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Comments

ThePinkSuperhero

Absolutely not. I don't want my address out there with people I don't know. Particularly since I like a lot of "weird" movies- what if one person starts following the movies I watch, and falls in love with me, and starts stalking me? There's no way Netflix can release the personal information of their customers in a way that guarantees safety. Plus, what if I keep getting movies that are broken, scratched, etc? Or they accidentally switch envelopes and I get the wrong thing? That's not fair to me. Bad idea, and Netflix knows it.

Account Deleted

This is such a horrible idea for many different reasons:

1. Privacy. I don't want every single person in the world, including possibly my own neighbors, knowing my address & knowing what I rent.

2. Loss of control on Netflix's part. Could you imagine having Netflix having to get in the middle of two consumers that are disputing with each other? "Hey John, Bob says that he never received his DVD from you yet. Are you sure you sent him to him?" "Bob's a liar! I sent it to him a week ago!" Then, Bob drives over to John's house and starts kicking his a**.

I could go on & on. This is just a horrible idea, plain & simple.

prozac


I understand the concern but since NF has everyone's info. then I think it's a good idea. Hell, I've been the victim of credit card fraud and that was most likely from a diner I ate at, so I have few worries about some wacko out there.

Meg

Aside from not wanting my address being given out to a bazillion different people, there's no WAY I'd be willing to print out a label for every single movie I wanted to send back.

For one thing, printer ink costs a fortune, and printing anything on our old clunker takes forever and is a huge pain in the butt (we hardly ever use a printer anymore, so haven't felt any need to upgrade in years)!

For another, out the door would go any semblance of quality control, as one of the things Netflix does when it gets a movie back is check the disk for damage, check the sleeve for crumples and tears, etc. etc. etc. If movies were just sent around from person to person with no check-in back at HQ, I think we'd all start getting a LOT more damaged DVDs in our mailbox, which would mean getting our movies would take twice as long in the end.

No offense to CL, but I think adopting this procedure would put Netflix out of business pretty darn fast. I'd be outta there faster than you could say, "Inkjet printer."

PandaBob

In addition to the two obvious problems... privacy and quality control... there's one more logistical problem. How do you get a new red flap attached to the envelope? They'd have to design a re-usable envelope.

Hunter McDaniel

In addition to the points which PinkSupehero mentioned, I would add:

1) Mailers are only designed for one-time use. What does the person to whom I send my DVD then use to get it to the next person (or back to Netflix).
2) A mailer designed for reuse would weigh more, negating any savings of postage.
3) Time and materials for me to go find and print a label is a LOT more than the 40 cents being saved. I doubt it would be productive even at minimum wage rates.
4) With current system, USPS can throw all the NF return mailers they pick up into one bin. If subscribers are forwarding discs to each other, then they have to look at each one individually - making service slower for everyone.
5) The disc you are forwarding has to go through some kind of USPS sorting facility. Might as well go through the NF distribution center, since these are located close to USPS sorting facilities anyway.

gir

I wonder what the legal ramafications would be if little Johhny started watching the Pokemon movie that just arrived, only to find out the customer before him had accidentally put a rather questionable home movie DVD in the Pokemon sleeve.

Were I NetFlix, I think I'd steer well clear of this idea.

machinegunn

This is a decent idea at first blush, but about 30 seconds of consideration wiped it out as an option for me.

All the points made above are right, though I personally wouldn't be worried about someone else having my address.

The one I can add is timing.
ex: I get a movie on Tuesday. I watch it on Wednesday afternoon and print out the new mailing label Wednesday night. It should mail Thursday and get to the next viewer Friday. However, I'm unexpectedly busy for the rest of the week and don't drop it in the mail until next Monday. Now the next viewer is getting his movie almost a week late.

