Netflix Customer Ratings Improve, But It Still Hasn’t Recovered From 2011 Pricing Backlash

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix subscribers were apparently happier with the service in late 2013 than they were a year earlier — but the Internet streamer’s customer-satisfaction scores are still well below levels it enjoyed before a major price hike in mid-2011.

Netflix turned in a customer-satisfaction score of 79 (out of 100) on the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index’s retail sector report. That’s up 5% from 75 in 2012. However, the company is still off its score of 86 in 2010, and trails other online retailers including Amazon.com (with a category-leading score of 88 on the latest report).

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In July 2011, Netflix announced that it was splitting apart streaming and DVD-by-mail plans, amounting to a 60% price increase for customers who previously paid for $9.99 a combined plan that offered unlimited streaming and one DVD out at a time.

“Even though Netflix has a good distance to reach its previously lofty ACSI scores… it is gaining traction among pay-TV subscribers,” the research company noted in the report, issued Wednesday.

Netflix execs, including CEO and founder Reed Hastings, have acknowledged that the price change was a misstep that damaged its credibility with customers. “I messed up,” Hastings said in a blog post in September 2011. “In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success.”

The ACSI Retail and E-Commerce Report 2013 is based on interviews with 11,531 customers, chosen at random and contacted via telephone and email between October and December 2013. The study’s model estimates customer satisfaction as the result of the survey-measured inputs of customer expectations, perceptions of quality and perceptions of value.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index was founded at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and was spun out as standalone research company in 2009.