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Anyone's Netflix disc delivery service starting to suck?

Old 03-01-06, 03:53 PM
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I just upgraded to the five at a time plan and it's a two /three day turnaround
In my experience this will end throttling at least for a while. Netflix throttling is based on an algorithm that clculates the profitability of each customer. If you upgrade your account you are paying more money and can be sent more movies before you become unprofitable.

I have switched between the 3-6-8 out a time plans based on what else is going on in my life and have noticed that if I am being throttled, it stops as soon as I upgrade.
Old 03-01-06, 10:39 PM
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I'm going to try something. I cancelled my account today as I was heavily throttled. I couldn't even rent new releases that came out over 2 months ago. So in a week, after they've received my last batch of discs that I sent off today, I'm going to reopen my account or start one from scratch and see if it takes. If it works I will just do that from now on, cancel within a couple of days of my next billing then open a new account about a week later. Enough of this shit.
Old 03-01-06, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sanitarium
I'm going to try something. I cancelled my account today as I was heavily throttled. I couldn't even rent new releases that came out over 2 months ago. So in a week, after they've received my last batch of discs that I sent off today, I'm going to reopen my account or start one from scratch and see if it takes. If it works I will just do that from now on, cancel within a couple of days of my next billing then open a new account about a week later. Enough of this shit.
I had a one year gift membership. I was constantly throttled. Discs sent in at the same time would be checked in on different days. NEtflix would send out Discs days after they received a disc or discs and these discs wouldn't arrive for four to five mailing days. This went on and on. I canceled the account after the year, and I signed back up as some sadistic member of my family gave me a month's service for my birthday. I'm on my second week, and I've received three discs. I returned all three discs this past Saturday. One showed up on Monday. One showed up on Tuesday. The other showed up today. No disc (from Netflix) was sent out on Monday. A disc was sent out on Tuesday (A Fine Romance-Series Three, Disc 1), but the arrival date isn't until Saturday. One disc(A Fine Romance-Series Three, Disc 2) was sent out today for arrival tomorrow which means I won't be able to watch it until the other disc arrives. The third disc (Kitty Foyle) still hasn't been shipped even though they checked in the disc today.

I live in Ohio, and the distribution center is Cleveland. I also had problems when I was paying for the service by credit card.

Last edited by cmleidi; 03-01-06 at 11:44 PM.
Old 03-08-06, 08:07 PM
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I have only been with Netflix a little over a month. I noticed Jarhead is now on Long Wait. I figured it would ship on Tuesday but no I get Junebug instead. Oh well that did not take long. Does a movie being on long wait always mean being throttled or could it just be a new release issue?
Old 03-08-06, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDaddy
I have only been with Netflix a little over a month. I noticed Jarhead is now on Long Wait. I figured it would ship on Tuesday but no I get Junebug instead. Oh well that did not take long. Does a movie being on long wait always mean being throttled or could it just be a new release issue?
New releases usually ship on Monday, unless you're being throttled, although in that case it will still show up in the "At Home" section of your queue on Monday - it just won't ship 'til Tuesday.

If you don't get a new release right off the bat it will almost always have a long wait, even if you're not being throttled. They used to only start throttling after six months and only if you were a heavy user; I'm unclear as to whether that period ever shortened.

I've been throttled for about a year and a half, however, for the last five or six weeks I have not been throttled even though I continue to be a heavy user. At least one other DVD Talker has reported a similar experience, so it appears that they may be changing their policy.

It's always tough to get new releases - that is not the same as throttling.

