« Netflix Profiles: Sharing Your Account | Main | Fool.com: Take Chances, Blockbuster »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c1bb69e200d83461da6653ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Netflix Rental History Controversy:

Comments

Old news, reported on Manuel's site November 13th. Good to see Mike is finally admitting it, though. Luckily, I have all rental logs saved, all the way back to the beginning. I'm disgusted by this recent pathetic move from ThrottleFlix. I should be able to access my FULL rental acitivity at Netflix like a can at Blockbuster, GreenCine, and every other site. Give me back the email history, you greedy, lying, thumb-sucking, sons of whores. If you gave good service, you'd have nothing to hide.

Becky

I keep track of my complete rental history using Netflix Freak, a shareware application from The Little App Factory.

"I keep track of my complete rental history using Netflix Freak, a shareware application from The Little App Factory."

Most applications won't work anymore, because Netflix removed the RSS feed from your queue. FlixQueue doesn't show my updated history now as a result. And there are numerous errors or discrepancies, like saying a movie is still out or not listing the return date properly, past October 18th, 2005. NFLX has screwed us.

Mike K

I've known about it since the 13th as well, but I was told by different people at Netflix that the changes to the history feature are not complete. I haven't been able to get information on what features it will have or when it will be available, and I really wanted to post the complete story.

You're right -- I probably should have posted this sooner. I'm surprised that only a few people noticed the change (I typically get a bunch of e-mails when something like this happens).

I really wonder how many people have ever looked at their history.

- Mike K

"I'm surprised that only a few people noticed the change (I typically get a bunch of e-mails when something like this happens)."

I noticed it before Manuel posted the story. First, I noticed that there was no button to press for my complete email history. I never noticed any missing information like Manuel stated, I think they only did that briefly. It's lame that we can't access our complete history online, like we can at BBO and GC.

"Most applications won't work anymore, because Netflix removed the RSS feed from your queue."

What do you mean? My RSS feed urls are still there and work. Queue, Most Recent Rental Activity & Recommendations as well as all the public ones. I have them running in a rss reader everyday. Mine last updated at 4:52pm yesterday when 3 shipped ouit and all show the ship date.

http://www.netflix.com/RSSFeeds?lnkctr=mfRSS

tallrock.net

Speaking as the guy behind the tallrock.net applications, I'll update the applications once Netflix finishes their changes to the rental history section.

Until then, the RentalStats application is kind of crippled. Manuel does have a work-around posted on manuelsweb.com.

WendyD

Interesting. My new returned rental history available online only goes back to Feb. 2001, even though I joined Netflix in Nov. 1999. Anyone else notice this? I have my rental history emails saved in several accounts, so to me its no big deal, but I just wondered if it was just me.

RAYMOND KNIGHT

My guess would be that NETFLIX has not intention of ever putting those two dates together again. The window for throttling to begin has dropped to two-months now has best as I can detect. The amount of DVDs to qualify you for throttling has consistenly dropped over time. Even with this plea-bargain it should still be illegal for them to receive a DVD and not acknowledge that it has been returned. I hope that will be the next court case.

Rusty Ramrod

I use both NF and BB. I keep a local log of ship dates and ship times so I don't really use their versions of my rental history, but can see where it would be useful to some.

Also, can anyone tell me if there is a site similar to this for BB. Lately my BB service has gone to crap and I would like to see if others are having the same issues. Yesterday they sent me Polar Express (a new movie) and the #20 and #21 from my queue even though 16 of the titles higher in my queue showed as available. A call the BB yielded nothing except an obviously bored employee.

"Give me back the email history, you greedy, lying, thumb-sucking, sons of whores."

Man what a whiny bitch. Most people who are upset with a business will stop shopping there unlike the professional victims who post here. You are truly pathetic.

"What do you mean? My RSS feed urls are still there and work. Queue, Most Recent Rental Activity & Recommendations as well as all the public ones."

Whatever, FlixQueue and other applications do not work for the History any more. They only go to October 18th, the next 3 have errors or inconsistencies. After that, there's no data. We should be able to access our FULL rental history, both on their website and by email.

"Man what a whiny bitch."

Man, what a whiny Netflix shill. Nothing they do is ever worthy of complaint or criticism.

"Most people who are upset with a business will stop shopping there unlike the professional victims who post here."

