I am not one who suffers fools gladly.
If you’re really sharp, I’ll bend over backwards for you, particularly if you’re creating something for me. When I was building Prophet, it was my job description as founder and CEO was to do Anything You Need To Get Your Job Done. Whether that was getting you doughnuts, buying you Indian dinner, purchasing you new equipment or software – - my time and money was at your disposal.
The not-so-sharp among us I tend to avoid, but there are times (like, say, at the DMV) where I cannot escape. Over the past 24 hours, however, I have taken three stabs at getting NetFlix to function, and I’m batting 0.000 with these people.
I first tried Netflix in the late 1990s when they started, and I was delighted at the service. I stopped using them ages ago, though, but I decided – in spite of lacking the time to enjoy movies – to sign up for a subscription. The price of $7.99/month was close enough to free to not worry about it, and I’ve got a Tivo, so I would be able to stream straight to that device.
I signed up; it was easy; I got the activation code; it was easy; but then I tried to figure out how to specify what movie I wanted to watch………and everything stopped. I didn’t know what to do.
My first inclination in these situations is actually to blame myself for overlooking something obvious. So I looked. And I looked. And I referred to online help. And I looked some more. And I simply couldn’t figure out how to get a movie to play on the Tivo.
The Tivo itself didn’t have a search function or anything; if one navigates to the Netflix part of Tivo, it simply shows you whatever is in your instant viewing queue, and it was blank – - because there was no such queue I could find on the web site. I had thought I’d see some kind of drag & drop interface on the Netflix site, but no dice.
I really wish I could provide you with the recordings of the first and second conversations I had with the representatives, because once it became apparent to me that they didn’t know what they were talking about, I went straight off the rails. I don’t scream and get angry; you know me well enough to know I’m too sweet for that kind of thing. I simply get really, really incredulous. (I believe a direct quote was, late in the conversation, “How in the name of my Lord and personal savior Jesus H. Christ am I suppose to request a movie to watch on my Tivo if you have removed the capability to do so???”)
Because, you see, their explanation for not having a queue was……….that they removed it. For marketing reasons. As a test. And they wanted to see what people thought of their test. Well, I told them what I thought of their test.
I did try this afternoon, just one last time, to see if I could reach someone rational. I failed to do so. The unedited transcript, in its entirety, I provide for your viewing pleasure:
Hi there; ready?