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Andrew Wickliffe

What a load of ...

All right, maybe they don't throttle but I have two e-mails from customer service stating they do not send any titles they estimate will take more than 2 days to arrive, which means if there's only a copy of something in California--I will never, ever get it in Chicago. Unless someone in Arizona rents it, then someone in Missouri or something. It's worse than throttling.

gir

Yeah, and neither does GreenCine.

This is news for the naive.

Rusty Ramrod

OMG, I think I just had an aneurysm.

If they don't throttle, then why do my movies take more than a day to arrive or be received.

(Actual measured and tracked delivery/return times)
http://static.flickr.com/42/107216174_999a27c028_o.gif

Something tells me with a blatant lie like that Blockbuster is next inline for a Class Action. It’s one thing to elude, pass blame and feign not knowing the real cause of delays like NF did for so long, but to push out a press release stating a obvious lie like that, man that takes some big ones.

Obviously they are trying to capitalize on NF's recent bad press, but still.

Frankly, with Blockbuster, if they don't send a new release, well that really doesn't bother me. I pick it up at the local store using one of my 4 coupons. I don't call that throttling anyway. To me throttling is the intentional delays that limit the total amount of DVD's a customer can get in a month.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=throttling

burnsy

BB may throttle but it is very very limited. I couldn't believe when I read yesterday that many Netflix users STILL had not received 40 Year Old Virgin. I received this movie right after Christmas and Walk the Line is on its way today. I have only noticed a couple of slow downs and for all I know they could be related to some other issue.

I have been a BB member since 1/2005 and have rented 143 movies (11 per month).

With paying $3 less than Netflix, 2 in store coupons, and no (limited) throttling, not sure why you guys stick with Netflix.

CJ

You know, I never bothered to read the above part of the BB terms and conditions - and they make perfect sense based on my experience. At first I used to get most everything at the top of my queue, now after several months, it is almost random where in my queue the next rental will come from. I followed the BB advice and kept 30 titles in my queue.

Now I see the strategy should be to keep as small a queue as possible to ensure you get the titles at the top of your queue. So I'm immediately changing my queue length from 30 to 12 for my 5 oyt at a time plan. IMHO, BB has a really strange allocation methodology.

Nick

I think this is great. I'm glad they made the press release. As for me, I quit NF because of the throttling. I'm with BB now, and now that their Portland DC has been open a while, things are running smoothly. What I can say is though I don't think I've ever been throttled by BB (unlike NF who started a week after I was a new sub), BB has way more shipping errors/issues than NF. I've no idea what software they're using to track things, but they need to find out who created NF's software and use that instead. lol.

I recently changed to the 1 out plan and 4 cupons a month for 10 bucks (needed to cut back on my spending). So far, I'm extreamly happy! Was on the 3 out before and was also quite pleased. No issues since rejoining BB. Gave NF the boot real quick.

XVarX

I'm on the 3 at a time plan and I'm not experiencing any blatant throttling. Some months, I can get around 20 DVDs a month, some months far less when I'm not in any hurry to watch and return. Let's say I get a DVD that only has an hour or less of content, then it goes back pretty quickly.

I tend to mainly order older or specialty titles, such as older anime, foreign movies, and racing DVDs. It's not often I put a new release of a major movie on my list. Some of the newer, lesser titles, I do have to wait on, but it's never been a very long wait And since I perpetually have 30 or more titles on my queue, I don't mind one bit.

In fact, I find I often experience the opposite of throttling as far as the allegation that returned titles are held back for days.

Many months ago, I experienced a spell where titles took much longer than estimated to get to me. Additionally, I was finding that some titles were not getting back into their system a week after sending it out. I think it was just a mail glitch since that's normally not been a problem for me. And in fact, if it takes longer than a few days, they do have a system in place for you to report that, where they'll ship out the next title.

When I wrote in to ask about some issues I had, the slowdown in delivery and receiving the same mis-labelled disc several times, I got an e-mail back explaining that they were working on a system where returned DVDs could be scanned en route, hence your DVDs could potentially be marked as returned before Blockbuster actually received it.

