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Comments

E. Craig Crawford

In the 4 months that I've been a Netflix customer on the 1 out plan, only 1 movie was not sent from & returned to the DC in my city. That one was an older movie sent from Flushing, NY as I recall.

I know that movies posted before USPS scheduled collection times are back at my local DC next morning. Now that I'm no longer a new customer, I'm as likely to have a 2-3 day wait before returned movies are logged back in as I am to have them logged in the day after they are mailed. Netflix does not have to send me movies from distant DCs to throttle me.

RayRay Tampa

Pay attention people.This is a disturbing trend I suspect. I never used to pay attention to the RETURN address until I glanced one day and it said New Jersey! In the past 2 months I have been getting DVDs from all over the U.S.I get one DVD at least coming from out of state a week. ! I am in Florida and the latest shipment came from Arizona! I send all my DVDs back to the Tampa address. I double up my returns in one envelope and do not use the out of state return envelope. It makes the DVD return faster! Let them ship it back from their facility, not me! It would take an extra 2-3 days to send it cross country !
Oh, the shenanigans they pull, you got to come up with some type of defense to "work" the Netflix system like they "work" us.... right? On a 3 out plan and still average 12-16 per month.

Hunter McDaniel

There is nothing new about this. In the three years I've had Netflix about one disc in seven has come from a remote distribution center. I haven't gotten any from Hawaii yet, but I've had plenty from both coasts and everywhere in between. As with any random occurrence, sometimes I get several remote shipments in a row and then go a a month without any. I suspect there is an inverse relationship with popularity of the title, but haven't yet done an analysis on that.

About a year ago NF changed their mailers to improve handling efficiencies. The new mailers cut out a step where they pasted on a custom return mailer for each disc, leaving only the pre-printed "Nearest Facility" address - which the USPS only "sometimes" pays attention to.

Anyway I don't consider the new mailers to be "shenanigans" but I also feel free to "help" the USPS get my return back to the "Nearest Netflix Facility".

Daniel B

I get hit by this so often that it isn't even funny anymore. I keep tossing the far off DC envelopes into a seperate stack. My biggest concern now is that even when I double up I am running out of local DC envelopes.

s25843

Honestly, I don't understand why all you people insist on keeping only the local return envelopes and throwing out the out of state ones.

In my expirence (I live in MA, with the Worcester Dist. Center). Is that even if I return a movie to, lets say Seattle, Worcester will still check it in next day and I will get credited for the return.

I even proved this on a trip to Hawaii. I switched to the 8 out plan for a billing period, so I could stock up on movies for the flight, and when I got there, dropped 4 in the mail (from Hawaii) and all 4 had a return address of the Worcester center.

The Honolulu plant checked every disc in the next day, and I was credited. The same goes for when I drop disks off in Florida.

C Nyze

I think it the past 5 years I've had one single movie come from a non-local DC. I do happen to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I'm close to the San Jose, CA DC which might have been one of the originals.

DawnR

I've been noticing it happening to me a lot lately. Last Friday I mailed back a disc whose address was Tennessee. I live in the West. Netflix just received the disc yesterday. I'm not doing that again - I'm saving up envelopes from my local DC.

TheRebelAS

I live in Memphis and the only nearby DC I've seen an envelope from was Little Rock and that was just the other day. I didn't know Chatt had one.

hall

If you run out of local DC envelopes, one option might be whiting-out the po box, city, state, zip and barcode from an out-of-town DC and using it. That of course assumes that the postal employees manually sort/handle mail, which they typically do NOT. When it gets an invalid address, it goes to the USPS' facilities with people who "see" the addresses and manually tell the sorting machinery where to send it. Search "ocr" at the USPS website. Do the people sitting at those computers know where NF has facilities ?? I doubt it... Then I imagine they're kicked back and hand-sorted.

Hunter McDaniel

I tried the white-out approach once, and that disc took over a week to get back to Netflix; just guessing, but it probably made the USPS kick my envelope out of their normal automated processes (and maybe call the postmaster for advice).

What does work reliably for me is just to use scotch tape to put a new PO Box/City and a new Postnet code on the old envelope, covering over the remote PO Box and barcode. I use MS Word to print out the address and Postnet code on a sheet of paper which I can cut out, but just photocopying another return mailer works also.

