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Netflix To Eliminate Profiles Feature

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-profile-for-you dept.

Movies 508

Donald Burr of Borg writes "One of my favorite features of Netflix, the video-rental-by-mail service, is 'profiles.' Profiles lets you create 'sub-accounts' for your friends/family, so that they can share in the video rental love. Each profile gets his/her own Netflix queue that he/she can manage with their own login/password. You can divide up how many movies get sent to you vs. the other profiles under your account. E.g. if you have a 6-out-at-once plan, you can choose to get 3 movies at a time, and have 3 other profiles each receive 1 movie. Unfortunately, the fun stops September 1, at which point Netflix is, for unknown reasons, going to terminate this feature. Why? To '...help us to continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.' Improvement indeed."

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Yes, I received the same notice. (5, Insightful)

jggimi (1279324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853275)

I do not understand what cost savings Netflix would achieve by this reduction in service.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (5, Insightful)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853301)

I'd imagine a substantial portion of their customers will now pay for two accounts. The rest will make due with one queue for two people. It'll also reduce their maintenance cost. Pretty sleazy, nonetheless.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

deejsylvis (1310473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853337)

Yeah, I'd assume that's the main reason -- they want to force people to sign up for additional accounts.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (5, Insightful)

Immerial (1093103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853565)

Yeah, I'd assume that's the main reason -- they want to force people to sign up for additional accounts.
Well, if you gonna do that... you should at least make it easy for people transfer their profile data to a new account. To, you know... encourage people to do it.

NetFlix you are doing it wrong!

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853433)

I agree. I'll just rip the DVD for my mom and burn it to a DVD-RW and hand it to her, If I cycle between 2 dvd-RW's it will cover her needs. during the month.

Netflix just encouraged me to rip and burn their discs.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (3, Insightful)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853627)

Netflix just encouraged me to rip and burn their discs.
No you did that on your own. You just wanted some sort of justification. Your mother could just as easily get a Netflix account they are not that expensive.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853781)

And everyone knows that every time you burn a DVD, your dead uncle is watching you. You know, that creepy one who always asked if you wanted your back rubbed when you took a bath. Apparently, he gets off on DVD ripping, too. So, you know, don't rip DVDs. It's bad for your soul, and pervy uncles like it.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853811)

REally? A old lady who probably lives on $200.00-$800 a month can easily get a netflix account. I love it when you snot nosed 20 something punks that think you know something spout off. You end up looking really stupid to your superiors.

Old people cant afford things, get real you zero life experience snot-nosed brat.

Honestly the CORRECT answer is for LUMPY to buy a netflix account for his mom. but you idiot kids dont use your brains, which is typical from what I see at work. Sorry for lashing out, but I am sick of you youngsters getting hired when you cant really do the job and ME having to clean up your mess.

and honestly Lumpy's solution is quite good because you can strip the useless crap from the DVD"s and give her the movie only.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854049)

I make roughly that much in a month supporting myself on minimum wage. No, I can't afford my own Netflix account.

Get off my lawn. (1)

numbsafari (139135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854051)

Get off my lawn.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

lbgator (1208974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854341)

You tell 'em Lumpy!
damn kids... and their snot...

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (0)

Hassman (320786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853935)

What a cop out. Netflix is like 10 dollars a month for a 1 at a time. If she only watches 2 movies a month, get her a year subscription for Mother's Day or something.

In the very least save the excuse for something that is actually unreasonably priced.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (5, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853447)

there's an up-side to this.

lately, I've been THROTTLED (big-time). I just upgraded from a 3 at once plan to almost double that. and for the first few weeks, things came in the mail on schedule and on time.

lately, though, things are being sent from far away centers; when I return discs directly to the PO, only some are showing up the next day at NF (I live in the silicon valley area and its ALWAYS a 1day hop from local to local!).

there are many tricks NF is playing, but the short of it is: if you are a heavy renter, you get penalized.

solution: go away and come back. at least that's what I have read. cancel for a month then re-join. you get a new slate and they stop throttling you (for a while, at least).

lather rinse repeat.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (4, Interesting)

malchus842 (741252) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853561)

Well, this feature is what makes Netflix make sense for us. I divide up our plan into two queues - one for me, one for the wife & kids. They get what they want, I get what I want (I have less time to watch, so sometimes I have a movie at home for a week or more) and we don't get in each other's way.

Fundamentally, without this feature, Netflix becomes a pain in the butt to manage for us. Right now, I can be sure that when I send a movie back, I get one of my movies. The same goes for the others.

