Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Survey Sez: Consumers Still Miffed at Netflix, but Give Even Bigger Kiss to Amazon

It’s not clear if Netflix’s recent series of snafus are Amazon’s gain or not. But in a just-released report by ForeSee, one went up and one went down.

It’s an easy guess which was which.

In the well-known customer satisfaction survey of the Top 40 online retailers during the holiday season — which ForeSee has been conducting twice a year for the last seven years — Amazon rose to its highest spot ever, while Netflix’s score dropped significantly.

Amazon got an 88 out of 100, up two points, while Netflix dropped seven points to 79. The survey noted that “Netflix saw scores drop in every single element of the website that ForeSee measures, including site content, site functionality, merchandise, and prices.”


(Netflix fared better with customers in another poll last week, conducted by Citigroup. As Peter Kafka noted: “They’re less happy than they used to be. But they don’t seem to be going anywhere.”)

But in the ForeSee survey, Netflix moved from being a consumer darling to just another face in the crowd. It garnered the average score, which is also 79, a number that has risen from 74 since 2005.

But Netflix was not the only online retailer hit. Also down: Gap.com (down 6 percent to 73), and Overstock.com (down 5 percent to 72).

But on the up: TigerDirect.com (up 8 percent to 79) and J.C. Penney (up 6 percent to 83).

In general, ForeSee concluded that consumers are starting to get the hang of this e-commerce thing, and have become less price-sensitive, too.

And here’s a pretty chart explaining it all (click on the image to make it larger):

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work