I don't know that this is the norm, however, I'm finding every so often, I'll find that the day after I put a DVD in the mail, Blockbuster will ship out a fourth or even fifth DVD (And I'm on the 3 at a time plan) before my returns were accounted as being received. So I think this is where this feature comes into play at times.

Once in a while, a DVD might take a week to get here, but I attribrute that to USPS issues since the local sorters and carriers will make frequent mis-deliveries. I can think of three DVDs in the last few months that took two weeks to arrive. I don't know why this happened.

Though one was shipped not from their online distribution centers, but from one of the retail locations that they incorporated into their online system. When I peeked at the cancellation date on the envelope, it was shown as being mailed the day before I received it. So either the retail location had taken their time to get it into the mail, or it got stranded mid-sorting in the USPS system.

I might be bothered with the service of either if I were the type that just had to watch a new release the week it comes out. But I tend to watch a lot more older titles, so it's not an issue. And the BB in-store coupons help with that. I live a block away from a Blockbuster store, so I go there to rent when I have nothing new.

Perhaps my location, being close to the Santa Ana distribution centers for both allow me to get timely delivery of DVDs from both Netflix and Blockbuster Online. I'm not saying I get 20 plus DVDs a month from either, I don't need that many. I do like to hold onto my DVDs for more than a day or two since I'm basically watching DVDs in lieu of subscribing to cable. But I don't have that long a wait between returning and receiving the next titles from my lists.


And I've personally been sent titles that had an estimated arrival time of 3 days. Which from where I am, should cover most locations except for Hawaii, if BB online has any distribution centers there.

NetflixShill

My experience is that they do throttle. All my DVDs now take 3 days to arrive and often 2 days to return to them. They used to arrive in 1-2 days and always were received in a day. Also, the way they send all my movies out of order is a form of throttling. I've had several titles at the top of my queue for weeks. They are supposedly available, but BB won't send for me. I'm sure that if I were a light user, my movies would be shipped in order and arrive in a day. They have a distro center in my city, but most discs come from hundreds or thousands of miles instead. Liars.

XVarX

I'm not seeing how sending movies out of the order listed on the queue is throttling. It would be much easier to send nothing, falling back on the excuse that any hold up is due to waiting for a copy of the next title in your queue to become available.

I can see how that would prove frustrating if someone was watching a serialized TV series such as 24, where you have to watch in order. But isn't there an option to make it so that each volume is supposed to be sent in order, rather than randomly picking the first available disc?

murphyslaw

been with blockbuster a year. I've gotten 62 films over past four month billing cyles (15.5 per month) plus 8 (games or movies) so that is 70 or 17.5 per month.

I was with netflix for two years. my last four billing cycles I got 47 films.

I think the problem of not getttng new releases from Netflix extends to light users. My downstairs neighbor who was getting four disks a month from Netflix on the "three out" just switched after I told her that I had gotten all the new releases from BB. She had gotten none of the new releases from Netflix over the past few months!

I am pretty sure the Netflix throttling is not just about volume users, but targets long term loyal users who they figure are less likley to switch.

Laddy

I switched from Netflix to BB in December. I'm on the 3-out plan and usually get 3 per week. I use all 4 of my in-store coupons each month (16 disks total per month usually, sometimes a couple more). Beginning in February, I receive the new releases at the top of my queue every other Monday if my disks arrive on Monday. The other two Mondays, I receive disks further down the queue. For disks arriving after Monday, I always get the top disk available in the queue. Since I usually keep new releases at the top, the described procedures seem to be in effect. This is a marked improvement over Netflix who throttled me even with only 12 rentals per month on the 3-out plan. However, the throttling varied depending on which distribution center was shipping. I have 2 residences in two different regions of the States. With the in-store coupons I'm preferring BB right now. However when I return to the other residence next month, I'll have to go back to NF because BB's centers are too far away. It is difficult to get older or indie titles not readily available at the nearest distribution center. It sometimes takes 3 weeks or so at the top to get it and then it always ships with a 3-day window.

NetflixShill

"I'm not seeing how sending movies out of the order listed on the queue is throttling. It would be much easier to send nothing, falling back on the excuse that any hold up is due to waiting for a copy of the next title in your queue to become available."

