5 Better Things to Do When Netflix Goes Down

When Netflix went down a few weeks ago, my fiancee and I were just about to watch the finale of Stranger Things. We’d binge-watched every episode the night before, and we were eagerly waiting to find out just what was going on.

We were met with an endless loading screen. After more than fifteen tries we ended up restarting the application. (I honestly hate the noise it makes when it loads up now.) So, what should you do if Netflix goes down again? Here’s a list with five options to keep you from staring at the screen hoping for signs of life.

1. Complain to Netflix

Complaining to Netflix might seem pointless, but there’s always a chance that you might get an apology or even some compensation. After paying to watch a soccer game on an app a few weeks ago, the service stopped just before kick-off. (The error was on their part.) I emailed the company to complain afterwards, and they offered me a free three-month pass.

Of course, there’s no point in simply tweeting that Netflix is terrible, so contact them directly if you’ve been having repeated problems with the app. At least you’ll get an apology.

2. Check out streaming alternatives


I mainly watch Netflix on my Playstation 4, but it’s hardly used in comparison to the Sky TV app. The best thing about paid apps is the sheer amount of competition on the market, which helps to improve services and drive down prices. From Amazon to Hulu, there’s usually something for everybody.

For older shows, there’s always YouTube, or you could check out Twitch for some live-action gaming. Depending on your location, there will be lots to choose from if you’re willing to pay a monthly fee, and they usually have offers to entice you to join.

(There’s always old-fashioned channel surfing if you get desperate.)

3. Being productive

It’s tough, but you could spend the time wisely by doing something a little more productive than zoning out in front of the TV.

I lost a week watching every season of Buffy on Netflix last year, and was it really worth it in hindsight? (Well, yes, obviously.) But there’s no denying I could have spent the time catching up with work or doing one of the many tasks that I put off day to day, whether it’s replying to emails or editing tricky reports. You know what you need to do, so why not get to it?

4. Thinking of ways to pass the time


It’s easy enough to tell you to be productive, but you probably won’t be reading this if you have much to do besides watching Netflix. Why not start a new project if you’re not busy or start planning it for the next day if it’s late? You could begin by learning a new language or read a new book to pass the time. If you just want to relax, there’s nothing better than mind-numbing TV, so avoid Netflix and check out some of the alternatives listed above.

5. Nothing

Who cares if Netflix has gone down? It’s hardly at the forefront of cutting edge entertainment. If you want to watch old BBC shows and trashy movies, then YouTube probably has you covered, and it’s completely free of charge with an Internet connection.

I’m not suggesting that you stare at the screen while it endlessly buffers, but there’s a reason why it’s called Netflix and chill… The point is, it’s more about spending time with somebody else rather than watching mediocre shows from the 1990’s, so try to bear that in mind.


Netflix has revolutionised the way I watch TV. Instead of flicking through channels, I now scroll through pages and pages of shows that I don’t want to watch before signing out.

On the other hand, shows like  Stranger Things and Better Call Saul make it all worthwhile when it works properly, and it’s a decent service overall. (Although the UK version pales in comparison to the U.S. counterpart.)

Netflix usually isn’t down for long, and it’s clear that some of us have become overdependent thanks to the sheer quality and ease of use of the service. You’ll just have to wait it out, but if you think of anything good why not let us know in the comments section below?

James Milin-Ashmore
James Milin-Ashmore

James Milin-Ashmore is a freelance sports/technology writer from London.

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