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! 


  1. screen shot is something like ALT+(PRINT SCREEN) and then open it in paint or something. I've gotten very used to the mac

  2. I love that on my screen it says I commented over an hour and a half before you wrote this post... odd.