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Eric

I tried this with blockbuster and they just don't send you anything.

RayRay Tampa

The key word here is "theory". I am a heavy user 3 out / averaging 12-16 per month. I always get my new releases, provided I return my discs on time. But now they "wait" an additional day to ship them. Which is bogus! They used to ship the same day they received my disc. UGH !
And ever since the third week of December they have been considerably worse due to all the postal holidays! Of course USPS has to play a small part in this due to their "makeup holiday" on New Years Day, effectively closing on Monday the 2nd ! BULL! Get in line people, we are all sheep.

E. Craig Crawford

With 230 movies in my queue on 01/23, the first 2 were Flight Plan & Oliver Twist, both scheduled for release the next day. Netflix received my last movie early AM that next day, and the message at the top of my queue simply stated that my next movie would ship that day. The status of those first 2 movies was now "short wait". However, Oliver Twist did ship that day. Flight Plan is now #1 in my queue with a "very long wait" status.

I suspect that my "wait" movies would ship within 2-3 days if I tried that cute trick, but since I have always gotten next day receipt of movies I mail back, and same day shipment of a movie I want to see, I think I'll keep my queue as is.

SL

That is the dumbest idea that I have ever heard. The whole point of the queue is to fill it up with stuff you WANT to see. If you have to wait until the next round to see that new release, it shouldn't matter much since you're still going to get something that YOU added to your queue.

Mike K

I agree that this is a silly way to run your Netflix queue, but it's getting a lot of attention online and several people sent it in.

I figured this would be a good way to see if people are having trouble getting new releases, and what "hacks" they are using to get them.

- Mike K

Dan

I've had decent results in the past with this system if I have an upcoming release in my queue:

Make sure I have at least one movie out a few days before the release date.
Move new release to top of queue.
Send back movie so that it will be received on the release date (normally send the day before, need another day lately).

This has worked for me whenever I get the timing right, except once. With Star Wars Episode III I timed it right but it went straight from showing the release date to long wait. It took almost two months to actually get that one, ohh well.

SL: There actually is a point to this exercise. The point is that if you want to see a new release, especially if it is a popular movie, you want to see it quickly. The reason for this is because it doesn't take long before that disk is scratched to high hell and may be either completely unplayable or contain skips and distortion. Then you have to report the disk as damaged and wait for another one. That clogs up your queue.

Then again, it would be way too much work for me to replace my queue. I wouldn't dream of clearing it just for a new release.

Mike

I'm giving this a shot. I'm waiting for a few more new releases before I cancel my account for a few months, so even if I have to wait a few days it's worth it.

Morgan

This is just self-throttling. You're setting yourself up to not receive movies from Netflix, doing the throttling for them and then they clear you to receive a high-demand disc.

In other words, people are "trying" to jack the system for themselves, so that others who should receive their new releases sooner, are forced to wait even longer. Whether it does or doesn't work; it's pretty crappy. Every man for himself, as usual.

Separately, I don't quite believe the theory some hold, that making sure you get a DVD back on the day another new release comes out, gets the new release to you more quickly. Without more facts shown that none of us can see as a customer, it looks to be an assumption on the customer's part. But eh, if they are fooled into thinking it works, and it makes them happy; c'est la vie.

- Netflix could have bought a larger number of certain new releases, and that's why the user received it so quickly.
- Maybe the customer is not as "high" of a renter as they think compared to others, and was owed that DVD as it was. Even if it previoulsy said "Very long wait" or "Long wait".
- Maybe the movie is a little less popular than the customer thinks, and that's why they received it more quickly.
- List could go on & on.

Being in several Netflix communities, it's now showing itself to be pretty widespread that Netflix receives a high renter's DVD back, and doesn't send anything out again for 3 days anyway. I also know people who are not high renters, but seem to live in an area where Netflix holds shipping them anything new for 2-3 days anyway. Seems to be user based & location based, depending on the situation. Could be even more factors, too.

sMoRTy71

Hey, I'm the guy who posted this "trick" on my blog. I didn't expect it to get picked up on Digg and get all of this attention/scrutiny.

