Netflix Credits Customers for Online Outage

Online DVD rental leader Netflix Inc. said Wednesday it will provide a 5 percent credit on the monthly bills of customers whose shipments were delayed by its Monday outage.

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey would not disclose the number of customers affected, saying only that "it was not a majority" of the company's 7.5 million members.

He also would not reveal the total amount credited to customers, saying the credit will not have a material impact on the company's financial operations.

"The key thing here is: This was completely proactive on Netflix's part. There's no requirement for Netflix to do this, no obligation. There was no request for it. We thought it was the right thing to do," Swasey said.

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While Netflix ships on average 1.8 million DVDs each day, Mondays are a lower-volume day.

"Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be our biggest days because most folks watch movies on the weekends and mail them back to us on Monday," Swasey said.

The outage resulted in a one-day delay for people expecting to receive DVDs on Tuesday.

Swasey confirmed that one section of the site, its ratings system, remained down until Tuesday morning, as the company had decided to prioritize getting the ordering and shipping functions back online.

Monday's outage knocked out its Web site for about 11 hours. It marked the second-longest disruption since Netflix launched its service nine years ago. Netflix's Web site was down for more than 18 hours last July when the Los Gatos-based company lowered its prices.

Netflix shares rose 74 cents, or 2 percent, to $37.86 Wednesday.