Tonight was my girlfriend's only night off work in weeks, she wanted to watch a few movies and stay in, so I bought a prepaid card for a one month membership, thinking perfect I'll activate it and we'll have our movie night. I had no use for a full month's membership but figured "why not, it's cheap" I had the joy of spending the next three hours getting the run around from the folks Netflix calls customer service, and didn't get my issue resolved.
I bought a cheap 1 month prepaid membership card, which I activated on Netflix.com, the activation was successful, but that's where Netflix decided to lock me down, a green box stating appeared "$15 Gift Code Applied", directly below that, a yellow box stating "Sorry, we are unable to complete that action now" From here, I went through the usual troubleshooting, cleared cookies, cache, made sure pop-up blockers were inactive, restarted and logged back into Netflix, to the same message. I called Netflix customer service, and the first representative I spoke with left me on hold for about 10 minutes, and then could be heard picking up the call and deliberately hanging up. The second rep took about 20 minutes to tell me to "try again in an hour or two" and also implied that since my error didn't have an error code, I must be lying to him (in an effort to gain a $15 gift card no less). He refused to give me a request ID or any way to reference the call should I need to call back.
I waited two hours and tried again... at this point, date night was over and we skipped the movie. I attempted to log in to the same error. I then spent 45 minutes on the phone with an employee who was very honest about the fact that they had no idea what was happening, he also let me know that I wasn't the first one this happened to tonight and to just "wait a day or two" I asked him to submit a ticket to tech and attempt to get this fixed, it was like pulling teeth and again they outright refused to give me that ticket number or a reference number, in the end I emailed them proof of the error and proof of my payment.
I was informed that I'd need to call back in 24 hours, they were unable to call me back or email me or give me a reference number for my request, when I asked again, the rep said "you know how it is" and hung up. At this point hours of my day had already been wasted, and realistically I didn't care about the $15, this customer service issue needed to be addressed. I went online into chat support and requested to be escalated to a manager, the rep tried for over half an hour to avoid the escalation. The supervisor finally came on the chat and told me to wait 24 hours...
I stated that this wasn't about the tech issue anymore and that I'd like a refund and some kind of compensation for my wasted time. The supervisor stated in our conversation, (of which I have the transcript) that he acknowledges the company is at fault and that I paid for a service which was never rendered. I asked him to credit my account with a month of service so I could at least get what I paid for, he told me they have no way to do that. I then requested a refund...
he stated it should work in 24-48 hours just try to log in. I told him that I no longer wanted the subscription. Then after three wasted hours, I was told there was no way to issue me a refund. So I was stuck with a service I paid for but had no access to due to a system error that Netflix took responsibility for.
The only response being to just keep trying to log in and eventually it'll work, we have no reference number for you and no timeline, and we acknowledge that this is our fault, but we also outright refuse to give you any real answers or compensation, or even a refund. How can a company admit fault and do nothing to mitigate the situation?! and then have the gall to outright refuse a refund? I have forwarded call logs and chat transcripts to the Better Business Bureau.
I find the professional dealings of Netflix to be highly unethical, as it seems to be policy to ignore issues and give non-responses before outright refusing to make things right, they also seem to love to accuse the client of somehow being at fault for the issues that they've already taken responsibility for... The Netflix homepage states that they have over 150 million users, I find it doubtful that I'm the only one they've treated this way and ripped off.
Of those affected, I wonder how many just gave up and took that $15 loss to never have to deal with Netflix again, and I wonder just how much profit this company makes through their shady practices and by ripping their customer base off. If anyone has a similar experience, I urge you to also go to the BBB.
Product or Service Mentioned: Netflix Streaming Service.
Netflix Cons: Lack of accountability, Unethical billing practices, Seemingly untrained staff, Scripted non-answers, Lack of respect for clients time.