Netflix: An ongoing log

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kevin Porter, May 11, 2005.

  1. Kevin Porter

    Kevin Porter Supporting Actor

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    Seeing as how most people are reluctant to Netflix because of the supposed slow turn around, I've taken the liberty to record how long what takes when. I've recently renewed my membership after a two week trial with Blockbuster Online. I put some movies in my queue Monday, two shipped Tuesday, and I recieved them today (Wednesday) when it was estimated that I'd recieve it Thursday. One shipped today and I expect it by tomorrow I'm outside of Houston so not too far from one of the major distribution centers and I'm also new which may be a factor in the quick shipping. As time goes by I'll update with reports on whether the shipping has slown down or not.
     
  2. Billy Fogerty

    Billy Fogerty Stunt Coordinator

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    Been with NetFlix for 3 years, and they have always been consistent. The longest I waited was 4 days. That was a very obscure title. It was from an Arizona center. I am in NY. Not very bad,99% of the time it is a 2 day turn around.
     
  3. Bryce_H

    Bryce_H Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been a member since Oct 1999 and delivery has been very consistant - one/two day turn since 2002 in both Virginia and Colorado.
     
  4. Elijah

    Elijah Supporting Actor

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    Billy and Bryce, how quick is your turnaround time though? That is the determinig factor in the whole "Throttling" issue. I have personally experienced/documented it (them slowing down delivery/not reporting when they receive my DVD's), and have recorded conversations with a CSR where he admits it...[rant] I know, I am really a nerd, and I should be happy with the great value that Netflix offers, and if I dont like it I dont have to keep using them... However thats not the point, and it does happen. It is a customer service issue as they claim "you can rent as many DVDs as you want" which is not true; When you get too many too soon, they start to limit/slow your rentals.[/rant]

    That rant tag doesnt really do my whining justice [​IMG]
     
  5. Bryce_H

    Bryce_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Never had that happen (throttling). Typical full turnaround is: drop in the mail on Monday, receive new discs wednesday (90%) or maybe thursday (10%). Never longer than that. Figuring mail is picked up in the afternoon and delivered in the afternoon, that would make a full turn 48 - 72 hours.

    Not bad in my opinion. Even if it was a day or two longer, still much more convienent than going to block buster. I generally watch 2-3 movies a week, so 8-12 a month for $18.69. That isn't bad.

    If you don't like it, quit. No system is perfect, but I feel Netflix is definately worth it over the alternatives. Remember successfull businesses (i.e. profitable and sustainable) are all about balancing supply and demand. Your demand must be balanced with everyone else's demand, otherwise the supply part gets totally hosed. Then their out of business (which they have been on the verge of several times) - and we all lose.

    End of soapbox.
     
  6. Elijah

    Elijah Supporting Actor

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    Can I call em or what [​IMG]

    Netflix as a business has the freedom to do whatever it needs to do to keep itself healthy, profitable, and convenient. In their business model managing supply vs demand is the way to do that. HOWEVER that all has to be done within the context of delivering what they advertise. Otherwise, in its simplest form they are being fraudlent, and that is bad business for both the corp and the customer.

    They advertise an Unlimited usage monthly service, and in this case, that is not what they are delivering. Even avoiding the whole "what does unlimited really mean" debate (I used to work for an ISP who touted dubiously Unlimited Internet Access, and then when they would cut someone off for staying online too much they would argue semantics), Netflix is still in the wrong in the way they report the status of DVD's received, in an attempt to limit the number you can receive in a month.

    Here is the example from a conversation with a Netflix CSR (you didnt know you were going to get all this did you [​IMG]):
    The rep says "In order to provide every customer with a balaced experience, Netflix will process the returns of low usage customers before high usage customers". So the reason it looks like my DVD's are getting there a day latter than they actually are is presumably because there is a high load, and mine are getting processed after some low users discs. I say fine, I understand that, however when the processing center gets the bins of DVD's from the local PO they arent seperated into High/Low user bins, Netflix doesnt know what kind of user each DVD is associated with until they receive it/scan it into the system. So assuming it only happens when there is a high load and I am being prioritized below other users (as opposed to just being slowed down because of usage carte blanc *sp*), they are still claiming to receive my DVD's a day later than they actually are.

    All things considered the point has noting to do with whether or not Netflix represents a great value (which I agree with, otherwise I would be with someone else), or whether the Netflix business model is profitable without throttling users (hoewver they try to remain profitable is up to them, within bounds). It has always been about delivering what you advertise accurately, otherwise you are treading on the very dangerous ground of consumer fraud. That is something that is far more damaging to Netflix than failing to meet their margins will ever be.
     
