Netflix, Blockbuster (and others) Online/Kiosk Discussion Thread - Page 19 - AVS Forum
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post #541 of 3044 Old 08-15-2006, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGBlues View Post

Hi folks. New to Netflix and I have a few questions (which may seem trivial).

1. If I do (5) at a time, do I have to send all (5) back at once? I would like to watch (3) movies in a 3-5 day period and send those back. I would watch the other (2) during the turn-around period. I would then get (3) new movies and would send the (2) back on the day I receive those (3) movies. The idea is to keep the discs in rotation.

2. If I order a (3) disc series set does that count as (1) or (3)?

Return each movie whenever you want. You can hang on to it and watch it again if you want. Or drop it in the mail as soon as you have watched it. The sooner you return it, the sooner you will get a replacement (next in line in your queue).

Unless you watch more than one movie a day, I think that 4 out at a time is enough. By the time you return the first movie that you watch, and finish watching the remaining 3, you should have the next DVD in your mailbox by that time.
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post #542 of 3044 Old 08-18-2006, 12:51 PM
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I hate all that kind of stuff........My sister has Netflix and the movies come late and scratched all the time. I would rather walk to the store.
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post #543 of 3044 Old 08-19-2006, 07:44 PM
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When BB first launched their service I tried it out while still maintaining my NF account. I quickly canceled my BB membership because:

1. Lots of movies in my queue were waitlisted (much more than NF)
2. I had 2 broken disks in one month
3. I let a lot of my coupons go to waste, unused.

It looks like a lot of these issues are still happening a year later. Netflix has problems, but overall I think its got the edge over BB.

"Do you have The Beatles White Album? Never mind just get me a glass of hot fat and bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia while you're out there."
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post #544 of 3044 Old 08-19-2006, 07:51 PM
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BTW. I have 489 movies in my queue right now. I know, I have a problem. One of my favorite passtimes is browsing netflix and putting movies into my queue. But of those 489 movies, ALL of them are available now except 1. Only one has any sort of wait!!! That's pretty amazing to me. Now, I'm not the kind of guy who immediately returns all of my movies. Maybe if I was turning them over faster they would trottle me and my movies would show up waitlisted.

"Do you have The Beatles White Album? Never mind just get me a glass of hot fat and bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia while you're out there."
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post #545 of 3044 Old 08-20-2006, 01:35 PM
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Thanks to all who responded to my Netflix questions. I have another:

Is there a way to suspend your Netflix account if you are on vacation? I realize Netflix bills monthly but it would be nice to temporarily stop movies from being mailed for say a few weeks.

TIA
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post #546 of 3044 Old 08-20-2006, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I. M. Fletcher View Post

BTW. I have 489 movies in my queue right now.

I thought I was bad with 396.

JohnG
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post #547 of 3044 Old 08-20-2006, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I. M. Fletcher View Post

BTW. I have 489 movies in my queue right now. I know, I have a problem.

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post #548 of 3044 Old 08-21-2006, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGBlues View Post

Thanks to all who responded to my Netflix questions. I have another:

Is there a way to suspend your Netflix account if you are on vacation? I realize Netflix bills monthly but it would be nice to temporarily stop movies from being mailed for say a few weeks.

TIA

I spoke with a CSR long time ago (last year or before) about this, and she told me they couldn't. It might have changed, but I doubt it.
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post #549 of 3044 Old 08-28-2006, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I. M. Fletcher View Post

When BB first launched their service I tried it out while still maintaining my NF account. I quickly canceled my BB membership because:

1. Lots of movies in my queue were waitlisted (much more than NF)
2. I had 2 broken disks in one month
3. I let a lot of my coupons go to waste, unused.

It looks like a lot of these issues are still happening a year later. Netflix has problems, but overall I think its got the edge over BB.


I used to really like Netflix....until...I needed to contact them. That was the biggest nightmare I had encountered to date with this type of business. I have BB now, get 2 free store coupons and unlimited (1 out at time) for a really good price. Had an issue with a DVD (naked lunch...which btw for anyone using BB...the descriptions for the bonus disk(s) seem to be identical to the actual film so I got a bonus disk in the mail with no film. *shrug*. But they responded to my email the very next day and even forwarded my suggestion to have a big warning "This is NOT the film" or something like that to the appropriate area of customer service). Turn around is the same that I had from Netflix. So the long and short of it is (imo) that Netflix is good until you need to speak with them. Oh plus, when I finally got a hold of their number and called the lady was less than helpful and not friendly at all. I also like the fact that I have an actual person I can go talk to at a BB store if worse comes to worse. Plus, with the 1 film out thing I don't waste the coupons.

So I guess it depends on the local branch to a large degree as well seeing as we have two converse experiences.
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post #550 of 3044 Old 08-31-2006, 06:42 AM
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nm
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post #551 of 3044 Old 09-12-2006, 09:01 AM
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Is anyone else noticing more discs showing up as "Coming Soon" well after their release date with BB?

I've had "Surface" in my queue for a while now... it's was released almost a month ago, and BB still doesn't have it (or perhaps just for my account).