It is purely anecdotal; however, it has worked both times I tried it. Take that for what it is worth.

I was simply getting tired of being sent the 4th or 5th movie in my Queue when I really wanted the 1st, 2nd or 3rd movie in my Queue.

The reason I was willing to take my Queue down to almost nothing is because I was on the verge of cancelling because of:

1. Shipping tomorrow messages (instead of fast turnaround I had in the past)
2. Long waits for every new movie I wanted
3. Delays in checking my movies back in -- it takes 3 days to get a movie to show up as returned when in the past it was 1 day

I don't advocate that everyone try this. It was just something that I observed when I was on the verge of quitting.

I think what this "trick" (even if it only works a couple of times) shows is that NF is reserving part of its inventory for new customers (or customers who aren't me). Otherwise, they couldn't go from "Very long wait" to "Now" in a matter of minutes. And I think that sucks.

So, I didn't mean to upset any of the NF fanboys with my post. Blame the guy who put it on Digg :)

BTW, someone on Digg suggested using a little freeware app called FlixQueue to backup your Queue before trying this.

When I begin experiencing too many long waits or delays from netflix I wait until near the last day of my subscription, cancel that netflix subscription and open a new account. The results are usually immediate. I will again alternate back to the original account when this happens on the second account. It's a bit of a pain because of the queue's, but it works well for me.

"I am a heavy user 3 out / averaging 12-16 per month."

Everyone averages 12-16 a month on the 3 out plan, on the 4 out plan, on the 5 out plan....

Way back when I was brand new to Netflix, I was on the 3 out plan and was averaging 22-24 a month. Then I changed my plan to 4 a month and watched my average drop to 12-16 a month.

Hunter McDaniel

The one hack that will work (most of the time) is to time your returns so that Netflix receives one on the day before the release is available in stores. The reason for that is simple. If Netflix buys 10000 copies of some new release, ALL of them are available to be shipped out on that Monday prior to store-release. After that there will be a delay of several days before ANY of the discs come back. Assuming that the average customers keeps a disc for 9 working days, after the first week you can expect only about 1111 discs of this new release to be returned each day, which gives you much poorer odds of receiving it.

My calculation that customers keep their discs for 9 days is based on an average 3-out plan customer renting 7 discs per month, and Netflix having about 21 working days per month.

You can quibble with my numbers, but there is no doubt that you have the very best odds of getting a new release if you "have a ticket in the drawing" on Netflix Release Monday.

Tim

"The one hack that will work (most of the time) is to time your returns so that Netflix receives one on the day before the release is available in stores."

This works for me. I just got Flightplan because I had returned disks the day before. Guess I won the "lottery"

Nick

"In other words, people are "trying" to jack the system for themselves, so that others who should receive their new releases sooner, are forced to wait even longer. Whether it does or doesn't work; it's pretty crappy. Every man for himself, as usual."

Before netflix, when we all went to rental stores, where were you there for? Perhaps you are different, but the AVERAGE movie watcher is interested in seeing a new release. Sure if they've seen all that they're interested in, they enjoy watching older flics, but when there's something new, they want to see it. I don't understand this mentality that people have where we, as paying customers, shouldn't expect to be able to get at least ONE of the new releases in our queue. Even at the stores, if your first choice new release was out, you generally could always find some other new release of interest to watch. jmho of course, but short of abusing the system (getting 8 dvds, recording all, and sending back same day or something of that nature) i find nothing wrong with doing what it takes to counter netflix's throttling measures. a person on a 3 out plan who watches 3 movies a week and gets 12 or so a month should NOT be considered a heavy user and subject to the kind of throttling we are.

