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Old March 28 2010, 08:43 PM   #24
Temis the Vorta
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Location: Tatoinne
Re: long waits on Netflix

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
That's what my Netflix-hating friend says (and that's one of the reasons he hates Netflix). And if that's true, he's right to hate Netflix - they have broken system because it's penalizing people simply for having a lot of titles in their queue. The "solution" is just what he said - delete everything but those two movies.

But I don't want to delete everything. It's STUPID! STUPID STUPID STUPID!!!! Netflix should fix their broke-ass system rather than force paying customers to do STUPID things!!!
It strikes me as the most efficient way to manage the overall demand burden on their system
If it aggravates customers badly enough that they stop being customers, then it's not efficient at all. It's a broke-ass system and they need to change it.

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.
Well that's another thing. Why can't I just email them? They are an online based company, after all. Yet I've scoured their site and can find no inkling of any customer service email. I should just be able to email them and say, "fix your broke-ass system and send me X and Y DVDs right frakking now or consider me a former customer," and that should get just the same results as calling, but with less effort on my part.
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.
That would be an interesting experiment, too - assuming it's under the same account and therefore no added expense.

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.
And it does Netflix no good, either. Companies usually try to limit the number of times customer service is contacted because of the expense of those employees. If the system is "Customer X calls, asks for DVD Y, DVD Y is sent," then that is idiotic on Netflix's part because it is adding unneccessary expense to what should be a streamlined, dirt-cheap system. To keep expenses down, they want to keep any real-live (pricey) human being out of the process. Isn't that one reason why they're online instead of a brick-and-mortar store, to eliminate the business expense of running a store with clerks checking out DVDs for you, which in turn is why they can rent me a DVD for $1.50 and not $5 like at Blockbuster?

They could automate the process, for instance, having a "complaint" button next to a DVD that the customer can push instead of calling customer service - same result, much less cost for Netflix. Or they could optimize their system to eradicate the motive of customers to push that "complaint" button. Their customer service isn't great if they're motivating customers to complain. The best customer service is to make your customers forget you have a customer service department. That's best for the customers and for the company.
I've been assuming that this problem was related to them outgrowing their DVD supply.
I'm wondering about that, too. How long does it take to burn a DVD? They should have machines spittin' those suckers out at a rapid-fire rate, 24 hours a day. If they can't keep up, buy more machines. Maybe the hold-up is the expense of licensing the DVDs. Somebody must be expecting to be paid if you have 200,000 copies of a title rather than 2000 like you thought. But they're making much more money off 200,000 copies vs 2000 and the per-DVD licensing fee for 200,000 should be much cheaper than for 2000 - you should get a volume discount or something?!? Scaling-up is a good problem to have because you're driving your per-unit costs down.

They're (probably) going out of business, though, so Netflix must be getting flooded with new customers jumping ship before it goes down.
That sounds like the most plausible explanation so far - Netflix has been blindsided by an outside factor that while good for them long-term is causing chaos short-term. There is some lag time to purchasing new DVD-spitting-out machines and re-negotiating licensing contracts, which is disrupting what should be an efficient system. The problem should be mitigated after they've had a chance to scale up properly.

Maybe because I live near a very large city, it helped with the distribution.
I live in San Francisco, so that's not it, either.
I still think it'd be a good idea for Temis to get herself a Roku box or similar.
When they start givin' em away free, then I'll take the plunge. A major motivation for being a Netflix customer is that it's dirt-cheap. I already pay too much money overall for TV (cable bill being the chief offender ) so I'm really not up for adding one penny more.

I think everybody had a long wait for The Hangover! Definitely a movie with an unexpected popularity.
By the time it was out on DVD, it should not have been unexpected. It's exactly the type of movie that Netflix should flag as being likely to be disproportionately popular with their customer base. That's the kind of thing I find unacceptable (if that's really the problem). They really should have a good enough understanding of their customer base and their tastes that they only rarely would get blindsided.

They have a policy of sending the newest DVDs to their "best" customers. Best meaning those that don't turn around DVDs very fast. Since I stopped watching so many DVDs and only get a couple a month, my requests come instantly.
That's another possibility - I think I'm the type of person they lose money on. That infuriates me enough that I think I'll start turning DVDs around even faster so they lose even more money.

So, say my plan lets me have three discs at home at any time. The top two in my list are available so they send them, but the third isn't. Do they send the fourth or just not send me anything until I manually move a disc that is in stock up the list in to third place or my original third choice comes in to stock ?
They'll skip over what isn't available and send whatever is next in line. But if you sign up to have "two disks at home," then you have to send one back before they'll send another one. You can sign up to have one to eight DVDs at any time.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; March 28 2010 at 09:17 PM.
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