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Shrike

Since I usually return two in an envelope, I always make sure the barcode doesn't show, for fear they would scan it and not notice the second DVD.

If they don't use the window, they should probably remove it, since it tends to rip or get caught on other mail.

mikek

It's used when they send movies out, but not on the return.

- Mike

danb

That barcode window is horrible. At least two of every three mailers that are delivered to me come with the envelope torn due to that window. For fear of worse tearing upon return I often perform some correct surgery with scotch tape.

Account Deleted

Darn! I was hoping my movies were getting processed faster by making sure the barcode was visible. I imagined the Netflix processing center running all returns through a machine that would scan the barcodes before the envelopes were opened. Oh well, another dream crushed. :(

shoobe01

I haven't looked lately, but when it started the barcode was only visible thru the window at about random statistical rates (1/4 of the time) on RECEIPT. Their shipping centers weren't using it either direction.

The window is causing a lot of tears in the packages. I have to add tape to about 1/3 of those I send back for fear they will fail totally on return.

This also seems like something that could be done with other technology.IR goes thru paper quite readily, for example, so IRR ink and a double-sided scanner would seem to work better.

utengineer04

Thank you for the heads up, I always made sure the barcode was visable, now I just won't give a crap.

Flushed

I live in zipcode 11372 and my local Netflix DC is zipcode 11354, only a few miles away. I noticed in the past that even if I mailed back my DVD's on Monday morning from the 11372 PO, frequently they would not be processed the next day (Tues). As an experiment I made sure that I would package the DVD with the barcode visible through the window. Since I adopted this practice, my DVD's are always received the day after I mail them from my PO. I think that Netflix gives priority in its processing to these
Dvd's and processes others later.

I too receive DVD's from distant locations. I bought small stickers and paste them over the return address. I write in the address of my local DC. These DVD's are processed the next day, provided the bar code is visible though the window.

BenJeremy

Hmmm.. I often return 2 movies in the same envelope, to save "local" envelopes for return.

I usually orient the bar code to be exposed through the window, and my discs are always processed the next day. It may speed things up - causing the envelope to be opened sooner then one that cannot be "sorted" mechanically?

At any rate, as there are two DVDs in the envelope, they obviously can't scan the "other" DVD, but they would get processed as soon as the envelope was opened.

Hunter McDaniel

It should be obvious that the barcode is not used by Netflix in their returns processing.

1)There are eight different ways for you to stuff a DVD into the mailer, only one of which will show the barcode.
2)Netflix makes no attempt to encourage subscribers to use the "right" orientation. Nothing on their website even mentions the barcode.

The new mailers with the barcode window came in together with another change, namely customer addresses printed directly on the mailer rather than stuck on with a label. It is reasonable to infer that the barcodes are used to automate the outgoing process - by identifying the disc inside, it lets some control software look up the correct address to give the printer.

Becky

That's right, Hunter!! I believe you just gave away the recipe to the "secret sauce."

CJ


For whatever reason, I have always returned the disks in the exact same way I got them - i.e. same envelope, one to an envolope, with the bar code showing.

I've never had any problems with ripped bar code windows - the window is a whole lot smaller than some of those bill envelopes you get to put your payments in.

I don't see why people bank envelopes and send back two in one envelope - seems kind of pointless. Do you really think you'll get faster turn around?

Hunter McDaniel

CJ, the point of banking envelopes is to throw away envelopes that have a distant return address on them and only use ones with the address of your local distribution center. Faster turnaround comes from not letting the USPS send your return to some distant city, as they often will do despite the "Nearest Facility" address designation.

I use a different approach, and just cover over the remote address/barcode with the address/barcode of my local facility.

NetflixShill

"I haven't looked lately, but when it started the barcode was only visible thru the window at about random statistical rates (1/4 of the time) on RECEIPT. Their shipping centers weren't using it either direction."

First, 1/8th would be the average since each sleeve can be turned 4 ways with top or bottom up. Second, Netflix always sent my movies with barcode visible. Third, how do you know what NF does in the shipping center? That's conjecture. Maybe they use it. Maybe not. The only way to determine is by testing. Send one movie with barcode showing and one not.

I wouldn't send mailers with the bar code visible, because it lets thieves easily shop for discs they want. They can pull the envelope back a little and read the title. I return 2-3 discs in each mailer, to save local returns. My returns took longer when I used mailers from distant centers. It seems that USPS sometimes routes mail based on the address or barcode. Other times, they forward it to "nearest" facility. I'd rather not leave it to chance.

Hunter McDaniel

I wouldn't be too concerned about exposing the barcode to thieves shopping for specific discs. Not only would such thieves need a barcode reader, they also need access to the internal database used by Netflix to map the barcodes to actual disc titles. Not very likely, I'd say.

If I were a thief, I'd steal any disc that came along - they all have roughly the same value on eBay. With my ill-gotten gains I can then get my own Netflix subscription to watch the disc I WANT to see.

