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What is up with netflix?

Old 01-19-05, 04:06 PM
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I am close to calling it quits with netflix after today. Again today, they get 2 movies early AM but they are not shipping to me until tomorrow. Then I get a reply from my 2nd email to them where they actually admit that it is their policy to ship out fewer movies to high volume renters. I can't believe with the extra competition out there right now with Blockbuster and Wal-mart that they are making their service worse, not better. If it weren't for the fact that I have taken so much time to build up my que and rate movies, I would cancel right now. I am signing up with Blockbuster (2-week trial) and unless netflix changes really quickly, they are going to lose another long time customer.

Below is their reply to my previous email (see above). Bold is my doing.

Thanks for your message.

Here is how we process and ship our DVDs:

We receive rental returns Monday through Friday, except holidays. We process nearly 100% of returns the same day we receive them. When we check-in a return, an e-mail is automatically and promptly sent to you to let you know that we have received your DVD.

Our goal is to ship you the DVDs listed highest in your Queue. We try to ship you DVDs from the distribution center closest to you so that you get movies quickly. Often, on the same day that we receive a DVD from you, we will ship the next available DVD from your Queue. In certain instances, your next available DVD will not ship until the next business day following our receipt of your returned movie. This can occur, for example, when your top choices are not available to you from your closest distribution center or the number of shipments to be processed by the distribution center on that day has been exceeded. When this happens, your DVD will ship on the next business day and may come from an alternate distribution center.

In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service. As a result, those members who receive the most movies may experience next-day shipping and receive movies lower in their Queue more often than our other members. By prioritizing in this way, we help assure a balanced experience for all our members. Those that rent a lot of movies get a great value and those with lighter viewing habits are able to count on our service to meet their limited needs.

When we ship you another DVD we automatically and promptly send you an e-mail letting you know that it's on the way and telling you the estimated arrival date.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Thanks,
Jo-Lynn,
Netflix Customer Service .
Old 01-19-05, 04:35 PM
  #27  
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Well, my BBO queue pretty much mirrors my NF queue, and there are a lot more Waits on BB than Netflix.
I think I heard about the 'lower renters get priority first' before, and I don't necessarily have a problem with it, it makes sense in a 'fairness' type argument.
Now, if there are a *lot* of people who see a certain title in 'Wait' status, they should take that as a sign to buy more copies of that title.
Old 01-19-05, 07:26 PM
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If it was just the "wait status", I could understand a little more than this whole process of not sending a disc at all to heavier users. It's more than inventory issues, it's staffing issues, as well.
Old 01-19-05, 11:40 PM
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I really think the bottom line is what can save them some money. They already get our money each month no matter how many we rent though each movie cuts into their profit with postage. Their policy is just stupid IMHO. By getting the new releases to the slow returners, all they are doing is keeping a larger number of people waiting to get the new releases. If they would instead have it first come, first serve, then the fast turn around guys will watch it in a day and get it back to netflix. So in that case, at least 2 people/week would get a new release vs. their way where that DVD may be out of circulation for a week or more before someone else can rent it. On top of that, to not ship out a movie until the next day just b/c you rent a lot just pisses me off. Netflix had a solid hold on the internet rental market but with a big push by BB with lower prices, I really think this type of policy will end up costing them. I signed up with BB and looks like I will be happy with them. The only thing I don't like is that you can't put movies in your que until they are close to release. It was easier for me to just add movies to my que the week they were at the theater so that I wouldn't forget about them when they came out on DVD. No big deal though. Cheaper with 2 in-store rentals per month. If their turn around is good, then I will cancel netflix (after they get one more very unhappy letter).
Old 01-20-05, 10:32 AM
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Does anyone have experience being a heavy renter (10+/month) with BB online? Since their online service is in its nascent stages I wonder if there will be a honeymoon period of good service and then someday they will slow down service for the heavy users to max their profits. So far I have been satisfied with netflix. I keep track of my service in an excel file so I have all sorts of statistics. I average 9.1 discs per month (3 out plan) for the last year. Only once did I feel that there was an intentional delay in shipping. My discs take 1.26 days to reach me and 1.83 days to be returned to netflix.
Old 01-20-05, 10:33 PM
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I'm pretty close to cancelling Netflix as well. And I'm not even paying the normal rate, I'm on some special of 15.99/month and have no idea how long it is supposed to last.

