Like a lot of Crunchyroll subscribers, I was planning on renewing using their usual Black Friday deal. Except they opted not to offer it this year. I haven't made much use of my subscription in the past few months (not since I reviewed Pandora Hearts back in May, in fact), so, although my subscription expired a few days ago, there's really no reason for me to resubscribe anytime soon. Goodness knows I have enough unwatched DVDs to start my own anime channel.
Reading the Crunchyroll Black Friday forum thread has been a fascinating (or, depending on your perspective, painful) look at how not to do customer service and communication. In case you can't bring yourself to go through the 341 comments (I'm sure the number will have grown by the time I hit “publish”), here's my take on some of it:
Whoever wrote up their new Black Friday deal phrased it fairly badly, and it shouldn't have been hard to predict how people would react. Many people said they wouldn't be resubscribing and would be taking their business to Funimation/Dramafever/Viki/Netflix/etc., or they'd downgrade from All-Access to Anime, or they'd stick with monthly memberships. A few people said they were happy with this year's Black Friday deal, and another few people jumped in and asked why everyone was so upset about a $10 price difference (meaning the difference between last year's deal and the current full-price Anime membership - the savings were more like $30 if you wanted an All-Access membership).
Lugiamania (Brand Manager) did an okay job with damage control, considering that she couldn't actually change anything about the announcement. I liked that she was honest about there being no chance of the usual discounted memberships, even on Cyber Monday. Of course, 23 pages later people are still thinking that the deal will happen on Monday. MilesExpress999 (no idea what his job title is) was enthusiastic but a bit clueless about why people were unhappy. I actually laughed when he responded to a question about plans to make premium memberships more valuable with “My area of focus is our convention presence.” As far as Bjaker (CR Community Manager) goes, I honestly believe he should never be allowed to talk to angry customers. I'm not sure what he thought chiding people and pointing them to news that free memberships are now more limited (in some aspects) would accomplish, aside from making people more upset.
I think that's basically it for my forum thread recap. Now I'll go entertain myself with episodes of The Great Doctor/Faith via Netflix.