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Ian

I got one a month or two ago, but none since then.

MMMDI

I received one earlier this week, and one today. Both had the window ripped downwards, as though either some postal worker wanted to peek at what movie was inside, or it was ripped in shipping. Either way, I really hope they do away with this and soon.

Jon Abad

I've yet to receive such a windowed envelope but the folks at my distro center here in houston always put the sleeves in upside down to the suggestion and its beginning to irk me.

Anyways! Is the window open or covered in plastic like the envelopes for bills?

Aron

Presumedly this would allow scanning of the envelope by barcode reader, and therefore know the inside of the envelope without opening it.

But unless they change the sleeve as well so that the barcode is on there 8 times (i.e. (back, front) X (top, bottom, left, right)), only the outbound direction could use this reliably.

May signify a change in the workflow at the fulfillment centers. i.e.
1) open inbound envelopes
2) scan disc as received
3) repackage disc in new unlabeled envelope
4) Most ppl leave for day.
5) machine-stamp the stack of packaged envelopes with destination addresses.
6) ship

Step #3 can now occur prior to the end of the day when all discs are in and the computer has decided what is going where.

Netflix mentioned recently that there were certain efficiencies in this general area that they planned on making that would "more then offset the postage increase". This could be related.

David Phillips (TweezerMan)

We've been getting those envelopes here in SF for at least the last 2-3 weeks. The window appears to be intended only to allow scanning of the DVD before it is mailed from NetFlix to the customer. On the face of the return envelope, there is a diagram with the caption "Please insert sleeve upright." When the DVD is inserted according to the diagram, the bar code on the DVD sleeve does not show in the window, so NetFlix cannot scan the DVD upon its return. (The bar code is facing the front of the envelope, away from the window.)

Michael

Same here...I live in SF area and have been getting them for a while as well. The thing I don't like is that if you pull at it a little bit, you can read what's inside. Personally, I'd rather they stick with no hole as there's more privacy that way.

Geez! Postal workers pulling on them?! Privacy concerns?! Conspiracy Theorists abound. Some people need a life!!!

MMMDI

Anonymous said - "Geez! Postal workers pulling on them?! Privacy concerns?! Conspiracy Theorists abound. Some people need a life!!!"

I could personally care less about other people knowing which movies I rent (I even put the info online - http://www.lifeofasimpleman.com/rss_netflixqueue.php ).

My problem is mainly with the real-life repercussions of this. Mail gets tossed around, shoved from box to box, and generally handled quite roughly in transit from the Netflix center to my house. Two out of the two total movies that I've received with the window have come through ripped from the bottom of the window to nearly the bottom of the envelope. It's only a matter of time before one rips all the way, resulting in a lost DVD.

Also, this window makes it quite easy to see which movie is inside the envelope. If Mr. Thieving Postal Worker sees that a movie that he is interested in is in his hands, he'd be much more likely to make off with it than if it was just a random movie.

Paranoia? Conspiracy theory? Nope, it's just the real world.

So postal workers are thieves? That is what you are implying. I wonder than how many of your profession are thieves since you classify so quickly. Any envelopes with open windows stand a chance of being ripping in the sorters. Yes, it is a bad design but not a privacy concern. YOU justify it as privacy & thievery, but it is actually just damage & delay that seems to be the concern.

You stand a better chance of the disc being stolen out of your mailbox by a passer by than a postal worker.

Also, the next time you drop a disc in a blue postal box, look down the neck, I'd bet that you will see a pile of mail plugging it up. You can reach into the next and pull it out. I wonder how many people don't know and just cram more into them.

Paranoia? Conspiracy? YES!

Mr. Paranoia and conspiracy, could you please go to the front page of this blog and scroll down to the bottom until you get to the article entitled 'sometimes it is the mailman'? Thanks.

As far as how honest a postal worker is or isn't, I'd say that's an individual thing. My current carrier is awesome, I've been on his route for 5 years and I've never had a package go missing.

The one I had prior to this one was pretty bad though. He wasn't a thief, but he really didn't care whether you got your mail or not, he'd just shove stuff into mailboxes without verifying which address it belong to. Tracking down your mail became a daily chore. He retired though, so the problem went away.

Postal workers are human, some good, some bad. So while most of them aren't ripping off your dvds, it only takes one to make your life miserable.