Most people who are not shills would notice the loss of features or the lack of features offered by other online DVD services. They'd get angry if it was something they ever used or wanted to use. Shills, on the other hand, would say, no big deal, stop whining.

"You are truly pathetic."

Talking to yourself again? Get a real job. Professional shill is a pathetic occupation.

Go F yourself, bitch.

"What do you mean? My RSS feed urls are still there and work. Queue, Most Recent Rental Activity & Recommendations as well as all the public ones."

Whatever, FlixQueue and other applications do not work for the History any more. They only go to October 18th, the next 3 have errors or inconsistencies. After that, there's no data. We should be able to access our FULL rental history, both on their website and by email.
---

What do you mean, Whatever!?

How far back do you think RSS feeds go? I have never seen one with more than 10 items. You need to archive the data to build a history. Does not your software do that? Do you think RSS feeds just keep getting added to without an end? Usually only 10 items are in a RSS. Your software should be logging the history. Get better software or learn to use it correctly!

Fred Thompson

@rusty,

I have been having the same bad service with BB as you for the past 2-3 months. I cancelled and this is my last week with them. I don't know of a BB type site like this. I don't know what happened (unless is financialy related) but the service has gone downhill for me. Back before the summer, they were great.

Lately I have no more USPS scanning, 3-4 days each way, no more SE releases of older movies - but the shipping time is the killer.

@Fred,

When I called I asked about the shipping delays and received the standard “USPS is the problem.”

I get maybe 1 in 20 scanned.

When asking about them skipping over 16 available titles she told me the order I had them in my queue had no bearing on what they shipped out. HUH?

As a test I have removed all but the 3 disks I want next time from my queue. We will see what happens. :-)

CJ

"Is having a complete rental history important to you?"

Online with dates? - not really.

Right from the first rental way back in year 2000, I started saving the Tear-off sheet on the shipping envelop. On this sheet I write the DVD title, date received, and date mailed back. These sheets used to have barcodes I thought might be useful. Anyway, I still keep these sheets as kind of a "shipping audit trail."

The new system, where you can see all the rentals on line (sans dates) without waiting for an e-mail, will work better for me. I usually just want to know if I've already seen a title before re-renting - I tend to forget what I've seen 4 or 5 years ago.

Manda

In addition to Netflix Tracker (listology.com) I have a steno pad in which I keep a record of each DVD - the distribution center they come from, the dates they are shipped/received, travel time, and any problems (cracks, etc.) It's low tech but it works for me.

"Right from the first rental way back in year 2000, I started saving the Tear-off sheet on the shipping envelop. On this sheet I write the DVD title, date received, and date mailed back."

I do the same thing, except I also add date sent to me and the date they admit getting itback. I also record when and where I sent the return. This makes throttling blatantly obvious. It also shows that inside the main post office is the fastest place to send.

Oh, and I also write down the city each disc came from, if it's not my local one. And I write down if they throttled the next movie after they received it. For instance, I will write "one day delay" if they say my next movie is "Shipping tomorrow." Occasionally, that gets pushed back another day. I don't file a sheet until the next DVD has shipped. This makes throttling all the more obvious. And they do it ALL THE TIME to me.

Other important information to record is how long the disc took to get to me and back to them. I subtract postal holidays days on the way to me, plus weekends on the way back to them. I also record how long I kept the disc and the total turn-around from the time they sent it to the time they got it back... I've added more information over the years, and I have gone back and updated my old records if needed. I would make an excellent witness in the prosecution of their next class action.

"As a test I have removed all but the 3 disks I want next time from my queue. We will see what happens. :-)"

It's always a good strategy to keep your Q small, esp if some titles you want most are long waits. If you always have a slot open with nothing to send, you will get the long wait titles as soon as they come in. I use this trick all the time. If you fill your Q with available movies, you may never get the ones that have a wait on them. So I add no more than 2 available movies at a time, and the rest are waits. I record other movies on a list that I can refer to periodically.

"If you always have a slot open with nothing to send, you will get the long wait titles as soon as they come in... If you fill your Q with available movies, you may never get the ones that have a wait on them."

Good advice, but awkward to implement. It'd be great if Netflix and Blockbuster had an option you could check that would HOLD one or more slots for wait titles at the top of your queue. It's a hassle trying to get wait movies, because they seem to come back and go out again at the worst possible times.