Movies arrive pretty fast after Netflix ships (1 night most of the time). But when I return them, it takes several days (sometimes a week) before they are checked in. The warehouse is in a city 1 hour from my town.

My renew date is approaching, I may hang on another month. If this special ends and I end up at the normal monthly rate, I'll cancel immediately.

I have never tried any other mail rental service but am more than willing to test BB out. I wanted to try them anyway but wanted to give it some time so they can work any bugs out and get running smoothly.
Old 01-21-05, 01:29 AM
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I"m curious. How often do you add/subtract titles to your queue list?
How often do you change the order around?

If you are constantly changing the order of your first few titles then of course it would take sometime to get titles to you. I have the 3 out plan and I don't alter my top 3 titles on my queue list ever. I occassionally switch the order of titles number 4 and higher.

I haven't had a problem with having to wait for "long wait" titles, I've noticed a couple of titles get put on the short list from time to time but those are pretty far down my list and older titles.

The only time I really got annoyed at Netflix was when they removed the title "Topsy Turvy" since it is now out of print and they didn't have enough copies to keep it available for a decent period of time. When the notified me of this I think it was somewhere between number 10 and 15 on list. Now it is at the bottom in the "saved" section for titles that are "unknown" for release date or in this case a re-release date.
Old 01-24-05, 11:14 AM
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"In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service. "

That is the most rediculous policy I have ever heard!!! Basically they are saying if you get a lot of DVDs we are going to penalize you. It cost us too much to send you DVDs.... So, sign up for more so we can screw you more!!!

I think with all the posts about this online they will find their user base start to go down... Especially with all the other choices now ;-) BB, Walmart, etc... BTW, tried Walmart as a test and they are much faster than Netflix and their warehouse is in the same Zip Code as Netflix for me ...
Old 01-24-05, 12:50 PM
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I got an empty envelope from Netflix on Saturday. I couldn't see how anyone could've gotten the disc after the envelope was sealed, there was no tearing or anything, so I guess they just didn't put a disc inside when it was shipped.

They're also still delaying everything and shipping more than half of all my discs from far-flung distribution centers rather than the D/FW one a few miles from my house. If this keeps up all month, I'll be down another ten discs or so on the 8-at-a-time plan for the month.

I guess they're going to make me into an infrequent renter by slowing my shipments down until I rent hardly anything per month.
Old 01-24-05, 12:51 PM
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I've only noticed that newer titles are taking longer to get if you don't get them right on the release date.

Luckily for me, I am going back and watching a ton of TV dvds, so I have alot to get through before I need to see newer stuff.
Old 01-24-05, 11:13 PM
  #36  
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I usually have a handful of movies in my queue that are listed as having some sort of wait period, generally newer titles. However, at any given time, this rarely exceeds 10 movies, and nearly all of those only have a "short wait."

However, today I checked in on my queue to find that suddenly SEVENTEEN of my discs now have a "very long wait" (among them such films as He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not; Marnie; The Red Violin; and Village of the Damned - in fact the only recent release with this sort of wait is Friday Night Lights) while another nine have a "short wait."

It is strange that this happened so dramatically and so suddenly - and then I remembered that my membership level changed today. It went down from five out at a time to three out at a time. Another rather interesting thing is that all of the titles that were suddenly assigned a "very long wait" were clustered around the same area in my queue - with the exception of a couple, all of them were among the top 100 positions.