Blockbuster does that too. They will delay sending the next movie for more than a day sometimes, even with Available titles staring me right in the face. Their excuse, as noted by the first poster, is that they only ship titles within 2-3 days of you. That begs the question of why they say it's "Available" if it's not within 2-3 days shipping range.

I call it throttling to send me discs out of order, because it causes inconvenience. How can you watch a TV show, like "24" or "Alias", if the discs come in random order? You should be able to plan what's next, based on the availability and order of your queue. Netflix has queue predictability. Blocubster doesn't. I suppose it doesn't matter if you're just copying all the discs and watching them later, but some people actually like watching things in order.

Maybe you want to watch a trilogy or quadrilogy all in order. Maybe you want to watch of all the James Bond movies in sequence. That's impossible, with BB sending everything out of order. Also, I'm willing to bet that light users and trial members get their discs sent in queue order. Telling me that a movie is Available for weeks, while skipping it a dozen times, seems like throttling to me. I'd rather be told the movie was Long Wait and have the rest of my queue sent in order, so I know what to expect.

NetflixShill

"isn't there an option to make it so that each volume is supposed to be sent in order, rather than randomly picking the first available disc?"

Neither BB nor NF has such an option. On GreenCine you can lock your queue to be sure that titles are sent in order. With BB and NFLX, the only way you can control what they send is by reducing the size of your queue. I resent how BB says they only ship discs within 2-3 days of you. Meanwhile, they tell you the discs are Available and skip you.

They need to stop letting people report DVDs lost after 3 days, and eliminate this stupid policy of refusing to ship beyond 3 days range. We should be able to watch any DVD in their system, not just a DVD within 2-3 days of us. Their inventory system needs a massive over-haul too. But you can't deny that Blockbuster has movies Netflix doesn't. Try finding "Santa Claus: The Movie", "Wicked City", "Charade: Criterion", or "Barfly" on Netflix.

Blockbuster is cheating us and delaying sending us the discs we want, based on flimsy excuses. Their only advantage over Netflix is the 4 free rentals and having a lot of titles Netflix refuses to get.

XVarX

"'isn't there an option to make it so that each volume is supposed to be sent in order, rather than randomly picking the first available disc?'

Neither BB nor NF has such an option. On GreenCine you can lock your queue to be sure that titles are sent in order. With BB and NFLX, the only way you can control what they send is by reducing the size of your queue."

I was referring to a setting that allows for set from a television series to be sent in order. Such as 24 Season 2. Blockbuster does have this option in regards to DVD sets such as a mini-series or TV season.

When you choose to add the entire set, on your queue, that set will be highlighted. If you try to delete one particular volume under that option, a pop up screen will inform you that to do so, you will in essence be breaking up the set and would likely receive the titles in random order.

I've used this Blockbuster option with several seasons of 24 and CSI, and they pretty much sent the series in order. I think maybe once they sent one disc out of order for some odd reason.

I recall at one time, their FAQ addressed the question about sets being sent in random order even while under that option, and their claim was they were working on rectifying that glitch.

But with Blockbuster, the option is there. Whether it works as desired in practicality is a matter of personal experience. I've found it to work relatively well for me. The difference is quite obvious for me compared to when I put a TV series on my queue without using the option to "add as a set".

XVarX

"They need to stop letting people report DVDs lost after 3 days, and eliminate this stupid policy of refusing to ship beyond 3 days range. We should be able to watch any DVD in their system, not just a DVD within 2-3 days of us."

I say if customers feel that policy needs to be eliminated, then people have no right to complain if they find themselves experiencing much longer turnovers. Let's say that you can't report your DVD as "lost" for 10 days, if it hasn't been marked as received by BB or not received by the customer. While that may open up options for having hard to find titles sent from distant rural locations, or from distances such as Hawaii to the U.S. continent, there will inevitably be people complaining they're being throttled because they think there's some grand conspiracy to send a title like 40 Year Old Virgin from the farthest locale possible just to limit the number of DVDs a customer can rent.

NetflixShill

"I say if customers feel that policy needs to be eliminated, then people have no right to complain if they find themselves experiencing much longer turnovers."