This sort of thing would be inevitable, even for the most well intentioned and organized user. Queueing movies and users just wouldn't be practicable.

dassiebtekreuz

I don't see how this could be cheaper. For one the logistics are a nightmare. Suppose that you have just watched a DVD, and now you want to ship it to the next customer. Then NF has to find someone who lives reasonably close, wants the same movie AND has returned a DVD recently (and how is NF going to check this in a timely manner if this customer has sent the DVD to someone else). Now add the fact that people tend to be unreliable, and you will have a lot of headaches.

jimofoz

I don't think this is a good idea. Besides the privacy issues, one thing that few have mentioned is what happens when the current watcher decides to sit on the movie for a week or so. That means the next person will have to wait who knows how long to get their movie. And the way some people treat their DVDs - I'd hate to be the recipent of a peanut butter lubed DVD from some parents who keep the SuperNanny in business.

type-cast

"1. Privacy. I don't want every single person in the world, including possibly my own neighbors, knowing my address & knowing what I rent."

But you have no problem with Netflix knowing what you rent? This makes no sense. Any way, privacy can be guarded by only printing your address, not your name

"2. Loss of control on Netflix's part."

Again, this can be handled. All they'd do is have the disc sent to them after 5-10 turns. Then they could check it and put it in a new envelope. Peerflix is kinda like this. There is also another service like this. If people don't send discs when they tell you they are going to, they would be banned or develop a bad reputation.

"How do you get a new red flap attached to the envelope?"

There's a service that uses this model. It's called Number Slate. Probably others, so the idea is logistically possible. All you would have to do is tape the new address on top of the old one. After a few trips, you'd return it to the service or they could send a bunch of empty envelopes cheap.

"what happens when the current watcher decides to sit on the movie for a week or so."

The next recipient should be determined when someone reports they are ready to return it. Optimizing the shipping distance by computer software would be relatively easy. This idea would show the most promise with new titles, because they could be shifted around easily.

type-cast

http://www.numberslate.com/ns?dvd_circles_info

This page addresses all of the issues people have raised. Privacy is guarded, by printing only your address and nickname, not the real name. Of course, someone could get a reverse directory and identify you. But you could go get an unlisted number, if that worried you. You could get a PO Box. The privacy argument is, in short, moot. Having anonymous workers at Netflix know what you rent isn't private.

Dan

I don't see how they would they control the 3-out-at-a-time.

Plus it annoys me when Netflix sends me disks out of order from my queue. If I queue up RoboCop 1, 2, then 3... I want them in that order; getting them out of order will force me to hang on them longer waiting until I have them all (or heaven forbid possibly burning them to correct the error in the process.)

I could also see myself forwarding a broken disk forward and letting the next person deal with it than myself.

type-cast

"NF has to find someone who lives reasonably close, wants the same movie AND has returned a DVD recently (and how is NF going to check this in a timely manner if this customer has sent the DVD to someone else)."

Number Slate doesn't limit you to x-out at a time. You get your next movie when it's your turn, period. There is no limit for how many you have out at a time or how many you watch per month. All for $9.95 plus shipping. They use 2-oz padded mailers, so shipping costs a bit more (63 cents?). You tell them when you are ready to return a DVD, they give you the next address and commit you in their system. If you don't send it in a timely manner, you get negative feedback and a bad reputation. Pretty soon, you find yourself banned.

"Now add the fact that people tend to be unreliable, and you will have a lot of headaches."

You would still be able to watch 2x as many movies and pay a lot less. It will approach 63 cents per movie, the more you rent. That is clearly an economically viable price. It can work, as Number Slate has shown.

lifterus

Wow, this idea is so unbelievably bad, unpractical, impossible - I can't believe it actually made it as a blog entry.

Is that what they do? Post a blog entry that everyone (myself included) will jump in and argue because it's such a no-brainer to realize what a bad idea it is?

QC issues alone make it impossible. Privacy issues alone make it impossible. Who thinks of this stuff?