Meg

I've never had a single problem getting a New Release from Netflix, as long as I timed my returns in such a way that NF got a movie back from me the day BEFORE a New Release was scheduled to come out (NF begins mailing NRs the day BEFORE they are officially released -- not the day of). I've been using this trick for years and have never missed a single NR if I've remembered to mail something back on Saturday (most NRs are out Tuesdays, so my Saturday movie gets to NF Monday, and they send me the NR Monday afternoon).

If you aren't timing your returns this way -- if you were assuming NF doesn't mail a NR until it's official release date -- THIS is why you aren't getting the New Releases. The few times I have screwed up and not sent a disk back until Monday (so that it was received Tuesday, the official release date for the New Release), I've ended up in a Wait line. Send the disk Saturday, and I always ALWAYS get the NR in my mailbox by Tuesday.

My stats, in case this is relevant: I live in Seattle, am a 5-at-a-time subscriber, and probably watch at least 25-30 movies a month via Netflix.

schadelmann

I've tried all the timing tricks for years and usually they've worked but not for the last 2 months.

So many things are on "Long Wait" (Serenity, Wedding Crashers, Constant Gardner, etc) that I really have to keep an eye on #5 or #6 and make sure something I added in at random doesn't get sent.

As it is, I've now stacked my movie list with Japanese films and it's skewing my recommendations but at least I get something. I've given up getting "Serenity" any time soon. At this point the long wait almost ensures that it won't be so great anyway.

Keno

Netflix has thousands of movies that are probably thousands of times better than Flightplan. Waiting two f***ing weeks for a new release is not going to kill you. Watch it a f***ing Magic Johnson if you want to see it so bad.

According to the movie "Flight Plan" it's only air crews and Federal Air Marshals that we have to worry about. The total disconnect between Hollywood and reality reflects the enemy within that deserves none of our money.

Flight Plan review from Libertas conservative film blog
http://www.libertyfilmfestival.com/libertas/index.php?p=974

"The one hack that will work (most of the time) is to time your returns so that Netflix receives one on the day before the release is available in stores."

That's never worked for me. Not once. You're full of shit. I return on Friday or Saturday, so they will be received early Monday. They skip the new releases and stall a day before sending me something else. Timing of returns has no effect whatsoever, in my experience.

"You can quibble with my numbers, but there is no doubt that you have the very best odds of getting a new release if you "have a ticket in the drawing" on Netflix Release Monday."

No, you have the best odds of getting the new release if you're a light user with a history of light use. If you're a heavy user, you see your odds drop to zero regardless of when you add a DVD to your queue or have an opening. I have never been sent a new release on Monday.

"If you're a heavy user, you see your odds drop to zero regardless of when you add a DVD to your queue or have an opening."

EXACTLY! The thing I take issue with Netflix is that at only 10-12 (12 is pushing it) DVDs out per month, I shouldn't be considered a heavy user. I need to keep better track, that's what I was at, but I think it may have even dropped lower. I send back, and they don't show received, despite the P.O. shipping Netflix DVDS FASTER than most other mail. Then Netflix receives my stuff, and doesn't ship anything new for 3 days.

People keep saying that we vote by canceling, and I really think it's getting so bad that many people I know are starting to do just that. Netflix is freaking pushing it at this point.

No, upping to 4 or 5 out plan does NOT do much better. I still get screwed, but yet get the privelege of paying them more money. Therefore, I dropped back down to 3 again.

You can use FlixQueue to export any part of your queue to a file that can be imported back in at anytime. I had about 140 titles in my queue and I had a problem with Netflix shipping me titles at the bottom of my queue even though the previous 100 titles were available. I used FlixQueue to export out 110 titles and I noticed the next day that the titles that had a "long wait" were on a "short wait" or available now status. Maybe keeping your queue small doesn't really help but it doesn't hurt to try.

FYI: I am a co-author of FlixQueue. It's free, give it a try. www.5hyphen.com

NFLX sent me The Aristocrats on Tuesday, it was supposed to arrive Wednesday, and the fucking thing still hasn't arrived. It was probably stolen by some motherfucker in the post office. Afterall, Netflix makes it easy for them to peek in and see what you have. There's a slit on the back of their envelope and you can easily see the DVD title. I knew it was too good to be true. They never send new releases to me. For once, I get one, and the damned thing hasn't arrived 2 days later.

