Why Does Netflix Always Stop Working Right in Time for the Holidays?

Alexander Abad-Santos
Why Does Netflix Always Stop Working Right in Time for the Holidays?

Breaking: This might be the year people with no New Year's Eve plans talked to other people after all. A week after the Great Netflix Outage of Christmas 2012, some but not all users complained that Netflix was down once again on New Year's Eve day, and nobody's entirely sure why this keeps happening at the most inopportune time.

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Monday's outage started around 10:33 a.m. Pacific, reports TechCrunch, with complains about both the Netflix Instant arm and its DVD delivery functionality. As Atlantic Wire staffers began to stream TV episodes without any problems by mid-afternoon, Netflix released a brief statement saying that the outage was only affecting the DVD side. "We are experiencing some technical difficulty with the Netflix DVD Web site, which as a result may not be available for all members. Our engineers are working to address this issue," reads the statement. "Netflix streaming is not impacted."

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A search on Twitter, where users will beat their chest and complain to the faceless void of the Internet about pretty much anything, revealed mixed results: some people can watch streaming movies and TV, some still can't, and others are making fun of those whose nights (or hungover mornings) seem temporarily ruined:

my netflix isn't working, and I'm gonna break down and cry.

— Ashtyn Jo (@JOmama997) December 31, 2012

Just last week, of course, Netflix went down until noon on Christmas Day, forcing people to actually talk to their families instead of huddling over their laptops to watch an episode of Firefly. At the time, Netflix blamed Amazon for sucking the bandwidth out of the Internet again, but at the moment it isn't clear who'se to blame. Could it be that too many people are on vacation watching too many episodes of The West Wing, which popped up just last week? More likely it's a straight-up outage that Netflix will resolve quickly — at the moment they're crowd-sourcing the problem on the @Netflixhelps Twitter stream.