I'm going to cancel on Aug 31 (and have told them so) if they don't keep this feature.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (0)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853665)

It is not that hard to have more then one person use the same queue. Just tell the rest of your family when they put their old movie back in the mail box to log in and select their next movie and put it at the front of the queue. So the movie the person wants is always at the front of the queue. If the movie they want is in you should have no problem. :)

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854003)

Sure it is. Recommendations. I love horror, my wife loves musicals. "Because you liked Saw II, we recommend Chicago". Sheesh, what a bunch of fucktards.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (5, Insightful)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854277)

I would mod you up if I could, I agree wholeheartedly. Not only does it make things more complicated to maintain for 2 people (I can't imagine 3-4) the recommendations are also going to be screwed up (even more so) now.
Sure, it isn't difficult to maintain one queue for multiple people, but it's inconvenient. The entire purpose of Netflix is CONVENIENCE! I don't have to go to a store, I can put movies in a list and drop them in my office's mailbox after I'm done watching. Thus the allure. Now they took away a very convenient feature.
Redbox on the way home is sounding a bit more tempting now, goodbye Netflix.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854233)

The same situation here, except minus the kids. My wife will get movies to watch on her laptop while I am doing work or playing a video game. The movies in my queue are either things I would only watch, or we would watch together. She may go through 2-3 a week, I go through 1-2 a month.
I also wrote Netflix an e-mail and really do plan on quit unless they reverse this policy. The feature is already implemented, I can't imagine it costs that much more to maintain as the code that manages the queues is already there and the mailing has got to be the same cost either way they go (profiles or not).
Stupid move, it will surely cost them some customers (at least I hope so).

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (3, Insightful)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853669)

If that's the reason, why not just say "we need to charge for this now". Existing users get grandfathered in, new users must pay an extra small fee.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853879)

They have that already. It's called separate accounts.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854107)

They have that already. It's called separate accounts.
And if you want a single billing statement to 1 credit card?

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854333)

I can guarantee that the separation of accounts from queues causes quite a bit of complexity (think about how that has to be implemented at the UI, class, database, and even fulfillment level). For the customer convenience of having just one billing statement to a credit card (which gets you what, exactly?) seems a little ludicrous.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (5, Insightful)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853713)

I'd imagine a substantial portion of their customers will now pay for two accounts. The rest will make due with one queue for two people. It'll also reduce their maintenance cost. Pretty sleazy, nonetheless.

Actually, from a pure consumer standpoint, this change makes no difference. Netflix already has a pricing model such that, the CHEAPEST plan is 3 DVD / time. If you move from 3 to 4 out at a time, you actually pay more and from 4 to any other number, the price is the same (per DVD at a time).

If you had 6 at a time and choose to go to 3 at a time with 2 accounts, you'll actually save money (mere pennies, though). Since it was a separate login/password for each profile, there's no difference between having a separate account, expect for the "master user" having full view access. For those who allow their children to rent, they will still just use one account and they'll have to spend more time on their end managing their queue and that's an unfortunate hassle.

But I think you're right. I think profiles are causing a real PITA for the site programmers to maintain code and scrapping it all together will allow faster and more flexible programming models. They're probably finding legacy code such that the programmers are like "we want to do this but the way profiles currently work, it's preventing us from doing it without a complete programming change to the profiles system".

Instead of sinking a large cost into fixing profile code, they're probably just going to scrap it all together so they can implement whatever new and shiny features or improve database speeds or whatever.

I thought the feature was awesome, but from a "money" standpoint, I don't see how Netflix is doing this to "screw customers" out of more money, as their current payment plans emphasis 3/time movies over any other. Unless there's some research that says that 3/time people keep their movies longer than 6/time people or something.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854039)

The CHEAPEST plan is 2 DVDs a month. =P

Cope (5, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854319)

I think profiles are causing a real PITA for the site programmers to maintain code and scrapping it all together will allow faster and more flexible programming models.

My boss' response to that kind of reasoning? backed up by the marketing department, CEO, and customers? "Cope."

Massively degrading the user's experience is not excused by programmer's convenience.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853729)

Pretty sleazy, nonetheless.
Why? NetFlix, as I'm sure you understand, is not some altruistic service for movie geekdom. It's a business. From their standpoint, if it is possible to increase their revenue by eliminating this "feature", then they should do it. They are in business to make money, it's not the public library.

