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Comments

Jonathan

I was pretty sure that Netflix sent the same disc back to me once too. It wasn't Blu-Ray though.

I had problems with a disc, reported it, then dropped it in the mail without thinking, then they received it the next day, which was when they sent the replacement out. The 2nd disc didn't work either, so I assumed it was the same one.

So if you have a disc problem, just make sure they have mailed out the replacement disc before you send yours back. It doesn't matter if you wait a day or 2 to send it.

Adam Fields

I would say that about 30% of the blu-ray discs I get from Netflix require literally 5-10 minutes of trying, failing, cleaning, and retrying several times in order to successfully play them. For some of them, I give up before they actually work and send them back as unplayable. I've never noticed any visible cracks - they all appear to be fine, but many of them just won't play. And this sometimes happens with brand new releases where I'm obviously the first person to get it. Zero problems with retail discs in the same player. I think the blu-ray discs are just fragile enough to not always survive even a single trip through the mail.

andyg8180

You can stick a note in the envelope with the disc... I've done it before and gotten emailed back saying thank you for the note...

Steven Hoober

Do not have Blueray yet. But for SD, I have gotten the same exact disk back.

I think they tell you expressly not to put notes in, but anything that kicks the disk out of default processing seems to help. I have included notes, post-its, and even sharpie over the barcodes. I know folks who snap cracked disks in half and report them as broken in half on receipt; there's no way to fix a cracked disk.

banter

So far I haven't gotten a broken one...I had received maybe around 50 blue ray discs so far.

Complication

It was not the same disc. Cracked discs cannot be repaired on DVD or Blu-Ray (the bits would never line up properly again). The "repaired" disc was just a crack in a different layer which stretched the top layer to look like glue. My company is in a similar business to Netflix so we see these all the time.

In my experience, the two main causes for repeated breakage to a single customer are: Your local post office has one of the older sorting machines that are not disc friendly. Or, your at the tail end of a delivery route so several trays of mail are being stacked on top of the disc in the letter carrier's vehicle. Discs are higher than standard envelopes but are sorted together because Netflix is using the letter rate. If there isn't much else sticking up that high then the disc takes all the weight and cracks or bends (e.g. looks like a repair).

Not that this information really helps your situation all that much.

Toma

Well, this happens because Netflix only does visual inspection of discs (see all the recent plant tours).

Even given the fastest available Blu-ray disc readers, and dedicated hardware, it would simply cost too much for Netflix to do read verification of discs. Disc readability testing is outsourced to customers.

So if they see a crack, they glue it back together, and they have no way to test it for readability. That's why it gets sent back out.

BoB

I did not vote because it wasn't a BR, but they sent back the same broken disc to me once. I know because I had written "BROKEN" on the disc (not sleeve) with a sharpie.

I now write it on the sleeve, and both sides of the disc.

rmfilms

As an ex-Netflix employee, I can say with certainty that Complication is correct, and that Toma is mistaken. Discs are not glued back together. What you're seeing is the inside of the disc seeping out. Once a disc is broken, it is impossible to repair, nor does Netflix try. Blu-rays are more prone to breakage than DVDs because the data is much closer to the surface of the disc on a BD, and so they're coated with a substance which makes them harder to scratch (and thus ruin). Unfortunatley, this substance also makes them more brittle.

Michael

For those that get a disc that doesn't have any physical damage and it still doesn't quite work take a look at your player firmware first.

Gran

And this sometimes happens with brand new releases where I'm obviously the first person to get it. Zero problems with retail discs in the same player. I think the blu-ray discs are just fragile enough to not always survive even a single trip through the mail.

Sounds like you need a firmware upgrade on your player. Most have USB plugs to access updates via your computer.

dAVe

I can say that I never received a crack Blu-ray disc during the time when it was no-additional-charge or when it was $1 extra/month. I opted-out when the $4/month charge came into effect so it's strictly SD-DVD from NF for me.
I get my Blu-ray goodness from my BB-online & stores now (no additional charge, thank-you-very-much) and have never had a crack or broken Blu-ray from them either (knocking on wood).

dan

In almost 100 Blu-ray discs, I've never had a single cracked disk, a disk that wouldn't play, or even a disc with playback problems.

I guess the PS3 really is the best Blu-ray player. :)

fooreder

toma is wrong. all discs reported unplayable are scanned by a machine for damage.

MCW

@dan Same here buddy. I've had 2 PS3's, and been a Blu-ray subscriber since the day it went into effect, and have been lucky enough to never receive a scratched, cracked or broken Blu-ray disc. I have to wonder if it does have anything to do with what player you have.