Blockbuster's whole inventory system is screwed up, since they don't have enough copies where they need them, and can't move copies where they need them in time to satisfy customers. We should have access to their complete inventory, not just the DVDs within 2-3 days of us. I wouldn't mind having to wait 5-6 days to report discs missing if I could get the few hard-to-find titles I want. If they are sending new releases from more than a day away, that's clearly just a means of throttling heavy users.

manuel

Let's forget about throttling for a second and just compare numbers: Blockbuster Online vs. Netflix

I've used both for 1 year using the 3-at-a-time plan. Both companies have distribution centers in Lansing, MI (closest to me). Blockbuster delivered 163 rentals compared to Netflix's 159. I've found Blockbuster to be just as fast as Netflix at a better value.

steve.

BB DOES throttle. I put Seinfeld in my BBQueue the day before it came out and it showed available for a day. Then I bumped it to the top of my queue and it went to long wait. 3 months later it was still long wait. I switched to NF and got Seifeld in 2 days.

What do I need free coupons to use at a BB store anyhow? I don't WANT to visit the stores and besides they don't have new releases at the stores either since going to their'no late fees' marketing gimmick. The games are sux too!

bmovies

"How many movies are you getting from Netflix and/or Blockbuster each month?"

I've been a member of both since Dec. 2004. Right now I'm getting about 16 a month from Netflix, maybe a little more (and thats WITH throttling) and about 12 a month from BB.

"Be sure to state how many Blockbuster coupons you use and your subscription plan (3-out, 4-out, etc)."

I use none of the coupons and my subscription plan with BB is 3-out. (with Netflix I am 4-out)

My problem wsith BB is their shipping times. When I first joined, it took 5-6 days for a DVD to reach me. Now it takes 3-4 days (usually the latter). A few times I still get 5 day delivery. And it always takes them 3 days to receive my returns (BB always forces me to send my returns to out of state distribution centers whereas NF has me send my returns to in-state distribution centers. It is rare for NF to have me send my returns to an out of state distribution center). Now, I dont live in a far away place like Hawaii or Alaska, but in the long island suburbs of New York. Only a couple of times I got 2 day delivery from BB and that was only because they sent me the DVDs from their local stores instead of from their distribution centers. I have NEVER gotten next day delivery from BB.

With Netflix, I still get next day delivery. In fact, three out of the four movies in my NF queue, were all recently delivered in one day. The fourth one took 2 day delivery.

I cant blame the Post Office. As there is only one Federal Post office. Both BB and NF use their service. I drop off my returns at the same exact post office. My DVDs are delivered to me by the same exact mailman, yet Netflix has always been better in shipping. Either BB is incompetent OR they are throttling.

Buñuel

I think Blockbuster Online is so incompetent that they don't need to throttle to deliver less DVDs. I've used BBO since July (Netflix since September) of last year and they routinely take about 3 days to acknowledge receipt of my DVDs (their distribution center is about 45, 50 miles from where I live) and up to another two days to send me any DVDs back, which will take 3-4 days to get to me (on average, about a week turnaround time). They do this whether I rent 10-12 DVDs a month, or 6 DVDs a month like I did on February. Add that to the fact that they ship stuff from all over your queue (my #1 item in my queue was just shipped yesterday after sitting there for the past month and a half as "Available now" the whole time), and I don't think BBO is any better than Netflix. They both ship me about the same amount of DVDs in any given month, so whether BBO throttles or not doesn't seem to matter, at least in my experience.

ChicagoGuy

I belong to both BB and NF. I have the 3 out plan on BB and 7 out on NF. (It is winter, I am retired and so I watch far too much.. come spring I will cut back and drop the levels and or BB)

The BB distribution site is in Chicago proper and I am in the burbs. All flix take 2 to 3 days to get to me and to return. I have no problem with the prioritization or throttling with BB. My issue is delivery times pure and simple. Even so I got 16 on a 3 out plan last month. Add the 4 in store and total of 20.

