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29 Jul

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Netflix Is At It Again, Offline Gaffes Go Online

July 29, 2011 | By | No Comments

Netflix blundered earlier this month when it announced rate changes in some of its bundled services. The result was a flood of angry consumers voicing their displeasure on social media channels.

It seems that Netflix is once again working hard at the reputation management gaffe grindstone. Jason Gilbert on The Huffington Post shared the story of a Netflix consumer (and HuffPost reader) who received a not-so-pleasant email from the company regarding a DVD they had mailed him a couple of days earlier even though he no longer subscribed to their DVD service.

“Please Return [The Movie]

Dear [customer],

Recently, you switched to a streaming only plan that does not include DVDs. We noticed that you still have [the movie] at home. Please return it within 7 days to avoid being billed. Unreturned DVDs are billed at $14 each and $20 for each Blu-ray disc, plus tax. If you’d like to switch to a plan that includes DVDs, click here.

–The Netflix Team”

Yes, the company rewarded a customer (who, by the way, stuck with them through the pricing mess) by berating him over their mistake.

So now Netflix finds this story on the front page of a major news site.

It’s a great lesson for brands, even those without a social media presence: what you do offline can and often will show up online. Dissatisfied customers can easily take those curt emails and other rude customer service interactions and turn them into a PR mess that will leave you waiting in agony to get out of the office at the end of the day.

You can take a range of proactive steps to prevent customer service issues from popping up, but brands also need a first line of defense to detect negative chatter: online monitoring. Listening to the online conversation, which is what the Social Strategy1 team specializes in, gives you the intelligence to react quickly and manage your online reputation. Try our demo—it’s free!

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