What the HELL is up with Netflix these days???

I subscribed to Netflix in July, and for the most part, their service has been pretty spiffy. Since I live very close to a distribution center, it takes only a day for the movies to reach me. So Netflix would ship a title on Monday, I’d receive & watch the movie on Tuesday, mail it back on Wednesday, Netflix ships the next movie Thursday, I’d get it on Friday…and so on. Sure, there’d be the odd title which takes an extra day or two to arrive, but I can live with that.

All of a sudden, though, the ship times have suddenly gone to hell!

It started in October when I mailed three movies on a Wednesday – Netflix didn’t receive them until MONDAY. Two other movies were turned around in the normal 2-day period during that time, so how could they have gotten there quicker??

Also, Netflix seems to be skipping movies in my queue for no apparent reason (no, they aren’t on the wait list or anything) and will often “hold” the next title for at least a day before shipping it. For example, I had all five discs of “Shogun” at the top of my queue this week. On Monday, they skipped all five and shipped movies 6-8 instead! On Tuesday, they received the other two discs and shipped disc 1 of Shogun right away, but held off shipping disc 2 until Wednesday.

Well, I figured I’d just return those extra 3 movies right away to get the rest of the series…but they NEVER SHOWED UP!! I got Shogun disc 1 today (Friday) and nothing else this whole week. The 3 movies they pre-emptively shipped are still MIA. So much for a medieval Japanese marathon this weekend. :frowning:

So, what’s up? I know we’re getting close to the Holidays, but the U.S. Mail can’t be THAT bad…or can it??

There are many theories, but this appears to be an institutionalized problem. From a thread I posted a while back, it appears that once your membership gets “old” enough that you’re no longer a new member, they take you for granted and somehow give you lower priority for shipping. The Thread

All I know is that our turnaround time took a huge dive right at about the three month mark. It’s since sort of recovered, but is inconsistent - sometimes we’ll ship a movie on a monday and have the replacement on wednesday, while other times it’s been up to a week and a half!

My favorite is when I’ll send two DVD’s back in one envelope, and they’ll be “recieved” on two different days. Interesting.

I just cancelled my subscription to Netflix because more than a quarter of the DVDs that I got from them were unplayable. Most were only scratched, but to the point that I would have to skip several scenes of the movies. One was broken in half, and another one cracked.

No problem with ship times here, though.

Ship times will be increased when you order a DVD that isn’t available from your closest warehouse. In that case, they have to send it from one further away. I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for about a year, and I haven’t noticed any particular pattern in ship times. Usually I get stuff pretty quickly, but maybe about 10-20% of the time there’s a delay due to it coming from a different warehouse.

Mithril, maybe you’ve got a bad DVD player. I’ve never gotten an unplayable disc from Netflix, and some of them have been pretty beaten up. (Never broken in half, though!)

I’ve never had a problem with DVDs from teh video store or the library, so I really think it was the Netflix ones. Maybe it depends on your distribution center. Maintenance could be better at some than at others.

I haven’t noticed any change in tunraround time here (SoCal).

I noticed the skipping of selections as well. I wonder if they re-order the dvds you have in your queue?

My turn around time is : send on Wed-receive and ship on Thur-new movies on Fri.

My turnaround has always been the same; I never noticed the 3 month thing that others talk about. I never get 1 day service - it’s at least a week for a turnaround - but I live in the middle of nowhere. It was better when I lived closer to a large city.

Also have had very little problem with totally unplayable disks (I’ve had Netflix for going on 4 years, and have had only 1 unplayable disk), but have had a LOT of dirty disks and it seems to be getting a little worse. I keep thinking I need to get into the habit of washing them before I put them in because I so dislike having to take out the disk in the middle of the movie and wash the gunk off, but as of yet have not been able to train myself to do so.

When in lived in Brooklyn, my service was somewhat consistent. Took about a 3-4 day turnaround time. Since I’ve moved to Manhattan, it’s been 48 hours, consistently.

I’ve been a member for over 2 years, and never noticed a slowdown in turnaround time until earlier this year: it coincided with my company’s move to an office building with uneven mail service, though, so I blamed it on that. But in the past few weeks the turnaround has been back to normal: I put 3 DVDs in the mail on Monday, I have 3 new ones on Wednesday or Thursday.

I’ve never gotten titles out of order (and I mess with my queue frequently); I’ve only gotten one unplayable disc; and I’ve only received the wrong title once. Oh, and one of my returns has gotten lost in the mail. Not a bad track record at all for someone who has rented an average of 12 discs a month for the past 27 months. I love Netflix. :slight_smile:

You may be screwing up their automated system by putting two in one envelope. I think the big code on the front tells them which movie it it, speeding up the process. See if you get better results with them in separate envelopes.

I’ve consistently gotten turnarounds of 2 days - put in the mail on Monday, get emails on Tuesday, receive new DVD on Wed. In the early days it took longer, but they’ve been good for years now. I think there have been 2 or 3 problems in the time I’ve used it.

Living in Las Vegas, I too had the same problem with the turnaround. It got to the point I was getting maybe 6 films a month if I was lucky. I quit and used the money to get HBO and Showtime and haven’t looked back.

I see now that many Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores are offering the same exact thing as Netflix. Same monthly fee for unlimited DVD rentals…seems like a better idea to drive a few blocks, turn in the DVD and get a new one. Even Walmart has started the same concept here.

I think Netflix days are numbered, unless you live too far from any of the chain stores that are ripping off Netflix good idea (gone bad, IMHO).