  7. Keith I

    Keith I FoS

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    My return labels are to a local PO Box so my turnaround time is really fast. Many times I get my discs the next day after it was shipped out. When I return a disc, Netflix tells me they received it the next shipping day.

    However, in some cases I will get a disc that was shipped from a Mainland facility. Today I received Father of the Pride: Complete Series 3-4 days after it was shipped. The return label says:

    Nearest Netflix Shipping Facility
    PO Box 15157
    Worcester, MA 01615-0157

    No wonder it took so long (in my terms)! And it will take just as long to get back.
     
  8. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    NETFLIX has just made some sort of change in my area. I used to put the return disc in the mail on Monday, there'd be an email to me on Tuesday, and a new film arriving on Wednesday. -- But it's taking a few more days now.
     
  9. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

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    NetFlix throttling is real. I believe it's up on their FAQs, too. That, and I'm going through it myself right now. I'm on a 3-at-a-time plan, but went a week without any DVDs at all. ("Shipping tomorrow," &c.) It isn't "unlimited" if they choke your monthly volume.
     
  10. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    I guess this is as good as any of the many Netflix threads to post this in...
    A friend of mine knows someone that owns an independent DVD rental store in suburban Chicago. He said that this store ships out titles in the mail from a list that Netflix provides them with, thus making a "network" of stores that supply Netflix with rental copies. I think this is pure bull, since there is no guarantee that the movie will be shipped back to the same address that it was sent from. And why would a store pull a title to fulfill a Netflix customer's order at the risk of disappointing one of its customers? Has anyone heard of this and can confirm or deny it?
     
  11. Elijah

    Elijah Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, I can confirm that this is not how it works. I read a really great article on how things work at the Distribution Centers, but don't know where I read it now.

    It goes something like this:
    They receive the movies in from the Post Office and process them all (scan them and the system marks them as being received).
    Then (and this is the cool part) they take every single movie in the entire warehouse and scan it. The system will tell them if it needs to be sent out or not based on whether someone has requested it, and print the appropriate label. The tech then fills the envelope and moves to the next movie, until every single title has been worked through.
    Evidently it is more efficient that way then to get a list of movies that customers need and then try to go up and down the isles looking for those movies (which makes sense).

    If I find the article I will post a link, cause it is pretty neat.
     
  12. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    THANK YOU!!!
     
  13. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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  14. Elijah

    Elijah Supporting Actor

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    Spot on Linda, thanks for the link. Pretty neat stuff eh'
     
  15. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Does anyone know what the total number of individual titles NetFlix currently has available to members?

    Thanks (in advance) [​IMG]
     
  16. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    The last time I noticed, it was 30,000 discs. I am not sure if that is actual titles or individual discs (i.e. a "Friends" season would count as 4 discs). Anyone have any idea?
     
  17. Billy Fogerty

    Billy Fogerty Stunt Coordinator

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    As far as I know, they have 45,000 titles,and growing.
    I am in the middle of the Melville and Flushing facilities,in New York, but I recently received dvd's from Deluth Georgea and Salem Oregon. Those were the return addresses. I wonder how many distribution centers they have?
     
  18. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I'm a major Netflix fan, won't drop them or switch to another service.

    BUT, I guess I can say that they are "throttling" me.

    I'm on the 5 at a time plan, have been for the past three years or so.

    It used to be that I could go through sometimes up to 10 DVDs a week. But, now, I am lucky if I get 5.

    For example, last Friday, I returned 5 DVDs. They were all processed this morning. I checked and all the new titles are selected, but they won't be shipped until tomorrow. Meaning, I probably won't get them until Wednesday or Thursday.

    In the old days, they would be processed and the new titles would be selected and shipped before noon (I check from work). Now, the old ones are processed before noon, the new ones picked that afternoon, and shipped the next day.

    I'm still getting a great value. I haven't been to a Blockbuster in years. And, they have more titles than any video store around, but they aren't as fast as they used to be.
     
  19. Billy Fogerty

    Billy Fogerty Stunt Coordinator

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    Jon,I think the reason is that they so many new members. They also took on all of Walmarts members. Over the time I have been with them,I have noticed that they have more distribution centers. I get discs from all over the country.
    They still are the best. Blows away any video store.
     
  20. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Another Netflix slowdown issue, normally I get the envelopes with the shipment address being the same facility about an hour from where I live.

    Last week, I received two DVDs, one with the address being over a thousand miles away, the other being on the complete opposite side of the country!!

    I know that you can just put them in the mail in the same envelope back to your local one, but I didn't have any other mailing envelopes to send back. As a test, I sent them each to the address on the envelope.

    Surprisingly, the one a thousand miles away got there over the weekend. As fast as if I had sent it to the local one. The other is still in the mail.
     

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