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REN

Anonymous: You act like I contradicted myself. I don't buy everything I find to be a good deal. I am getting a great deal at the moment and willing to pay the current rate. I wouldn't be a subscriber if I had to pay $25 (good deal) instead of $18 (great deal) for the service I get.

I'm not sure where the $2 number came from, and I don't read the financial reports. But, I'm assuming that I cost Netflix less if I rent older movies as opposed to all new releases. I would accept it if Netflix imposed a limit on the number of new releases I could rent per month on the assumption that this saved them money and made it profitable for them to send me a greater number of discs per month. Of course, many people who rent new releases would object to this.

Hunter McDaniel

Simple and predictable pricing is a key element of NF sucess. Customers HATE being nickled and dimed. Almost all of the suggested cures for "throttling" would require complex pricing, much like cellphone plans.

As it is, NF is full of cross-subsidies between low-renters and high-renters, new-release vs. old releases, etc. All that is ok up to a point - but only up to a point. It's a major challenge for them in operating the service to make sure none of these cost-imbalances get out of hand, since that would jeopardize the value proposition for the bulk of their customers.

Bill A.

I am on the 3-out plan, have been for almost a month now and have rented 11 movies so far since 4/5/05. I have received 9, the other 2 are on the way. I have a movie that has been shipping for 3 days now. On Monday, it went to "shipping tomorrow". On Tuesday it said "shipping today". Today, Wednesday, I just looked and it says, "shipping today". Why can't they ship it out? Why are they holding it?

"They might as well save that money and just force everyone to wait 2-3 days for their movies like Blockbuster."

I am with BB now and get far better service than NF. I am on the 5-out plan and get 9-10 discs per week. It helps that BB uses the PO for scanning AND that they work weekends. I have received many notices on Saturday AND Sunday.

skebenin

FYI: I believe the $2 figure comes from an interview on TechTV quite a while back. Reed stated that NetFlix loses money on people who rent more than 10 disks a month (back when the 3-out plan cost ~$20).

manuel

The $2.00 per rental limit is stated in Netflix's 1st Quarter 2003 Conference Call which I obtained in Michael Muegel's "An Analysis of Netflix's DVD Allocation System."

"there is a very, very, very small percentage of our subscriber base that is uneconomic." That could very well be those customers who are yielding $2/disc costs or less."

Michael

The explanation of providing both light and heavy users with a "balanced experience" is a crock.

Case in point: I have a close relative who may win the record for being NF's most profitable customer. I think he's still on the old, no-longer-offered four a month plan, which was overpriced to start with (maybe $3 per disc?); on top of that, he sometimes holds on to discs for a month or more before he gets around to watching the things. He once kept a copy of a disc for SEVEN WEEKS! Last year, he may have received a total of 25 discs from NF - and that's being generous.

Now, if NF was REALLY interested in providing a "balanced experience" for all users, shouldn't he have received a rebate or something? Shouldn't they have offered him some extra, bonus discs? But of course, they didn't. They just billed him exactly the same as everyone else.

Now, if you say, "But that's his choice; it's not Netflix's fault," well, that's my point exactly. I choose to watch and return discs quickly, and I get throttled for costing NF so much money, while my relative literally gives NF his hard-earned cash for next to nothing, yet they don't seem to notice. Balanced, my foot! (Yes, I realize my reasoning is slightly facitious here, but I'm starting to find humor a much better way of dealing with this aggravation than getting PO'ed about it.)

So, throttling may be both Netflix's right and our sad fate, but don't give us the bogus excuse of trying to provide a "balanced experience" - that's a bunch of hooey.

skebenin

But that's exactly what it does. Low use customers get more disks than they otherwise would, and high-use customers get fewer. Prioritization is a restoring force, pushing everyone toward the average number of rentals. It promotes balance.

Skippy

Prioritization has nothing to do with how many movies we receive. They only give priority for SELECTION to people who use the service least. They can send movies lower on your queue, instead of sitting on them 1-3 days. They're not even pushing everyone towards the average. They are pushing each customer towards an arbitrary number. Some are lucky in this lottery system (20-24 a month on 3-out play), while others are unlucky (10-12 a month). It has nothing to do with balancing or prioritization. Netflix just decides at random how many movies a customer should get in a month. And it's totally arbitrary.

Nick Lazar

There are a lot of Netflix customers who would rather be "nickel and dimed" than suffer throttling, if given the choice. A lot of customers would rather pay for how many movies they watch than how many someone else watches. I can't see how light users feel good about supporting the heavy users. And I know the heavy users resent the fact that they are throttled without being told in detail how and why this happens. And they resent it even more when they upgrade their account only to find that they're now throttled even worse. So don't tell us what people do & don't won't, Mr. Status Quo Defender. "Americans don't want to make running shoes so we should pay slave wages in a brutal third world dictatorship." Convenient logic. I'll remember not to buy your overpriced shoes too.