"You need to archive the data to build a history. Does not your software do that? Do you think RSS feeds just keep getting added to without an end? Usually only 10 items are in a RSS. Your software should be logging the history. Get better software or learn to use it correctly!"

I am archiving the history, but the current data (past October 18th) is NOT AVAILABLE. Maybe Netflix has changed how it works. I'm using the software right and it worked fine before. So don't treat me like an idiot.

"I get maybe 1 in 20 scanned."

I don't care if they do postal scanning. They get my movies 1 postal day after I sent them. They send new movies immediately every time. That alone is more better than Throttleflix. Most of my Blockbuster DVDs arrive in a day. The only things I don't like are getting the DVDs out of order, and not having all of the new special editions any more. Still, their throughput kicks NFLX's s ass all over.

"I am archiving the history, but the current data (past October 18th) is NOT AVAILABLE. Maybe Netflix has changed how it works. I'm using the software right and it worked fine before. So don't treat me like an idiot."

Hmmmm, well, RSS feeds are still there. I pull mine everyday into a RSS feed aggragator. I have a history of sent/received movies that goes back to March when i started using the feed. Sounds like its something on your end.

Blockbuster's attitude that they won't even TRY to send DVDs in order is either going to cause customers to quit or starting backing the DVDs up to watch in order later. It's a stupid policy. Let's admit Netflix is better here. They try to send DVDs in the order of your queue, and usually succeed. Blockbuster doesn't try and hardly ever succeeds. If you don't care what order you get DVDs in, their fast throughput and special editions are the only reason to go with Blockbuster. If they stop getting new special editions and start throttling, they'll go out of business fast.

Fred Thompson

"I get maybe 1 in 20 scanned."

I don't care if they do postal scanning. They get my movies 1 postal day after I sent them. They send new movies immediately every time. That alone is more better than Throttleflix. Most of my Blockbuster DVDs arrive in a day. The only things I don't like are getting the DVDs out of order, and not having all of the new special editions any more. Still, their throughput kicks NFLX's s ass all over.

-------------

Well I do (or did as I have cancelled them this week). I never got better than 2 day delivery but when they started USPS scanning, it was the same as getting overnight returns.

Now with the loss of scanning AND the slow down for me, I get 3-5 days each way. Totally uacceptable. When I first signed up, my center was 300 miles away and I received 2 day delivery, then they switched me to a center 200 miles away and I still got 2-day. Now it has gone up to 3-5 days. I sent 2 discs back on Saturday and they still have not arrived (Tuesday). If they make it tomorrow, Wednesday, thats 3 mail days (not counting the day I sent it or the Sunday that mail still moves). What kind of slow service is that? That is how mine has been for the last 2-3 months. That is why I quit.

"Hmmmm, well, RSS feeds are still there. I pull mine everyday into a RSS feed aggragator. I have a history of sent/received movies that goes back to March when i started using the feed. Sounds like its something on your end."

Well, FlixQueue can't access it. Nor can any other popular app, most likely. If you know something that works as a dedicated Netflix manager, post a link.

Bill

I use it to figure out how many movies I've rented during the year to see what my cost per rental turns out to be. If one of the dates is still there, no biggie.

Rusty Ramrod

"If you fill your Q with available movies, you may never get the ones that have a wait on them."

I believe that.

I have had the movie "Hard Trip" in my #1 spot for close to 5 months now. It continues to read "Long Wait". I have contacted them by phone 3 times and E-mail twice. I know the movie will most likely suck, but now it’s the principle.

After E-mailing them this last time I got this back "We apologize for the inconvenience. We have reported the DVD issue on your behalf, and we have arranged for the top title in your queue to be sent to you."

The BB CS I spoke with yesterday said she has no idea why they told me that as they have no way to do it.

What I wish both services had a checkbox to indicate how badly I want the disc. Something like "Send from local dist. center only or don't send at all".

For instance, I *need* the Video Essentials Disc as I have a new InFocus Front Projector I would like to calibrate. In this instance, I am happy to wait while they ship it from across the country. However, with something like Polar Express, if it going to have to come from anywhere but my local dist. center I'd rather pick it up locally and save days waiting.

Make sense?

Dustin L.

To extract the ratings from the new return history page, just copy the list and paste into a Word doc using "Paste Special" and then "Unformatted text". You may need to do some cleanup, but if you really want it, there you go. The only problem is that you can't tell which ones have no rating.