I'm not in a huge hurry to see any of these films (although it would be nice to check out Hilary Swank's performance in Boys Don't Cry - very long wait -before I see Million Dollar Baby this weekend), so I could care less about not getting certain movies at certain times. It's just odd that this happened the way it did.
Old 01-25-05, 10:52 AM
  #37  
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Current status:
Netflix: 153 in queue. 6 waits. 2 Coming Soon. 3 of the waits are also wait on BBO.
BBO: 112 in queue. 24 waits. 1 'Coming Soon'. Most of those on wait are foeign, tv, or anime.
Since NF cancellation is immediate, I'll wait till just before my renewal date, and unless BBO gets drastically worse, go ahead and cancel NF then.

I've got He Loves Me/Not on both queues as well; Short Wait on BBO, Very Long Wait at Netflix.

Actually, it would be interesting to share queues, at least what's on Wait on our various queues, and see if there's a lot of repetition, or if some people are being singled out for wait/no wait.
Maybe # Wait/# Queue, and a list of Wait titles? Is there such a thread, or would that be a pointless thread?

That is odd, that your wait statuses would change so drastically at the same time your membership changed. And Boys Dont Cry is a unique and powerful movie, I turned it on at a hotel a couple years back and got engrossed.

The three things I really liked Netflix for were:
price; selection; speed.
NF beats the pants off off BB B&M's, but BBO looks roughly equal on selection, better on price, and a toss up on speed. Sorry Netflix.

Side note: my review for The Full Monty is featured in the Member Review section as 'Voted Most Helpful'. Feel free to check it out and submit your feedback

Last edited by tonyc3742; 01-25-05 at 11:00 AM.
Old 01-25-05, 11:03 AM
  #38  
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Pay more, get more ;-)

Kind of proves the point that they will chose to service people that pay more. So the service is not the same for all users. Kind of misleading.
Old 01-25-05, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by starseed
I usually have a handful of movies in my queue that are listed as having some sort of wait period, generally newer titles. However, at any given time, this rarely exceeds 10 movies, and nearly all of those only have a "short wait."

However, today I checked in on my queue to find that suddenly SEVENTEEN of my discs now have a "very long wait" (among them such films as He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not; Marnie; The Red Violin; and Village of the Damned - in fact the only recent release with this sort of wait is Friday Night Lights) while another nine have a "short wait."

It is strange that this happened so dramatically and so suddenly - and then I remembered that my membership level changed today. It went down from five out at a time to three out at a time. Another rather interesting thing is that all of the titles that were suddenly assigned a "very long wait" were clustered around the same area in my queue - with the exception of a couple, all of them were among the top 100 positions.

I'm not in a huge hurry to see any of these films (although it would be nice to check out Hilary Swank's performance in Boys Don't Cry - very long wait -before I see Million Dollar Baby this weekend), so I could care less about not getting certain movies at certain times. It's just odd that this happened the way it did.
My guess is that while you went down to 3 movies at a time, their computer is still using your previous number of movies per month to calculate your volume of movies rented. I would guess you would be put on the very high volume list for your new catergory (3 rentals/time) so you are a very low priority to get movies.
Old 01-25-05, 11:36 AM
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I am now torn more than ever on what to do. It took almost a week for my first round of movies from Blockbuster to reach my house which is too long. To top it off, one of the three wasn't actually there, I only got the part with my address (looked like the perforations either tore away from the movie in transit or someone stole the DVD). One of the other movies had half of the perforations torn so the movie could have easily fallen out of the sleeve. Reported it missing (sucks to have that on my record so early) but still no reply from BB in my replacing it in my que or by email acknowledging my report of it missing. Also, new movies for this Tuesday are already very long wait on Monday morning. Only real positives I see with BB right now is the 2 extra in store rentals per month and lower cost. Downside is that movie selection is smaller, can't add movies to the que that are currently new to theaters, and transit time for me is very slow.

