Monday, January 23, 2012

The strike is over! We beat 'em!

Okay, there was really no strike, but I'm morally obligated to quote Newsies as much as possible.

Success! Netflix seems to be mostly back to normal, showing 74 pages worth of subtitled content (up from 17 pages last week).

I don't know if our emails and calls and tweets and blog posts had anything to do with it or not but regardless, it would be a good idea, after all of that, to say, "Thank you." There are two sides to the advocacy coin: asking for help and appreciating it when it's offered. So often, we master the first but don't give the second any thought.

If you'd like to thank Netflix and show your support for subtitled and captioned content, here's how you can contact them:

Submit an email through the Contact Public Relations form
Call them at 1-866-501-1604
Follow and send tweets to @netflix@netflixhelps and @neilhunt

I should say more eloquent things now but that cold I've been expecting for over a week has finally made an appearance so I'm going wallow and (thanks to Netflix!) watch old episodes of Ugly Betty.

Are you back on the Netflix bandwagon? Hit up the comments below!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Update on Netflix subtitles

Gaaaah. My brain hurts. I have not been this wound up about something since the last time I was out of Nutella

Anyway, I finally got a Twitter response from @netflixhelps that said, "We're working on it." (I tried to get a screenshot but I'm techno-dumb at the moment and can't figure out how to do it on my trusty old laptop. It's probably as easy as picking your nose but whatever, have I mentioned that my brain is fried? Also, I've been on a Mac all day at work and I'm pretty sure some things just get lost in translation when I get home to hang out with my PC.) I also noticed a couple of other tweets from @netflixhelps to other users, assuring them that the subtitle issue was being dealt with.

But you know me, I can't let things go and my favorite question in the world is, "Why, God, WHY?" So I tried to give Netflix a call but apparently every piece of technology I touch turns to sh-... um, crap, and my Captel app wasn't working on my phone. Blergh. So then I turned to Sprint Relay Online to try and make the call and after 10 minutes of registering for an account and blah blah blah, I was finally able to use the online relay service to call Netflix.

The representative I spoke to was polite and professional. I saved a transcript of the conversation and when I asked what was up with the subtitles, the representative said: 

its a glitch in our system that came up recently it is also been affecting letting people know whether or not a title is available in HD but it is an issue that we are well aware of and we re scrambling to get this fixed as quickly as we can (SOUNDS PLEASANT) ga 

I asked if deaf and hard of hearing customers would be refunded for the days of lost service and was told that:

thats not something that i have any input on but i can certainly pull up ur account and take a note of that and if they do choose to give out compensation then u would be notified via email ga

I also asked if they were working to get subtitles back on all previously subtitled content or just some of it:

we will most definitely be working on recoverying all subtitles for the titles that had them previously and wer er also just working on getting subtitles and cc for all titles in general
 I wanted to give him a virtual fist bump for that last part alone.

My friend Shanna was kind enough to share this story on her own blog as well as on Facebook. I appreciated reading her friends' feedback and personal experience with Netflix. One person in particular, who has been subscribed to Netflix for a few months, noted that the subtitle issue had popped up before but rarely lasted longer than about 24 hours. I also learned that Netflix publishes its own page of subtitled content. At the time of this publishing, the list was up to 17 pages (there were only five or six pages this morning), so I hope things will be back to normal soon.

I appreciate that Neflix is aware of the issue and is working to resolve it, and I especially appreciated the courteous and professional conversation I had with the representative. However, I would like to see Netflix provide more consideration if or when this issue pops up again. For instance, a quick informational email, blog post or notice on the website indicating that Netflix is aware of certain issues and is working to resolve them would go a long way in quelling people's (okay, my) frustration. I'm thinking of something like, "We value you as a customer and as such, are working to restore subtitles as quickly as we can. We appreciate your patience as we investigate the matter." That's just gold right there. In my oh-so-humble opinion. ;)

Thanks to all of you who commented on my last post, tweeted or re-tweeted information and blogged about Netflix subtitles! 