Just the idea alone suggesting that I have to spend my time printing out a label is the most hare-brained thing I've heard from an adult (presumably) in ages.

I think it's bad enough I have to tear off the flap. Now you think it's a good idea for me to print out my own return label?!? I'm glad you're not in charge of any services I subscribe to.

type-cast

@ Hunter:
"1) Mailers are only designed for one-time use. What does the person to whom I send my DVD then use to get it to the next person (or back to Netflix)."
"2) A mailer designed for reuse would weigh more, negating any savings of postage."

Number Slate uses thick padded mailers, like Greencine. You pay $9.95 a month plus .63 to ship each disc to the next user. If you rent 10 a month, your average price is <$1.63. If you rent 20, price per disc is <$1.1275. And so on, approaching .63 per disc. There is no limit on how many DVDs you can have out, nor how many you rent in a month.

"3) Time and materials for me to go find and print a label is a LOT more than the 40 cents being saved. I doubt it would be productive even at minimum wage rates."

Number Slate provides labels as part of your subscription. You don't have to buy anything except stamps, and they will even sell those to you at cost. Your arguments are weak and superficial. I suggest you about read Number Slate's service and think more deeply. Most Netflix users would be happy to pay $1.63 or less per disc and have no limit it how many discs out or how many discs per month.

"4) With current system, USPS can throw all the NF return mailers they pick up into one bin. If subscribers are forwarding discs to each other, then they have to look at each one individually - making service slower for everyone."

Most mail within 200 miles is delivered next day. Even if it takes 2 days to get the next disc, it's faster than waiting for Netflix's two-step process. The service would not be a bit slower. In fact, everyone would be able to watch more movies for less money. Or they could keep them as long as they want and pay less than they do with Netflix.

type-cast

"Wow, this idea is so unbelievably bad, unpractical, impossible - I can't believe it actually made it as a blog entry."

It's not a bad idea. It's not impractical. It's not impossible. In fact, two companies already peer to peer distribution - Number Slate and Peerflix. The fact that people do not see how practical it is testifies only about their own limitations. Like the prof. who said overnight delivery was a bad idea.

leonardodicrapio

I tried Peerflix about a year or two ago. Discs (from me and other users that I got discs from) usually got shipped anywhere from 1 day to four weeks (or more) after they were supposed to actually ship. Of course part of the problems with Peerflix (at least when I tried it, at which time it had not hit what I would call Critical Mass -- I'm not sure if it has by now or not) was that you had to jump on any opportunity to "get rid" of your DVD's, so I (and I'm assuming others) would often say I would send it the next day when I in fact had yet to watch the disc. So I not only had to fit putting the DVD in the mail, but also watching the movie in a timely manner.

Lamarr Wilson

A 100% God-awful idea. The first couple of comments spell out my thoughts EXACTLY.

Meg

I definitely think it's QUITE different having "random" employees at Netflix know what I'm renting versus the average Joe Schmoe in public. That argument makes no sense to me -- it's like saying, "Well, heck, the average employee at the library knows what books you're checking out -- why shouldn't that be public information that EVERYBODY gets to see?" Or, "Well, heck, lots of random medical center employees get to look at my medical records -- why shouldn't everybody be able to?"

The issue I'd have with privacy isn't that someone would have my name and address -- you can get that out of any local phone book. It's that that identifying information (even if you didn't include my name, my address alone is an identifier) is then linked to my personal movie preferences. What I watch feels private to me. This is the same reason why I don't let people view my Netflix queue -- it's really not anybody else's business what I'm watching. I'm MUCH more comfortable with Netflix employees knowing this than I am with anonymous people out there who have no responsibility to respect my privacy and protect that information.

Hunter McDaniel

What's more, I suspect relatively few people at Netflix or BBO are in a position to connect a specific rental with you personally. The rippers and stuffers just need to identify the disc by barcode, and the addresses get printed on whole stacks of mailers after they have been stuffed. Maybe discs where you noted a problem trigger some access to a screen with your account details, but even in that case the employees would see too many every day to remember any details.