NF we know throttles and I find often that one per cycle of my films will be shipped from Timbuktu. I always return them to the local center. The NF distribution center is in the burbs and I always get the items shipped from there the next day. Returns are also rec. majority of times next day. Every so often they will not ship same day as items are received (throttling) but will delay until next day.

I have before stated how many I get and suffered the rash of nonsense comments about how it is not possible but here I go again. On a 7 out plan I have gotten:

latest month - 51
prior month - 55
two prior - 54

My issue with NF is the fact that they lied to customers about throttling and managing availability for so long. Even with that it turns out better for me as the Distribution center is local and I get one day transit. My volume makes it silly for me to complain about NF as even with throttling I get 7 turns per month.

Perhaps I will be subjected to more throttling now that NF has owned up to it. I will be interested to see how this plays out over the coming months.

I should also state that I have never copied any item (I'm not sure I even could). As I stated once before both NF and BB could (maybe should) set a max limit per plan (3 out 15 - 18, 4 out 20 - 24, etc)and then charge a nominal amout per additional film. I have no objection to paying for services I receive. I do object to being lied to by a company I provide revenue to.

Laddy

For those of you who have problems with your disks being slow to be received, let me suggest I think these problems are at the particular centers or post offices. I have two residences and spend about a half a year at each. There are marked differences in the services between the two centers servicing these two different areas. I'm 40 miles from one at the first residence and 75 miles from the other at the second residence. The first residence is in a more rural area and likely serves fewer people than the center that services my more urban and busier residence. What I described above relates to Netflix but I've observed the same for BB. BB's service has gotten better this year as compared to last for the center that serves me at my urban residence and is still not good at my rural residence where I'm 180 miles from the center.

NetflixShill

When I first signed up with BBO, they were slow at shipping. However, they still sent me 3 more discs than NFLX for my trial. The total amount of usable discs I've received from BBO and NFLX has been just about equal. But BBO takes the lead now with 4 free rental coupons and the ability to get new releases. Netflix makes you jump through hoops to get the new releases, if you're a heavy or moderate user. What really bothers me about BBO is how they send things out of order and I no longer get 1-2 day delivery, like I was getting several months. Blockbuster has many titles that you can't get from Netflix. Their stores also have titles that you can't always find online. I think it's best to join several services than get a large plan with just one service.

NetflixShill

Another thing I've noticed is that Blockbuster seems to throttle you if you don't return store rentals on time. So much for the "end of late fees" crap. I've seen them repeatedly skip me over when I have movies out past the due date. I have 40-50 available discs in my queue, so they can't say nothing is available.

They also seem to have stopped shipping on Saturday. They check in discs on Saturday, but they stall and delay shipping something, which makes them no better than Netflix. They're lying through their teeth.

Laddy

Shill, unless you've entered your store membership number online, I don't think they even know you have a store membership. Go to "your account" and see if your store membership is listed.

NetflixShill

"unless you've entered your store membership number online, I don't think they even know you have a store membership."

It wouldn't be hard to connect the name and address on the store membership with the online membership. Plus, they know when you use coupons to rent in the store that you are an online member. I also had one of their clerks ask how I liked the online service, when I wasn't even using a coupon. They know I'm a member and seem to be punishing me online for using their 1-week grace period in the store.

Howard

The $10,000 question is, "NetflixxShill" why are you still a member of BB Online since they "punish" you?

NetflixShill

Because they still provide as much value as NFLX or more. I'm not loyal to any company. I join multiple services or switch back and forth between companies. Also, I can't prove that they are punishing me, but they seem to delay shipments when I have movies out from a store that are past or near the due date. It may just be a coincidence. I was just throwing that out to see if anyone else had noticed it.

Harrie

As a blockbuster employee, I can assure you that our POS system does not connect with the online unless you tell it to. There are a few ways that the store employee may have known you were a BBO customer.

We are required to sell things in the store. Online subscriptions being one of them. There are two explainations as to how they knew.

1) while our POS system is primitive, it is able to know when someone has used an online coupon on the account before. Our system 'flags' users as to what would be a good offer to suggest to them. If you've used an online coupon, it will say 'do NOT suggest Blockbuster Online. This person is already a customer.'

