Thursday, January 19, 2012

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.


  1. Read my post about Netflix at, and let me know what you find out from Netflix. Thanks, Lucy!


  2. I thought I had the same problem with my XBox last night - which only just offered an update to allow for subtitles a month ago. Turns out it's not a console problem. If you look online at Netflix's subtitled listings catalog last night and today, it went from 74 pages of titles available to 3, and today it's up to 7 pages. I tested one of the still available titles, and yes, the subtitle option on my XBox Netflix player still worked. It's just that 90% of the subtitled selection is now missing.

    I don't know whether Netflix is reorganizing or if something else is going on since, of course, they inform us of nothing. But I'd really like the service I'm paying for back ASAP.

  3. Here is an article about the FCC clarifying just this week the rules that networks must follow when providing *captioned* online programming:

    Lipreading Mom's question is: Will Netflix comply and, if so, when?

  4. Thanks for the information, Chad! I did the same thing you did and got the same result. I'm still disappointed that shows I love are suddenly not subtitled and I'm giving Netflix a call about it right now. Thank you so much for your feedback!

  5. This just happened to me yesterday on my Wii! Subtitles button has disappeared out of nowhere. Any update from Netflix customer service?

  6. I haven't had any problems since January (when I first blogged about the issue). What show/movie were you trying to watch? I only save subtitled content in my queue but there have been instances where I've been browsing my queue and certain shows or movies are no longer available with subtitles (even though they were when I saved them). They tend to be more independent films/shows. Most of my "mainstream" queued content is still available with subtitles.

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