NetflixShill

"I get hit by this so often that it isn't even funny anymore. I keep tossing the far off DC envelopes into a seperate stack. My biggest concern now is that even when I double up I am running out of local DC envelopes."

That's why you should TRIPLE up and return 3 DVDs in each envelope. They can deal with shipping back to the original DC, if that's where they want it. I'm not gonna waste my time doing their job. They should keep a complete inventory in each city, so they don't have to use other cities. I consider it greedy and lazy for them to not have copies at my local DC. Damn popularity. They should have copies of every title in their system locally.

I always triple up returns, unless I only have two in hand at the time. Even then, it's better to wait and hang onto the local envelopes. If they fail to send at least 1 in 3 discs from the local DC, quit. I have a stack of 18 return envelopes just waiting for their next blatant throttling ploy. If you run out of local envelopes, you could try crossing out the return address and barcode, and writing in the local address. Or print new labels and barcodes.

NetflixShill

"Honestly, I don't understand why all you people insist on keeping only the local return envelopes and throwing out the out of state ones."

Because we've noticed that we get throttled less when we use the local envelopes. Maybe you're not considered a heavy user or Netflix hasn't gotten around to throttling you yet. Why can't Netflix just print the local address on ALL our envelopes like Blockbuster does? Then we wouldn't have any reason to stockpile the local envelopes.

"when I got there, dropped 4 in the mail (from Hawaii) and all 4 had a return address of the Worcester center.
The Honolulu plant checked every disc in the next day, and I was credited."

That's your experience. Others do not share it. In my experience, they will take 3-5 days to receive discs in non-local envelopes. Maybe they did check them in over-night, but they just lied about it to throttle me. That's impossible to determine. But I do know that they return faster in local envelopes (1-2 business days, instead of 3-5). They blame it on the post office, but I know the truth. It would take a disaster for local mail to take more than 2 days to deliver, esp using the box inside the main post office. Netflix is committing fraud.

lorell

Since I joined last July on the 3 out, I have received 186 movies: 1 was from Santa Ana, Ca, 1 from Phoenix, AZ, 1 from Memphis, TN, 1 from Gaithersburg, MD, 2 from Salt Lake City, UT, 4 from San Jose, CA and 16 from Austin, TX. All the rest came from the local Houston, TX DC. Make of it what you will.

Super-Bat-Man

I've been a member for about 8 months, I am aheavy user I return everything the next day and I've never gotten anything from another DC I get everything from the philly DC, maybe they stock a little more.

I do get throttled every once in a while though. some months are better than others. oh well, still cheap

vatim99

In January I received 16 movies with only one coming from another DC. In February I received 8 movies and four were from other DCs: Honolulu, Las Vegas, San Jose and Lansing. For March I received 9 movies and 4 again from other DCs:Santa Ana, San Jose, Kansas City and Ft. Lauderdale. That' about 50% of my past two months movies coming from out-of-state!I live in Cleveland, Ohio which has a DC. I now routinely put computer printed mailing labels for the Cleveland DC on out-of-state envelopes. A recent return to the Cleveland DC took four days to arrive! They must think I'm a nymphomaniac because they keep screwing me!!

Hunter McDaniel

The level of paranoia from some in this thread truly astounds me.

Whatever your usage level may or may not do in terms of your probability of getting shipments from remote DC's, it has NOTHING to do with how long it takes your disc to get back to Netflix. That depends entirely on how the USPS chooses to deal with envelopes that say "Nearest Facility" - something which isn't very consistent and that certainly has nothing to do with your usage level.

corey3rd

remember that the way a DC works, they don't really store the DVDs there. It's all about rotation. I've read that if a title sits in a DC unrented for over a week, it gets shipped back to San Jose. Now if a title is at a nearby DC, you'll get shipped from there. It seems like San Jose is the DC of last resort (sorry Honolulu).