Last edited by kitkat; 03-08-06 at 08:50 PM.
Old 03-09-06, 06:24 PM
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An update on my earlier post, three weeks now without being throttled at the Gaithersburg, MD distribution center. Tonight I noticed that MI-5 third season which I had received discs 1,2 & 3 shows 4 and 5 with short waits. I bet the computer has been turned back on again. See what happens tomorrow when three return DVDs are going to hit them all at once.
Old 03-10-06, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JStoneRail
An update on my earlier post, three weeks now without being throttled at the Gaithersburg, MD distribution center. Tonight I noticed that MI-5 third season which I had received discs 1,2 & 3 shows 4 and 5 with short waits. I bet the computer has been turned back on again. See what happens tomorrow when three return DVDs are going to hit them all at once.
You're quite lucky. I did get throttled yesterday, though, so unfortunately I can't bask in your "glory." I'm wondering if the throttling is taking another form, though, because the last few batches I've sent back have taken 2 days to get to the Gaithersburg spot, when it used to take one day. At least that's what Netflix is indicating. It's making me think that they do get the DVDs back in one day, but hold them and announce them as returned the following day; they "backwards" throttle, so to speak. Since I've been getting the next DVDs in my queue in just one day, and Netflix is recording returned ones as early as 7 AM on the second day, I'm thinking that this other form might be what's going on.
Old 03-10-06, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kitkat
New releases usually ship on Monday, unless you're being throttled, although in that case it will still show up in the "At Home" section of your queue on Monday - it just won't ship 'til Tuesday.

If you don't get a new release right off the bat it will almost always have a long wait, even if you're not being throttled. They used to only start throttling after six months and only if you were a heavy user; I'm unclear as to whether that period ever shortened.

I've been throttled for about a year and a half, however, for the last five or six weeks I have not been throttled even though I continue to be a heavy user. At least one other DVD Talker has reported a similar experience, so it appears that they may be changing their policy.

It's always tough to get new releases - that is not the same as throttling.

That is good to know. Thanks for the info.
Old 03-10-06, 08:10 AM
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I'm always throttled here in Jackson,MS and I have a Netflix distribution center right here in Jackson, MS!!!!!!!! It's not an ethical practice in my opinion.
Old 03-10-06, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Vipper II
You're quite lucky. I did get throttled yesterday, though, so unfortunately I can't bask in your "glory." I'm wondering if the throttling is taking another form, though, because the last few batches I've sent back have taken 2 days to get to the Gaithersburg spot, when it used to take one day. At least that's what Netflix is indicating. It's making me think that they do get the DVDs back in one day, but hold them and announce them as returned the following day; they "backwards" throttle, so to speak. Since I've been getting the next DVDs in my queue in just one day, and Netflix is recording returned ones as early as 7 AM on the second day, I'm thinking that this other form might be what's going on.
I just signed up a week and a half ago, so I doubt I'm getting throttled. Mine go to Gaithersburg as well.

It's been about 50/50 on whether they get the ones I send back checked in the following day or the day after that so far.

So I'd say it's just either the mail sometimes taking longer, or them sometimes taking longer to get movies checked back in for everyone, intentional or not.

Doesn't bother me as 1-2 business days to get it checked in with me having my next movie the following business day is more than adequate IMO.

Edit Just saw that the DVD I sent back on Wednesday was checked in at 10 a.m. this morning and the one I sent back yesterday checked in at 8:30.

Seems like it's just random to me when they get checked in.

Last edited by Josh Hinkle; 03-10-06 at 10:36 AM.
Old 03-10-06, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Vipper II
I'm wondering if the throttling is taking another form, though, because the last few batches I've sent back have taken 2 days to get to the Gaithersburg spot, when it used to take one day. At least that's what Netflix is indicating. It's making me think that they do get the DVDs back in one day, but hold them and announce them as returned the following day; they "backwards" throttle, so to speak.
The problem I have with the idea of backwards throttling - and I could be wrong - is that they would have no way to know who a disc was from before they check it in, in order to delay it, and obviously they don't. It seems like they would have to delay check in for everyone, in which case it wouldn't be throttling but a slow distribution center. Unless they are experimenting with throttling everyone to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Hmmm....

It could also be a Post Office issue.

I'm just spitballin' here - I like to try to figure out the system.
Old 03-10-06, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by kitkat
The problem I have with the idea of backwards throttling - and I could be wrong - is that they would have no way to know who a disc was from before they check it in, in order to delay it, and obviously they don't. It seems like they would have to delay check in for everyone, in which case it wouldn't be throttling but a slow distribution center. Unless they are experimenting with throttling everyone to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Hmmm....

