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Author Topic: Netflix delays shipping of high volume customers  (Read 2331 times)
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lokiju
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« on: February 08, 2005, 11:18:33 PM »

I found multiple letters such as this on various forums dedicated to bitching and complaiing about Netflix and Blockbuster:

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your message.

Here is how we process and ship our DVDs:

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,

Kristina,

Netflix Customer Service"


I am appalled!  So we who rent too often get punished on purpose?  That is not unlimited renting, that is purposely delayed renting.  There was even a report in San Francisco on the news regarding this a while back.  I am sure Blocbuster does it too, as I have done a little experiment.  I wife and I (and a couple friends as well)signed up for multiple accounts with both services, and have noticed that when we first sign up, movies are all shipped quickly and all available...but when we double check the same movies from another older account, they are mysteriously in a slow wait and ship much slower than the newer accounts.  So they punish us for renting too often, lol.  

For example, my wife's account at BB is showing Ultimate Matrix discs as all available, but my 3 month old account shows them as mostly short waited.   We have multiple season discs on my new Netflix account all show available, but my friend has the same in his queue, and most show short waited...hmmmm....

It does state in the user agreements that they can do this, but does that make it right?

I am thinking of joining the in-store BB rental because it is as many as you want, 2-3 at a time, and you bring them in, drop them off, and pick up the next, even the same day!  I did this 2 years ago and got like 35 rentals in one month during the summer break.  I hate to have to drive there, but it IS the best worth.
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2005, 01:18:12 AM »

I think this news has been out there for awhile.  I remember reading it a year or so ago when I signed up for Netflix.

I only go through about 15 DVD's a month so it hasn't bothered me much.
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naednek
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2005, 01:45:17 AM »

oh no, an extra day what are we gooing to do?  Quick, let leave the country biggrin
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coopasonic
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2005, 01:50:52 AM »

Quote from: "lokiju"
I am appalled! So we who rent too often get punished on purpose? That is not unlimited renting, that is purposely delayed renting.


Basically those who turn around the most movies are the least valuable customers. If I didn't get stuck waiting for my wife to have time to watch some movies I could probably make netflix lose money on postage alone. There really isn't much motivation to make those customers a priority.
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lokiju
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2005, 03:51:17 AM »

Quote from: "coopasonic"
Quote from: "lokiju"
I am appalled! So we who rent too often get punished on purpose? That is not unlimited renting, that is purposely delayed renting.


Basically those who turn around the most movies are the least valuable customers. If I didn't get stuck waiting for my wife to have time to watch some movies I could probably make netflix lose money on postage alone. There really isn't much motivation to make those customers a priority.


While I don't argue that I don't help them retain money, I must argue that I shouldn't be penalized for watching movies quickly.  I return my movies quickly, and that should help their declared cause of making sure the slowpokes have available titles...but it's not about that.  I am upset because they lied.  All they have to state is that I cost them too much money, so they need to hamper my viewing speed.  But nope, they blame me for titles not being in for the other folks who pay as little (not more) than I do.  They state that it's about availability when it's about cost.
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lokiju
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2005, 03:58:02 AM »

Hah!  Well, just to shake the world of lokiju up, I have dropped Blockbuster and stuck with Netflix...but I upgraded to 5 at a time, and will simply use them for movies and not season dvds.  I will purchase season dvds at Amazon, and then sell them for a $5-10 loss on ebay.  This way I don't stress as much because most of my issues came from season dvds getting lost and screwed up in the system.  They would send me season 2 discs 1-3 before I got season 1 disc 6, lol.   ::exhale::  Venting complete.  Thanks for listening.

Edit:  Blockbuster sent me Matrix Ultimate Collection disc 7 today even though 4-6 were ahead of it and all available.  I hate BB, and refuse to stay with them just because of the lower price and store rentals that I defended last month.  I guess Netflix is the lesser of 2 evils.
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2005, 05:25:34 AM »

Personallh, if they take too long checking in my last movie, I just report the thing lost and let them send me the next one. They always promptly check in the "lost" movie the very next day when I do this.