As for the window, I got one, the disc came from the San Jose distro center. My distro center is Salem, Or.

Curt Hibbs

I routinely return three DVDs in one envelop. It seems like this practice would be a problem if they are going to scan the contents before opening the envelop.

When netflix moved to the new format for the tyvek sleeve label, the content of the barcode changed. It used to be a representation of the numbers off to the right. Now there is no resembelence. Here's a typical one:

C06GKRH0YAU

(some letters have been changed).

They are either generating random strings or compressing the numeric code (perhaps they're using modulo 36 "numbers"). They probably went to a shorter format to make the window as small as possible to avoid rips.

LaWilson

I'm just curious about this Curt, so please don't take it the wrong way:
Why send 3 DVD's in one envelope if you are given 3? What benefit does that provide for you? Thanks.

Garrett

LaWilson, I remember reading that it saves Netflix money on return postage if you combine the DVDs in one envelope. Maybe he's a stockholder and wants to help them out. Maybe he just likes the co mpany and wants to save them money.

Ed

I get my Netflix discs from the San Jose distribution center, the original one, and most of my envelopes have been this new style for the last month or so.

Ed

Jnetty

Oceanside, NY here and i get my disks from Flushings, NY and i have Yet to see any new style.

Michael

I haven't seen any of these envelopes here in Indianapolis but one day I did get a strange envelope. Outside it looked normal. When I opened it the entire return envelope was backwards. By that I mean the sealing flap was on the right side where the "No Postage Necessary" is. The picture on the outside that instructs you on how to insert the DVD in the envelope showed you to put the DVD in on the right side. So the whole thing was backwards. The only thing I can figure is since this envelope had a code of "HI" meaning from Hawaii I suppose is that Hawaii is different.

JLee

Well, Hawaii is in the Southwestern hemisphere, meaning the toilets circulate quasi-clockwise (or quasi-counterclockwise, I never remember which). Because of this, the equatorial borealis is especially bright in the springtime, and I think that's what causes certain perennials to bloom sooner than a botanist might think. This affects the humidity, which in turn affects the propensity of an envelope to stay shut, etc. etc. The cause and effect seems fairly obvious to me.

:)

"Hawaii is in the Southwestern hemisphere, meaning the toilets circulate quasi-clockwise"

Myth.

"You may have heard that toilets flush backwards in Australia. That’s based on this Coriolis Effect which is what makes things spin due to the spinning earth. While it’s true that Coriolis works in reverse in the Southern Hemisphere this does not effect something as small as a toilet!"

""You may have heard that toilets flush backwards in Australia. That’s based on this Coriolis Effect which is what makes things spin due to the spinning earth. While it’s true that Coriolis works in reverse in the Southern Hemisphere this does not effect something as small as a toilet!""

Garbage. The toilet water does flow in the opposite direction. I saw it on an episode of the Simpsons. (Bart created an international incident) ;-)

MMMDI

Anonymous said: "So postal workers are thieves? That is what you are implying."

The one that delivers to my route? Yes. I order a lot of stuff online, from Amazon and eBay (although my DVD purchases have went down since signing on with Netflix). When I had stuff shipped out to my home address, *at least* every other package would come up missing. When I had enough and got a PO Box, I found that my stolen reports drastically went down... in fact, I haven't had a single package come up missing in 2+ years. Am I worried about the postal workers working in my particular post office stealing my movies? Not really, I've had nothing stolen in the years that I've been receiving my mail there. Do I think that this will cause more of the dishonest postal workers elsewhere to steal more movies, now that they can pick and choose which movies to steal? Definitely.

"Any envelopes with open windows stand a chance of being ripping in the sorters."

So then, why change from the (not perfect, but leagues better) old style of envelopes to a new style which is much more prone to ripping?

"Yes, it is a bad design but not a privacy concern. YOU justify it as privacy & thievery, but it is actually just damage & delay that seems to be the concern."

Once again, privacy is not an issue with me. It may be with others, but I could care less who knows which titles I'm renting. If you're going to harp on that point, find somebody else to argue it with.

"You stand a better chance of the disc being stolen out of your mailbox by a passer by than a postal worker."

Since I have a PO Box, a box which only I have a key to, I highly doubt that.