CJ

The only way services like NF and BBO can have any hope of controlling the physical inventory is to have that function centralized. Anybody with a math background, and understands linear programming principles, would appreciate how difficult it would be to route a rental to several sequentially locations in one step. You better have some Google type computer server horsepower to try this suggestion.

Bunkey

Terrible idea.
*thumbs down*

hueristix

Terrible, awful, idea- I agree with the previous comments: 1) privacy (of movies watched and address!) 2) quality control- Meg is spot on, I too want NEtflix to check every disc before sending it to me. 3) Current envelope would not work.

and if that weren't enough may I add the following:

3) How the hell do they time the mailings to coincide with the 1st requests in a queue when it is up to each customer when they send their movie back. Sometimes I keep a disc for one day, sometimes weeks.

Anyone claiming this is a good idea is not thinking it through. The $ saved on postage is not worth it.

vortech

"5) Netflix gets to blame someone else if the title doesn't show up when expected! :)"

Uh, yeah. As the customer I don't really give a god damn if it's someone else who screwed up. I pay NETFLIX. It's their responsibility. I suppose the smily thing means he was kidding, but it raises a valid point about controlling your own quality.

"It can work, as Number Slate has shown."
Before you roll too heavily with empiricism, you may want to remember the difference in subscribers. I don't believe that the more popular thing is always the better thing, but (1) you are the one using its existence as support for your claim, (2) The more popular a peer-shipping model is the better it will work, and (3) since both are businesses, the more popular idea is pretty much definitely the better idea. (There is no way $0.40 makes up for the subscriber difference)

Hamlet

Wow, great discussion! I just have not been a participant with NetFlix long enough to have a hard and fast opinion about whether or not this is feasible. I am pretty skeptical, however, of over-reliance on human beings to route things amongst each other on a mass scale. Heck, a good percentage of the people I know can barely be trusted to get out of bed and get dressed in the morning. I shudder to think of the problems that would arise if the great mass of NetFlix users were responsible for routing movies to each other. The problems and fights that would arise boggle the mind.

I suppose there are ways to structure such a service to deal with some of the issues, but I don't want to be around for the trial run.

Perhaps libraries figured this out a long time ago.

corey3rd

This would be a great idea if you formed some freakish internet "co-op" for DVDs. Everyone chips in and we just ship it around like a chain letter and the last person on the chain gets to keep the DVD after everyone has had a chance to watch it.

But as far as doing a "pass it along program" for six million users - it's just putting way too much of burden for the program to work on the consumers.

lasitter

You guys are a total scream! I love these comments. But then again, the comments are exactly what I would expect from people that have never been inside the direct mail industry looking out, and they somehow ignore the safeguards and performance measures directly proposed in my post.

The Pink Superhero: What do you think the odds are, out of all the Netflix users, that some ONE person would be assigned to send you DVDs one after the other, building up a rental history and taking a personal interest in YOU?

It's much more likely that an employee at a distribution center could take note of this information and build some sort of database than someone across the country that only ever runs across your name once, and could hardly give a leaping rat's behind about what you're watching or thinking. Unless you're J-Lo. Are you?

Scotty321, type-cast, heuristix, and others: As one anonymous user being served by other anonymous users: being lost in a school of anonymous user-fish is your friend!

Let me see how this blackmail thing works again: "I've caught you watching this dirty NC-17 picture! I'll expose you ... as soon as I can explain how it ended up on my doorstep first ...."

So many posters skipped right over the most important part of this thing being entirely Opt-In. Don't want any part of it? Fine! Netflix employees keep sending YOUR movies from the distribution center. And you'll never be asked to send a disk directly to someone else, of course. So how does this inconvenience you as a non-participant if other people like the idea??

