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It's really a waste of time, as is saving envelopes to return "2 in 1". The envelope says "Nearest Netflix Shipping Facility" for a reason. That's where it will be returned -- to your local facility. EVEN IF THE ADDRESS SAYS TIMBUCTU, it's going to your local distribution center. Netflix has special arrangements with the post office. The announcement that they were going to be hiring more trucks yesterday just underscores the fact that red Netflix envelopes get sorted into their own boxes at the central USPS facilities, and they're trucked directly to the closest Netflix distribution center. As far a screwing up algorithms goes, it doesn't. At the point in time you're sending a movie back, the last time somebody wanted it, they were in your area, because they were you. If the movie ends up going back to Timbuctu, it will be because nobody near you was requesting it right away, and somebody near Timbuctu was.
I'm surprised it's not more than 25% everywhere. I own some DVDs, but it's amazing how few I actually watch more than once. The cost is really irrelevant in that case, unless it becomes cheaper to own than to rent, or there isn't a reliable source for rentals. They take up space, they cost time and money when you move, and there's always a good chance that the hardware you need to play them on won't be sold ten years from now when you actually wax nostalgic enough to want to dust them off and watch them again. The older I get, and the more surrounded by clutter, the more reluctant I become to buy more than I need. I want the experience of being able to watch any movie that strikes my fancy whenever the fancy strikes. I don't necessarily want silver discs in plastic picture boxes.
Lamarr Wilson, there's trash, and there's garbage. I take the garbage out regularly, because it smells. The trash can sometimes sit around FOR YEARS, because it's just piles of paper. I don't want to toss out a bunch of credit card offers without shredding them, because of (probably unjustified) paranoia that some dumpster diver will find them and have a "pre-approved" card sent to him at another address. So junk mail tends to pile up until I get around to going through it, which (as I say) may sometimes take years. As it happens, I only found three more flaps in stray bags of junk mail. I'll have three more DVDs from Netflix arriving tomorrow, and probably another 6 next week before the BB offer ends, so that's 21 free rentals from BB at $4 a pop, for $80 worth of freebies from the TRASH. FROM THE TRASH!! It's like one of those dreams where you find a $50 in an old jacket, except that you don't wake up and say "Dang!" One other advantage of the brick & mortar stores which I haven't seen mentioned is that the 2-disc and 3-disc packages count as 1 rental, rather than 2 or 3 as is the case with the internet/mail program.
Wow. I just went through the trash, and drove over to Blockbuster with 9 NF flaps and one BB rental that I was returning (which I got for free last week with a BB return). Asked them "Do you take these" as I walked through the door, let the wife and kids wander the store, and went to the checkout with Pirates/Dead Man's Chest for the kids (2-day rental just out today), some Antonio Banderas flick for the wife, and a few picks for me. The only glitch at the checkout line is, they told me I was only allowed to have 9 rentals out at a time. I told them I'd just brought one back, so that was that. I think I probably have some more NF flaps if I dig a bit deeper in the trash, but I guess I'll have to take them to another Blockbuster to use them. I'm already a BBO customer too (NF has DVDs that BB doesn't, and vice versa), so I'm not worried about them "stealing" my demographic data. I gotta laugh at the guys who pout that they won't walk into a BB store to get a free rental, as though they're punishing BB somehow. Whatever. Thanks, HackingNetflix; I never would have known about this program if it wasn't for reading about it here. There aren't any signs at the BB store, and it really seemed that (at 8 PM) I was the first to take advantage of the promotion at this particular store.
If VOD plans to offer choice of languages and subtitles, a couple of commentary tracks, and a few "behind-the-scenes" and "making-of" extras, MAYBE, just maybe, it will replace the little shiny disks. You'd still have the problem of what to watch when you go to the lake, but maybe we'll be so saturated with video options at that point that a nice crackling fire would be a welcome change.
"Even with the decision, Netflix could still purchase Weinstein films via retail and rent them." "Despite the "exclusive" on the wholesale level, it seems to me there's absolutely nothing that can prevent Netflix from buying retail copies and renting them." My understanding was that the "rental" DVDs cost places like Blockbuster and Netflix MORE than the retail DVDs, because they were sold to be rented. I'm pretty sure, at least, that that's the way it used to work for VHS tapes at Blockbuster, and I don't see any reason why that would have changed. And I don't think they can just buy retail and rent them anyway. There's a big WARNING label on just about every one of them, specifying penalties for unauthorized distribution. In the absence of a contract authorizing them to offer the DVD for rent, I think they'd be exposed to legal penalties for doing so.
