Netflix? Uh Oh–Try “Notflix”

By  |  Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 11:41 am

Boy, it’s been a busy week for Internet outages: Something really bad is going down at Netflix, which, according to CNBC, shipped no DVDs on Tuesday, had major trouble yesterday, and hadn’t shipped any today as of the time of CNBC’s report. The CNBC story says that a Netflix spokesperson responded promptly and honestly to queries, but the article doesn’t have much in the way of detail about what’s going on.

I just signed into my account, and to Netflix’s credit, it’s displaying a gigantic warning and apology right at the top of the page:

I covered an 18-hour Netflix site outage in my list of the Web’s most notable examples of downtime earlier this week; if I’d done the story today, this new one woulda made the list for sure. As with this week’s Gmail outage, one of the lessons here is that even the Web’s most reliable services–and Netflix famously runs like a top, which is a big part of how it became so successful–are far from impervious.

More details to come. I’ll end with thoughts that repeat what I said during the Gmail outage, short though it turned out to be: Let’s hope that Netflix not only fixes this as quickly as possible, but tells us all what happened, and what it’s doing to keep it from happening again…

Update: Netflix tells CNet’s Rafe Needleman that customers are being extremely understanding about all this. I can believe it; the service is usually so good that I’d cut the company a lot of slack. Bu that doesn’t mean I’m not worried that something can go so wrong, for so long…


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve Bartz Says:

    Looks like the Gmail outage is rippling.

  2. Emily Says:

    The thing I like about Netflix is, when this happens, they let customers know immedietly what is happening and what they will be doing to fix the problem and compensate customers. I sent three DVDs back Tuesday on my way to work. Then I get to work, pop open my RSS feeds and find the story working it’s way onto every tech site I read. Not a big deal though. Watch now still works. This is a good time to catch up on seasons of Law and Order.
    Did anyone else notice that right below the announcement, there is a big huge button for watch now? Good marketing, I think.