Quality concerns: Netflix already HAS a time-to-deliver monitoring program for their own distribution centers. You just apply that same technology to individual re-mailers. Then they get scored (like on Amazon, etc.) This scoring system can reflect actual versus expected delivery, the condition of the disk on arrival, the care associated with the printing of and placement of the shipping label, whether the disk was mailed inside the right jacket, the condition of the disk upon arrival, and so on. Re-mailers would have an INCENTIVE to report and send back broken disks. This same incentive works for Amazon and eBay because poorly packaged and mailed products tend to get damaged more easily, and over time this ultimately shows up in the ratings.

Remember: Amazon has vendors ranked hundreds of times and some ranked hundreds of THOUSANDS of times. Trends come out in the wash.

Want to empower Netflix customers? Let EACH CUSTOMER decide what rating score minimum a re-mailer must have in order to even be eligible to send a disk to them.

You damn sure can't do that now with individual Netflix fulfillment centers!

**** Huge Point ****

This is not an either / or proposition. My idea is to leave the control entirely in the hands of the Netflix end user, who knows what is critical for sequential viewing versus what could easily be deferred.

I can easily imagine an extra checkbox column in the queue for whether the subscriber wanted a particular title direct from a Netflix fulfillment center, or from wherever else it might be available if s/he might get it sooner as a result.

****

More concerns to be answered in turn ...

lasitter

**** More on control issues ****

Scotty321 & about disputes between users:

Much has changed in the mailing industry in the past 20 years. It used to be .... yada yada ...

Well: "Uster's Dead"

It used to be that you could only prove delivery of letter mail by sending it Special Delivery, Registered, Certified or Insured. That has all changed.

Now in addition to Postnet bar codes your mail can come with "Planet" codes, Delivery Confirmation codes, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Next time you get a letter from "Aunt Minnie", turn it over and look on the back. Look carefully and you'll almost certainly see a series of pink phosphorescent bars. They're applied by postal sorting equipment and used for remote imaging and other purposes. What you may not know is that it represents a unique number that allows USPS to follow that letter wherever it goes in the system.

Figuring out how all this stuff works is not your job. Netflix does that. You just have to decide whether you want it.

Every part of what I (and others) have proposed could be managed and coordinated by the vast computing power we have at our disposal today. We could spend years thinking up features like this and never come close to tapping that power. What the comments have shown me so far is that the biggest problem we face is a lack of imagination -- but this is normal in the face of proposed change.

Hamlet

This is communism, pure and simple. Next thing you know, they are going to want to put fluoride in our water.

Seriously though, it seems like there is a big perception hurdle to clear with this idea. The problem is that it appears as if the consumer is doing the vendor's job. I know there are successful models where this works, but transforming a currently working model into this is a whole nother ball game.

Someone up above said they just don't want to have to do any more work than seal up an envelope and drop it in a mailbox. I am afraid that most people are probably like that. Most likely, I fall into that category.

I already get enough movies from NetFlix. After I watch a movie, I don't want to have to put any more thought and effort into it. I just want to find the envelope and send the thing back. I don't want to worry about who gets is next.

Clearly, this is not a very community minded thought process, but I imagine that a large percentage of users feel this way.

lasitter

The dictatorship of (1):

"If I don't want it, then no one can have it."

In the marketplace of ideas and the blinding choices available in our free economy, there is one beautiful truth: We don't all have to want the same color socks.

"If I can't figure out how to make it work, then it can't work." And men will never fly.

If Netflix wanted to offer this direct exchange service option, they wouldn't have to like my idea about how it might work. They can have their own idea, which should certainly be a better idea. After all, this is what they do all day long!

Let's take one example of a service that Netflix DOES offer, that has a lot of potential in my opinion, but that I currently don't use:

"Friends"

I think this is a brilliant idea that leverages the power of computers and of groups of people that share a passion. Then why don't I use it? A flawed implementation.