Any discomfort will soon be forgotten, and they may even be able to shed themselves of the dead-beat "customers" that cost them more than they make.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (4, Insightful)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854141)

Any discomfort will soon be forgotten, and they may even be able to shed themselves of the dead-beat "customers" that cost them more than they make.
I doubt that the customers using this feature are the ones they would like to eliminate from their customer base. I suspect that most of customers using this feature do so (like I do) in order to segregate out my selections and returns from my children's choices. They have a tendency to hang on to movies for a while before they watch them, or they watch them several times before sending them back. I didn't really care about it since it was their queue, not mine. Now it is everyone's queue and I will be sending things back in a shorter period of time. In addition, several of my friends have signed up for netflix for their households once I described this feature to them.

This "downgrade" in service has reminded me to take another look at the market and see what other companies like Blockbuster are doing. If they are offering this service, I will probably send my Roku back and switch services.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (4, Insightful)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854181)

God, I hate people like you.

People who say things like, "Well, obviously, company $x is a business, so they can do whatever they want" or "Your boss pays you money to work, so you have to do whatever he says" are invariably idiots.

NetFlix offered this feature. Some people bought the service in part because of this feature. Now it's being taken away. No discounts or temporary account upgrades or anything. Not even a way to migrate the old profiles to a new account. That's pretty sleazy.

As for "dead-beat customers that cost them more than they make", that does not make someone a dead beat. That makes them thrifty.

It is expected that both sides will act rationally. Customers will make the most out of their money, and NetFlix will cut features that cost them money. Calling their customers deadbeats is idiotic. But NetFlix is not handling this very well at all. They are taking something away without offering a thing. Customers are going to be pissed, and they've got a right to be.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854387)

Well, they're losing me and I'm sure they make plenty from me. While my wife goes through 2-3 movies a week at MOST, she normally might do 1 a week. I might go through 2 a month. We pay for 2 at a time, I'm sure we're an average customer but I can't imagine we're even remotely close to some people who rent and rip, rent and rip.
This is truly a great feature, and I would even pay more for it. $16.99 or whatever I pay now for 2 at a time... I would happy pay a $2-3 premium if I could get the queues. To some people, it just makes sense to have them.
Now, I know I could pay for two accounts and get the same feature for what I'm wiling to pay, but the fact is that's not as convenient and the entire point of Netflix for me is convenience. I can just stop at the Redbox and get movies on the way home now.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

bryce4president (1247134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853907)

They will make more money from two accounts that receive 3 movies at a time then they will for a single account that receives 6 movies at a time. Step 3: Profit.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (4, Interesting)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854037)

I dunno, I'm more inclined to believe they were hit with some kind of patent lawsuit, and just folded. Netflix operates on razor thin margins, so if there was a good chance they would lose the patent suit, it could potentially obliterate that margin.

That's not to say I would put the slimeball tactic outside of the realm of possibilities, but that just seems less likely.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854205)

The Netflix email:

Important News Regarding Netflix Profiles

Dear (my name),

We wanted to let you know we will be eliminating Profiles, the feature that allowed you to set up separate DVD Queues under one account, effective September 1, 2008.

Each additional Profile Queue will be unavailable after September 1, 2008. Before then, we recommend you consolidate any of your Profile Queues to your main account Queue or print them out.

While it may be disappointing to see Profiles go away, this change will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.

If you have any questions, please go to http://www.netflix.com/Help?p_faqid=3962 [netflix.com] or call us anytime at 1 (888) 638-3549. We apologize for any inconvenience.

- The Netflix Team

My reply that I sent them:

I am quite upset at your decision to remove Netflix Profiles. It is one of the features I use very often to queue movies for my daughter separately from ours. I fail to see how removing this valuable feature, which is most certainly NOT an improvement, will help you to "continue to improve the Netflix website" as your public relations doublespeak explains it. By removing it, you will cause me to have to manually shuffle my queue by hand every time she sends a disc back - what an inconvenience! That is NOT an improvement.

I have been a Netflix customer for many years now, however this decision taken by you is causing me to reconsider that, and perhaps search out a competitor that DOES offer this feature. If there aren't any competitors currently out there that do offer it, I'm sure that will change shortly once they get wind of your ill-advised decision.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1, Troll)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853465)

My first thought was someone sued them quietly for patent infringement and they settled.

If that's the case, that's a big cost savings.

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853841)

I expect it's more customer retention. How many of you with siblings had this sort of conversation as a kid?

Sibling A: But mom, I want more of Item X!
Parent: But you already get the same amount as your brother, that's fair.
Sibling A: But I'm older, I should get more!
Parent: That doesn't matter, it's staying as it is.
Sibling B: If he gets more then I want more!
Sibling A: If he gets more then I want more!
Sibling B: If he gets more then I want more!
Sibling A: If he gets more then I want more!
Sibling B: If he gets more then I want more!
Sibling A: If he gets more then I want more!
Sibling B: If he gets more then I want more!
Sibling A: If he gets more then I want more!
Sibling B: If he gets more then I want more!
Parent: Right, that's enough, no Item X for either of you!

