Netflix: Your parental controls break everything

Normally I’m an email kind of guy and if a site takes so many precautions to not publish any possible way to contact them except via phone, I’d just bag it altogether and choose an alternative. I actually took the time to call Netflix though. Their streaming service is pretty much unusable for us. I’ve been tempted to just completely disable it and wait until some future date when they get it better but the kids want their cartoons you know..

Ah, that’s the reason the problem exists in the first place. Kids. The story goes something like this: You hook up your Netflix ready device and are all excited to stream Netflix content right to your living room so your kids can watch TV for $8 a month instead of whatever unreasonable fees your cable provider would charge for content you don’t want. You turn it on, log in and walah.. tons of content all on demand. So far so good.

Next you notice that right there along with your kids favorite cartoons they are advertising the latest horror flick complete with graphic images and sexually suggestive content. You think to yourself, ah, no problem. I’ll just go ahead and enable those parental controls. Great. At first you try PG/unrated, thinking that will do it but you realize that there are still a bazillion Pre PG-13 films from the 80s that show up in your content and aren’t exactly what you want your 7 and 5 year old browsing through.

Finally you choose rated G content as the last alternative. Great. Now the only thing your kids see is Barney, Thomas the Train, Care Bears and a bunch of other kids content. Problem solved. Sort of.

Problems Created:
* You can’t override your Netflix ready device with a password when you want to watch something besides a kids show.
* If you change the controls back, it takes 6 hours before the devices are updated.

So yeah. It’s either all good and safe for your kids, but unusable for you, or your kids don’t get access. Hm.

Anyway, back to the phone call… they said they are aware of the issues and are working on a solution. In the mean time… I’ve ranted enough now I guess.

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5 Responses to Netflix: Your parental controls break everything

  1. adam says:

    They have been aware of the issue for over a year. I don’t know if they don’t care, or if there is another motive for not fixing it.

  2. Tomalak Geret'kal says:

    “Wallah”? Seriously?!

  3. Dennis says:

    LOL, changed spelling. Not the greatest word.. but hey… it sounded like the right one in that situation 🙂

  4. Holly S. says:

    This was written in June 2011…it is now June 2013 and the problem isn’t fixed. They still say thet they are “looking into it” and that hopefully that will be an option soon, but what is the timeframe for that?

  5. Dennis says:

    Yeah netflix has become largely a tool for my children to watch kid shows with. We watched all the content we wanted to watch and they didn’t get anything new that we were interested in. Even if they do get something new their parental controls still get in the way of us watching it.

    So yeah… when my kids get tired of it we’ll find something else. We’ve actually rented movies from blockbuster in the last year of all things. Redbox.. whatever is convenient… as long as we didn’t have to deal with netflix.

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