So if you're near a DC where you have a lot of people renting and returning the kind of DVDs that you like, you're in luck. You don't have to wait that long. And if your DC has a lot of people using it that are renting stuff you have no interest in ever seeing, you'll get more stuff from out of town. The solution is to have friends who are constantly renting the same stuff so it keeps circulating out of your DC.

gir

I believe your turn-around is also a function of your neighbors. If everyone in your DC is renting lots of movies, you get more delays (slow check in, more next day shipping, a lot more shipments from remote centers). If you live in an area where most people are light users, you get faster turn-around.

So, if you're upset about throttling, go glue your neighbors' mail boxes closed.

NetflixShill

"way a DC works, they don't really store the DVDs there. It's all about rotation. I've read that if a title sits in a DC unrented for over a week, it gets shipped back to San Jose."

I've read that it's more like a year or two. That's second-hand info, probably from somebody here. They have large boxes or drawers of DVDs. I've seen them in pictures of their distro centers. Not everything rents once a week. Some rent once per year or less.

What's annoying is that they make you wait an extra day if they send something from another city. There is no reason why they shouldn't be sent immediately the same day. Afterall, they will be delayed longer with shipping. Why should you have to wait? If it's available in their system, they should send it from the closest location.

E. Craig Crawford

" ... they make you wait an extra day if they send something from another city."

But, of course, they don't throttle (per se). Although, perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for this, and my level of paranoia has kicked up a notch. ;-)

NetflixShill

"perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for this, and my level of paranoia has kicked up a notch."

The explanation is that they put local users before others, even though we all pay the same membership. It's a bad business decision, because the discs are more likely to get lost, broken, or stolen when the distance increases. That costs NF money, and annoys users even more. They should just be honest and say "We received your DVDs, but your next shipment will be delayed x days due to heavy usage." Stop lying.

Old Timer Too

Return throttling appears to have to do with volume - on a heavy day, your return may not show up for several days. Shipping throttling at the local DC is more common, again on heavy days. Shipping throttling from a distant DC was (before I switched to BB) happening more often and typically from one of the coasts (counting the gulf as a coast, too). No paranoia on my part, just a documented trend in going back through my eamils about shipping/receiving titles from NF.

SerenityChan

"Whatever your usage level may or may not do in terms of your probability of getting shipments from remote DC's, it has NOTHING to do with how long it takes your disc to get back to Netflix. That depends entirely on how the USPS chooses to deal with envelopes that say "Nearest Facility" - something which isn't very consistent and that certainly has nothing to do with your usage level"
I agree with that actually. Reason being is something interesting has been happening to my movies as of late.
to make this a little clearer i better explain. I am on the 2-at-a-time plan, and have been a member since February 10th.
The nearest shipping facility to my house is about 2 cities away, like 15 minutes drive.
Anyway, the only out of state movie i ever received was one, and it took 2 days to arrive, and when i sent it back 2 days as well.
The really interesting thing that's happenning to my movies lately, is the first 1 is shipped say on tuesday, and is supposed to arrive on wednesday, the second is shipped either the same day or the next day. The funny thing about the second being shipped the second day is that i don't receive my first one the next day it's supposed to arrive.
I end up receiving both at exactly the same time. I think our mailman has realized this and has began delivering all our mail when both movies come in...funny no?
it's started becoming a pattern now, and i kind of find it funny. I'm not a very heavy user, and movies i rent have been there for ages, none are new releases, unless 2002-2005 count.

So what i realize now is it's not just Netlfix, but maybe your post office and maliman are deciding on how to give you your mail...you never know unless you work on the inside, what really happens in a job.

moviegal

I've had top mail movies back to Hawaii, Boston, Chattanooga TN, Seattle WA, CA, and a few other states.

NetflixShill

"I've had to mail movies back to Hawaii, Boston, Chattanooga TN, Seattle WA, CA, and a few other states."

You should save your local envelopes and double or triple up returns. Let Netflix worry about getting them back where they came from. My returns should go to the local Distro Center - WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Blockbuster prints the local address on all of the envelopes; Netflix leaves it to chance. I finally got tired of their deliberate and blatant delaying of shipments, sending from long distance, and also delaying check-in on returns. They finally made me quit. It was almost impossible for me to get a new release, unless I emptied my queue and added it as early as possible. They are cheats and frauds.

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