I like BB for it's movies service, but they have been near horrible with TV series availability. If you don't get something the day it comes out, you're in for a huge wait (sometimes 3 months or so). I still haven't seen "the 4400: Season 2" and it's been out for many months.
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post #552 of 3044 Old 09-12-2006, 04:51 PM
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Surface is Coming Soon in my account too. I had to wait for 9 months for a certain TV program, but I'm mostly satisfied with BB.

Didn't your signature use to say "NF is my cable provider"? Was that somebody else?
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post #553 of 3044 Old 09-12-2006, 05:45 PM
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somebody else i guess... i've never used a signature.

thanks for the follow-up with 'Surface'... much appreciated.

the whole Tv-dvd thing just kindv'e irks me... as the 'movie' service runs quite well.

A set comes out yesterday. They're #1-6 in my queue with nothing out. The first 3 immediately go to some degree of wait. Since it's a show i've mostly seen, i decide to watch them out of order as the story arc doesn't really kick in til mid-season anyway.

I list disc 4-6 as my first three. They send disc 4, then today send send stuff waaay down my queue (mid twenties) with plenty of earlier selections 'available' including discs 5&6.

I'm not normally a freak for new releases, but when the alternative is waiting 3 months... it becomes an issue. I've started renting because I have no room to keep these things... but the availability has been such a problem I've had to buy Arrested Development and Justice League S2 just so I could watch then in a resonable time frame.
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post #554 of 3044 Old 09-13-2006, 11:27 AM
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I have yet to be satisfied with any online rental service unfortuantely..They all slow down my queues within a month or two.
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post #555 of 3044 Old 09-13-2006, 11:31 AM
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my feeling is that I'd prefer to sign up for an 'enhanced service', where I pay a premium price... and i get timely service with more honesty, so i can better forcast what to get and when.
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post #556 of 3044 Old 09-18-2006, 11:27 AM
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I'm a new Netflix subscriber, still in my 2-week window. I started out as a 2-unlimited subscriber but when I realized that my schedule plus their shipping restricted to M-F risked me to only having 2 per week, I upgraded to 3-unlimited.

I got all three movies (the next two in my queue, plus the new "third" for my upgraded plan) on Friday after a Thursday notification. This is in keeping with the fact that Minneapolis has a distribution center and returns/deliveries ought to be next day).

When I went to package up two of them for return, I noticed that one of the three envelopes had a Netflix distrbution center address of Fargo, ND. There's no way that any of the three shipped out of Fargo (I switched from 2 to 3 late Wednesday afternoon), since notification was Thursday and I mailed the original two back Wednesday.

I wonder if this is an example of "throttling lite"? By returning movies to a distribution center 2-3 days away, it slows my ability to get movies. I also wonder if they don't vary return envelope addresses in an attempt to use returns as a free way of balancing inventories at distribution centers.

I was sorely tempted to put two discs in one Minneapolis-addressed envelope and toss the Fargo envelope as if I had lost it. I have no idea what movie was supposed to go to Fargo (my guess it was new release "The Sentinel" and not one of the two Season 2 discs of "The Shield").
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post #557 of 3044 Old 09-18-2006, 11:32 AM
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I haven't seen that before. I only get the other addresses if the movie comes from there.

But I often return 2 DVDs in a single envelope anyway, for reasons including saving Netflix $0.35 or so each time.
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post #558 of 3044 Old 09-18-2006, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

I only get the other addresses if the movie comes from there.

How would you possibly know where a movie shipped from?
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post #559 of 3044 Old 09-18-2006, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockDawg View Post

How would you possibly know where a movie shipped from?

You wouldn't know for sure, but you could make a reasonable guess that a movie that you were notified was shipping "today" didn't arrive the next day (or however fast your closest distribution center ships them) wasn't shipped from your home distribution center.

It's really too bad they don't have postmarks or other decodable info on the outside so you could definitively ID the distribution center.

Has anyone read any "How it really works" posts from people who have jobs at distribution centers? Based on the paper sleeves for discs, it looks like it has to be a REALLY labor intensive process.
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post #560 of 3044 Old 09-18-2006, 03:40 PM
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I think you can safely assume the DVD was shipped from the center that is on the return envelope.

Skip
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post #561 of 3044 Old 09-19-2006, 05:20 PM
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I think you can safely assume the DVD was shipped from the center that is on the return envelope.

Skip

In my case it seems unlikely, since all discs were delivered the day after notification and you can't get 1st class mail in a single day from Fargo to Minneapolis.
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post #562 of 3044 Old 09-19-2006, 09:34 PM
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Since you just started, there no reason to throttle you.

My guess is that it shipped locally, but the return address is to accommodate inventory needs as you previously suspected. I'd be further convinced if the disc in question was a low-run item (TV series dvd, or other low circulation title) as this is a cheap-n-easy means to 'stretch' the utility on titles BB & NF are unwilling to stock in large supply.
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post #563 of 3044 Old 09-21-2006, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobocracy View Post

I also wonder if they don't vary return envelope addresses in an attempt to use returns as a free way of balancing inventories at distribution centers.

