that this happens to people all the time.

Negotiating video licensing on the internet is a job I’m glad I don’t have and I respect Netflix for tackling as well as it does. But is it likely that Netflix has less than 24 hours notice when a title is about to be pulled? Netflix is such a smart customer service company. What’s keeping them from sending me an email, like a friend would?

Hey, Matt! We noticed you’ve been watching Sports Night lately. We wanted to let you know that Season 2 will be unavailable to watch instantly after June 28, 2011. If you’d like to add Sports Night Season 2 to your DVD queue, click here. Thanks for being such a great customer, etc. (Insert “ebb and flow” boilerplate here, if you must.)

Thoughtful, considerate, proactive. Exactly the kind of customer service Netflix customers expect.

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