If they cancel my account because of this I will have a lot of fun doing what I love. Calling the BBB and going to war with the offending company.
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jcranmer
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2005, 03:14:53 PM »

I've said this before in other forums.

I just don't understand what people see in the "mail order rental" places, unless you don't have a B&M Blockbuster in your area.

I have the movie pass with blockbuster, I can go in every day and take out 2 movies for as long as I want.  Assuming I did this 7 days a week that is 60 movie rentals for I think it's either $19.99 or $24.99.  With no waiting for the postal service.  

Now granted they may not always have a new release in stock the day I want it, but from what I hear there are sometimes very long waits for new movies with netflix as well.
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JCC
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2005, 03:29:51 PM »

This policy cost Netflix one customer (me) last year. You can't tease me with ultra-quick turnaround time at first and then take it away. Oh well, I just wanted to go thru DS9 anyway. Once I finished it, I cancelled. smile
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lokiju
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2005, 03:48:57 PM »

Quote from: "jcranmer"
I've said this before in other forums.

I just don't understand what people see in the "mail order rental" places, unless you don't have a B&M Blockbuster in your area.

I have the movie pass with blockbuster, I can go in every day and take out 2 movies for as long as I want.  Assuming I did this 7 days a week that is 60 movie rentals for I think it's either $19.99 or $24.99.  With no waiting for the postal service.  

Now granted they may not always have a new release in stock the day I want it, but from what I hear there are sometimes very long waits for new movies with netflix as well.


The Movie Freedom Pass is cool, but the issues I have with it are:

1)  You have to go to the store and deal with crappy people most of the time.  Not something many of us like to do.

2)  It's easier to throw the movie in the mail box and wait for the next to arrive.

3)  Stores have a vary limited selection, about 1/10 of what the warehouses have, so you are very hindered in your selections.  They have very few season discs in-store.  I couldn't find Law and Order, Roswell, and many others at any of my local 3 stores.  

4)  It's only 2 at a time, not 3, 5, or 7 like the online policies.

5)  They DO have late fees, except now they charge you for the whole damn movie after 5 days, and make you go through your credit card to dispute the charges.  

You are correct though in that you CAN get the most movies out of that plan.
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2005, 05:10:35 PM »

Quote from: "jcranmer"

I just don't understand what people see in the "mail order rental" places, unless you don't have a B&M Blockbuster in your area.

The no-hassle factor.  I don't have to go into Blockbuster to pick my movie, I don't have to find time to drive by there and drop it off, I don't have to waste time browsing the shelves to find something I haven't seen - I just queue up everything I've ever wanted to watch, and let the postal service handle the rest.
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2005, 05:52:01 PM »

The movies I enjoy watching are rarely new releases.  I enjoy relatively obscure movies at times and my local Blockbuster or Family Video never carries these oddball titles.
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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2005, 06:47:33 PM »

With a long queue of movies, it has become somewhat of an enjoyable surprise each time I open the netflix package since I'll have forgotten what movies were at the top.  

"What movie might this be?  Aha!"
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Yossarian
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2005, 07:04:21 PM »

maybe if fewer people used netflix as "burn & return" superstore they wouldn't need to do this.
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lokiju
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2005, 09:55:50 PM »

Quote from: "Yossarian"
maybe if fewer people used netflix as "burn & return" superstore they wouldn't need to do this.


Yeah, that's great, blame people who burn dvds for this practice...how the hell does that affect anything we have been talking about?  I don't burn them btw, as I am too lazy.  I'd rather buy the actual dvd for my collection, but that's because I am a perfectionist.  I just thought it was silly to assess blame on all those pirates out there.  They get blamed for everything, software protection, P2P programs going belly up, and now the Netflix high volume renter penal system.   :roll:
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2005, 10:01:57 PM »

Yossarian has a good point - it takes far less time to just rip'n'burn than to actually take the time to watch a movie - it wouldn't be hard for someone to copy 20-30 movies a month.
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lokiju
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2005, 01:15:07 AM »

Quote from: "Laner"
Yossarian has a good point - it takes far less time to just rip'n'burn than to actually take the time to watch a movie - it wouldn't be hard for someone to copy 20-30 movies a month.


