Netflix loses the love

December 23, 2011, 12:51 PM UTC

By Dan Mitchell, contributor

FORTUNE — The Netflix customers who dropped their subscriptions after a series of flubs by CEO Reed Hastings last summer were angry. Those that remain are pretty happy with the service because it still offers the widest selection of videos at a low price, according to a survey conducted by Citigroup. By and large, those customers remain loyal, largely because there aren’t any comparable options.

But there’s a troubling finding among the results. In May, a similar survey found that 50% of respondents were “extremely satisfied” with the service. That number is now 18%. Of course, some of the people who were “extremely satisfied” in May were some of the same ones who have since bolted on Netflix (NFLX). Still, what it says is that Netflix’s reputation has come down to earth, and once the competition — from Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL) Hulu and whomever else) starts to reach parity, Netflix won’t be able to rely on customer loyalty as it might otherwise have been able to. That’s gone. The remaining customers like it, but many fewer love it.

For now, though, according to Citi, 57% say they’re “extremely” or “very” satisfied, which is good.

Netflix customers were asked which other Web-based services they’ve used to watch video. The top answer was Hulu, at 15%, though that’s down a few points from May. Amazon is still way down the list, at 9%. That number will surely rise as Amazon strengthens its selections. iTunes (which isn’t technically a “Web” service, but still) is at just 8%.