Some movies not rated "G" or even "PG" somehow made it into my queue and eventually got rated. I have no idea who watched them when they got here. :)

But much as I like some of my Friends, I just can't bring myself to share ALL of my +3k movie experiences with them. Right now I can't block ratings for movies that are "UR" or NC-17, and sharing that information is just a bit too personal for me.

So I don't let anyone see any of my ratings, and that works for me. But I also believe something else: If other people want to share that same information amongst themselves, guess what?

This is America! It's a beautiful thing!

I thank God that I'm not responsible for what is going through anyone's mind but my own at any given moment. Setting them free sets me free, and lets me keep what's left of my sanity.

On the same line of thought: I didn't have to figure out how to make this "Friends" service work. Netflix did that. And Netflix decides whether it makes them money or loses them money. We're not communists, so more power to them!

corey3rd

"If I can't figure out how to make it work, then it can't work." And men will never fly.
__________________

Yes, but the Wright Brothers didn't have six million people at the airport waiting for them to invent liftoff. A majority of the people who have flown in an airplane weren't in the cockpit. Maybe this idea could work for a pilots' union. But for the great unwashed masses in coach, you're going to pretty much overload the helpline or they'll just mail it back to the DC without dealing with the "send it forward" BS.

lasitter

Meg's labels: It's another thing we don't have to figure out, but I'll take a shot at it anyway.

We're not all alike. We don't all have the same degree of computer "savvy", or the same printers or whatever. But if you're up for it, many companies (UPS, Fedex, USPS) have already got this all figured out with web apps and made pretty easy.

You're finished with a movie, and want to put it back in a blue collection box or even your own mailbox for pickup. You don't have a fancy label printer, but do have an inkjet or laser printer that can print out a plain sheet of paper. So it's this hard:

Click on an URL in your Netflix queue saying "I'm done with this movie", and the Netflix computer then looks to see if anyone near you wants it. If not, it goes back in the standard envelope and back to Netflix.

If someone in a slow service area DOES want it and you're near them, Netflix gives you back a URL that you can click giving you your choice of opening and printing a .PDF file, or just a page straight off the web.

Got scissors? You cut on the dotted line and now the paper "label" slides in so that the new address shows thru a glassine window in the envelope. Netflix would have no trouble designing a custom envelope for this application.

PandaBob and that pesky flap? Now that's a tough one. Hmmm. I think I have a revolutionary hi-tech piece of hardware around here that we could put in every home, and it'd solve the problem for sure!

I think its called a tape dispenser ...

But seriously: Let Netflix work out the details. Unless you've not interested. Then just don't participate in that particular option!

lasitter

More about labels and envelopes. This is such a tough one.

Many years ago I signed up for various accounts with USPS, UPS, Fedex, Airborne, etc., for delivery of documents and such. The reps for those companies were very friendly.

Need an extra overnight letter envelope? No problem! Here's a stack! How 'bout some airbills to go with that? Some clear self-adhesive pouches to hold your export documents? Boxes? God, did they ever give me boxes.

You suppose that just MAYBE Netflix could spare a few envelopes that cost them $.02 each in return for slashing postage and processing costs? Hmmm. Maybe.

lasitter

corey3rd: About the workload stuff on 6kk users ...

It's not about ALL the Netflix users. It's about all the qualified Netflix users that want to participate in exchange for the INCENTIVES.

One thing average folks can't appreciate 'cuz they're not in the biz is how a very small percentage of participation can result in a wildly successful product or service.

In retail: Look at the total ladies hair care market consisting of many millions of end users and many thousands of products. If a very modest fraction of one percent like what you have, you're stinkin' rich.

If you look at direct mail / direct marketing (our model): A mailer sends out a thousand catalogs costing $500 yielding 10 new orders and maybe a few overlap repeats. The average guy would say: Miserable failure! And he'd be wrong! Given something called the "life cycle value" of a customer, you're doing just fine at a one percent (10 of 1000) response rate. And when you hit TWO percent you want to put it in the annual report!