2) The second way, again dealing with selling the online subscription in stores, is that someone saw you use a coupon and put a warning on the account not to ask you about the online service since you already have it. Or perhaps the person has a really good memory and just remembered that you have the service already. I tend to remember most of the customers that walk in the door as long as long as it isn't their first time in the store.

slightlysteamed

I have both Blockbuster and NetFlix accounts.

Both are 3 out plans. I only recently joined BB, they billed me for the first month yesterday, and I already see a difference in service. I do not use the coupons, I'm retired and somewhat housebound and the nearest BB store is 140 miles round trip from me.

During the free trial period I got the first DVD's in my queue each time, with a total of 45 items in queue.

Yesterday they finally logged in the last 3 returned, and they shipped ONE DVD which was well down in my queue. Today they shipped the #2 position DVD and another that was well down in my queue. Shipping info is from what they posted at the top of my queue.

Today I called them on their customer service number 1 866 692 2789, and asked why, when all the movies in my queue save one, was available now and had been since I filled the queue. They stated that the other two movies #1 and #3 were not available at a center that could get them to me in 3 days. I asked the person where the first 6 DVD's came from.

The first shipment, 1 came from Portland Oregon, the other 2 from Las Vegas. The return on this shipment was to Las Vegas

The second shipment, 1 came from Denver Colorado, the other 2 from Phoenix Arizona. The return on this shipment was to Phoenix.

I live in Southern California, within 3 hours of the Santa Ana distro center. Las Vegas is 3 hours away, Phoenix 6 hours.

It amazes me that they all arrived on the same day, all stated shipped the same day and yet 2 came from very distant locations, in each shipment.

I called to find out what would happen when I started into the series portion of my queue. Would they send discs out of sequence?

The gal told me that if all discs were not available at the time the first one was at the top of the queue they would send none of the series at all.

I asked if that was true would I be in the position of paying for no movies received for a period of time, and she said yes. I asked her what recourse I would have and she told me to add more movies to the mix to make sure I got *something*.

She further stated that 'available now' meant that the disc was in inventory SOMEPLACE, but not necessarily in a distro center within their 3 day arrival span.

So, in the trial period of 2 weeks I got 6 discs. If that holds up I would get 4 turns a month or 12 discs.

Netflix is a horse of another color. I have been with Netflix for a few months. Up to now they have shipped nothing out of order, they receive my returns within 24 hours, but they do not always ship the same number of discs out that they receive on the same day. My recent return of 2 discs received by them on 3/7 they shipped 1 disc in return on 3/7.

They got disc #3 on 3/8 and are showing 2 in process of shipping, ie shipping today. They were showing one of these on 3/7 as a shipping Wednesday item.

I did manage to get 16 discs from Feb 6 through March 3 shipped. Because one of the discs in this period didn't arrive they aren't shipping 3 discs in one day, it's 2 one day and then one a day or so later, it seems, from the date they shipped a copy of the missing disc. That disc, by the way showed back up at a Netflix receiving facility the day after they shipped me a replacement copy.

I watch a lot of movies compared to people in other age groups I guess. I don't have a lot of things I am able to do and it fills up the time.

I probably have 300 or so DVD's that I've bought over time and I watch them over again while waiting for stuff to arrive that I've rented, or I read or surf the net.

Most of the movies I rent are older so I can't comment on the new releases and shipping times or delay times.

Netflix does not have some of the series I have in my queue with Blockbuster.

Reading the other comments I'm going to delete the series in my queue with Blockbuster and gang add them. I'm reasonably sure I added the discs one at a time and if putting them in as one unit rather than individual discs will help, I'll try that.

Even with the problems with both outfits I at least am able to get movies to watch on a somewhat reasonable basis, which I would not be able to do if I had to ask someone to go to a store for me and get them.

In addition, the two stores up here (Hollywood Video and Superstar Video) do not have most of the titles I'm renting, they don't keep large numbers of classic titles, let alone series.

aussieguy

I am currently with BB using the 3 out at a time plan. I always use all 4 of my instore coupons monthly. I normally get 15-20 titles per month through the mail plus the 4 instore. I live only 20 mins south of the Portland, Oregon distribution center so only ever have a 1 day turnaround. I have noticed on occasion I will mail 2 movies back in two seperate envelopes at the same time yet BB will only acknowledge one having been received the next day. I simply click on the option to tell them my other movie has shipped back but not cleared the que and within 2 hours it has cleared and my next title is on its way. I put this down to their inferior software.

