Knit Flix

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Netflix policy

Has anyone else noticed a slow down in Netflix shipping turnaround? When I first subscribed, the average turnaround time was 2-3 days. If I dropped a movie in the mail on Monday, Netflix would receive it on Tuesday and mail out a new movie that day. Typically it would be in my hands by Wednesday.

These days if I return a movie on Monday, I'm lucky to get a replacement by Friday. A couple of days might not sound like much, but it adds up. It seems like this all started with Blockbuster coming on the scene and Netflix lowering their monthly fee to stay competitive.

So, I wrote Netflix a note asking if their policy or process had changed. Their response was a letter explaining their process for shipping DVD's, along with this enlightening nugget of information:
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.

Is giving their members a balanced experience the goal? Or is it to quietly increase profits? Clearly their business model results in higher profits as turnaround times increase.

Apparently the marketing pitch "members rent as many DVDs as they want" doesn't apply to those who want to rent as many DVDs as possible.



  • A few months ago I sent them a similar e-mail and got the same answer. I also told them how dissapointed I was in them for the degradation of turnaround time (when it gets to them and when they send a new dvd out).

    My movies have been getting a better turnaround now. Mostly within 24 hours, so if I send in on Wed, dvd is received Thursday morning, 75% of the time they mail out again on Friday. This is nowhere near what it used to be when I could send in Thursday, arrive Friday morning, and have a movie sent out Fri afternoon to arrive by Sat. afternoon in my mailbox. Maybe there really is a priority customer list... even among the 3-out-at-a-time.

    In fact, I might have said some rather emphatic things about how they may be spending money sprucing up the "website useability" but it wasn't helping me actually get dvds. The whole point of my paying them- to get as many dvds in my mailbox as possible.

    By Blogger Freecia, at 7/07/2005 4:43 PM  

  • oh, i thought it was just me. used to be about ONE DAY turnaround. now it's five. ????

    By Anonymous SFK, at 7/07/2005 6:52 PM  

  • Thanks for posting that! I thought I was going crazy... almost always it now takes them two days to "receive" and at least another to send a movie out. I'm sorry but with them being local, get the crap out within one day. Have you heard anything about GreenCine (sp?) I think out of SFO?

    By Blogger Jenn, at 7/08/2005 2:29 PM  

  • I just went to GreenCine but they're not as mainstream as I'd like. If I was into foreign and the more eclectic films, they'd be a good fit.

    I can't see myself going to Blockbuster, so I guess I'm stuck with Netflix for a while. *sigh*

    By Blogger Bogie, at 7/08/2005 3:46 PM  

  • I tried the trial version of Blockbusters netflix-type service and they were lousy. Their best was not as good as netflix's worst. And they never had any of my movies so I was always waiting.

    By Blogger Jenn, at 7/11/2005 9:52 AM  

  • Hunh. I should send them an email. We were on the 3-dvd program and got REALLY FAST shipping in Chicago (we're talking out on Tuesday back on Wednesday). When we moved to the Bay Area it was slightly slower because our mail goes out in the afternoon instead of the morning. So we switched up to the 5-dvd plan. And now it's taking 5 days for turnaround! That explains it. Grrr. I've been thinking about upping our plan even more, but if they're just going to downgrade my priority, I don't see what the advantage was of upgrading.

    By Anonymous c, at 7/15/2005 6:13 PM  

  • I heard a very similar story from another SnB-er. She said that upping her plan was like paying more for fewer movies.

    By Blogger Bogie, at 7/15/2005 10:38 PM  

  • wow that's so stupid (their responses from this and the newer post). I admit, I didn't notice any slowdown, but I think their customer service people need to be fired, or they need to rework their plan.

    By Blogger Lori, at 7/25/2005 10:56 AM  

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