Re:Yes, I received the same notice. (1, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854235)

I do not understand what cost savings Netflix would achieve by this reduction in service.
FEAR. Customer relations is about causing FEAR in the customer. Confident customers will call the hotline all day and whine about shit. Scared customers will be grateful that some feature they like hasn't been DELETED, that the service is up and their credit card information hasn't been posted on a Russian credit card scammers mailing list.

By deleting features, FEAR is inspired in the customers. FEAR makes them easier to handle. It's the same at home. My dog used to bark all the time and shit in the house but since I started beating it ruthless whenever I get snake eyes on my daily dice roll or see a SIGN in the shape of the clouds, it's been all sweetness and light. It's FEAR that made it better. FEAR that a fickle, heartless being with Godlike power will punish it.

As the firedemon Machiavelli said when he was in foul human form "Let them hate, so long as they FEAR". Or the Dark Lord himself in the Language of Dark Power "Xsasoqdwho ascasfwef fhhdjso wewadsfaafop asoasocdszzzzzzzz...." I can't make the sounds in this puny human body. How I wish to be back amongst creatures of my own order.

Hal "YHWH" Porter
Customer Relations Manager
Verizon

Probably a bug. (2, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853281)

I would guess that it isn't working properly from their standpoint making it a PITA to maintain and deal with.

Not a good sign (4, Insightful)

Monoman (8745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853289)

Based on the information coming out on this it doesn't look good. Did they research how much this would piss off the current customers? It is coming off like they don't care. Perhaps the profile feature is causing bigger problems behind the scenes. If it is the later then they should find better programmers to work around the problem(s).

oh noes! (-1, Troll)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853291)

One of my favorite features of Netflix, the video-rental-by-mail service, is 'profiles.'
You see the blank expression on my face? This is me weeping for you on the inside.

Re:oh noes! (0, Offtopic)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853475)

Between this and the FCC not releasing how it classified broadband penetration, it's enough to drive me to drink.

Re:oh noes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853617)

They declassified my penetration of your mother!

Suck it!

Re:oh noes! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853671)

I just look for either sun or clouds. Both are enough to know that there is going to be weather that day and crack one open.

I'm not sure how it improves things... (5, Insightful)

Inari (19318) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853293)

My family uses it and its only been a positive. I'm betting a bean counter marketing type suggested that it might force me to get separate accounts if I couldnt use the separate queues.

Re:I'm not sure how it improves things... (4, Interesting)

ArieKremen (733795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853449)

We are using this feature to manage two queues: one for our kids and one for the adults. It has been a great feature. Before it was introduced we have to continually micromanage the queue, hold on to disks to 'work' the systems (postal and Netflix), and suffered the occasional disappointments.

The profiles allowed us more flexibility and better service. I think that Netflix is trying to increase revenue without increasing their monthly fees. Downgrading our plan and subscribing to another minimal would cost us at least $2.00/month. It is definitely a hidden cost increase.

Has anyone here had experience with the Blockbuster service? Does it support queues and how is their selection?

Re:I'm not sure how it improves things... (0, Troll)

Invalidator (444283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853915)

Yet another example of market-speak corrupting the language. But, blame belongs with the Nazis - they started it: the sign at Auschwitz read "Arbeit macht frei."

You Can't Transfer Your Profile Data Either (1)

Immerial (1093103) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853313)

It says that you can't transfer your profile data to another account (from their FAQ). It's like they don't want customers! I expect them to lose a lot of customers over this. Glad I don't own any of their stock... it's gonna tank.

Bad Move (5, Insightful)

bullet618 (1036750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853341)

I think they're trying to get people to pay for more than one account. I don't know what features they could be adding that would warrant dropping sub accounts. I have a funny feeling this is going to backfire and they'll lose more people than they gain.

Re:Bad Move (1)

psy (88244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853641)

They are definitely making people try and pay for more than one account.

It's working too well, too efficiently and they are losing money on it.

Re:Bad Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853731)

I doubt they will lose anyone. I also doubt the assumption that people will sign up for multitple accounts. There has to be some other reason not apparent to the end user.