Netflix subtitles in the Wii

I did it. I'm a cop-out. A hypocrite. If my life was Newsies, I would be Jack when he goes to work for Pulitzer. I'm a scabber, you guys!

Remember that rant and rave of yore, where I raged against Netflix for not providing subtitled content? Wellll Phlixie convinced me I was missing out and I couldn't resist the siren song of being able to watch Ugly Betty reruns whenever I wanted and finding out what the Dowton Abbey hoopla was all about, so I buckled. Folded. Sold my soul (This seems to be a theme as of late. So far, 2012 is shaping up to be the Year of the Doormat). And in December 2011, the roommate and I signed up for Netlix.

And let me tell you, it has been a glorious month. I'm reacquainting myself with first loves like Scrubs and making new friends like Switched at Birth. I've dabbled in the Dr. Who waters and starting thinking in a British accent because I watched so many BBC shows. I love television, don't judge me.

Wednesday night, though, the honeymoon came to an abrupt halt. Nothing in my queue was subtitled. The subtitle button was gone. I rebooted the Wii. I tried to run a system update but there wasn't one available, so I know the software is fine. I checked the settings. Twice. I tested several shows in my queue by just playing it, thinking they moved the subtitle setting elsewhere. Nothing.

I checked on it again this morning, hoping it was just a fluke... but still, the subtitles are suspiciously absent.

Sad face, sad face, sad face.

Netflix customer service does not provide an email address, so I turned to social media for help. I posted about the issue on Netflix's Facebook wall (thrice!... which they deleted... thrice!) and bombarded Twitter with the problem. So far, my tweets have gone unanswered but on Facebook, I discovered that I wasn't the only person having issues:

To be clear, this is not an issue of "Why doesn't Netflix provide more subtitled content?" (For the record, as of last night, Phlixie listed over 5,000 titles that were available with subtitles. This afternoon, the number had dropped to 2,300. The plot thickens, but I digress.) 

My concern is that subtitled content was available through the Wii and now it is not. When are the subtitles coming back? Why are they not working for the Wii? Is the issue with Netflix or with Nintendo? Are other platforms affected? Is there anything I can do to bring them back? 

So far, my attempts to reach out to Netflix have led to dead ends. Will you help me get the word out to Netflix? Post your concerns on their Facebook page (they will delete it but at least you made some noise).  Mention @netflix, @netflixhelps and @neilhunt in your tweets. Call Netflix at 1-866-501-1604. Write a blog post. Tell your friends. 

And Netflix, if you're listening... help a girl out, huh? Answer some tweets. Check your Facebook. Your customers would be eternally grateful.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Some say looooooooove....

I'm back on eHarmony. I'm weak, don't judge me. I got suckered in by the free weekend and before I knew it, I had signed up for a three-month membership. Whoops.

I keep going back and forth, though, over whether to mention my hearing loss on my profile. On one hand, I want to be upfront so that there are no surprises. You know, if someone kept something like that from me until we'd exchanged several emails, I think I would wonder what else they might not be telling me. I don't want to appear deceptive. On the other hand, sharing that kind of information is pretty personal and I'd rather someone got to know me as a person (and me get to know them better) before divulging my hearing loss. Hearing loss is easy to misunderstand and I wouldn't want someone to see "hard of hearing" in my profile and run the opposite direction because they think it is something scary and foreign.

I also wonder how a relationship works if one person can hear and the other is hard of hearing. Would my friends who are hard of hearing with hearing spouses/significant others chime in here? In my more melodramatic moments, I'm convinced that NO ONE will ever GET me if they are not hard of hearing themselves and in my more mellow moments, I remind myself that I'm a person first, and that personality and heart trump hearing loss... I think?

Talk to me. What are your thoughts or experiences on being in a relationship when you are hard of hearing?

I posted this a while ago, but I think it's worth sharing again... I hope it makes you smile!