Netflix apologizes to customers, plans to rename its DVD by mail service "Qwikster"

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Popular DVD rental and streaming business Netflix is rebranding its DVD by mail service and adding the option of game rentals to its existing services in a bid to appease disenchanted customers.

The changes were announced by Netflix Co-Founder and CEO Reed Hastings in a September 18 blog post. The blog post also aimed to appease customers who had been left with a bitter taste in their mouth after the company revealed it would separate its DVD and streaming plans and change its pricing.

Reed Hastings explained, “we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to ‘Qwikster.’”

“One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games,” he added. “Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done.”

The majority of Netflix members were not pleased by the further separation of the two services and filled the blog’s comment section with posts complaining that the “lack of communication between the two services regarding rating and reviews seems like a huge downfall and I would imagine will be a major complaint,” and “If queues aren't integrated it's huge detriment for customers who subscribe to both services. We need to see which titles on qwiskter are available on netflix in order to use both effectively."

In September Netflix expanded its online streaming service to include customers in Latin America. Rival online streaming service Hulu also started streaming a selection of movies and TV shows in Japan in September.