I really doubt it.

First of all, they don't keep inventory at the distribution centers. If a disc doesn't get selected within a few days after it comes in they send it back to the main DC in San Jose.

Second, if there is more demand for a title in Minnesota than in Atlanta, the problem takes care of itself. Excess copies from Atlanta get shipped to subscribers in Minnesota who return them to Minneapolis (at least some of the time, when the USPS goes by the "Nearest Facility" instructions).

Third, NF just doesn't have the time for their pickers to be choosing different envelopes for each outgoing disc. The destination address for each disc is printed after the envelope is already stuffed, just after reading the barcode through that little window.

My cable provider is Netflix
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post #564 of 3044 Old 09-21-2006, 02:47 PM
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I really doubt it.

First of all, they don't keep inventory at the distribution centers. If a disc doesn't get selected within a few days after it comes in they send it back to the main DC in San Jose.

I would think that this practice would lead to a lot of delays in getting less-than-popular discs, since presumably the regional DCs would only have "popular" titles.

Or do they "preload" regional DCs from San Jose inventory based on some predicted need for a disc based on some customer's return rate/consumption?
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post #565 of 3044 Old 09-21-2006, 03:31 PM
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I've no certain information.... but I'd think online services would prefer the extra lag to be experienced on the return/turnaround rather than on the post-shipment side.

Printing on pre-packed envelopes shouldn't make a difference (as each bar code has customer account & disc info), so adjustments can be made (either way) by the computer/printer differently on each disk if the need arises.

I know BB always avoids shipping discs from locations outside the 3-day-window.. and i'm frequently told that less-popular titles are 'too far away' to ship (even when they're listed as 'available'). Given this dynamic, it seems logical that they manage allocation on some discs with return labels rather than shipping from a distance.

I really have no idea how netflix operates, but my guess is that both methods are employed from time to time on all services.
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post #566 of 3044 Old 09-22-2006, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobocracy View Post

I would think that this practice would lead to a lot of delays in getting less-than-popular discs, since presumably the regional DCs would only have "popular" titles.

Or do they "preload" regional DCs from San Jose inventory based on some predicted need for a disc based on some customer's return rate/consumption?

If we assume that the regional DCs hold on to discs for a week before sending them back to San Jose, then any title for which the national demand is around 40 rentals a week or more can usually be satisfied from the local DCs. There are an enormous number of titles that are "popular" at that level. And of course the length of time that DCs hold on to the discs is a parameter than Netflix can adjust based on experience.

I'm pretty sure they pre-ship their inventory of new-releases around to the regional DCs before release Tuesday, but I don't know whether they would have any reason to do that with older titles.

My cable provider is Netflix
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post #567 of 3044 Old 09-22-2006, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opus123 View Post

I've no certain information.... but I'd think online services would prefer the extra lag to be experienced on the return/turnaround rather than on the post-shipment side.

Printing on pre-packed envelopes shouldn't make a difference (as each bar code has customer account & disc info), so adjustments can be made (either way) by the computer/printer differently on each disk if the need arises.

If there has to be a lag, then yes I agree that a return lag affects customer satisifaction a bit less than a shipment lag. But NF (and I assume BBO) really try to minimize the lag on either end - by only shipping from a remote DC when there are no local copies available, and by asking the USPS to send the return to the local DC regardless of where the shipment came from.

My point about the shipment process was that if NF wanted to redistribute discs via the return leg, it would be very hard to do so:
a) it would only work when the USPS ignores the "Nearest Facility" instruction
b) since the return addresses are pre-printed, the packers would have to spend time finding the right kind of return envelope at the time they pack each disc.

My cable provider is Netflix
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post #568 of 3044 Old 09-22-2006, 12:18 PM
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I've been getting so many un-playable disks from Netflix lately! It seems like about 10-15% are unreadable, due to scratches or even cracks in the discs. This is a relatively new development, over the past six months or so. I have multiple playback units, and the bad discs are truly unreadable.
Has anyone else encountered this trend, or is my luck with this service just going bad?

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post #569 of 3044 Old 09-22-2006, 12:21 PM
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gotcha oxothuk... didn't know the return labels were pre-printed. thought it all happened on the fly.

all I really know is that BB's track record on TV material can be pretty spotty (for me anyway). My movies selections seem to ship without incident.

I must say however, that I was in complete shock when BB shipped me ALL 3 discs for BSG Season 2.5 this week!!!! Don't know if they anticipated increased demand, or I was simply lucky. So cool as I'm totally ready for Season 3 to start October 6th!!
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post #570 of 3044 Old 09-22-2006, 12:27 PM
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IAM4UK....

NF is just huge compared to BB, so with that many subscribers... you're bound to start seeing lots of worn-down discs eventually.

My brother told me about a disc last week (NF) that arrived in pieces... Looked like the 'stacking-ring' broke through or something... obviously unplayable but you're not liable for that type of stuff. Discs are pretty durable, but the mail can really do a number on them.
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