I've reported a couple of Blockbuster discs missing after 3 days, and they quickly shipped a replacement. In both cases, it turned out the discs weren't missing, just slow in coming. I think maybe 4 days would be more reasonable, but I appreciate BBO's level of service. I haven't had to report any Netflix discs missing, but the one which arrived cracked was quickly replaced.
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2006 on Reporting a Lost Movie at Hacking NetFlix
I don't miss the coupons, but I have to say, I'm beginning to suspect Blockbuster's claim of "no throttling" may be disingenuous. I've taken my DVDs back to blockbuster, and the first couple resulted in new shipments the next day, but I've been waiting 3 days to see a shipment now for the videos I turned in Sunday night. I have about 30 titles in my queue, a couple of which are "short wait", and the rest "available now". Having the videos from the store to watch makes the delay tolerable, and I've read the other thread which suggests that they expect it will be a couple of weeks before we'll see things moving smoothly, so I'm just going to be patient for now. I'm on the 3-out plan, and my queue shows only 2 DVDs shipped, both of which were turned in at the local store (One 2 days ago, the other yesterday).
It occurs to me that the reason they're going with postmarks may be to get information on "when did you mail it back?" of the sort Netflix can't get from me because I never reply to their surveys. If that's the case, I hope the postmarks on their side are less smudged than the postmarks on my side; otherwise, it's going to be a very labor-intensive process to tease a date out of some of them. I did get some useful information on my end, though. One of the DVDs BBO said they shipped on 10/27 wasn't postmarked until 10/31 (the same day I reported that I hadn't received it, and asked them to re-ship it). The replacement was postmarked yesterday, November 3rd; Blockbuster's email said it was shipped 11/2 in the early afternoon, so that's a bit closer. I will put the original and the replacement in the same envelope when I redeem them at the store -- don't want to be double-dipping here -- but I thought it was an interesting data point.
I checked in 2 discs and got 2 free rentals for any title. It was almost 24 hours before Blockbuster said they were shipping the next titles in my queue, but with the 2 rentals from the store, I wasn't as impatient as I might otherwise have been. I just received 2 more in the mail, which will probably mean I'll be back at Blockbuster tomorrow sometime. The odd thing with these latest two I received in the mail -- instead of "postpaid" they're sporting stamps, on both the envelope to me and the envelope back to the distribution center. This makes no sense to me -- they're PAYING postage on the individual disk, and then shipping it back in bulk themselves? So they're paying twice. Not to mention which, I'm getting twice the rentals, by getting a DVD in-store and another in the mail. It almost seems like there's some kind of "Brewster's Millions" thing going on over at Blockbuster, where they're going out of their way to slash profitability. Not that I'm going to question it too hard; I've got some kind of "Magic Christian" thing going on at my house, and if they want to sell champagne at 4 bottles for a nickel, I'll buy as many as I can before the doors close.
I thought your post was funny. Maybe Hunter's post was meant as a joke too, and it just sailed over both of our heads.
Wow, maybe we need a separate queue for the humor impaired. Anyway, I haven't had this happen, but I have reported a DVD as not received to Blockbuster when their own 3-day deadline passed without my receiving the DVD. They sent another with no questions, which arrived the next day. A few days later, the first one arrived. I don't know where it got waylaid; the address label was still intact. My guess for at least some of the "returned but never received" DVDs is that it was mis-delivered to a neighbor by mistake, who then opened it "by mistake", and was too embarrassed to pass it on to you, but was at least honest enough to return it for you so you didn't get dinged.
Yeah, well, it's amazing how often I'll see a fragment of something on TCM or Sundance or IFC and add it to my queue the same day.
I live near Los Angeles, and my movies are coming from the Santa Ana facility too. I've had a couple that were shipped from elsewhere, but the vast majority arrive from the local DC the day after my return is received. Sometimes they're shipped late in the day, and I don't receive them for 2 days, but for the most part it's been 1-day turnaround for me. Maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe we're still in the honeymoon phase (I'm only in my second month with NF), but maybe all the "the world is picking on me; I'm being throttled" guys are just a tad more paranoid than they are justified in being. Maybe their local DC isn't as well stocked as this major metropolitan DC, and that's all that's happening. To the guy who was asking about the barcode -- I'd always just assumed it matched the movie barcode, but I can see that it doesn't. And to the guy who answered that it was just the barcode for the DC -- I don't think that's it either, because I have several Santa Ana envelopes (for the usual reason), and while the beginning of the barcode looks the same, the last 2/3 or 3/4 of the barcode is different on each of the envelopes. It may be part DC, part customer, part current customer profile, part movie title. I don't know, because I don't read barcode, but just by eyeballing I can say that the last part of the code differs on each envelope I have, and they're all for the same DC.
Toggle Commented Oct 26, 2006 on Long Distance Shipping at Hacking NetFlix