The post office stinks and every DVD by mail companies is throttling worse because of the recent postage increase. The post office is full of thieves and people who borrow movies to watch and return later. That's why mail often arrives opened or late or not at all. Netflix certainly isn't getting any better, but USPS has gone down the tubes ever since November 2005. Now they charge us more for service that isn't as good as 3 months ago. Lazy, greedy bastards. Fuck the post office.

MBru

I think it's utterly ridiculous to think that Netflix is penalizing their biggest customers by somehow putting them at the bottom of the list of people to deliver New Releases to. This is clearly a problem resulting from something else. Otherwise, ALL the heavy users of Netflix would be experiencing this.

I've gotten 30-35 movies a month from Netflix (at the five-at-a-time plan) for years now. Never had a single problem with a delivery being slow in either direction (except for the rare time when I order something the local distribution center doesn't have). Wouldn't 30-35 movies a month mark me as a "heavy" user?

I think it's just really stupid that you guys think Netflix has you all on some super-secret penalty list. In what business world would that make ANY sense? I think it's far more likely you're experiencing these problems because of a variety of other factors -- proximity to a distribution center, the number of other customers in your same area, the number of DVDs your local distribution center has to begin with, the efficiency of your local post office branch, etc.

For god's sake -- Netflix is NOT OUT TO GET YOU. If you truly feel that way, stop subscribing already. The rest of us would love to have your copy of the latest New Release returned to the pool.

MBru

Wow, actually, I stand totally corrected. It actually says this right on the Netflix web site:

"In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service."

The theory being that those of us who rent a LOT of movies should be happy we get such a great deal on them all. And those of us who rent a few, should be psyched because we always get first dibs on everything.

That's fucked up.

JL

To those who say, "Waiting two weeks for a new release won't kill you."

No, it won't... but the sooner I get it the better -- not because "dang, G, I gotta watch this new release now, yo." It's because the more times that disk passes through some stupid kids grubby paws, the more scratched up it's going to be.

If I'm renting something non-mainstream, this isn't as big a deal.

DiversiGuy

Yeah, thank Allah that the Union of Malevolent Air Marshals and Flight Crew didn't win the election in Palestine! We'd really be in trouble!

Marty McKee

"Waiting two weeks for a new release won't kill you."

Actually, it's not two weeks. In my case, it's been up to six weeks. I've had 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN at the top of my queue since it came out 12/13, and it has been Very Long Wait since that day. WEDDING CRASHERS has been Long Wait since it came out three weeks ago.

When I spoke to a Netflix Customer Service rep today, he agreed that, under Netflix's current policy of giving preferential treatment to light renters, it could be months or even years before VIRGIN became available to me. I told him that it seems completely backward to punish loyal customers and reward newer or light-using customers. He asked me what my solution would be. I told him:

A) Buy more copies of popular titles. Only an idiot wouldn't know that 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN was going to be a huge DVD success.
B) Let seniority be a factor in deciding who gets discs. It seems fair to let someone who has been with Netflix for one year to get a disc before another customer who has been there for one month.
C) Put limits on how long a movie can "wait" in your queue. 30 days, 45, 60 days, whatever. On Day 61, that title goes from Wait to Now automatically.

All three options seem like common sense to me and are certainly workable.

Here's a better idea. Go to Hollywood Video or Blockbuster and get 40 year old virgin. It's a crappy movie, which is what they specalize in. Use Netflix for back-catalog titles or obscure titles that ordinary video stores don't carry. I've given up on getting new releases from NF, plus I realized how badly most of them suck... The last new release I saw that was decent was THE ISLAND. It didn't suck, but it wasn't very original or creative either. It ripped off the plots of about a dozen SF movies and/or books.

