recent Netflix shipping delays

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by def456, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. def456

    def456 Guest

    Netflix has been remarkably good and reliable since I joined 6 months ago,
    until just recently...

    They've started delaying shipment of movies til the next day, after they
    receive a movie back from me. In the past they've almost always shipped a
    new movie the same day. Now most are delayed shipment til the next day.

    Anybody else seeing this problem?

    I asked them, and their response was that those movies were being shipped
    from a different location, rather than my usual "hub" (presumably the
    closest office location). I don't think that's logical nor a valid reason
    for a shipping delay.
    def456, Jun 9, 2007
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  2. def456

    Phisherman Guest

    It's called "throttling" and Blockbuster does it too. I've had delays
    (without any movies) up to two weeks. I'm in E. TN and some DVDs were
    being shipped from Seattle or Boston instead of Atlanta. It got worse
    and I canceled Netflix. The service can be good for those having a
    nearby distribution center, but not all DVDs are at all centers.
    Shipping is stalled on weekends and holidays.
    Phisherman, Jun 9, 2007
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  3. Or, in my area's case, it's called "The movie being processed at the
    center after the last mail-out deadline that day."

    Derek Janssen
    Derek Janssen, Jun 9, 2007
  4. If you are a heavy user, they lose money if you send one back right
    away and they have to send you another one right away. The labor and
    shipping costs more than your subscription, so they stall your next
    order to slow you down. It is a common complaint.
    Fred C. Dobbs, Jun 9, 2007
  5. def456

    dgates Guest

    Recently, I've received a couple emails from them saying "Hang on an
    extra day, partner! We've gotta ship that movie to ya from some other
    state." And I never used to receive those.

    It's always been the case that, after I ship a movie back, the day
    they ship the next one to me takes one day longer than it seems like
    it has to. But I pay whatever it is I pay, and I'm not renting movies
    to copy them real quick and turn them around, and it seems like it's
    about a good enough deal.
    dgates, Jun 9, 2007
  6. Remember, every movie that's shipped out of state has to first be
    *located* out of state--
    And then the determination whether it's ready to ship out there, or
    whether your #2 movie is local enough to send and spare the trouble.
    Never received those either:
    They've only recently had to add "For Friday: [Your movie] From Denver,
    CO" (or wherever), on e-mails for any movies not sent from the local
    region, when they had to import the title from out of state--

    Simmply BECAUSE they'd been getting so many "No throttling!...Are you
    throttling!--Well, don't throttle!" whiners who had no idea what that
    word they'd heard about meant, but didn't know why one of their movies
    was taking longer to arrive than another.

    Derek Janssen (who can understand if a back-catalog movie takes longer
    to arrive from Honolulu, HI than a new-release from Hartford, CT)
    Derek Janssen, Jun 9, 2007
  7. def456

    gunner Guest

    I've used NetFlix for about 2 1/2 years now and have received just about 550
    videos from them at a cost of just under $20/month. I couldn't be happier
    with the service. Fortunately my hub is about 30 miles away. If I get my
    discs in the mail by 5:00 PM they receive and ship them the next day and I
    receive the new vids the day after that. They do not work weekends or
    holidays so there are delays due to that. Probably 1 out of 25 of the
    movies I request are shipped from other locations all over the US including
    Honolulu on a couple of occasions. The delay in receiving is usually 2-3
    Post Office days. I think once it was 4 on a movies coming from Portland,
    Maine. I always return these to my local hub to get a quicker turn a round.

    I really think that the majority of the complainers have very unreasonable
    expections for the service. They will just have to deal the fact that
    gratification is not always instantaneous.

    gunner, Jun 9, 2007
  8. def456

    skip Guest

    The mailman gets mine I receive them open then re taped with scothch tape
    3 days late
    skip, Jun 10, 2007
  9. def456

    def456 Guest

    I receive them opened occasionally, but never taped back together, and
    haven't notice any associated delivery delays. My mailman seems fairly
    honest, so I expect it's probably the postal sorting machinery mangling the
    envelope. They need to redesign their envelope so it won't open
    accidentally. Blockbuster has a better one.
    def456, Jun 10, 2007
  10. def456

    def456 Guest

    After communicating with them and reading their TOS, I believe their
    software is buggy. To make it work right, you should move titles to the top
    of your queue which are available "NOW". If a movie isn't available "NOW",
    move it lower in your queue, and only move it to the top when it becomes
    available "NOW". Their software shouldn't require this but I believe it
    does. So when it encounters a movie at the top of your queue which says
    there's any kind of delay or wait involved, it should skip over it to the
    next available movie, which shouldn't affect the shipping date - but it

    The other factor is the number of movies rented at once. Their TOS clearly
    says that they give highest priority to those who rent the fewest movies. So
    the only way to fix that would be to reduce the number of movies you rent.
    For example if you're renting 8 out at a time, cut back to 3-4 at a time,
    etc. I'm renting 6 at a time, and may cut back to 3-4 also.
    def456, Jun 11, 2007
  11. The procedure:
    1) If your movie's available now, they send it.
    2) If your movie's available on a Short Wait, they judge who gets the
    limited copies, and whether it's easier for your account to skip to the
    next NOW title.
    3) If there's spare copies, a title has to be located at another region,
    and sent from there.

