Blog Post

Netflix Goes Down, Apocalypse Ensues!

Updated: Nearly 2 million new subscribers signed up for Netflix (s NFLX) in the past quarter, but those subscribers are bound to be disappointed, as the subscription video company’s website and streaming service are down today.

If you visit the Netflix home page, it reads:

“We’re sorry, the Netflix website and the ability to instantly watch movies are both temporarily unavailable.

However, our shipping centers are continuing to send and receive DVDs so your order is in process as usual.

Our engineers are working hard to bring the site and ability to watch instantly back up as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and, again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you need further assistance, please call us at 1-877-445-6064. “

Not just that, but the company’s streaming service is apparently unavailable from other connected devices, including the Sony (s SNE) PlayStation 3, Apple iPhone and iPad, (s AAPL) based on our own tests.

There’s no word yet on what the cause of the outage is, although we have a request out to Netflix asking for more details and information on when the service is expected to come back online.

Update 12:25 PM PT: Aaaaaaaannnndd it’s back up. Word from a Netflix spokesperson is that the company is not commenting on the cause of the outage. So there.

Update 12:30 PM PT: Spoke too soon. Now we’re getting a more generic “Netflix Site Error” message:

“We were unable to process your request.

Please go to the Netflix home page by clicking the button below.”

Oh, if only I could!

Update 12:40 PM PT: Netflix returns, again. I will cease reloading the page for fear that I am the one breaking it, and just assume that the crisis has passed.

Update 12:55 PM PT: I wasn’t going to look, but the devil made me do it. Down again. Connection Reset. Oh Netflix, you are a cruel, cruel mistress.

Update 1:40 PM PT: C’mon, Netflix. Now you’re just lying to us.

Update 2:50 PM PT: This is Liz, giving Ryan’s refresh button a break. Netflix appears to be back up; however, it’s loading at a snail’s pace.

Update 3 PM PT: Liz again, because it’s down again. Oh, cruelest fate! Where am I going to get my daily 30 Rock fix?! Oh, yeah, Hulu.

Update 3:24 PM PT: Liz still. Netflix is now replying to Twitter complaints directly: “We’re aware of the problem & are working to fix it. Sorry for the inconvenience!” Meanwhile, I’ve been able to access the main menu screen a couple of times, but haven’t yet been able to play any titles. Attempts to do so kick me to the Site Error screen.

Hey, you ever see the movie Real Genius? That movie’s great. And if you’re in the U.S., you can watch it on Crackle right now.

Update 3:50 PM PT: Yep, Liz again. Holy cats, it might be back up! We’ve been able to load content on our computers, the PS3 and the iPad. Let’s see how long this lasts…

Update 4:50 PM PT: So our long national nightmare appears to be over; Netflix has been up for the last hour. Thanks for riding the wave with us, guys.

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14 Responses to “Netflix Goes Down, Apocalypse Ensues!”

  1. @Jayme… Jeez, give it a rest and give them break! Every online company that’s gotten big in a hurry has had growing pains like this.

    I take it as a sign that their streaming business has probably grown faster than even they expected. In fact there’s no shortage of people amazed at what Netflix has pulled off in a very short space in time.

    As long as they learn from whatever happened and beef up their infrastructure accordingly all will be well.

  2. “Update 2:50 PM PT: This is Liz, giving Ryan’s refresh button a break. Netflix appears to be back up; however, it’s loading at a snail’s pace.”

    3:03 PT here and still not loading o_o

  3. Interesting, maybe Netflix should rethink the whole “Primary” streaming business. I love the streaming stuff, but outages are a no-no if this is their “Primary” business.

  4. btw before the outage I was watching a movie, once it finished I got this message
    “The Netflix website is temporarily unavailable due to scheduled maintenance.
    The website should be available again around 11:45 PM Pacific time.
    During the maintenance period, you may be able to instantly watch movies on an intermittent basis.
    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. If you need further assistance, please call us at
    866-579-7120.”

    so unless they just randomly had that message up, it looks like they were messing with things and they went down hill. I kept the screenshot for some strange reason.

  5. Thanks wondered what was going on you got further in than me while trying to update the PS3. Which by the way downloaded and installed. It was only when it tried to connect to get titles did it fail and error out