It could also be a Post Office issue.

I'm just spitballin' here - I like to try to figure out the system.

Good point. I'm guessing that it's one of two things...or both.

1. Netflix gets more movies back on certain days of the week, and thus on those days some returned discs slip to the following day for getting checked in.

2. The post office has heavier days and doesn't get it to them the next day all the time.

Either way, with a difference from 1 business day to 2 business days I don't mind. 3-5 movies a week is more than enough for me on my busy schedule and it's still so much cheaper and more convenient that renting in store.
Old 03-10-06, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by kitkat
The problem I have with the idea of backwards throttling - and I could be wrong - is that they would have no way to know who a disc was from before they check it in, in order to delay it, and obviously they don't. It seems like they would have to delay check in for everyone, in which case it wouldn't be throttling but a slow distribution center. Unless they are experimenting with throttling everyone to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Hmmm....

It could also be a Post Office issue.

I'm just spitballin' here - I like to try to figure out the system.
Agreed. Like I said, though, I just find it strange that it apparently takes them 2 days to get a movie I return, regardless of what day I send it back, yet it only takes 1 day for me to get a movie they send. This has happened for about 3 or 4 weeks now. And I send them out early in the morning; they're only going about 60 miles. Granted, I still get my movies every week, and I don't really care that it prevents me from getting more than I could. It's just something I find to be odd, given those factors I mentioned. I'm not completely discounting the post office thing, but I'd be more inclined to go with that reason if this had been an ongoing thing, happening at random intervals.
Old 03-10-06, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Vipper II
Agreed. Like I said, though, I just find it strange that it apparently takes them 2 days to get a movie I return, regardless of what day I send it back, yet it only takes 1 day for me to get a movie they send.
Keep in mind when they send a movie to you it goes straight to you and that's it.

When you send it to them there are 2 steps. The post office has to deliver it and they have to sort through all their returns and get it scanned in.

I send mine out in the morning (mail pick up is 2:45 at that post office) and it's checked in either the next day or the day after that seemingly randomly. I just assume it takes them longer to scan them some days, or the post office isn't getting them there in 1 day sometimes.
Old 03-13-06, 02:35 AM
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I canceled my Netflix after one month because it went from great to sucking. The month started off with them sending from the warehouse 70 miles away and I would get them next day. Then they started sending from a warehouse 200 miles away and I would get them in about 4 or 5 days. As I canceled there was one movie they had already sent. A customer is supposed to send back all movies within 7 days after canceling or being charged another month. After 6 days my movie still hadn't arrived so I emailed them to make sure they wouldn't charge me. Turns out the movie arrived the next day. The reason the last one took so long is they sent it from a warhouse 2 states over and 900 miles away. Talk about crazy! It might be awhile before I go back to them.
Old 03-13-06, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kitkat
The problem I have with the idea of backwards throttling - and I could be wrong - is that they would have no way to know who a disc was from before they check it in, in order to delay it, and obviously they don't. It seems like they would have to delay check in for everyone, in which case it wouldn't be throttling but a slow distribution center. Unless they are experimenting with throttling everyone to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Hmmm....

It could also be a Post Office issue.

I'm just spitballin' here - I like to try to figure out the system.

That's exactly what the customer service rep at Netflix told me. However, it may sound conspiracy therorist, but why couldn't Netflix check the discs in and catalog them BEFORE the disc is actually scanned as returned on the customer account. I'm not convinced it is the same step. Therefore, they could scan the returns and then hold certain customers' discs before they count them as returned.

Sure, I can see how every now and then a disc might take an extra day to be scanned as received, but my returns suddenly went from two days to three days last August and never varied, save for sometimes taking four days to travel 90 miles, for seven months until I cancelled my service.

