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Geez! How long does it take you to get movies????


That really is quite a bad streak. I had a bad period last September - November (distant mailing locations compounded by many broken DVDs), but even then half still came from 'my' distribution center. I've received Netflix discs from 26 DCs in the past 14 months, but I do rent some obscure-ish stuff. I've never received one from Hawaii yet, though - a fact I'm actually kinda disappointed about. I want to check it off my list. ;-)


In the past two years every one of my disks has come from my local distribution center. The titles are primarily new releases and television shows, with about 15 older titles thrown in. There were no foreign or artsy titles, however.


In my experience only 1 disk in 10 comes from a distant center, but I have had bad months. Most likely it's a statistical fluke.

Only rarely does it take more than 3 days for a disks to arrive no matter how distant the center, but again there have been bad months (December for example - two disks took 5 days to arrive).


Alas, my streak has ended at six. Yesterday's mail brought a disk with the usual Richmond return envelope. Still, this is one for the record books, isn't it?


I use the Raleigh DC and luckily it includes Chapel Hill so that there are enough cult items circulating through there that I don't have too many long distance waits - although I did get a Hawaiian title. I'm also close enough to the Greensboro and Fayetteville DCs so they're also in the one day zone.


i live in north philly and usually i send them out to southern philly a few times i've have them to go new brunswick nj (about 45 min away) but for a while i got a few to arizona or texas. i now keep 2-3 red envelopes with the philly address on hand so if i get a return mailer for somewhere far i dont have to wait for it, i just send it to the local address.


This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. It's how Netflix manages inventory. movie popularity (demand) is not evenly distributed across the nation. if your part of the world is renting a certain movie at a higher rate netflix sends overstock from another facility. its just easier/cheaper/faster to mail it to you from the foreign facility than to ship it to your DC then have them mail it to you.


C Nyze

In my 5 years on Netflix I have only ever received 1 title from a far off DC. My closest DC is in San Jose, CA which is only about 30 miles away from me.


I have received a lot of non-local DVDs recently (all seem to be for more obscure movies). I am in Michigan and my local center is in Lansing which is always next day shipping.

Nearly anywhere in the country takes 3 days (I have received DVDs from California and Oregon and a few from Massachussets and St Louis and other places.... but it is always 3 days) however I received one DVD last month from Hawaii and it took 4 days. In fact for a couple of months I seemed to be getting at least one non-local DVD a week - which is annoying to me.

This prompted me to phone Netflix (and, contrary to what I expected, I was only on hold for about a minute) and asked what was happening and "have I done anything to deserve this". The operator (who was incredibly competent and polite, or at least well trained) assured me that I was not being punished for anything (and he was most definitely aware of 'throttling'); he assured me that if I am on the 3-out plan and actually use 3 DVD per week then that is acceptable to Netflix. He did seem surprised by the Hawaii shipment.

Of course he could be lying... but that's what he said. For whatever reason in the last couple of weeks I have seen no non-Michigan DVDs.


"(distant mailing locations compounded by many broken DVDs),"

The two issues are related. The further they ship a movie, the more likely it will be lost, stolen, or stolen. This is an annoyingly wasteful way to save money on heavy users. Why not just just set a fair limit and send all discs from the nearest location? Don't tell me they only had a movie available in Honolulu. At the least, they should have had it in their main facility in California. Sending things from Hawaii is a dead give-away of throttling.

"its just easier/cheaper/faster to mail it to you from the foreign facility than to ship it to your DC then have them mail it to you."

No, it's easier/cheaper/faster to have some copies available at each distrubution center. Also, it's easier/cheaper/faster to send DVDs immediately if they have to come from far away, NOT make us wait an extra day AND ship our discs from Hawaii. There is no excuse for that whatsoever. If they are not willing to carry each disc locally, we should have equal priority for discs anywhere in their system.


"The further they ship a movie, the more likely it will be lost, stolen, or BROKEN."


I've only recently started to pay attention to the return address.

90% of my rentals are local distribution in Houston, TX. The rest are from Austin, TX.

I rarely return to Austin, I'll just double up the discs in the Houston envelope.

Even though Austin is not that far away to ship back to, if I get on e run of remote locations, I'll have a nice stack of Austin envelopes to hold me over.


Since Dec/05 til May/06 I have received 68 movies, 18 from out of state DCs.

Dec/05 - received 17, 5 out-of-state(29%)
Jan/06 - received 18, 2 out-of-state(11%)
Feb/06 - received 9, 4 out-of state(44%)
Mar/06 - received 10, 5 out-of state(50%)
Apr/06 - received 14, 2 out-of-state(14%)

I live in Cleveland, Ohio which has a DC.I received DVDs from 13 different out-of-state DCs than my own. Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Santa Ana, San Jose and Lansing each shipped 2 during that time. St. Louis, Phoenix, Flushing, BatonRouge,Kansas City,Mo., Concord and Tacoma all sent 1 DVD. And yes I was blessed with a shipment from Honolulu.

