I once worked for a company that was faltering and floundering financially. Despite being created by a man with a good idea and good intentions the company had fallen on hard times because the CEO at the time (who was not the founder of the company) decided a business model based on an absence of logic and reason was a path to success. Pending failing contradicted this opinion, and it was decided in a moment of common sense that all of the employees should be put to work coming up with a new business plan that would return the company to success.
To make a long story short – that did not happen. The company filed for bankruptcy and was eventually dissolved, its few assets sold off.
Before that happened I was assigned the task of researching successful business people in the State of Colorado and identifying what led to their success. In my research I came across a man named Philip Anschutz, who once held the distinction of being the only billionaire in the State of Colorado for several years. As I read about Mr. Anschutz, setting aside the obvious bias and prejudice presented as objective and professional journalism, I learned several things about how to achieve success and applied them to my life, personally and professionally.
As a gesture of thanks to Mr. Anschutz I would like to suggest that he create one more business certain to add billions to his fortunes: A competitor to Netflix. Make it a company based in quality, unlike Netflix.
Like a growing number of people I am on the verge of terminating my account with Netflix. All but a monopoly where DVDs delivered for home use is concerned; Netflix has decided like my now-former employee that a business model devoid of quality is a path to success. Nine of the ten DVDs sent to me recently for home viewing had to be returned because they were physically damaged and did not work properly. Seven of the nine DVDs returned had to be replaced because they were broken, scratched, and failed work properly when loaded into the DVD player. Five of the seven returned had to be replaced again, and of the five returned none were replaced with working DVDs because, apparently, it is the policy of Netflix not to provide quality service and a quality product after a certain point.
Add the lack of professionalism on the part of the Customer Service Representatives who answer the telephone when the need arises to have a DVD replace and the Netflix experience, increasingly, is not one many want to repeat. And more than a few people who share this unfortunate experience have also commented on the hours the Customer Service Department is available: If you call after 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time (7:00 P.M. Mountain Time) you will receive a recorded message to call back. Given the fact many people work during the day and given the fact they want to watch a DVD after 7:00 P.M. Mountain Time the lack of Customer Service support makes no sense. Additionally there is the matter of DVD availability. Too many people have remarked on how they put a DVD in their queue for Netflix only to be informed there will be a “long wait”. A long wait that may be years in length. Given this delay it may be easily and justifiably interpreted that Netflix is offering something it does not have, which constitutes fraud.
If Mr. Anschutz wants to add to his substantial wealth he should start a competitor to Netflix and contradict the business model of Netflix: Ensure the DVDs available to subscribers are not damaged. Make sure Customer Service is available at a time when customers need assistance and support. Do not advertise something you do not and will not have available. Require your representatives to be professional and mature, which includes civility and courtesy.
Doing so will provide much-needed competition, and given Netflix has no interest presently in changing its way, will likely put Netflix out of business – which is the only future it deserves.