This has been a life-saver (2, Interesting)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853361)

This has been a life-saver for me; rather than having to remember what movies my wife wants to see, and having my movies held up when she takes a week to watch one, I can set her up with her on mini-queue and then not have to worry about it. What Netflix fails to realize is that there is no way in hell I will pay for a separate account for this, and I doubt many other people will, either. I was fairly upset when I got the email, and am considering looking at the Blockbuster service, since I can also use it locally... anyone know if Blockbuster provides something similar to the Profile feature?

Re:This has been a life-saver (1)

Andraax (87926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853609)

No, they don't have a profile feature, but with Blockbuster you can take a mailed movie into the store and get a movie out of the store to watch instantly. The store then mails your movie back to Blockbuster for you. In essence, you get double the number of movies that you sign up for - if you have a "three at a time" plan, you can return those three at a store and get another three from the store immediately, then you get another three in the mail a day or two later.

Re:This has been a life-saver (1)

frission (676318) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853919)

There is a limit to this though. It used to be unlimited and you could do what you describe, now you can only do it 5 times per month.

Re:This has been a life-saver (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854209)

My wife and I still have unlimited, I'm not sure if we're just grandfathered in or what, but I think we pay a dollar or two more than the normal 2 at a time account any way. There may still be a way to get it. If you watch a LOT it's worth looking into.

Re:This has been a life-saver (1)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854027)

I may end up switching to Blockbuster, then - because that way, my wife could just take one of my mailed-in movies to the Blockbuster 5 minutes down the road and pick whatever movie she wants, and then I get my next queued movie in the mail without having to do anything at all; if she doesn't want to rent anything, I just mail it back directly. I hate to lose all my ratings and recommendations, which is something I really like about Netflix, but trying to manage one queue for people with completely different tastes and viewing habits is a nightmare. Thanks for the info!

High Maintainence User (0, Flamebait)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853371)

I canceled my NetFlix account because they never responded to me when I asked 3 times if they would ever have a way to view their streaming thing in GNU/Linux or at least Firefox instead of being forced to use Internet Explorer.

Not a bad idea, mailing DVD's back and forth (the US postal service has to get SOME use now with the internet taking over), and the price wasn't something to cause any hesitation, I just couldn't stand getting ignored.

Re:High Maintainence User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853471)

If you're trying to convince everyone you're a sock puppet for Twitter, you're doing a good job.

Netflix is losing a customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853373)

Very lame. I got the same e-mail and it pisses me off. The profiles feature is what made my wife and I decide to try Netflix over Blockbuster Online. We have 3 out at once, I get my own queue, she gets her own queue, and then we have a queue of things we both want to see. Trying to maintain a single queue so things come to us the same way will be a nightmare, we will probably cancel our Netflix account, it just isn't worth the hassle anymore. We've had no problems with the profile system, it seems to me that canceling it just lets their web developers be lazy little babies.

Obligatory (0, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853457)

I tagged the article "1984" and "bigbrother" because 90% of the idiots here will see the word "profile" and jump to the same conclusion.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853633)

Thanks for being one of the 90%.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853693)

Thanks for being on of the other 90%, spaztard.

Re:Obligatory (0, Flamebait)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853803)

Wow, so you decided that because "you" were dead wrong on something that 90% of the populous here would be at least as stupid as you and make the same mistake?

contact Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853463)

If you're as unhappy as this "improvement" in service as I am, then click on Contact Us button in Netflix and let them know that you will be looking to change to a competitor. A few zillion such complaints may cause them to reconsider.

Re:contact Netflix (1)

Jaegar (518423) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853605)

Their customer service number is 1-888-638-3549. The only recourse is to call and complain, I guess.

Someone will greasemonkey it. (4, Interesting)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853491)

I'd give it a week and some skilled firefox hacker will create some addon to put it back in from the user side.

Sean D.

Re:Someone will greasemonkey it. (2, Interesting)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853603)

The only part of 'profile' that matters is the separate queues. That will be gone... web GUI tricks won't affect the Netflix shipping department.

I DON'T think Netflix would have done this if Walmart was still alive in their DVD rental business.

Last I checked Blockbuster's online store worked poorly in FireFox... and if the stores are any indication, probably all of their movies default to "full screen" (pan and scan).

My favorite is GreenCine.com... but they only ship from the west coast, and movie turnover is VERY slow.

Re:Someone will greasemonkey it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853845)

It would still be possible. Basically the plugin would have to display two (or more) queues to the user, and be responsible for arranging movies in the real Netflix queue so that they would be sent out in the correct order. So, they just need to track which user queue the last move shipped was in, and movies from other user queues up. (Okay, I don't want to really think about how it would work, but I think it would be possible).