For those like CJ who forget what they've rented, just make sure you rate every movie you rent. Then it's just a matter of "if I've rated it, I've seen it."

throughput rules

"I never got better than 2 day delivery but when they started USPS scanning, it was the same as getting overnight returns."

Yes, it sucks to be you. But most customers seem to get better service.

"Now with the loss of scanning AND the slow down for me, I get 3-5 days each way."

I don't blame you for quitting, but they're getting my movies fast both ways with no throttling. My only complaints are the lack of new special editions and not sending the movies in order. I've solved that by cutting my queue down to just 2 available movies and the rest "wait" titles. Let's see them fuck me or send my shit out of order now.

"When I first signed up, my center was 300 miles away and I received 2 day delivery, then they switched me to a center 200 miles away and I still got 2-day. Now it has gone up to 3-5 days."

If you don't have a distribution center IN your city or within like 150 miles, I would say that ANY service is going to suck as far as speed goes. If you're not a heavy user it may be acceptable. Obviously, you are. I do not blame you for quitting at all. I'd quit too if they started taking more than a day to get my returns, or stalling on shipping out new movies (like Netflix often does).

James

Why are people so interested in letting you know it's old news to them, or some other website?

People do that to other blog owners too. Geez.

Some of us, didn't know this bit of information you've shared, and thank you for posting about it. Who cares if it was reported somewhere else first.

With BB, I've always gotten my queue choices in their proper order. Well, with one exception: I was renting out hte tv show Greatest American Hero, and disc 3 went missing when they shipped it to me. I asked them to send the same disc (disc 3) as a replacement, and instead they sent disc number 4. I complained. I didnt want to watch the series out of order. I had three discs so far: 1,2, and 4 on my three out plan. And they werent going to send me disc 3 untill I sent back one of the discs. So, I lied about not having disc 1, and asked them to send disc 3 of the series, which they did. So, I watched the series in order and sent them all back.

My REAL problem with BB is their shipping times. 3-4 days each way.

I live in Long Island, NY. In Suffolk County. I live about an hour's drive from New York City. I hasve no idea where BB has their distribution centers. I THINK they have a distribution center in Flushing, NY (which is in New York City, Queens to be more exact). However, they have been making me send my returned DVDs to Worcester, Massachusettes. And I think, I'm not sure, thats where from they have been sending my DVDs to me. It's quite frustrating because I'm quite sure that there are other BB distribution centers much closer to me than Worcester. If I'm right about them having a center in Flushing, well thats much more closer to me than Worcester.

"With BB, I've always gotten my queue choices in their proper order."

Is there anything special that you do to get this, because they are now sending all discs out of order for me. Maybe it's a punishment they reserve for heavy users - their way of getting even, instead of throttling. Well, I have had enough. I cut my Q so they have to send movies in order. I also hope to get the long wait titles by leaving an open slot. I have waited damn near a year for them to get their act together. Unfortunately, they are the only ones who have the titles I want and I'm not waiting any longer. If this doesn't work, I'm leaving BB at the end of the year.

"Professional shill is a pathetic occupation."

Talking to yourself again?

Most people who are upset with a business will stop shopping there.

Netflix has got their throttling perfected. It's now possible for them to send DVDs from the same city, that used to come over-night, and make them take 2 days or more. Maybe they just lie about when they send them, so they can claim to be sending them immediately. It became apparent that they were doing this a few weeks ago when movies started taking two days that used to take one day consistently. We all knew the settlement wouldn't change anything. That's why I'm opting out.

"Is there anything special that you do to get this, because they are now sending all discs out of order for me."

Nope. There is nothing I do to get my discs in order. It just comes in order. Perhaps the people at the distribution centers near me oare more on the ball.

"Maybe it's a punishment they reserve for heavy users - their way of getting even, instead of throttling."

I have no idea what its like to be a heavy user of BB. I WISH I would know what thats like. The very day I get my movies in the mail, I watch them and return them the very next day. However, it takes 3-4 days for them to ship a movie to me and 3-4 days to get it back. On the three out plan, I get to see like 1-2 movies a week from BB.

I agreee, Blockbuster gives you about 30% more films han Netflix. I am a three out and get four to five films per week (vs three for Netflix) as the others report here and other blogs.

I think BB throttling threshold is simply higher.

In terms of the mail delays with Netflix reported above, I have seen it too.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sponsors

Third-Party Netflix Sites