Netflix Will Stop Blaming Internet Providers For Streaming Failures

June 9, 2014  |  

Well that escalated, didn’t it?

Netflix had been sending users who experienced troubles with their streaming service the notice captured above by Vox Media designer Yuri Victor. (LOL… he’s since apologized.) A similar message was also sent to AT&T customers.

Netflix now says it was a “small-scale test” and it will stop sending the notice. That decision may have been helped along by the cease-and-desist letter Netflix received from an angry Verizon. The company says the slow connection is actually the result of an issue on Netflix’s end, not theirs. The companies have an agreement that’s actually supposed to make the connection smoother.

However, in recent months, many have expressed their frustrations with Netflix’s slow performance. “During a movie or show, it will stop for buffering every minute or two,” a customer complained.

Verizon delivered this message in a blog post last Wednesday:

“The problem is most likely congestion on the connection that Netflix has chosen to use to reach Verizon’s network,” the company wrote. “Of course, Netflix is solely responsible for choosing how their traffic is routed into any ISP’s network. It is sad that Netflix is willing to deliberately mislead its customers so they can be used as pawns in business negotiations and regulatory proceedings.

But according to Time, Netflix spokesperson Joris Evers said that the company is not apologizing for their on-screen, Verizon-blaming warnings:

“This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider,” Evers said. “We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with [our] ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion.”

Verizon’s cease and desist letter, written by executive vice president Randal Milch, said: “There is no basis for Netflix to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon network. As Netflix knows, there are many different factors that can affect traffic on the internet.”

In addition, Verizon gave Netflix an ultimatum: In five days, turn in proof that we are solely responsible for the snailing video sessions  — or we’re taking you to court.

Stalled negotiations between Verizon and bandwidth provider Cogent earlier this year caused Netflix speeds to fall significantly for Verizon customers,” writes Time. Netflix said it could bring back the messages at a later time.

Have you come across this problem?

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