Re:Someone will greasemonkey it. (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853865)

Ok, so keep the queue on the browser side. Keep feeding the netflix queue one at a time to mimic multiple queues. It's not an ideal emulation of the real multiple queues, but it might be passable.

Re:Someone will greasemonkey it. (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854185)

If you have a large queue, then when viewing the full queue in Firefox it is pretty slow. Way too much AJAX going on. But I'm not even sure if they have full screen movies on their site, at least the default has always been widescreen for me. And I haven't seen a full screen movie in the store in years either.

Re:Someone will greasemonkey it. (1)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853723)

Yeah, that was my immediate thought. I have a handful of Greasemonkey scripts, and when I saw this article I wondered what it would take to re-create the feature. To do it right, you'd need a central server of your own that Greasemonkey could use to store which items were flagged as yours. Then you'd need to provide some kind of labeling feature to the page ("10 of the movies on this list are for me, 30 are for my spouse, and 20 are for my kids"), and finally a "rebalance" option that would take the single queue and intersperse your items with your spouse/kids items. That would roughly simulate the feature.

There's a simpler way if you can assume that only 2 people are using one account -- you'd use Greasemonkey to store all the items you flag as your own, and then when you rebalance, it would just put your own items every-other-one in the list. It "assumes" that everything not flagged as your own would be from one other person, so it could split the list 50-50. No central server needed in such a case.

Having thought it through, I think I'll leave it to others. I'd want to do it the "right" way with the central server, which would take more time to put together than I have. It seems very useful, though. I hope other Greasemonkey developers are considering it. Heck, maybe there is a better way that is less investment for the developer. Better minds will find it.

Re:Someone will greasemonkey it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854261)

One important part of separate queues is that when one profile is slow to view/return movies, the other profile(s) are not affected and can still keep getting the next in their list.

So, to do this *on top* of a single queue, you'd have to force the user to log when they send a movie back in the mail, so you could rebalance and have Netflix send that profile its next movie.

The so-called reason (5, Interesting)

g051051 (71145) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853535)

According to their customer support, this was a feature only used by 1% of subscribers, but was a significant drain on resources, increased maintenance difficulties, and slowed down adding new features. I don't particularly buy most of that, but if the 1% thing is true, then I can see how they'd make that choice. If more of that 1% convert to full subscriptions rather than cancel, it'll be a win for them.

Re:The so-called reason (0)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853663)

I personally never used it nor saw a reason to use it. If a family member wants a movie we add it to the queue. The only reason I could see an advantage in using different accounts is so the kids won't know you're renting porn. But since Netflix doesn't rent porn, that's not really a reason.

Re:The so-called reason (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853747)

My girlfriend and I have wildly different tastes in movies. So, she has her own queue, and watches her movies at whatever pace she wants, and always has one available and on the way. My queue currently has 50 movies, so if we want to share an account, we need to actively interleave the movies to make sure she gets some that she likes in a timely fashion. It's just going to be a really big hassle to manage a single account, or cost more money to establish a second one for her.

Re:The so-called reason (4, Interesting)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853897)

I guess your family has homogeneous movie tastes. My wife and I have pretty radically different tastes in movies. Most of the movies she likes, I don't like. Rather than add movies and bump stuff she wants to see off the queue, I could maintain my own queue. The onus was on Netflix to keep up with it. Going forward, it's going to be on us. And the fall-back movies if the one of the ones at the top of or queue can't get shipped is going to be a craps shoot. Maybe she'll get a movie she enjoys, maybe all the ones that come won't interest her at all.

The only thing I didn't like about the separate queues was that only the primary account holder could browse the instant movies. My wife never used the feature, and I avoided rating movies I watched for fear it would distort the movies picked as ones she'd like to see. Which brings up another point...how can multiple family members track movies they like nowadays and have accurate recommended features? "This one's a special case...apparently she like romantic comedies and really bad horror movies!"

Re:The so-called reason (0)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853987)

"I guess your family has homogeneous movie tastes. My wife and I have pretty radically different tastes in movies."

That makes no freaking sense whatsoever. My wife and I could have completely different tastes in movies and we could add those different genres of movies to the same queue!

Re:The so-called reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854381)

Yes, but now if you want to be fair and evenly distribute between the two tastes you will have to micro-manage the queue and make sure you alternate between "husband" movies and "wife" movies all the way down the list. PITA. My wife and I use the current system and it works quite well. We have 2-at-a-time with a queue for each of us, so we know that we will always have one of her movies and one of my movies to watch. We usually watch them together, but neither of us gets irritated at having to watch 3 movies in a row that the other picked out. My sister has a 2-at-a-time account and she uses one queue for movies and the other queue for TV-on-DVD. Sure you can work around it but it's a nice tool to make planning movie delivery easier. It automatically ensures you don't get a bunch of similar items in a row if you set it up that way. It's a really nice feature and we will be irritated to lose it. Enough to leave Netflix? Perhaps - but not to switch to Blockbuster. I'm done with that model.