I agree with Josh Hinkle that it is somewhat of a moot point as long as discs are coming every week. However, in my case at any rate, I send out discs Monday morning and Netflix (90 miles away mind you) does not scan them as received until Thursday. Sometimes, then, I get new discs Friday, but often I am lucky to get them Saturday. Friday night is my every week night to watch a movie, and if Netflix cannot (or will not as I'm convinced the case is) get me movies on Friday, then I find myself supplementing by renting at the video store, which means Netflix is not cost effective. Plus, it just pisses me off.
Old 03-13-06, 09:43 AM
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Things are still going pretty well for me... I can usually get 4-5 DVDs in in a week (on the 3 out plan). What really seems to irk them though is if something comes in on Sat, I watch it and drop it back into the mail on Sat. Maybe it's just that particular PO or drop box or something but I've tried this a couple of times now and it always seems to take a few extra days for them to check back in...
Old 03-13-06, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nemein
Things are still going pretty well for me... I can usually get 4-5 DVDs in in a week (on the 3 out plan). What really seems to irk them though is if something comes in on Sat, I watch it and drop it back into the mail on Sat. Maybe it's just that particular PO or drop box or something but I've tried this a couple of times now and it always seems to take a few extra days for them to check back in...

I imagine both the mail and netflix and just bogged down then. As the mail doesn't run on Sundays so it piles up (I through mine in the box outside my post office last night, and that box was full to the top and I had to cram them in) and Netflix doesn't do anything on Sat or Sun so they probably have a ton to sort through on Mondays.
Old 03-13-06, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Boot
However, it may sound conspiracy therorist, but why couldn't Netflix check the discs in and catalog them BEFORE the disc is actually scanned as returned on the customer account. I'm not convinced it is the same step. Therefore, they could scan the returns and then hold certain customers' discs before they count them as returned.
Okay, I'll buy that as possible, but it seems like a lot of extra work and I have to wonder if it would really be worth the trouble. It would also have to be a regional thing. I was consistently throttled for a year and a half and my discs were always checked in the next working day after I put them in the mail. They just wouldn't send a disc out until the next day. My distribution center is San Jose.

Don't underestimate the difference a fast/efficient PO can make. What the reps tell you isn't 100% BS (maybe 80% ). A few months ago we were debating wether or not discs really went back to the "Nearest Netflix Distribution Center" or if they went to the address printed on the envelope. It turns out that for some people it did the former and for some the latter; the quality of the local PO made the difference, and the difference could be a few days. (We determined this based on how long it took. In my case it was clearly impossible for something put in the mail Wednesday at 8pm in California to be in Florida by Thursday at 8am. For other people, envelopes addressed farther away always took longer to arrive.)

Originally Posted by nemein
What really seems to irk them though is if something comes in on Sat, I watch it and drop it back into the mail on Sat. Maybe it's just that particular PO or drop box or something but I've tried this a couple of times now and it always seems to take a few extra days for them to check back in...
If you have time to experiment with a different PO it would be interesting to know the results. I have to admit that I've done the Saturday turnaround thing a few times myself, but I have not been dinged for that in particular, just general heavy renting.

I wonder if some of the smaller distribution centers are just really inefficient, or if they are possibly experimenting with different forms of throttling. It's possible, although I kind of doubt it. Easy for me to say, I know, since, vis--vis Netflix, I'm obviously geographically blessed. Having such a good PO has meant that the throttling I've experienced has been very transparent - I know exactly what delays to blame Netfix on and which are a fluke.
Old 03-13-06, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
I imagine both the mail and netflix and just bogged down then. As the mail doesn't run on Sundays so it piles up (I through mine in the box outside my post office last night, and that box was full to the top and I had to cram them in) and Netflix doesn't do anything on Sat or Sun so they probably have a ton to sort through on Mondays.
I think Saturday deliveries might somehow actually reach them on Saturday. I'm not sure how it works, but I was surprised to see a couple discs I had put in the mail Friday 2/17 get checked in Monday 2/20, which was a mail holiday - President's Day.

