Netflix reputation ticks up slightly in consumer survey

May 11, 2012: 9:57 AM ET

After a tough end of 2011, the streaming media company is seeing positive signs -- however modest.

netflixFORTUNE -- If there is good news for Netflix (NFLX) in a new survey measuring consumer satisfaction, it's that people aren't more annoyed with the company than they were last year. In fact, according to the annual Top 100 E-Tail Satisfaction Index put together by the analytics outfit Forsee, customers are actually slightly happier with Netflix than they were at the end of last year.

Of course, Netflix back then seemed to be doing all it could to alienate its customers, as CEO Reed Hastings a few months earlier clumsily dealt with a price increase and a decision -- soon reversed in the face of customer outrage -- to split the company's DVD rental business off from its streaming service. A year ago, Netflix received a score of 85 -- pretty high. By December, it had sunk to 79. Now it has ticked back up to 81.

MORE: Report: Americans still glued to their TVs

"Despite the increase, Netflix is still obviously paying the price of its PR fiasco last year and it is nowhere near ts all-time high score of 87 two years ago," writes Larry Freed, Forsee's president and CEO." Once the darling of the e-commerce world in terms of customer
satisfaction, Netflix clearly has a lot more ground to make up. What remains to be seen is whether this small increase of two points is the result of successful efforts to satisfy customers, or whether so many customers have jumped ship that only the most satisfied remain. Only time will tell."

Topping the list was Amazon (AMZN), with a score of 89. Apple's (AAPL) 85 was a big improvement over the 80 it scored last year. The list of online retailers that have improved the most since they were first scored (this is the eighth annual survey) was dominated by traditional bricks-and-mortar chains such as Home Depot (HD), Costco (COST), and Kohl's (KSS).

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