[F]or a company like NetFlix, frequent customers are less profitable than other users. NetFlix customers who return their movies more quickly, require more service, and incur additional shipping costs, reducing profitability. Each DVD mailed and returned costs the company 78¢ in postage alone. There are other processing, handling, and breakage costs as well.
So what does NetFlix do? They use a poorly named “fairness algorithm” to slow down deliveries to heavy users, preventing them from watching, returning, and ordering even more movies. By reducing interactions with these customers, NetFlix reduces its costs and increases its profits. This is the kind of bottom line thinking that makes accountants proud.
Here’s the problem: NetFlix’s heavy users are also their most likely heavy promoters. (Brand Story)