I don't know how to explain this - any ideas? I suppose it could also be a regional thing. Mine's the main hub; that might make a difference.
Old 03-13-06, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kitkat
I think Saturday deliveries might somehow actually reach them on Saturday. I'm not sure how it works, but I was surprised to see a couple discs I had put in the mail Friday 2/17 get checked in Monday 2/20, which was a mail holiday - President's Day.

I don't know how to explain this - any ideas? I suppose it could also be a regional thing. Mine's the main hub; that might make a difference.
Well you mailed it on Friday, so the PO probably got it delivered to Netflix on Saturday. Netflix doesn't work on Sat or Sun so they checked it on Monday. Presumably they had people working even though they couldn't mail anything. Just scanning in and getting ones ready to go out Tuesday morning.

I've never had anything get delivered the same day, even if I drop it at the PO box before the 7:15 AM first pick up time. It's always the next business day that it gets anywhere, even locally (and not just for Netflix).
Old 03-13-06, 03:55 PM
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Yeah, I was just surprised because I didn't think anyone worked there Saturday to receive the mail, and obviously it would not be delivered on Monday. So I guess they are at least able to receive mail on Saturday even though they don't check it in or mail any out. At least at my dist. center.
Old 03-13-06, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kitkat
Okay, I'll buy that as possible, but it seems like a lot of extra work and I have to wonder if it would really be worth the trouble. It would also have to be a regional thing. I was consistently throttled for a year and a half and my discs were always checked in the next working day after I put them in the mail. They just wouldn't send a disc out until the next day. My distribution center is San Jose.

Don't underestimate the difference a fast/efficient PO can make. What the reps tell you isn't 100% BS (maybe 80% ). A few months ago we were debating wether or not discs really went back to the "Nearest Netflix Distribution Center" or if they went to the address printed on the envelope. It turns out that for some people it did the former and for some the latter; the quality of the local PO made the difference, and the difference could be a few days. (We determined this based on how long it took. In my case it was clearly impossible for something put in the mail Wednesday at 8pm in California to be in Florida by Thursday at 8am. For other people, envelopes addressed farther away always took longer to arrive.)
I see your point, but I tried different drop boxes, different post offices...hell, I even drove to different towns, and it was always the same result: I'd drop them in the mail Monday and the discs would not be checked in until Thursday. Again, this went on for seven months without fail. Not once did a disc arrive even a day earlier. Hell, even the post office is a little less incompetent once in awhile.

Maybe it's just incompetence at my local distribution center. Originally my discs would travel to Houston, Texas (I live near Little Rock, Arkansas), and it always took two days each way. It was right around the time the Little Rock center opened that suddenly everything was taking three days.

It's very frustrating because I want to be a Netflix member. I love the site and the convenience and the selection. Hell, I can even deal with the long waits on some movies. But if I can't get movies consistently by each Friday, then I'm better off goingto the video store after work.
Old 03-13-06, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kitkat
Yeah, I was just surprised because I didn't think anyone worked there Saturday to receive the mail, and obviously it would not be delivered on Monday. So I guess they are at least able to receive mail on Saturday even though they don't check it in or mail any out. At least at my dist. center.
Yeah, as much volume as they get, I'm sure they probably have someone there on Saturdays to receive the mail. Or maybe the mailman just has access to some kind of big drop box they put them in everyday and there doesn't have to be anyone their to receive them (just to sort and scan them in and pack and ship the new rentals out).
Old 03-14-06, 02:02 AM
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At my Distribution Center, Netflix apparently both receives and ships movies on mail holidays.

I sent movies back on the Saturday before President's Day, they were checked in on President's Day and the next discs were marked as shipped out on President's Day. I assumed Netflix simply set them to be shipped and that they would really be shipped Tuesday (and I would receive them Wednesday); however, they showed up in my mailbox on Tuesday.

Despite there being no home deliveries on such holidays as President's Day. The Post Office apparently does some work on some of these holidays.

I don't know what happened to the throttling. I haven't been throttled in at least a month now (though I was out of town last week and still have the discs that were shipped to me last week).

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