Meg

Actually, I think the solution ought to be -- first come, first served. Meaning, you get the disk in the order that it was added to your queue. People who put the movie in their queue the day it hit theaters are first in line for it when it hits DVD. People who put it in their queue the day before the DVD release, then, are at the end of that line.

This way, it's even spread for newbies and long-time customers. It's completely fair. Customers who just signed up are going to have to wait for the latest new releases -- but they can be first in line for the next round. Seems to me this would encourage people to keep their subscriptions for a long time, too.

I do see why they are wanting to shower quick New Release action on new customers -- to make them think Netflix is a great service and they should stick around. But it's definitely NOT right that the flip to that is that long-term customers get the total shaft.

Onslaught51

Doesn't work, I tried it for a week and my queue just keep reading "Next movie will ship Tuesday" on Monday, then on Tuesday it read "Next movie will ship Wednesday". It continued like that for about a week. All movies in my queue were either very long wait or long wait. I finally gave up and put some old movies in my queue.

Back to the original topic.

this does work. I have been doing it dfor three months and I alwasy get the new releases. I NEVER have more than four movies at a time in my que.

the longer you are a netflix customer the less new relases you get.

Either have only four dvd's in your que, or better yet cancel your account every two months (this works best). Just sign up assigning a new "apartment nunmber" even if you live in a house. you are not defrauding them, just stopping them from giving you the second class service they give loyal customers.

I tried this twice last year...luckily, I never had more than 10 movies in my q either time, so it wasn't a total waste. but nope, it didn't work for me - both times, I just waited two days with no change in status. the day i added older releases, those started shipping again while the new releases still sat on the "long wait" status.

Grove

I'm getting so fed up with Netflix. Every new release in my queue is Very Long Wait. I got so tired of waiting for "The 40 Year Old Virgin" (which has been on Very Long Wait since release) that I just went over to McDonalds and got it for $1.09 from a RedBox automatated DVD rental station.

Having to wait several months to see a new release is ridiculous and so is trying to "trick the system" into getting your movies faster.

Now I think I'm getting throttled on a 3/out plan. I send movies back, they receive them, then wait an extra day to send the next ones out from my local distribution site (Denver). What is that all about? I've sent 4 emails to customer service and have never received a reply. Service has really gone downhill with them in the past two months. I'm thinking this will be my last month with them.

grove

JG

I have been a member for 5 years (3 to 5 plan) and was always getting the new releases when i timed my returns to get there on Mon. This stopped happening in NOV. all the new releases started having long wait or short wait. I'm pretty upset about it, since that is the main reason i rent movies.

I finally came around to this site and didn't realize there were others going through the same thing. I'm pretty pissed out how they are saving the new releases for newer and low numbered renters. As a long time memeber i'm feeling pretty screwed. Hell, even is they give me 2 or 3 new releases and then the rest from older movies, i'm ok with that. Now all i'm getting are movies 10 or 15 down my list.

"Having to wait several months to see a new release is ridiculous and so is trying to "trick the system" into getting your movies faster."

You're right. Also, I've found that none of the tricks work for me. Not adding the movie months in advance nad moving it to the top. Not limiting my queue to 3 or 4 titles. It's all BS. If it works, it's a coincidence. If you have fewer movies, you're more likely to get one of those movies. That's just simple statistics.

BTW, don't you think NF has flunkies reading this forum so as to catch any potential bugs or "hacks"??? The original poster is a fool, because even if it works NF will soon close the loop-hole. And I'll say it again - NONE none of these tricks let me get new release movies sent on Monday. NF will either delay shipping anything until Tuesday or they'll pretend not to get my movies on Monday and delay an extra day.

Enjoy the throttling, biatches.

netflixfan

It's all good. Win win. I love it.

Rahrahrah

"BTW, don't you think NF has flunkies reading this forum so as to catch any potential bugs or "hacks"???"

As if the NF flunkies can read.

It takes a college degree to put DVDs in envelopes and take DVDs out of envelopes.

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