So far this month I've received 5 DVDs all from Cleveland. Feb. and Mar. had the highest percentage of out-of-state-discs. Anyone else get the same? Only a couple of discs I wanted were new and a lot were anime (I'm finishing my 1st year in Japanese at college).


"Sending things from Hawaii is a dead give-away of throttling."

I disagree withthat, specifically. The only stuff I've gotten from Hawaii were mostly Japanese language films, hardly something Netflix could be expected to stock many multiples of.

The extra day thing, does annoy me, however. Why should it take an extra day to ship a movie from, say, North Carolina, instead of my local distribution center in Lansing Michigan? Yet whenever they ship from the non-local center, it says "Shipping tomorrow" when posted. Perhaps it's not throttling, maybe it's a procedural thing, but I really don't see any real excuse for it.


"The only stuff I've gotten from Hawaii were mostly Japanese language films, hardly something Netflix could be expected to stock many multiples of."

They should still have copies at their main branch (Los Gatos, CA) and probably New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and other large urban areas. They can't tell me that Hawaiians are the only group in America with a substantial interest in asian films. Their throttling ploys are blatant and annoying. I quit several months ago because of it. It got to be too much when they pretended not to get a disc back for almost a week after I sent it.

I can't say Blockbuster is much better. They're now sending 2/3rds of my stuff from 3 days away. 1/3rd comes from 1-2 days away. However, I get more with them than I did with Netflix. They don't with-hold new releases like NF. BBO devotes 70% of inventory to new releases (which most people want). NFLX only devotes 30% of inventory to new releases. So you're more than twice as likely to get new movies (like Delicatessen) from BBO. NFLX is more than twice as likely to throttle you and give new releases to the light users, new members, and trial customers.

They don't believe in the fair and honest principle of "first come, first served." They believe in the throttling system where certain users get priority, and can cut ahead of others in line.

Hunter McDaniel

The 'shipping tomorrow' thing for remote shipments is a procedural change that Netflix made about two years ago. Before that time I would usually get 'shipping today' for remote shipments but since that time - never. I consider that a slight downgrade of service but it was also around the same time that they dropped the price 3 bucks.

I get about one disc in seven from a remote center overall, but have occasionally hit a bad streak with several remotes in a row. At least for me it doesn't seem to be related to recent usage level.

I wonder if subscriber location may also be a factor, inasmuch as not all distribution centers have the same traffic level and hence don't have the same probability of receiving a particular title on the day you want it.

NetflixShill, IMHO Netflix is following another fair and honest principle of "give everyone a turn". I'm glad you're happy with BBO (really); if your primary interest is new releases then BBO is probably going to meet your needs better than NF.


With less popular titles, I sometimes get discs shipped from out of state. I live in California and some of the distribution centers I've gotten discs from include:

Rochester, New York
Tacoma, Washington
Honolulu, Hawaii
Oregon (I think)

My Blockbuster titles, however, don't show where they came from. The return address is always printed with the closest center to me. I assume some of the dvds I get through Blockbuster come from out of state as well. It isn't uncommon for me to wait 3 to 5 days for a BBO disc. I've even had a couple that took 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.


Though that 2 to 3 week thing is obviously the postal service for me. I keep getting the wrong mail and some of my bills keep getting sent back to the sender as undeliverable.

Last thing I remember Netflix sending from Hawaii to where I live in CA was Kindred: the Embraced. Considering almost nobody watched it when it was airing on TV and far fewer watch it on DVD, no surprise that there aren't many copies, hence the slightly longer wait due to it being in a remote location for me.

Something like Chronicles of Narnia, I can find anywhere. Netflix and BBO carry titles that aren't found in rental stores around here, so makes it worth waiting a bit for me.


Dear Friends,
In the time I have been a paid subscriber of
netflix, I have found that their customer
service has gone from poor to bad to bad
beyond words.

After my comments there are a few helpful
suggestions that I hope are useful.

Emailing netflix is about as useful as using
a hammer on your keyboard - it makes noise
and you may feel better for a minute, but
NOT because anyone actually gave you the
help you wanted.

Calling netflix ? The saddest joke of all.
Make certain to have a very large block of
time, and be prepared to hear the same text
over and over again whilst getting nothing
of value - and afterwards you might as well
go get that hammer - or you might injure
yourself banging your head on the wall !!!

Last time I wrote was about my overview of
their fictional 'hate and spite department'.
Despite the fact that this was a fiction
born of my frustration - it did surprise me
that they went to no effort to deny such a
miserable thing really exists - so maybe my
imagination is closer to the truth than I
ever guessed - who knows ?

Since then, I had a while during which they
amazed me by being efficient and timely for
maybe 2-3 weeks.
I waited to see if it would remain good, and
of course it didn't, so I didn't share with
anyone about it.
Since then, their timing and efficiency has
gone right down the sewer.