It specifically says on the envelope that if you lose the original envelope, it’s perfectly fine to put two in one.

I’ve been with Netflix since something like their third month (I’m still on the original 4 at a time plan).

I’ve never experienced a problem in delivery time and when I’m watching lots of movies have no problem going through 15-20 discs in a month. Over the years I can count on one hand the number of defective discs received, which considering that the discs are mailed unpadded, I’m suprised I’ve onlyl ever received one cracked disc.

They could put a Blockbuster with a flat monthly rate across the street from me and I’d probably still prefer Netflix for the larger selection and not having to go browse.

I have received quite a number of unplayable discs from Netflix. I now run them through my cleaner before even trying to load them. It seems that some of their customers use them as frisbees and coasters.

I’ve not noticed any problem with shipping time, either. And I had better not, since Blockbuster has decided to to compete with them.

We joined last summer and the turnaround time is fine but have had one unplayable disc (it was broken) and lots and lots of filthy ones.

I still prefer Netflix to Blockbuster.

I’ve been a Netflix member for four years. I have a two day turnaround time for DVDs. Mail one back on Moday, get the next one on Wednesday. I rarely get dirty DVDs. Netflix has served me well. I go through the distribution center in NJ.

My son who is in school in Ohio, though, has very erratic service.

No fookin’ way. Netflix could charge me twice as much per month as the Blockbuster up the street and I’d still go with Netflix, for the following reasons:

  • I hate driving. I especially hate driving in the winter. I don’t care that the Blockbuster is only about a 2 minute drive from me, it’s still more convenient to have my DVDs show up in my mailbox.

  • Blockbuster’s staff is generally a pile of mouth-breathing teenagers who would rather stand in the back room talking to each other than help customers. This means long, long LONG lines during peak times, while 5 teenagers stand outside smoking and leave the one nerdy guy working one till. I don’t want to stand in line for 10 or 15 minutes to get a movie. (This may not be true at my local Blockbuster - I haven’t been there to check - but the BB in the town I used to live in was so bad that going there was akin to torture. The experience was so bad that I’m not even going to step foot into my local BB.)

  • Blockbuster has nowhere near the selection that Netflix has. In most smaller towns, there’s no alternative to BB or another big chain, with the same selection. Do I want foreign films? Anime other than the really big names? Documentaries? Can’t get 'em in this town.

  • I like my on-line queue. Someone tells me about a good movie? Onto the queue it goes. I read a review of a good movie? Just hop over and put it on my Netflix queue. Thread in Cafe Society with half the dopers all a-flutter over a movie? Onto the queue. As far as I know, BB does not maintain online queues.

  • Rumor has it that Netflix and Tivo have signed an agreement to deliver movies through the Tivo. Need I say more? This alone is worth the combined prices of Netflix and Tivo IMO.

Need I go on? You can pry my Netfilx from my cold, dead hands… don’t even SPEAK of them going out of business.

I dropped Netflix like a cheating boyfriend when they sent me the second disc of season 3 of Sex and the City and it was a burned DVD-R with the title written on in Sharpie marker. It seemed to me that there was no way in hell that AOL/Time-Warner would ever give Netflix, volume business or not, permission to make dupes of their DVDs in order to fulfill demand, and someone at Netflix was taking the low road. I had planned, at the time, to follow up on the issue (I have friends in the AOL/TW television legal department) but life got busy and I figured that I really didn’t have the time to try to get the back of a multibillion dollar international corporate behemot, even though I should have.

Interestingly, I cancelled before I sent the disc back. I had cancelled my account with them once before, when we moved and they didn’t seem to have any kind of “suspend mailing until our move is complete” option. That time, they didn’t actually cancel the account (and charged for a complete month because of delays in mailing) until I had returned the last movies they had sent me. This time, they cancelled my account right away, and lo and behold, I still have this knockoff, homemade SaTC DVD right here on the corner of my desk.

One day I’ll find a good use for it. But in the meantime, it serves as a reminder to me that something at Netflix is shady and I am more than happy to give my business to the local video shop here in the village with really good rates, free kids’ movies onVHS, good selection even of frothy foreign flicks and friendly employees who offer popcorn, pretzel sticks and drinks when you come in to browse in the afternoon.

Careful, the Blockbuster thing only gets you two rentals a month from the store - the rest are mail order, exactly like Netflix. Granted, two is better than none, and there are nights when our Netflix selection hasn’t shown up, or I get the urge to see something not on my queue. I want to just go rent something, but the idea of paying $3.50 for a movie I could get for essentially nothing if I wait a week…ah, the agony of wanting instant gratification. Wait 'till streaming video gets really good! drool

But with Blockbuster, there’s always the problem of Rated R versions of NC-17 movies, which drives me nuts. (NO! Blockbuster does NOT EDIT MOVIES!!! But they won’t carry NC-17, so the distributors make an R-rated version for video release.)

And you’re right, you can. It’s just that it seems to slow down the receiving process. I’ve noticed this myself.

Don’t you think it’s more likely that some low life copied the Netflix disc and put the wrong one back in the envelope? And that it missed being checked by Netflix? I mean, I have heard lots of complaints about Netflix, but bootlegging hasn’t been one of them. Perhaps the reason they cancelled your acount so quickly was that Lowlife found their disc, made himself another copy and mailed theirs back, so they had their complete inventory.

My turnaround is spotty, but I think that’s more likely due to the Chicago mail system than anything else. We’ve never received two selections, and a third one one came two weeks after we reported it never arrived.

ex-manager of Blockbuster