Re:The so-called reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853929)

There is a reason: It is to guarantee that your family members get a movie that they like. It is so you do not get three horror films and little Susie does not get her my little ponies movie.

If you been using the Netflix account long enough, you know that the movies do not come in the order of your queue. So it is impossible to set it up saying n and n+1 is for the parents and n+2 is for the kid.

Re:The so-called reason (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854119)

"It is to guarantee that your family members get a movie that they like."

Once again, that makes no freaking sense. I have four family members. I can add movies to the single queue and adjust that single queue to ensure that each of us get movies. You do realize you can change the order of the queue, right?

Re:The so-called reason (3, Interesting)

es330td (964170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853757)

I think the problem with the profiles from the user's perspective is that the user had to log in as a different user to utilize the features of the queues. If they could set up folders within a single login to which movies can be added and discs assigned to then it would make using the queues much simpler. I just sent them a User Request outlining the importance of being able to group movies and assign discs to the groups. The profiles *were* a PITA to maintain but they did work once set up.

First time for everything (5, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853611)

I've been a Netflix subscriber for over four years. This is the first time they've ever taken a step backwards. And their complete lack justification is very strange.

For your convenience ... (5, Insightful)

richg74 (650636) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853629)

Why? To '...help us to continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.'

Touching. I'm reminded of a sign I once saw on the door of a bank branch, some years ago while I was living in Boston:

For your convenience, this branch will be closed Monday, mm/dd/yy, a legal holiday.
For my convenience. Heartwarming, isn't it, how these folks are always looking out for us.

Re:For your convenience ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854237)


Why? To '...help us to continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.'


Touching. I'm reminded of a sign I once saw on the door of a bank branch, some years ago while I was living in Boston:

For your convenience, this branch will be closed Monday, mm/dd/yy, a legal holiday.

For my convenience. Heartwarming, isn't it, how these folks are always looking out for us.
Because the bank likes to screw their customers, they will be closed.

For your convenience, they are telling you about it.

Cost savings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853691)

If they wanted to save cost why not leave their interface the way it was instead of making changes to it every two or three months. Seriously. All this web 2.0 crap is killing my old laptop computer and it is totally unnecessary. The site was wonderful a couple years ago when I signed up and now it's a damn iPod clone. Ugh.

I'm writing them to say I disapprove of this and if they do not have a similar replacement feature then I will look elsewhere for DVD rentals.

Lovefilm (4, Interesting)

Stephen (20676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853697)

That's strange because Lovefilm, the dominant DVD-by-mail company in the UK, has only recently introduced this feature.

Offtopic- (0, Redundant)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853705)

On the comment of "improving customer relations" the local branch of the bank I deal with was recently closed down.

A sign on the front door said "In order to serve you better, this branch has been closed"

The branch wasn't *that* bad, but I thought the wording of the sign was funny.

unknown reasons? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853743)

Looks clear to me from reading the summary, they get 2 paying accounts instead of one.

Helping Some Students May Harm High Achievers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853755)

Maybe too many customers is too "confuse", don't know how to use this feature. Too many support cost for the feature. Indeed, "No customer left behind".

Maybe they will replace it (2, Interesting)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853777)

I use the profiles feature, but not in the intended way. I keep a separate queue for different types of movies. I currently have 3 profiles. One for TV shows (so I always have 1 Torchwood disc at home), one for mindless action & scifi movies that I can watch without my wife, and one for movies for us to watch together. All the movies are for me, but I've had to create three profiles with fake names. Each time I switch between queues, I have to login again. Any since it thinks each queue represents a separate person, it doesn't remember any of my past rentals or movie ratings.

Personally, when I got the email from Netflix, a little part of me thought 'good... maybe their going to try to do it right this time'

Now I get it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853867)

I just called Netflix customer service to ask for clarification on how this helps improve the web site. The rep responded that they needed to free up programming space for better features, and that it's really a tiny, tiny percentage of people that use profiles to separate queues. (Slashdot and Gizmodo, the two sites I checked for reactions to this, are apparently chock full of tiny, tiny percentages.)

When I told her that I'm a programmer and I don't understand what it means to free up programming space, she was quiet for a moment and then said, "This is really a decision that they've already made, so it's not like they're going to change their minds."

