David Pogue of The New York Times has started a blog:
I’m the weekly Circuits columnist who reviews all things techie — computer stuff, personal electronics, cellphones, home theater gear, digital music and video — and I’ll be here each day with my musings on the state of consumer technology.
NewMexiKen is a fan of Pogue’s and has found the blog interesting in just its first few days. Here’s a taste:
As longtime readers know, I’m a big fan of Netflix. It’s mail-order DVD rental service, so brilliant in execution that it ought to win some kind of Genius Business Plan Award. You pay a flat monthly fee of $12 or $18 a month (the price recently dropped, if you can believe that). In exchange, you get to pick out two or three DVD’s from Netflix’s library of 25,000 titles. They arrive by mail; you watch ’em and send ’em back in a prepaid mailer. You can churn through a dozen or more movies a month, or you can keep the same three lying on your TV for six months. Either way, all you pay is that fixed monthly fee, with no return deadlines or late fees.
As a Netflix member, I’d had nothing but good experiences with Netflix. But the other day, I ran into a customer-service issue that demonstrates just how deeply the company’s cleverness runs in its DNA.
Basically, I lost a Netflix DVD on a trip. I grumpily logged onto Netflix.com, not looking forward to trying to find its lost DVD policy and discovering what kind of penalty they were going to whack me with.
It took me about two clicks to find the answer. It told me to choose the lost DVD’s name (you don’t even have to type it in; the Web site knows perfectly well which titles you still have checked out). They charged me $20. That was it.
Well, not quite it. If you ever find the disc, you send it back in to them, and they give your $20 back.
Isn’t that just an awesome, humane, sensible policy? May that particular Netflix gene make its way into other companies’ DNA.