I have never experienced throttling and always receive new releases in quick order. I only keep 4-5 movies in my que at the most.

Harrie

The absolute best thing you can hope for with blockbuster is to get your movies from a Blockbuster store. Those stores that are sending out discs have very strict guidelines we have to abide by. We have a 4 hour window to send out our alotment of movies. However, we must be done before the mailman stops at the store or before the last pick up at the local mail box. Meaning, if we receive our lists at 10:30, and the mailman comes at 11, we have to be done at 11am. When you send the movies back, we have to check the movies in the moment we receive them. If our store shows up on a list of stores that didn't check any movies in, or someone reported a movie returned, and it wasn't checked in, we get a nasty voice mail from our district manager. Now of course, we don't get to choose or pick who we send the movies out to, so if there is any throttling, it is not on our end or employees being neglegent. It would be from the software itself.

I would certainly hope that the actual distribution centers are held to the same standard that the stores are held to.

Netflix Screwed Me

"My issue with NF is the fact that they lied to customers about throttling and managing availability for so long..."

Now that the "Long Wait" categories are popping up, they are having to admit their despicable practices.

I'm logging my Netflix experiences at:

http://netflixscrewedme.blogspot.com

NSM

scatteredshadows

I've been a NetFlix customer for over 2 years and have recently upgraded to the 4-out plan so that I'd have more than one DVD in hand more often. I was getting tired of hitting the weekend with one DVD at home, one in the mail to NF and one on it's way to me.

Anyway, before switching to 4-out, I was probably averaging 10-14 videos per month. For the most part, I had absolutely NO problems. Living in Chicago, I got used to shipping a movie back on a Tuesday and getting one back on Thursday or Friday. With one or two exceptions, I always got whatever was on the top of my queue. Since I watch a fair number of TV compilations, my experience was absolutely ideal. I also watch relatively few new releases. Since I have a lot of interests, I prefer to watch the most highly regarded or most intriguing unseen movie of whatever genre I have a desire for at a particular time. It was great to get pretty much any film I wanted to see, even if it was obscure, exactly when I wanted to see it. (This is why getting free rental coupons with the Blockbuster mail service has virtually no allure for me. For the most part, Blockbuster stores have a positively anorexic selection of backcatalogue titles.)

However, my recent experience has made me wonder a bit whether I shouldn't try BB out. For one, since switching to 4-out, I've noticed that the couple of new releases that I did add to the top of our queue have been IMPOSSIBLE to get. I've now been waiting almost 2 months for 'the Constant Gardener'for example. Sure, I HAVE gotten more for my money. For the last three months, I've watched about 18 videos per month. However, while I haven't had selections pulled too erratically from my queue, as many BB customers are attesting, I have had some problems with series discs being sent out of order. While watching season 2 of 'the Shield' for example, we wound up waiting over a week to watch the third disc because it showed up before the second. I've also noticed that it seems like every second shipment takes a day, sometimes two, longer than I was used to.

Overall, I'm still happy. I mean, I'm getting DVD rentals for an average of $1.30 each, with no late fees, no running back to the store for returns, and with a selection that's better than all of the Blockbusters in Chicago put together. Still, it does kind of bother me that it seems like I have to choose between getting the kind of value I've grown accustomed to and having access to new releases.

atomx

I have only belonged to Netflix for two months and am definitely not getting any sort of preferred treatment. In fact I'm quite disappointed that Netflix can't deliver on new releases!!! For the 4th time in a row they have not sent me the film at the top of my queue. In fact they've dipped down as far as sending me the 3rd film in my queue. They should maybe consider revising their catch phrase "Netflix delivers". It's no big deal if they deliver by mail (others do that now) if they can't deliver on the films you want. I'm not even a heavy renter, I only get about (2) a week. If I really want a new release I have to actually go to the video store.

murphyslaw

Netflix has changed its policy on new releases. they are now being charged per rental by the studios like Blockbuster. It seems from reporting of difficulty in getting new releases from them they are limiting new releases to one per month per subscriber.