I'm all for freeing up programming space. Statistics show that programming space will be all used up in the next 10 years if we don't start conserving it.

Consumer action (1)

Mulligan (29951) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853869)

I just called and told them that I intend to cancel my account on the day they remove my ability to maintain separate queues.

Re:Consumer action (1)

kmsigel (306018) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854137)

I will cancel as well, though probably sooner just out of spite. I maintain one queue for me and my wife, and my kids each get a queue. We don't use it that much, so the benefit of the separate queues just barely tips it in favor of keeping the service. Without separate queues, it isn't worth the hassle.

Anybody know a better service? (1)

lcampagn (842601) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853909)

For those considering defecting, it does not appear that Blockbuster has a comparable profiles feature. Does anybody know of another service that might work?

Send comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853981)

http://www.netflix.com/Suggest?type=2&lnkctr=cu_suggest

I sent mine to the effect of "...if this becomes a scheduling burden I'll have to look into other service providers, such as Block Buster."

Anyone know if Block Buster has a "queue"-type functionality? And I said I would never go back to them...

Didn't know (1)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854017)

I didn't know they had this feature. With Blockbuster, my fiancee and I order one movie for her, one movie for me, and one for us. It can sometimes be difficult to manage. I would have switched back to Netflix if I knew about this. Too bad they are getting rid of it.

Netflix blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854071)

The Netflix community blog discusses this. Still sounds like smoke being blown up our....

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2765056849626104020&postID=3792638994944169934&pli=1

no reason to switch back now (1)

sykkn (447070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854075)

I am currently using Blockbuster Total Access, but have been thinking of switching back to Netflix because I missed the profiles feature. I guess I won't be worrying about switching back again, unless they come out with the XBOX 360 integration I have been hearing rumors about.

AppleTV here I come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854079)

Profiles was an excellent feature of Netflix. It gave each member of my family their own queue and avoided any arguments about which disc was next. I'm shopping for a new HDTV. As soon as I get it I'm buying an Apple TV and getting rid of Netflix.

I don't think Netflix is even providing an automated way to merge the individual queues back into one - each family member might need to do it manually. What a pain and a stupid idea from Netflix. Up until now I thought they were a good company.

The ONLY reason I would have switched to Netflix (3, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854127)

Profiles is the only reason I would have switched from Blockbuster to Netflix. Blockbuster was great for my wife and I because we could return movies to the store and get more movies for free (my wife watches a lot of stuff on the days she has off). But we're moving away from any nearby Blockbuster stores this week so I was seriously considering switching to Netflix. I would love it if my wife and I each had our own queue. Then we wouldn't get 10 romantic comedies in a row or 10 action movies. Ah well.

Just a guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854177)

I'm going to guess that they're ending it because it's complicating their data model too much. No, I have no evidence for that, but something very similar has happened twice with the application I work on. Early on we had a request for similar "subaccounts." If we had written the original application with that in mind, it probably wouldn't have been so awful, but instead we grafted them on, reusing "primary" account code as much as possible but finding lots of places where we had to add special-case handling for the subaccounts. When I inherited responsibility for the billing code, I found that roughly 15% was dedicated to subaccounts -- totally disproportionate to their adoption or usefulness. It got to where I had to put it to my boss: give me a month to clear up this mess or get rid of the feature. Now we're trying to phase them out, which turns out to be the worst possible way to handle it.

Another very similar situation arose with a feature designed to let customer service reps temporarily assume customers' identity. Again the crux of the problem was the multiplication of special-case code: "if user.isRep() x; else y;" became a plague on the application. Again, it came down to refactoring a large part of the code base or discontinuing the feature.

My Email to Netflix (2, Funny)

Scyber (539694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854211)

"I just wanted to share that I am extremely disappointed to see Profiles going away. Profiles have allowed my wife and I to share a netflix account without any marital discord. Now I will have to navigate the horrors of balancing my wife's desire for romantic comedies with my desire for action & sci-fi movies. I will be sure to forward you the transcripts of our arguments so you too can join in the discomfort."

Me and my S.O. used this extensively. (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854363)

We only have a two out at a time plan and it works great, at any given time we have two movies to pick from. No arguments over someone hogging all of the movie choices, options most of the time for either of us to watch (save for the 2 days between sending an old one out and recieving a new one in). But considering 1 in 5 discs I've gotten from them is bad and needs a replacement coupled with the loss of queues and having a blockbuster around the corner, I think I may be looking for a change. Their online unlimited movies just isn't worth it considering the mainstream movies are few and far between.
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