The negativity towards Netflix started a couple of months ago when they raised the prices on their services by separating them out, doing so in a way that most consider rude and careless, but that’s not the most idiotic aspect of what they’re doing.
They are taking the largest revenue stream they have in their company and splitting it out into a separate company is something that very few (if any) flourishing businesses ever do (or even consider). As odd as it sounds that they took amazing branding and name recognition and threw half of it out the window is pretty dumb, but it’s not the most idiotic thing they have done.
Everything about their mood and demeanor the last few months (other than a surprisingly sincere apology by the CEO) has been displayed with an ego and delusion of grandeur that would make one think they believe they’re invincible, that they don’t need to treat their customers right, and that they have control over the situation when anything (reduced mail delivery, throttled streaming from the ISPs, amongst others) could send their company toppling in a matter of months. Still, there’s something they’ve done even more idiotic than that.
They didn’t secure the Twitter name before announcing the change. That is absolutely idiotic.
It’s 2011 Business 101, particularly one that relies so heavily on the internet to run the operation. They had the initiative. Nobody had any idea what Qwikster was before yesterday. They could have very easily contacted the Twitter user owning the account, paid him a fair amount of money, deleted all of the past Tweets (many of which are moronic and offensive), and even laced it with some interesting Tweets of their own before announcing the business change.
The same thing should have happened with Facebook. Sure, it appears that they or someone secured the name and locked it down before other people could get their hands on it, but even there they could have put up some interesting “Coming Soon” tabs and status updates and started getting the good word out while having 2 venues to receive and respond to the bad words.
Netflix and Qwikster, as two separate companies, have a very rocky future ahead of them. Is the Twitter account faux pas that bad in the whole scheme of things? Not really. It is, however, indicative of the way that the company has been acting and running itself in recent months. It does not bode well.