Traxcat

A form of Throttling from BB.

I just finished my Trial subscription. All was going perfect. Movies being received in 1-2 days after shipping. Now they are starting to come in like this:

Ship 12/13/2006 -- Arrive 12/16/2006
Ship 12/14/2006 -- Arrive 12/18/2006

There are over 75 titles in my Q. all are "available" but after some heavy use they are now starting to ship movies from distant lands to slow down the arrival times. I am sure there are many in my Q that are available from the local warehouse but to slow things down they choose not to ship from there. I don't give a hoot what order they ship in as long as they ship fast. I am retired and home all day, this is the only entertainment I have so I don't want to wait 4 days for my movies. I drop all my movies off at the store so there is no delays and then they do this. Very saaaad :(

A Class Action lawsuit sound about right to me. To at least get them to do business in an honorable way.

Traxcat

Virginia

Blockbuster does THROTTLE. I have been a member for 5 months and counting on the 3-out-at-a-time plan and because my movies take only one day to ship to me, they NEVER ship to me on Mondays. They always delay it until Tuesday and ship one or two out, not three. I have continously complained about this problem, but all I get is the same generic template type letter repeating everything that appears on the website help questions. They do throttle. I used to get more movies out. Now they only mail it on Tuesdays-Fridays and sometimes on Saturdays. I have over 200 movies in my Queue.

P07r0457

Some of you guys are quite funny. I think it's hilarious that you expect a company to continue sending movies to you when you admit you are consistently delinquent. Blockbuster may not have late fees any more, but that doesn't mean you're not still late.

My personal experience has been that Netflix does throttle by not shipping my 3rd disc until a day later, and from a different distribution center. This is a horrible practice in my opinion. I am considering switching to Blockbuster Online, or possibly doing their in-store movie pass. Unfortunatly, I do like the Netflix streaming service.

Ultimately I have to conclude that none of the providers really get it right. It's a shame.

Housewrap

I have had several instances where movies were returned to the local store and it took up to three business days to see anything ship out. There were always available titles in my queue. Their latest response went like this:

"As per checking your records, I also checked your queue and noticed that the titles at the top of your queue are on "wait" status. Once a DVD is labeled as very/long/short wait or coming soon, automatically we try to look on other distribution centers of their availability, which is why it takes three or more days for the shipping to take place. This is being done to ensure that we are always shipping the titles you want most as indicated in your priority.

What I may suggest is for you to drag down these titles that are on long wait/short wait or coming soon status so that it will not cause delay of shipments. For more convenience, We highly recommend that you maintain 15 or more "Available" titles at the top of your queue at all times to keep DVDs on coming."

The point is I did have available titles in slots 9-14 so this was a totally BS excuse. I don't put titles in the queue unless I want to watch them. They advertise unlimited in my case three at a time movies but they are not living up to the contract.

I have 69 movies in my queue and 46 are currently available. Two business days have gone by since returning the three movies I had to the local store.

Currently at the top of my queue it states:
"To have movies shipped, just make sure you have added movies to your queue that are Available Now.There's nothing else to do. We will ship your next available DVDs within 1 business day."

In a FAQ regarding how many DVD's can be rented in a month:

"You can rent as many DVDs as you like, depending on your membership plan. Most BLOCKBUSTER Online subscription plans do not limit the number of online DVDs you can rent each month. You can have 1, 2, or 3 out at-a-time, depending on your online subscription plan. Just return a movie as soon as you are finished watching it, and we will send another title from your Queue, in most cases by the end of the next business day provided you have enough "Available" titles at the top of your Queue."

What constitutes "top of your queue"? Why bother having a queue if Blockbuster is only going to look at the top? Because the "top" is not defined, how are you going to know if you have enough available titles there?

Not shipping available titles constitutes a breach of contract because a guideline to define what the "top of the queue" is has not been defined.

I'd love to jump on board a class action suit if only just to keep Blockbuster honest.

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