bh

This is really a tender nerve. Obviously most posters here are unhappy with NF throttling practices.
For the first 9 months or so I got nearly 20 discs a month on the 3-out plan. Now I've been cut back to about 12 via NF flow control by:
1. "delaying" receipt of my returns.
2. shipping tomorrow
3. apparently shipping from more distant centers resulting in 4 or 5 day delivery. Just another tactic? Maybe or maybe not, but it's happening more and more.
I want to watch a lot of movies. That's why I signed up in the first place - and it was great. Now they're screwing me. I'd gladly go back to paying $20 (or more) for service the way it used to be, and WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR.
Fact: NF plainly offers UNLIMITED DVD rentals per month, yet by their own admission they now LIMIT the number of discs you can receive (but only after you've established yourself as a power user). This is false and deceptive advertising. I don't mind paying if I get what I'm paying for. They need to change the way they do business, and I believe the only way they'll be persuaded to do so is via serious competition (BB ain't it - yet) and/or increased churn rate from unhappy customers like us.

bh

This is really a tender nerve. Obviously most posters here are unhappy with NF throttling practices.
For the first 9 months or so I got nearly 20 discs a month on the 3-out plan. Now I've been cut back to about 12 via NF flow control by:
1. "delaying" receipt of my returns.
2. shipping tomorrow
3. apparently shipping from more distant centers resulting in 4 or 5 day delivery. Just another tactic? Maybe or maybe not, but it's happening more and more.
I want to watch a lot of movies. That's why I signed up in the first place - and it was great. Now they're screwing me. I'd gladly go back to paying $20 (or more) for service the way it used to be, and WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR.
Fact: NF plainly offers UNLIMITED DVD rentals per month, yet by their own admission they now LIMIT the number of discs you can receive (but only after you've established yourself as a power user). This is false and deceptive advertising. I don't mind paying if I get what I'm paying for. They need to change the way they do business, and I believe the only way they'll be persuaded to do so is via serious competition (BB ain't it - yet) and/or increased churn rate from unhappy customers like us.

bh

This is really a tender nerve. Obviously most posters here are unhappy with NF throttling practices.
For the first 9 months or so I got nearly 20 discs a month on the 3-out plan. Now I've been cut back to about 12 via NF flow control by:
1. "delaying" receipt of my returns.
2. shipping tomorrow
3. apparently shipping from more distant centers resulting in 4 or 5 day delivery. Just another tactic? Maybe or maybe not, but it's happening more and more.
I want to watch a lot of movies. That's why I signed up in the first place - and it was great. Now they're screwing me. I'd gladly go back to paying $20 (or more) for service the way it used to be, and WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR.
Fact: NF plainly offers UNLIMITED DVD rentals per month, yet by their own admission they now LIMIT the number of discs you can receive (but only after you've established yourself as a power user). This is false and deceptive advertising. I don't mind paying if I get what I'm paying for. They need to change the way they do business, and I believe the only way they'll be persuaded to do so is via serious competition (BB ain't it - yet) and/or increased churn rate from unhappy customers like us.

bh

sorry for the multiple posts above. My screen froze.

entropy

this discusion comes up often. netflix says unlimeted and people have figured out it's not, oh well. count how many you get in a month divide that by what you pay and decide if that number is reasonable. yes, netflix should change there advert or maybe slip something into the user agreement that unlimited is only for new user's but why the fuss? if your unhappy stop giveing them your money.

on an other note how hard would it be for netflix to allow me or you to drop off a movie at some station/depot and either have another handed to me or mailed out. the mail center could handle it or this office could become a mail center. if they don't have something i want then mail it to me and if there is something in the building i want hand it to me.

this very simply eliminates the cost of mailing whcih as i see it ise there main money outlay. netflix can't impiment this to easily but blockbuster can. if they do i would switch in a minute and even pay more. this seems so f###ing obvious, and i have never seen it discussed, what's with that?

b

Anti-Throttle

If you really want to get revenge on Netflix, you will need to be much more proactive, stoke the fires, and make some noise. They cheated you, and now it’s payback time. Below are several easy actions that you can take to have some influence and put some heat on Netflix.


REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
Call Netflix’s Customer Service Department every time something is wrong with your account. Fielding service calls requires a lot of resources and raises the cost of their throttling measures. Netflix’s incentive to throttle heavy users will be reduced if they know they have a 10-minute call to deal with each time they cause a delay on your account.


Netflix Customer Service
(800) 279-5688
(888) 638-3549

Other Netflix Contact Information
Address
Netflix, Inc.
970 University Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Headquaters Phone
(408) 317-3700

Headquaters Fax
(408) 399-3737


20/20 VISION
Contact 20/20’s John Stossel (www.abcnews.go.com/2020/ABCNEWSSpecial), share your Netflix experience, and encourage him to investigate the company’s business practices.

[email protected]


FILM AT 11
Contact your local television stations and newspapers. Let them know what Netflix is doing. Those local investigative reporters drool over frauds like this. If Netflix gets pulled into a public relations firestorm and is forced to spend revenue defending their public image, they might realize it would just be cheaper to keep their heavy users quiet by delivering a few more DVDs per month.


