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Temis the Vorta March 27 2010 11:13 PM

long waits on Netflix
Hi, anyone else experiencing aggravatingly long waits with some recent releases on Netflix? Such as, having The Hurt Locker and Inglorious Basterds long or very long waited since, well, whenever the frak it was that the DVDs were released (what, like a month or three now?) :rommie:

I don't really pay attention to what I get when, so it hasn't been a big deal. I have over 200 DVDs queued up, so I'm always getting something, but it's annoying that Netflix is violating their own so-called policy...


Short Wait: This means we don’t have quite enough copies and the wait is usually less than 7 days.

Long Wait: This means there is a serious demand for the title and the wait is generally less than 14 days.

Very Long Wait: This means that there is extremely high demand, limited availability and/or a very long wait for this title. Usually the wait is less than 30 days, but could be longer if, for example, the movie is out of print or we are otherwise unable to secure additional copies.
A friend (who isn't a Netflix customer and tends to fly into an apoplectic rage at the mention of their name :D and keeps nagging me to dump them like a bad habit) that my problem is those 200+ DVDs. If I deleted everything except The Hurt Locker and Inglorious Basterds, I'd get them asap. But there's two problem with that:

1) My Netflix queue is a handy way of storing all the DVDs I want to watch. Sure, I could cut & paste the whole thing into a word doc or some such, and then filter them back onto the list one by one, but it seems so clumsy and annoying to have to do all that extra work. But more importantly,

2) If that's the way Netflix works, they are morons and it seriously makes me reconsider whether I want to continue to be a customer. Obviously, they need to change the way their system spits out DVDs to match their stated policy or change their policy and be honest about it, and make sure their policy is being applied fairly equally for all customers.

I've been happy with Netflix so far, but now my happiness is draining away towards indifference, soon to enter a "looking around for good competitors to jump ship to" phase...

Anyone want to chime in on a) is the problem actually the length of my queue or is Mr. Netflix Hater just making up shit again; b) any other strategies that can kick DVDs lose more quickly; or c) any other companies I should investigate that have a wide ranging library (some sample titles from my queue to show the necessary range of movies and TV series: Prehistoric Megastorms; The Cove; How Green Was My Valley; The Lovely Bones; Nero Wolfe) that they will deliver to my doorstep?

Starbreaker March 27 2010 11:51 PM

Re: long waits on Netflix
Are these two films at the top of your queue right now? If so, you should get it as soon as one is available. These two are just very popular, and they probably didn't order enough to meet with the demands. There's also probably tons of people who have been hoarding them for weeks.

Temis the Vorta March 28 2010 12:13 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
Yep, they're both at the top. I haven't noticed being at the top does a damn thing about getting stuff quicker. ;)

If people are "hoarding" these movies (absurd, why don't they just buy them, they're paying to hoard them anyway!) then Netflix should get with the program and burn some new DVDs. How hard can that be? Maybe they have to pay more license fee but that's what happens if you want to rent out the popular movies.

They should be able to predict by now which movies get hoarded and what the demand will be, according to genre, director, box office, Oscar wins, etc. They should be able to input those factors into a database so it's all automated.

There's no excuse. I think they're just incompetent or maybe they're deliberately trying to aggravate me in order to get me to drop my subscription because I'm the bad kind of customer, who sends back DVDs pretty quickly and therefore doesn't pay much per DVD. ;)

Starbreaker March 28 2010 12:42 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
Netflix has amazing customer service. You should call and see if you can get those films ASAP because you've been waiting so long. They'll probably manage to find one for you!

Holdfast March 28 2010 02:00 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
I know nothing about Netflix beyond the basic concept (I'm not a big DVD watching person, and the ones I do want, I buy, so don't have any rental service), but I'd have thought the Netflix are simply managing the overall demand on their titles in the most efficient way.