Incentives: There could be a million incentives for participation. We have to look no further than our own advertising mail (junk mail) industry.

People think advertisers get a special rate just because they mail more pieces. That's dead wrong! It's all about "worksharing discounts".

The Postal Service has this down to a science. They hold up a thousand "hoops" for mailers to jump thru, and if you do them all you save 10 cents a letter. (And you mail lots of those letters too, BTW)

Don't like incentives? Well, for that 41 cent stamp, USPS will send someone to your house to pick up that letter.

No zip code? No problem! It's not even required if you pay to ride first class. (But no free liquor).

Scribbled address wrong but decipherable by the letter carrier? No problem! And no extra charge either.

Addressee moved? We'll forward it. No extra charge! No forwarding order on file? We'll return it, free!

You start mailing at automation / advertising rates, and a thousand things just like that go right out the window. And without all that "junk mail", you'd be licking a 75 cent first class stamp.

This is what worksharing discounts (INCENTIVES) have been doing in the industry for over 20 years. If Netflix ever offered worksharing discounts to its own customers, it'd only be a reflection of discounts that had made this service affordable from the very start.

More on what some of the incentives might be later.

gir

Um, information overload.

lasitter

gir: Yes. But you get hammered either way you turn when posting on something like this.

You try not to put the whole business plan in the first post and get nailed with 1,000 objections. I think every one deserves to be addressed, and that's where all the detail comes in.

When readers see that there are solutions for all the potential problems, I fully expect them to move on to other topics of interest. Very few minds are ever changed when strongly felt emotions are in play.

lasitter

Back to incentives: It's ultimately always about money.

Imagine that one incentive package involved ME contributing on the postage for remailed discs.

Netflix could offer (willing participants!) the standard 3-out $17.99 price, give you a certain number of movies "free" (back to Netflix distribution center (DC), and a very high limit out after that with just a few provisions:

- NO throttling
- Requirement for a flexible queue
- No concern over who's sending the movie
- Pay some remailing postage above "X" discs.
- Netflix pays BRM return postage to DC

Even if ALL the discs were remailed and I had to pay the full 38 cents (standard BRM), I'd have to go thru an awful lot of titles a month for this to somehow become a bad deal compared to the current x-discs out pricing. And I think I could live with affixing a few labels.

And Netflix? They just kept all the revenue and shifted almost all their costs outside. I think I call that a win.

There are lots of ways to purchase and account for postage, but I'll skip that for now.

Meg

Sorry, Lasitter, but having to go open my email, click on a link, wait for my browser to load, print something out, trim the paper's edges to the label fits properly, and then affix it to the envelope -- every time I want to return a movie -- is just far more steps than I'd ever be interested in taking.

And really, though your "opt-in" idea is nice, I can't see how it would be be cost-effective at all for Netflix to offer (and thus have to manage and support) BOTH types of service.

Maybe you really are onto something here. But you definitely haven't worked out enough of the kinks to make the idea appeal to the masses. And perhaps that's why Netflix and Blockbuster are still on top, and services that DO use your methodology are struggling to bring up the rear. Time is money -- I'm perfectly happy to pay Netflix a few extra dollars a month so that I don't have to fiddle around with an arts and crafts project every time I want to send a movie back into the system. If you're not, well, the nice thing about the world of internet DVD delivery is that you have lots of other options.

Hunter McDaniel

lasitter-
I don't think the other posters here are emotional about your suggestion, just highly skeptical.

I'm not sure exactly what problem your suggestion is supposed to solve (return postage cost?, number of discs NF has to buy?, customer turnaround time?) Personally, I doubt that it actually would yield improvement on any of those problems. And if those problems really do need to be addressed, there are a lot simpler/cheaper ways to do so.

But hey, if you can convince some venture capitalist to see something in the idea that we don't, by all means go for it.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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