Netflix suffers outage, offers affected customers a discount

Soon after hinting that they may become a streaming company that happens to offer DVDs by mail, the Associated Press is reporting that the Netflix website experienced an outage that limited access to the company’s streaming services. The outage occurred Thursday afternoon, just hours after the stock hit an all-time high, and service was restored several hours later.

As the article points out, outages happen to sites all the time, but users are particularly sensitive to sites that they pay for. When Xbox Live service suffered an outage after a busy holiday season, three Texas residents even filed a lawsuit against Microsoft.

Companies are well-protected legally by various “Terms of Service” (ToS) agreements, but they still must fight against the negative publicity and user backlash. To their credit, according to the Netflix Twitter feed, the company is trying to buy some good will by offering a discount to all users who were affected by the outage. The company is sending out emails to customers who were logged in at the time with details of the discount.

According to a recent report, Netflix traffic accounts for 20% of US internet traffic during peak periods, and at the rate the company is growing, that number is bound to increase. A shift away from physical media means Netflix will need to work on boosting the resiliency of their data centers to avoid outages in the future.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Neowin Giveaway: Lenovo PC, LCD monitor, Winners Announced!

Next Story

Google pays only 2.4% in taxes through loopholes

31 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Starting to have issues, quality bar is all over the place, did a test on my connection and I'm over 11Mb constant, don't know of it's cause I stream on 360 or netflix itself, will switch to my PS3 and try that

Update, aparently it's the 360 (Preview Dash w/netflix update). PS3 started right up and HD

I was affected but have not received an e-mail. I wasn't watching when the outage first happened, but I tried to manage my instant queue and some other things and I couldn't do it. Is the link a generic link or is there a special URL for every user that they e-mail?

CoMMo said,
I was affected but have not received an e-mail. I wasn't watching when the outage first happened, but I tried to manage my instant queue and some other things and I couldn't do it. Is the link a generic link or is there a special URL for every user that they e-mail?

Pretty sure they're unique links per customer.
I would try calling customer service about not getting the email though.

It's kinda shady that you have to click on the link in the email to get the discount. Why don't they just automatically apply it?

Stokkolm said,
It's kinda shady that you have to click on the link in the email to get the discount. Why don't they just automatically apply it?
I'm guessing they want to be able to know how many people took the discount

mokthraka said,
I'm guessing they want to be able to know how many people took the discount
That could be I guess, but if they're going to offer a discount then just give it to people. They shouldn't have to opt in to get it.

Stokkolm said,
It's kinda shady that you have to click on the link in the email to get the discount. Why don't they just automatically apply it?

My fist instinct was that it was a phishing email, but I clicked anyway.

yazb123 said,
netflix accounts for 20 % of us internet traffic, thats pretty gud!

Of PRIMETIME traffic, 8pm-10pm. I hate how Neowin article titles take things out of context.

Out of context?

"According to a recent report, Netflix traffic accounts for 20% of US internet traffic during peak periods"

How is that out of context.

StrykerMikado said,
The discount I got was 3% off my next bill. Not much but atleast they tried.

Got the same email. not sure if i will take it. I wasn't using Netflix at the time. Yeah i know, i am such an honest guy.

StrykerMikado said,
The discount I got was 3% off my next bill. Not much but atleast they tried.

most companies wouldn't pro actively offer a discount until users complain/request it.