If there's a very long wait on certain titles, and you have other titles you also want to see that are available, then it makes sense to send you the other titles, and send the in-demand title to people who JUST want to see those in-demand movies. It strikes me as the most efficient way to manage the overall demand burden on their system, given that (presumably) everybody pays basically the same monthly fee and the resources (ie the number of DVDs in the system) are finite. Yes, they could license more copies, but that would be a terribly inefficient way to manage spikes in demand. As long as the vast majority of customers are happy, and receiving DVDs, then they will grow at a rate that will outpace losing a very small minority who dislike the demand management protocol they're using.

Alternatively, it's possible there's just a glitch in the system.

Call them. Even if there's no glitch, the call will doubtless re-designate your prioirity to a higher level, changing the formula they're using to decide who gets what when. Squeaky wheel, and all that.

Nerys Myk March 28 2010 02:44 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
Like anything else it helps to be the first in line. The folks with open slots in their ques on Monday are the ones who get it first. I got Inglorious Basterds the day it came out. If you miss the window you miss out and have to wait. Some times its short. I just got The Men Who Stare At Goats Thursday just couple of days after it was out even though it said long wait on Tuesday. :shrug:

Christopher March 28 2010 04:13 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
Dang, then I wish I'd sent my current DVD back today or yesterday.

RoJoHen March 28 2010 04:16 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix

Starbreaker wrote: (Post 3952433)
Netflix has amazing customer service. You should call and see if you can get those films ASAP because you've been waiting so long. They'll probably manage to find one for you!

Agreed. Their customer service is awesome, and the people are very friendly and reasonable. I had an issue a couple months ago, and it was resolved within 5 minutes on the phone.

stj March 28 2010 04:23 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
It took months to get series one of Second Sight. But that's an absurd English mystery series for which I have an inexplicable fondness. I may well be the only one in the country to have ordered it. Buying a TV series just for me, even if it takes months, is actually pretty good service.

Generally I never notice the times, because if I'm really eager to see a popular release I just go ahead and Redbox it, or maybe even buy.

Starbreaker March 28 2010 04:38 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
Another option.. create a second account linked to that address, like you would do for a kid, and just have it send DVDs for that one. You might get it quicker.

Joeman March 28 2010 05:14 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
I waited just over 2 months for The Hangover.

Before I recently put my account on hold, I had 252 DVD's in queue. Of those 252, 28 were listed a some sort of wait. That's a lot, and it had only started getting that bad within the last few months.

I had a few experiences with their customer service over the years, and I'll agree that it was always good. I really don't want to have to contact them every time I've been waiting on a disc though.

I've been assuming that this problem was related to them outgrowing their DVD supply. Doesn't anyone use Blockbuster anymore??? I haven't since 1990, and never will again (but I highly recommend that route for everyone else! :p ).

Harvey March 28 2010 05:19 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
Blockbuster's online service is just as good (or, at least, nearly as good) as Netflix. They don't have quite as many titles, but I've found them to be faster.

They're (probably) going out of business, though, so Netflix must be getting flooded with new customers jumping ship before it goes down.

auntiehill March 28 2010 05:49 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
I've NEVER had to wait for any title on Netflix. I have gotten everything within 3 days, tops. I had a couple of new releases at the top of my list, and they still made it within the 3 time frame. Maybe because I live near a very large city, it helped with the distribution. Who knows?

Sisko_is_my_captain March 28 2010 06:02 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
I thought this was going to be a complaint about how Netflix limits the rate at which they ship discs to 'power users' - folks who get more than a certain number (I think 10-12) discs per month. I definitely noticed a shipping speed decline once I revealed myself to the Powers That Be as someone who rapidly watched and returned dvds (I'm watching a couple of tv series, and I've got the time to watch a disc per day and have it back in the mail the day after I get it). They've admitted that this is a common practice, since they lose money on customers like me.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't require so many discs to be sent if they'd just make the series I want to watch available via online streaming (Buffy, Angel, Deadwood, Rome).

A beaker full of death March 28 2010 07:55 AM

Re: long waits on Netflix
I haven't bothered getting a dvd from them in months -- with all the streaming movies and tv shows they offer, who needs dvds?

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