So I have to pay for conspiracy theories?  Wait, don't answer that, it has already happened to software and copy protection, so why not also make everyone pay for some dvd burning pirates!  Yay, everyone wins!  :roll:
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2005, 01:39:49 AM »

Quote from: "jcranmer"
I've said this before in other forums.



I have the movie pass with blockbuster, I can go in every day and take out 2 movies for as long as I want.  Assuming I did this 7 days a week that is 60 movie rentals for I think it's either $19.99 or $24.99.  With no waiting for the postal service.  

.


You couldn't do that when I signed up for netflix over 5 years ago
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Yossarian
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2005, 07:51:42 PM »

Quote from: "lokiju"
Quote from: "Yossarian"
maybe if fewer people used netflix as "burn & return" superstore they wouldn't need to do this.


Yeah, that's great, blame people who burn dvds for this practice...how the hell does that affect anything we have been talking about?  I don't burn them btw, as I am too lazy.  I'd rather buy the actual dvd for my collection, but that's because I am a perfectionist.  I just thought it was silly to assess blame on all those pirates out there.  They get blamed for everything, software protection, P2P programs going belly up, and now the Netflix high volume renter penal system.   :roll:


netflix has a certain number of average rentals per month in mind when they price their different service levels.  let's say for 8 out plan it's 16 rentals per month.  if you quadruple that because you burn & return, you are costing netflix money to process those dvds.  someone who does that is abusing the service, and I don't have a problem with netflix slowing down their shipments.  they aren't stupid, they know that people aren't watching 16 hours of movies every day.
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lokiju
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2005, 09:29:39 PM »

Quote from: "Yossarian"
Quote from: "lokiju"
Quote from: "Yossarian"
maybe if fewer people used netflix as "burn & return" superstore they wouldn't need to do this.


Yeah, that's great, blame people who burn dvds for this practice...how the hell does that affect anything we have been talking about?  I don't burn them btw, as I am too lazy.  I'd rather buy the actual dvd for my collection, but that's because I am a perfectionist.  I just thought it was silly to assess blame on all those pirates out there.  They get blamed for everything, software protection, P2P programs going belly up, and now the Netflix high volume renter penal system.   :roll:


netflix has a certain number of average rentals per month in mind when they price their different service levels.  let's say for 8 out plan it's 16 rentals per month.  if you quadruple that because you burn & return, you are costing netflix money to process those dvds.  someone who does that is abusing the service, and I don't have a problem with netflix slowing down their shipments.  they aren't stupid, they know that people aren't watching 16 hours of movies every day.


Well, I for one actually DO watch a movie a day on average.  I might skip a day or 2 during the week, but I make up for it on weekends.  You are saying that all Netflix users who watch tons of movies beyond what Netflix feels is "average" are all pirates.  That's absurd as I am one of those high volume renters who has never burned a movie in my life.  

You do realize that Netflix states "unlimited".  So how could they come up with, say, 16 rentals with an 8 out plan, and still advertise unlimited viewing?  That's a contradiction.
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2005, 10:04:07 PM »

Agreed.  If they have a cap, they need to state it.  Not make you think you're getting all you can view.

If Netflix is worried about pirates then they need to institute a cap.  Otherwise, it's open season and they need to deliver what they promise.
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Yossarian
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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2005, 10:14:52 PM »

Quote from: "lokiju"

Well, I for one actually DO watch a movie a day on average.  I might skip a day or 2 during the week, but I make up for it on weekends.  You are saying that all Netflix users who watch tons of movies beyond what Netflix feels is "average" are all pirates.  That's absurd as I am one of those high volume renters who has never burned a movie in my life.  

You do realize that Netflix states "unlimited".  So how could they come up with, say, 16 rentals with an 8 out plan, and still advertise unlimited viewing?  That's a contradiction.


I didn't say anything about people who watch a movie a day.  You don't watch 8 a day, every day, do you?  You're assuming too much if you believe I said that all high volume renters are pirates.  That's silly.

In order to figure a cost for the service netflix has to make assumptions about how many movies they're gonna process each month since each one costs them $$ in manpower and shipping.  They have to do this as part of the business model.  Think of it like a buffet.  Restaurants charge one price to you but they have to make an educated guess about how much food the average Drazzil will eat.