"Also, the next time you drop a disc in a blue postal box, look down the neck, I'd bet that you will see a pile of mail plugging it up. You can reach into the next and pull it out. I wonder how many people don't know and just cram more into them."

Granted, I live in a small town. However, I have never seen anything along those lines. Generally, the mail in my local postal boxes barely cover the bottom of the box, if even that. Things may be different in big cities, so I'll take your word on that.

"Paranoia? Conspiracy? YES!"

Nope, it's just the real world.

MMMDI,

Must be hard to be a jerk like you then. With your attitude, no wonder people would take your stuff; to get back at your sorry *ss!

I think it's better to send 3 in 1 envelope, because they get them all the same time, so if they say that they haven't recieved 1 or 2, they're bullshitting you.

MMMDI

No reply to the points at hand, and resorting to second-grade antics on top of that. Yep, I'm going to guess that you agree with me. If you'd like to have an adult conversation, I'll continue... else, not worth my time.

"So postal workers are thieves? That is what you are implying. ...
...Paranoia? Conspiracy? YES!"

Netflix constantly blaming the post office for its failings is not paranoia, it is simply blame shifting.

Jeff

- step up on soapbox -

I have to agree, MMMDI appears to be pretty cynical. Just because he had a bad experience with the post office, he labels the entire profession as "thieves". It's that kind of attitude that causes so many problems already. Call the PO a thief then see if they want to help you; be rude to a CS rep but yet ask them to fix something on your account; tell the cell company they screwed up part of your account but then ask for free minutes; etc.

I too would not waste my time with someone that shows such a demeanor. There is a saying that "you catch more flies with honey that vinegar". MMMDI should follow that or he will probably die a lonely, frustrated old man.

- down off my soapbox now -

MMMDI

Jeff said: "...he labels the entire profession as "thieves"..."

Try reading what I wrote again.

The one that delivers to my route? Yes. I order a lot of stuff online, from Amazon and eBay (although my DVD purchases have went down since signing on with Netflix). When I had stuff shipped out to my home address, *at least* every other package would come up missing. When I had enough and got a PO Box, I found that my stolen reports drastically went down... in fact, I haven't had a single package come up missing in 2+ years. Am I worried about the postal workers working in my particular post office stealing my movies? Not really, I've had nothing stolen in the years that I've been receiving my mail there. Do I think that this will cause more of the dishonest postal workers elsewhere to steal more movies, now that they can pick and choose which movies to steal?

In other words: the postal worker that delivered mail to my route was/is a thief. There are some other postal workers out there that steal mail. However, I never said that every postal worker in every post office in every state is a thief. It's a small percentage, but they are out there.

I enjoy Netflix (else I wouldn't be a member) and I enjoy this blog (else I wouldn't be posting). However, that doesn't mean that I will turn a blind eye when Netflix makes a bad decision, and since the point of this blog is to discuss both the good and bad of online DVD rental services, these were my thoughts.

Rachael

Curt's returning 3 DVDs in one envelope may save Netflix money, but they won't pass those savings on to him. They will eventually throttle him, assuming they don't do it already. Netflix really hates receiving 3 returned DVDs per day from a 3-out customer. Personally, I doubt that returning multiple movies in an envelope saves them much money, because I think their rates are based on weight, not volume. It only saves the weight of 2 envelopes. And it also risks more discs being lost or broken. You would eventually get unlucky and lose a whole return shipment. Then Netflix won't look kindly on your account at all.

Discs are more likely to break if multiples are in the same envelope. They have to go through lots of twists and turns at the post office. This could end up costing Netflix more money if they have to replace a disc. I think I remember reading on the website that they one a maximum of two in an envelope, and that they prefer to have one-at-a-time.

Jonathan

I received one of these new envelopes yesterday from the Gaithersburg, Maryland distribution center. There's a couple interesting thing... There is no diagram at all to tell you how to insert the disc in the envelope. And secondly, the return address that is physically printed on the envelope and under the return sticker has changed from San Jose to Gaithersburg. So, this is the first Gaithersburg-specific envelope I have received. I'm going to return it with the DVD's barcode showing, to see if anything faster/better/different happens.

Kay

I don't like these new envelopes. Before the new ones came out someone had been opening my netflix DVDs to see what I have. Now the person doesn't even have to open it to see which dvd I got. One of my dvds is missing. I guess I'm going to have to cancel Netflix.

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