    If it's six hours from receipt, and your empty slot still hasn't been
    filled, they're in the time-consuming process of thinking over 2) and
    3), and there's a 2 in 3 chance you'll end up with your next NOW title

    Derek Janssen
    Derek Janssen, Jun 11, 2007
  12. def456

    def456 Guest

    Thanks for the info. It sounds like you work at Netflix. ;o)

    My prior comments were only a theory, which I'm in process of testing by
    keeping only "NOW" available movies at the top of my queue. If this
    eliminates their delays, that lends support to my theory. I can then retest
    in the opposite direction by moving a delayed title to the top of queue, and
    see if that starts causing their "next day" shipments again.

    I know their software has bugs. I found another and told them about it, and
    they admitted it was a bug. That one has to do with return of titles that
    come as 2 discs, but count as a single movie out. They always (or almost
    always) fail to acknowledge receipt of one of those discs until you wait a
    week then claim it as overdue.

    Netflix software are good overall, but those bugs need fixing.
    def456, Jun 11, 2007
  13. Nope, just been around since the pre-'01 "One shipping center" days--
    And then...HOO-BOY, did we loyalists have to defend the battlements,
    when DVD exploded, their subscriber list suddenly tripled, and literally
    half your queue could consist of Long/Very Long Waits.

    Coming up with a national "network" of libraries was the best thing that
    ever happened to the company, and now we're getting complainers who
    don't understand how the titles are networked.
    I do what they recommend (I think?), and put all my Very Long Waits at
    the top of the list--
    It'll take bit of slight delay to get your next Now movie shipped, but
    I've also ended up with a few surprises that helped clean some of the
    non-Now chaff off the queue. :)

    Derek Janssen
    Derek Janssen, Jun 11, 2007
  14. I've been generally pleased with Netflix. My biggest complaint is
    with the USPS. I just live in an area that doesn't seem to have good
    connectivity with my distribution center. If I mail something from my
    parent's house 50 miles FURTHER away from my DC (which goes to a
    different USPS sorting facility) the discs always get there a day
    faster. The somewhat pleasant side effect between postal delays and
    my increasingly busy schedule is that "long wait" doesn't really apply
    to me anymore. I'm profitable enought that I get discs at the expense
    of heavy users who are being throttled.

    lorincantrell, Jun 11, 2007
  15. def456

    Bill's News Guest

    I've no idea what NF recommends. Like you, however, I too move
    any waited item to the top of the "Now"s in the queue.
    Recently, I rented "Taken." It had been lower in my queue for
    weeks or months. Listed as a 6 disc series, I noticed that disc
    6, which only contained "bonus" materials, one day became VLW.
    After a week of that not changing, I moved the "Now" discs, one
    at a time, to the top of the queue and received each the day
    after doing so. After I returned the 5th disc, the title was
    removed. I'm guessing that the 6th disc had been destroyed (or
    the renter had died) and that I had rented the last available
    set. This somewhat confirmed my concern that, when an older
    video shows a wait of any length, it may be their last copy and
    they may find replacement unwarranted.
    Bill's News, Jun 11, 2007
  16. Bill's News wrote
    Sometimes VLW means "No copies, and one step away from being permanently
    retired to 'Unreleased'"--
    So it's a good idea to give them "Last chance to rent" top-priority spot
    on your list, if there's nothing else that week you immediately want to
    rent...Better to plan ahead.

    Sometimes, though, VLW just means the copies are so rare, they've
    haven't bothered to check lately whether any of the centers currently
    have a copy, and a customer putting it to the top of a queue may be the
    kick in the pants for them to look it up.
    If you put a VLW up to top spot, you MIGHT see it fluctuate in and out
    between Long and Short Wait, or even Now over the weekends, and then
    still end up skipped over for readier disks on the Monday ship-out--Take
    this as a good sign, which means they *are* looking for copies, it'll
    just take a while to approve you for them. (Just had two of these in the
    last two weeks, one of them just this morning.)
    If you don't see its status changing in and out...prepare to abandon all
    hope. -_-

    Derek Janssen
    Derek Janssen, Jun 11, 2007
  17. def456

    def456 Guest

    FWIW my theory didn't work. I put all available "NOW" movies at the top of
    my queue. When Netflix received 4 of my movies back today, I followed my
    queue closely. At first, and for several hours, it said that 4 new movies
    would be shipped to me today. But later 2 of those were changed to being
    shipped tomorrow, Tuesday.

    So I think I must've got onto one of their blacklists, somehow, and they
    intend to slow down my action, one way or the other.

    It's Netflix's own fault, not anything I've done. They shipped me new movies
    the same day my old movies were received, reliably, for several months,
    while I was subscribing to 6 out at a time. Then they started delaying the
    shipments, just within the last 2-3 weeks.

    Two can play that game. I've been subscribed to Netflix 6 out at a time for
    several months. I have now cut that back to 3 out at a time, beginning with
    my next monthly renewal date. Also today I have resubscribed to Blockbuster
    3 out at a time.

    Now, all theories are irrelevant. It depends on which one gives me best
    service. They'll get most of my future subscriber dollars.
    def456, Jun 11, 2007
  18. def456

    Bill Johnson Guest

    I live near Houston and have it on a 5 deal. Most say they are being
    shipped on a day but arrive 2 days later. Netflix is good about sending
    the top of the queve better than Blockbuster. I have so many movies that
    am having a hard time just finding movies for them to send. Over 2000
    titles at home.
    Bill Johnson, Jun 17, 2007
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