Yes it says unlimited.  It also doesn't guarantee shipment times.
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lokiju
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2005, 03:13:50 AM »

Quote from: "Yossarian"

Yes it says unlimited.  It also doesn't guarantee shipment times.


If they do their best, then I would be happy.  But if they purposely delay my efforts to get the most for my dollar, then that should be considered bad business, and unacceptable.  Don't mislead me, just tell me what your damn cap is.  Period.
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2005, 05:36:24 AM »

With the BB movie pass my girlfriend and I took out about 120 movies for $14.99 during the initial month. (that is the introductory price) We work different shifts, so during the day I would rent two, and in the evening she would go get two movies she enjoyed.  

It has saved us a ton of money. Plus, we even dropped our cable down to basic, saving us another $30 per month. There was no longer a need for HBO, Showtime, etc.  and basic cable comes with the Sci-Fi channel, Fox News, MTV and most of the other channels we like. (other than the History Channel)

I guess you could say our Blockbuster membership costs us -$15 per month.  (well, -$5 starting next month)
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lokiju
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2005, 06:08:07 AM »

Quote from: "RamPanther"
With the BB movie pass my girlfriend and I took out about 120 movies for $14.99 during the initial month. (that is the introductory price) We work different shifts, so during the day I would rent two, and in the evening she would go get two movies she enjoyed.  

It has saved us a ton of money. Plus, we even dropped our cable down to basic, saving us another $30 per month. There was no longer a need for HBO, Showtime, etc.  and basic cable comes with the Sci-Fi channel, Fox News, MTV and most of the other channels we like. (other than the History Channel)

I guess you could say our Blockbuster membership costs us -$15 per month.  (well, -$5 starting next month)


That service is the best way to go for overall value, but, each store is extremely limited in stock...even more so with the new "no late fees" policy.  So you have less of a chance finding newer movies that you want (especially older titles and tv season sets).  Add to that the fact that you have to drive there every time you need to exchange titles, and you can see where most people would be turned off.
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2005, 06:07:48 PM »

Thanks for the replys as to why some of you like to use the mail rental systems.  To be honest some of them I hadn't thought about.  

I do agree fully that getting season sets from local stores is not much of an option and is perhaps the biggest downfall of the movie pass.

As far as the hassel of going to the location and deal with "crappy" people.  I actually work about 5 mins away from the BB I use, so that isn't an option, there is rarly a crowd and all the employees seem very helpful and nice, I guess that isn't the way it is for some people.

It just seems like those of you who are high volume customers and are having issues with netflix, BB online, ect.  You really might find the Movie Pass a much better option in the long run.   Even with the new policy of no late fees, I would hope they will compensate by geting more copies for people to rent.  Since they will go under quick, if there is nothing on the shelves.
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2005, 09:53:10 PM »

Well, Netflix is continuing their crap.  My queue showed a movie shipping on Wednesday, the 9th.  TODAY (the 11th) I get the e-mail that it shipped and sure enough my mailbox at home was empty.  Mail from Lansing to the Detroit area takes one day every time.  Should have been here on the 10th, but they held it for 2 days (assuming I get it tomorrow, the 12th).

Do NOT say "Shipping Today" when that clearly is not the case.  I find it hilarious that during everyone's two-week trial, all movies only take a day to reach you.  After that.....all bets are off.

The BB card might be good for me, but I hate going to the actual BB store.
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RamPanther
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« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2005, 09:35:15 AM »

Yeah, when Blockbuster B&M stores went to the no late fee policy everyone started abusing it. It is definitely MUCH more difficult to get a new release. I'm not sure if this decision is in direct response to Netflix, but people are starting to grumble. One man was complaining that it took him two weeks to finally get a copy of Aliens vs Predator, and he was checking back every day. The whole wall was constantly empty, and the employee looked in his computer and said that nine copies were "overdue".

The TV seasons are almost always in stock, however. I remember when those box sets first came out my BB gace you the entire season for $3.99. Now they charge per disc.
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