I live in Vermont, and I also have been
getting discs from HI and other amazingly
distant places - very slowly, and the most
popular ploy these days is that even with
ALL my discs going back to a center that is
one mail-day away by purpose and design,
they have been sending me 2 discs one day
and the 3rd sometime later despite getting
back all the previous batch together.

Which leads me to some suggestions:
Try to get your discs in and out together.

ALWAYS put 2 discs/sleeves in one envelope
and the 3rd in another. UNLESS:

If they have really pissed you off, put all
3 in one envelope - this is apparently a
violation of their contract with the USPS
and is likely to register your protest about
their poor timing and efficiency loudly.

And - make blog entries and such like this
one, clearly expressing your unhappiness as
a paying customer who isn't getting what you
need and want from their service - always
also make certain to share these via email
with netflix - because even though they will
not do anything positive, they may eventually
notice just how many unhappy paying
customers they really have, and may even
eventually DO something positive as a result
- but don't hold your breath unless you
want to have your heirs collecting your life

And lastly - while whistling "Always Look On
The Bright Side Of Life", remember how much
really, abysmally worse b.buster is than
netflix - and you might even feel a little
bit better about how slowly your discs get

Best Wishes to All !


p.s.: Make sure to tell your local postal
folks that you refuse to believe the awful
things netflix is constantly saying about
them and their service when anyone calls or
emails for help with poor service - the nice
folks at the USPS always appreciate when
they get any appreciation at all !!!


Funny. With the DVD I received today, the return envelope was to Hartford, CT when my nearest DC is Worcester, MA (I live in MA). Came here to check if it was happening elsewhere. Didn't let me down. Great site.

I haven't been paying attention to the return envelopes, but now I'm going to be double-checking them.


This is precisely why I finally dumped Netflix and went with Blockbuster (reluctanctly). That, and the waiting for new releases for a month-and-a-half. The irony is that I'm neither a heavy user or a big requester of new releases. I live in NYC, and we have a local shipping center, so I can't see why I should be receiving DVDs from Hawaii, Florida, Kansas -- you name it. Plus, the extra day of waiting before they ship it. There's a Blockbuster store down the block from me, so even if BB starts with the throttling (they haven't so far), I have the free weekly in-store rental. The BB interface is inferior to Netflix's, and the selection isn't as wide-ranging, but they have Tarkovsky's Andre Rublev, so it's not all that bad.


Hi, I recently switched to Blockbuster because Netflix kept on "loosing the returned movies in the mail", I think they were holding onto them because I have such a high return rate, meaning I watch the movies and usually have it in the mail the next day, so I usually had 2 new set of movies in a week. By the way, after 8 days my movies finally made it back to the distributin center, after I had reported them missing, even though the distribution center is 45 minutes from my house. Anyone else had the same problems? At least Blockbuster doesn't "loose" my movies, however they do take longer to get to me, Blockbuster comes out of Pittsburg, and Netflix used to send them to me from Dayton, OH., my hometown.


I had the first distant mailing this week in probably 6 months. I wonder if Netflix ran into staffing problems as a result of the immigrant strike. Perhaps they let go of those that didn't show?


All mine come from Santa Anna or San Jose and only take one day to actually arrive here in San Diego once shipped. Same one day on the return, except sometimes Netflix waits to check them in.


I just recently signed back up to netflix. My local DC is in New Brunswick. Even last time, I can't remember a disc coming from a DC further than the tri-state area. I'm using my sub for anime viewing, and hopefully, I can stagger it to the point I don't get throttled.


NetflixShill, IMHO Netflix is following another fair and honest principle of "give everyone a turn".

Why should they be able to cut ahead in the line? They can have their turn. But this is MY TURN. They can have something ELSE. They are not going to be denied turns, unless NF throttles them. "First come, first servee." That's fair and honest. Maybe people who've been long-term members should also get more priority. They punish loyalty instead.

"I'm glad you're happy with BBO (really); if your primary interest is new releases then BBO is probably going to meet your needs better than NF."

I don't mean new-new releases, but more old movies that are coming to DVD for the first time. Netflix did send Metropolitan the day before its release, and a few others on the release day. But Blockbuster will do that a lot more often. This is because of how they prioritize inventory. Blockbuster gets more copies of new titles. Netflix forces people to accept second choices. Most people don't have a long list of old movies they want to see. They want movies they just heard about recently or that just came out on DVD.


As previously mentioned, this is obviously how Netflix moves their inventory around the country. A more interesting question is whether individuals who turn their movies over faster are more subject allocation from remote ship points. This could help NF mitigate the act of "Tivoing" videos. While that might not thrill those looking to maximize the return on their purchase, remember that another option they would have would be to sic the MPAA on suspected offenders. 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, anyone?

Tommie Robinson

how long do media mail take if I shipped something yesterday from pennsylvania to michigan

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