Netflix - Movies
Originally posted on April
Kind'a cool... maybe...
$20 bucks a month and all the
DVDs you can watch... well... almost. I have been a Netflix member
for about a month now (joined Feb 2nd, 2003) and I like it. Kind
of. I am a creature of habit. I miss driving down to the movie
rental store to see the titles on the shelf and listening to
others comment while they browse the isles of the rental store
about the movies they have rented or want to rent. We also used
to go and get a scoop of ice cream or browse our town center
(Burlingame CA) when we would go rent. We got a little exercise,
we bumped into friends, it was a nice social thing to do.
Now we're Netflixed. I or my
wife goes online to see what movies are popular and rent them.
It's kind of a sterile process really.
The way is works is; you go to
Netflix.com and sign up
for $20 bucks a month plus tax. You peruse the listings of movies
for rent and click right there on the big red RENT button. It
goes into a queue and Netflix sends them in the US Postal mail.
They send out 3 movies and when you are done watching those,
you'll get the next 3 movies in your queue according to your
priority that you set. Under the $20 plan, you're allowed 3 movies
out at any time. You can add as many movies to the queue as you
want. You can also change the priority of the movies. Let's say
you have 1. Monsters Inc, 2. Shrek and 3. My
Big Fat Greek Wedding in the queue and you see a new movie
come out that you just can't wait for. It's pretty easy to just
logon to your account and give it top priority to get to you
Keep em as long as you want.
That's one of Netflix's slogans. Good for them because if you
keep that movie as long as you want then that means you can only
have 2 movies out at one time. Good for Netflix. I think there
is a time limit thou. Netflix doesn't say on the website but
I'm sure there is. Probably 90 days or something.
Okay, so that's the MO of Netflix.
Here's my personal experience. I rented Lord Of The Rings, watched
it and mailed it back, or so I thought so... I see in my queue
on the Netflix website that it didn't arrive. I went to the Netflix
site and looked up the procedure for lost of missing CDs and
found the following...
Report a DVD or Shipping Problem
What is the problem?
The DVD didn't arrive
The DVD arrived damaged, scratched, or unplayable
The DVD is not what I ordered
The white sleeve and DVD don't match
I returned a DVD but Netflix has not received it
I have lost or damaged a DVD and would like to pay for it
I don't have a white sleeve
I don't have a return envelope
I chose 'I returned a DVD but
Netflix has not received it '...
Curious, I looked a little deeper
on the Netflix site and found the following.
Q: When will this "lost" DVD be removed
from my account? I don't want negative marks against my account.
A: Netflix uses the U.S. Postal Service to ship discs
to our customers. We found this method of delivery to be reliable
and fast. However, we're aware that a disc may occasionally be
lost during the shipping process through no fault of the customer.
Therefore, it is our policy to accommodate for the occasional
disc lost during shipment. If the quantity of lost discs reported
by a customer becomes excessive, however, we will place the account
under review and notify the customer via email.
Rest assured that reporting
a title as lost in no way reflects negatively on your account
history. It's simply a tracking tool used by our Loss Prevention
Department. Monitoring areas of loss helps them provide valuable
information to our postal liaison who works diligently to ensure
the effective delivery and return of our DVDs.
Even more curious, I decided
to call Netflix to see, more like to be more reassured that everything
was okay. I went to the Netflix website and looked and looked
for a phone number... nothing... I found all sorts of email addresses
for every other department. Everything from Employment to Public
Relations and no phone numbers...
I don't like that.
I guess they don't like to talk
to their customers. You know... they like to unilaterally make
decisions about your service with no personal touch. We all know
it's expensive to maintain phone service, man the phones and
pay for all that stuff but from what I've read about Netflix,
they can afford to give a little bit better service in this department.
Well I found the phone number
by using a little trick. I go to Google and in the search box
type the following [+Netflix +phone], without the brackets of
course. You can use this trick to find lots of phone numbers
for companies that like to duck and hide from their customers.
I found ebay's & Paypal's phone number this way when I was
having a problem with them as well.
I found the phone number of this
site - http://www.texturedigital.com/netflix.html.
apparently its a forum for people to discuss their problems with
That's when I soon discovered
that their are lots of people having problems with shipping.
First of all, I can't believe that that many people are dishonest
and said they sent it back and didn't. Well maybe there are a
few. But Netflix has (I'm sure) a panel of advisors on their
board that have calculated this.
Anyway, I get Mike on the phone
and immediately I feel like I got in through a back door or something
because I have the distinct impression that his fast talking,
talk over you and not let you get a word in professionalism is
a preprogrammed trait by the Netflix orientation for new employees.
So, I used my well honed entrepreneurial bull-headed responses
to weave my way to his more human side and I was assured by Mike
that holding my movie that didn't make it back wouldn't be held
In summary, I'd say the service
pretty good. $20 is a bit steep but it's very easy to just open
the mail box a watch some movies. That's is very convenient and
lazy. We still go down to the video store to keep the local independent
going but we find ourselves taking notes of what movies to queue
up on Netflix...