Hunter McDaniel

I wouldn't be too concerned about exposing the barcode to thieves shopping for specific discs. Not only would such thieves need a barcode reader, they also need access to the internal database used by Netflix to map the barcodes to actual disc titles. Not very likely, I'd say.

If I were a thief, I'd steal any disc that came along - they all have roughly the same value on eBay. With my ill-gotten gains I can then get my own Netflix subscription to watch the disc I WANT to see.

Longer By

For added fun MUNGE all but the postage bar codes ;)

some mailers have a barcode in the white cutout on the mostly-red-side


"Third, how do you know what NF does in the shipping center?"

They hire illiterate goons or well trained monkeys. Write on your sleeve: quality sucked. this disc is trash.

and watch what happens

KAZ

A lot of people here seem to be missing a few bits of logic which can't really be mistaken.

For example:

(A) the time difference between stuffing the folder into the envelope willy-nilly or aligning the barcode with the window are negligable. In fact, the fastest way to insert it is to be conscious of exactly what you're doing, which would allow you to align it with no extra time consumed anyway. So, on the off chance that it helps, there's no reason to not do it, even when a lot of circumstantial arguments claim it doesn't matter.

(B) The fact that Netflix doesn't encourage the proper orientation of the returned DVD is meaningless, because (as surely we're all aware) Netflix is caught in a conflict between pretending its users are allowed unlimited movies per month, and its desire that they actually get as few movies per month as they'd still find tolerable.

Because of that conflict, it's entirely plausible that they'd institute a system for speeding the return of DVDs, and yet not bother telling people how to use it. Then the smart consumers and the loudmouthed, blog-stalking complainers would all get to use the speedy method, which they would share among themselves, and be happy they're Sticking It to the Man, while the other 96% of customers would use the slow method, but be blissfully ignorant.

Netflix would find that a win/win.

TheMan

I did not read through all but... What if they added RFID on the DVDs like on textags (toll road tags) that are paper thin. If a toll both can read it while driving 30mph, 10ft away, through your car, surly they sap it through an envelope. Just an idea.

T Graham

IT ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT MATTER!!!
The barcode on the DVD sleeve (the one that shows through the envelope window) is an inventory tracking number.

When Netflix receives the envelopes back, they open all of them and throw the outer envelope away. Then they visually/manually make sure the DVD in the sleeve matches the barcode.

Once that's verified they put the DVD back in the sleeve and throw it in a bin. Then a machine puts the DVD and sleeve into an envelope with the DVD id barcode visible through the window and stores it in inventory.

When you order the DVD, a machine goes to the location of the DVD and verifies the DVD's ID via the barcode, picks up the DVD, slaps a label on and sends it to you.

This is the only purpose of the sleeve barcode and window.

The Post office looks at the barcode above the return address.

I don't know what the barcode on the back near the bottom is, but I presume it is an inventory ID for the envelope itself.

Marlee

My uncle works at the USPS in PA and is a crazy avid Netflix user. He tells me that this is true - if you have the barcode able to be scanned by the USPS, that data is sent to Netflix, and they begin processing your next order. If you place the barcode in the window you will get a 2 day turn around. You can mail your dvd on Tuesday and get a new one on Thursday. It works for me all the time.

Chanel

This debate is about as useless as 'which way a roll of toilet tissue is to pull-over or under?' Like Frankie, I will 'do it my way', peeping through the window. Come to think of it the movies I choose are rather proper too.

gh

Every time I place the disk back in with the barcode facing out I get an email saying we received your movie when I just turned it in to the post office. My movies come faster also!

Fox Mulder

I've found that by placing DVDs together in one envelope addressed to my nearest shipping facility, then cutting & pasting a StarKist tuna UPC code into the die-cut window, Netflix will dispatch Men in Black to my house to probe my nether regions.

alex79

If I were a thief, I'd steal any disc that came along - they all have roughly the same value on eBay. With my ill-gotten gains I can then get my own Blackjack Trainer
Netflix

Smith

People,...It's really simple if you have any common sense what so ever.

Does it matter if the barcode is showing or not? Yes and No

The simple fact of the matter is that if you send your DVD back with the barcode showing, the code is scanned and data is sent to netflix indicating that the DVD is on its way back to the sorting facility.

Has anyone paid attention to the automated email notifications they recieve indicating that the DVD has been received? When you receive an email notification that your DVD has been received by Netflix on the same day that you put it in your mailbox to send back, it should be pretty clear that the barcode was scanned, data was sent to Netflix, and an automated email is sent indicating your dvd was received. The PO OBVIOUSLY has not sorted and delivered the DVD to the Netflix shipping facility within the same day. Do you really think the PO is that fast?

If you don't put the barcode in the window, does it matter? NO, it just takes longer for your next DVD to get there.

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