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"I messed up," Netflix CEO says

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Challenging year for Netflix
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • CEO promises to regain custromers' trust
  • DVD-by-mail service will change name to "Qwikster"
  • Movie streaming service will keep "Netflix" moniker
  • Customers who want mail delivery and streaming service will have to subscribe to both

(CNN) -- Netflix Co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings made a public apology in his blog Sunday after a customer outburst against a hike in prices.

"I messed up," Hastings said. "I owe everyone an explanation."

Hastings posted the mea culpa after a barrage of customer backlash that caused Netflix stock to plunge.

Netflix subscribers quit the service in droves last week after the unexpected increase.

Enraged customers flooded the Netflix site with tens of thousands of comments, as well as a barrage of tweets under the hashtag #DearNetflix.

"In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success," Hastings said. "We have done very well for a long time by steadily improving our service, without doing much CEO communication."

Hastings goes on to explain the company's plans to rename its DVD-by-mail service Qwikster, while keeping the Netflix name for the online movie streaming service.

Hastings also assures customers the price hike is over. "There are no pricing changes (we're done with that!)."

A downside is that customers will have to subscribe to two separate services if they want both the mail and streaming options. Members who subscribe to both services will have two entries on their credit card statements, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as the current charges.

Hastings closes the blog with another apology and the companies' commitment to "work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions."

Whether angered customers will accept the apology and come back is yet to be seen.

Netflix on Thursday cut its subscriber forecast for the current quarter, saying it now expects to end the period with 24 million customers -- down from the 25 million the company forecast just a few weeks ago.