As for netflix, after 7 movies in a row of being held for at least one day extra, the last 2 were sent the same day. I am still waiting for a movie that they said was sent last week (same day as another movie was sent that I have already watched and returned and have next movie on the way) though this could be a post office issue. I really want to send another email that says take me off the high volume rental list or I will cancel in hopes that they stop delaying my movies and show them that their policy pisses people off, but since I am not thrilled with BB to this point, I don't really have anywhere else to go. Positives for netflix are that I have been with them for a long time with my que how I want it and thousands of movies rated. When they do ship, I get it next day. Down side is their policy for high volume renters not being a priority and a higher cost than BB. I guess I will wait it out a couple more weeks to see if BB's transit time improves.

Last edited by Ketamine; 01-25-05 at 11:39 AM.
Old 01-25-05, 04:16 PM
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I just found out [pardon if this is old news] that you can view your shipping history on BBO.com. They first sent me something 12/31, and while I have been trying to churn and burn disks to see how responsive BB is, the numbers look pretty good: as of 1/21/05 they had sent me a total of 10 disks. They have almost all gotten here in 2 days, one or two took 3. I now have 3 at home, so they'll get a break from me for a bit, but 10 disks in 22 calendar days, one holiday, and 3 sundays, is pretty good.
Old 01-31-05, 08:21 PM
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My last 5 movies from Netflix have shipped the same day as them getting my last disk. Maybe my email complaints did some good. Time will tell. I am going to stay with netflix due to the horrible turn around time from blockbuster. First round of movies took a week, and then it took 3 days for them to show that they received movies that I sent them and another 3 days for them to get to me. (Averaging nearly a week between rentals so far compared to netflix which is 2-3 days). At first, I figured that my distribution center was a ways away. Then I looked at my last three and they are all coming from a city one hour away from here. Maybe could just be the post office but I find that hard to believe that it would happen with 6 movies in a row and they are coming from the same city as my netflix movies which almost always only take one day to get here. I would guess blockbuster isn’t getting them out as fast as they say they are. I also think that blockbuster’s web site is not near as good as netflix. They need to allow movies to be placed in the que sooner than they currently allow and need to change the “coming soon” to the exact release date as netflix does. Also I just don’t like the look of their site though maybe with time I would like it better.
Old 01-31-05, 10:36 PM
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Just an anecdote to piss everyone off - I signed up for a free trial last night and managed to get my top 3 queue items (all listed with very long waits) to ship out this morning.
Old 02-01-05, 09:31 AM
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Well, how quickly things change. Neflix has hit a wall for me. I've had multiple items on the top of my queue that are ready to ship. I had returned items show up yesterday morning, and they are since taking a full day to ship the new flicks out to me. They used to ship them same day. Pisses me off, becuase I used to be able to time it just right so the movies showed up on the day I needed to watch them. Now, they show up a day later.
Old 02-01-05, 10:54 AM
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Send them an email and complain about them delaying your movies. It seems to have helped my movies get out faster plus if enough of us say that we are leaving unless they start shipping our movies out faster, maybe they will changed their policy of punishing their long term members.
Old 02-01-05, 01:05 PM
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It's too early to tell, but I have noticed some modest improvement over the past month. Over 2/3's of my movies have been shipped the same day a disc has been received. Although that is nowhere near the level of excellence I experienced during my first six months as a subscriber, it's MUCH better than things have been in ages.

Here's hoping for the best.
Old 02-01-05, 03:07 PM
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Since mid-week last week, my service has returned to near-normal. I don't know if it will last, but hopefully it does.
Old 02-01-05, 04:41 PM
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2 days behind Walmart now on 2 out of 3.....
Old 02-02-05, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Ketamine
Send them an email and complain about them delaying your movies. It seems to have helped my movies get out faster plus if enough of us say that we are leaving unless they start shipping our movies out faster, maybe they will changed their policy of punishing their long term members.
I was going to, but the movies showed up the same day I complained about this. I think they sent them out the day before, but emailed me about them going out the next day. So, it worked out ok, but I am keeping my eye on it.
Old 02-02-05, 10:53 AM
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Netflix finally has recvd the last 2 of 3 DVDs as of this morning....

That means it took, 5 days vs Walmart's 2...

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