CONTACT THE FEDS
Netflix is committing fraud across state lines and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) needs to know about it. File a complaint online.

http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/
https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01


JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM
The FBI (www.fbi.gov) and National White Collar Crime Center (www.nw3c.org) have joined to form the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov). File a complaint online.

http://www.ifccfbi.gov/cf1.asp


GO POSTAL
Write USPS and tell them that Netflix is unfairly blaming your post office for delays and shipping problems. USPS needs to know that Netflix is using them as a scapegoat. If USPS knows how they are being portrayed, Netflix will get a chilly reception the next time they have to negotiate bulk mailing rates and terms. Contact USPS at the following address.

Azeezaly Jaffer
Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0001


REDMAIL
Netflix uses the US mail to conduct business. This makes Netflix subject to mail fraud investigations. File a complaint with the US Postal Inspector.

http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/
https://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm


BETTER THAN NOTHING
File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Netflix’s complaint file needs to reflect the true scope of customer dissatisfaction. Every complaint helps build the case against Netflix.

http://www.bbb.org/


CALIFORNIA SCREAMIN’
Go after Netflix on their home turf by informing the California Attorney General (http://caag.state.ca.us/) about what is going on his state. File a complaint here.

http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/mailform.htm


HOME SWEET HOME
Netflix is committing fraud on residents of your state, and it is the responsibility of your state’s Attorney General to stop things like this. You can find your Attorney General’s contact information on your state’s official government Web site.

http://www.loc.gov/global/state/stategov.html


GET LETIGIOUS
Contact a local law firm, tell them your Netflix story, and see if they are interested in launching a class action suit against a multi-million dollar corporation. If a good class action lawsuit gets going, Netflix will probably be forced into a settlement that will result in partial refunds for their customers.


TAKE CHARGE
If you have expressed your dissatisfaction to Netflix and been denied an adequate refund, call your credit card company and dispute Netflix’s charges on the grounds that they did not deliver the product for which you paid. Placing the charges in dispute will instantly put the burden of proof on Netflix, and they will be forced to make their case to your credit card company. Depending on your credit card company’s policies, you could get some money back. At the very least, you will force Netflix to expend resources defending themselves, and you will raise the attention of the credit idustry. If Netflix gets too many disputed charges on their record, it will impact the merchant fees they pay to the credit card companies.

Al Chartreux

I have the 5-out plan. My first month, I managed to receive 33 discs. Admittedly, I was eager to see many films I had never seen before, so I pigged out and returned them very quickly. Nonetheless, compared to a local rental price of $2.50 (Kim's Video, NYC), that's $82.50 worth of rentals for $32 and change. Pretty good deal in my book. I don't see what all the whining is about. It's all about quick turnover - don't sit on the films and you'll more than get you money's worth out of the service.

Just wait Al, you'll be throttle soon and do good to get 20 out on that plan. You soon be seeing "shipping tomorrows" and 3-6 days to get your retunrs checked back in.

Hunter McDaniel

Yes, and when that happens, Al will only be getting $50 worth of service for $32. That's sure a ripoff, isn't it?

It is when new users are getting the 33 per month! The value of his dollar goes down the sh*tter! Soon he will be dropped to 15 (or lower) with even more delays, further centers, damaged discs, etc.

Justin Johnson

I average about 10 - 14 movies PER WEEK. So Netflix could never keep up with me. I'm in Netflix and Blockbuster. Blockbuster is even worse for their turnaround times.

Netflix has better selection and ships quicker
Blockbuster is cheaper and they have newer releases.

So I stick with both

Al Chartreux

I think missing in this discussion is the fact that some folks who are complaining live far away from the distribution centers. Here in NYC, the center is in Flushing, Queens, and usually movies arrive at home or at the facility the day after being mailed. It's about as good as one could ask for. Mailing probably works better for urban users than those who live in rural areas.

Mike Harris

To answer the original question, I am in the five-at-a-time plan because I tend to watch a lot of movies at once during the weekend. I would find that with three at a time, I would occasionally finish them all and still want to watch more over the weekend. Not to mention that my queue is giganti-freakin'-normous.

Michael

As one of the folks complaining, I live 74 miles from the distribution center. Most mail, including Netflix returns, takes one day to get there; hence, NF opts to hit me with "shipping tomorrow" rather than late acknowledgment of my returns - though it has happened occasionally.

To NF's credit, however, I actually have three films to watch this weekend; this is the first time this has happened in awhile, though I've timed my returns to encourage it. Perhaps emailing them has actually accomplished something. The two they sent yesterday, however, did not occupy the first two slots in my queue; rather, they sent numbers four and five. No biggie, but it's the first time this has happened.

noor

back in the day i watch tv and then when dvd hit the store i start to watch some of it. but then like 2 years ago i just got sick of watching tv cause all those repeats on tv and i can do the same with dvd. i watch like 2 to 5 dvd per day. then with netflix dvd and watch instant together i start to watch more dvd and watch instant watch tv shows and movies online. thanks to dvds.

watch friends online

i watch about 5 a month. I use netflix and they are awesome.

watch friends online

ds cartes

hello.
There is a facilitator version of the tool kit which will be helpful as I put my presentation together.

batterie

The system needs to be transparent to users. No more secrets.

labatterie

then with netflix dvd and watch instant together i start to watch more dvd and watch instant watch tv shows and movies online.

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