I'd like to see what players the broken disc owners are using, and if their discs were broken when they pulled them out of the envelope (I don't know about you, but I don't inspect discs before watching them, because I trust NF).

Jason

I'm not getting blu-ray however DVDs seem to be broken more often recently. I have had 3 in the last 3 weeks out of the 18 or 20 I have received. But also surface damage due to mistreatment and improper cleaning methods (not using microfiber dust free cloth) I assume at both netfix end and customer end is resulting in a lot of movies not playing for chunks of time in the movies has also been a much more recent huge issue. I have had to report more movies as damaged because of surface damage than cracks. It is so bad that I think they need to revise their bonus send outs to compensate for the inconvenience of having to wait twice as long to watch the movie due to replacement. They should send out the replacement and a bonus or just a bonus if opting out of a replacement. I should also add that my player can handle playing discs with a significant amount of surface damage, but when one comes looking like someone took a scouring pad to it for an hour and skips and freezes or halts due to read errors through a huge chunk or several smaller chunks it should never have been sent out. Do they not bother to check if a selection is playable when the surface is so damaged?

Sam

I've been renting blue ray disks since they offered it. I've never had any issues with new releases or old blue rays

Seth

for the love of god, everyone read this:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2300

anon

File a formal complaint with USPS, whom is the one breaking the discs by putting the envelope in a sorting machine, and they'll stop coming.

Blu-Ray has a special coding to prevent scratching, but is more prone to breakage because there is no give. USPS sorting machines bend the envelope to a 90* angle, thus breaking the disc because it's too hard to bend.

It's a USPS problem.

anon

and by coding I mean coating.

CJ

Don't know what the hoopla is all about - I rented at least 100 Blu-ray discs from Netflix with no problems what so ever. That is before Netflix decided to charge extra, and I dropped out, so I can't speak to "recently".

Seth

"It's a USPS problem."

No,it's a Netflix problem. USPS can't be expected to invent new machines every time Netflix needs them to. Netflix needs to find a way to deal with it, not the post office.

problem solved

next time you receive an unplayable disc, simply break it into 2 pieces prior to sending it back to netflix. this will prevent netflix sending the unplayable disc to some other innocent customer.

Patrick

@Problem Solved, the issue is that unless a disc is severely damaged it might play in another person's player. Further complicating that, many DVDs (not Blu Rays) can be repaired if the damage is cosmetic and not structural (I don't know if Netflix has repair machines, but I'd guess they do). So advocating breaking Netflix's property because of your assumption of how things work is pretty messed up.

This is more relevant to SD, but I worked at a large video store with a disc checker and multiple professional-grade disc repair machines, and our biggest problem was the aforementioned difference in players. The cheapness and ubiquity of DVD players means that a lot of people are watching on finicky equipment ($20 cheapo players, old gaming consoles, PCs) that have constant problems - a lot of times we'd run these "problem" discs through the disc checker and they'd be fine (and would play on the Philips player we had in the store).

So basically, do what others have said and wait until they've sent out a replacement before you send your damaged disc back. I'm willing to place faith in Netflix having a system to deal with the problem considering that I've only seen one or two broken discs since I've been a Netflix subscriber.

anon

@Seth, totally agreed. I had to receive SIX copies of one movie during the worst of it, and each time I called Netflix, they'd tell me to file a complaint with USPS. I would, but USPS would blame Netflix. So I'd suggest to Netflix they have a sturdier mailer for blu-ray and I would be told they were 'testing some out'. Well this was about a year ago.

After I made about 3 or 4 formal complaints with USPS and Netflix told me some team that investigates incidences like this stepped in, the cracked discs stopped coming.

USPS doesn't want to have to pull every Netflix fearing it would crack and Netflix doesn't want to develop a sturdier mailer citing costs, etc. Either way, I'm the one paying more for blu-ray now, and I feel like the number of discs that crack and need replacing have something to do with it.

Angus Thermopyle

No,it's a Netflix problem.

No, it's not. the discs are not cracked when Netflix sends them. They crack during transit, under the command and control of the USPS. It is USPS's responsibility to ensure that items sent through their service arrive at their destinations intact and on time. In short, Netflix controls the mail precisely as much as you do: not at all.

Now, I understand why you would think this is Netflix's problem: after all, they are easier to yell at; calling up the USPS and threatening to cancel mail service if they don't shape up isn't likely to be very effective.

Pharmnerd

About a third of my Blu-ray discs come to me cracked. I've actually started to keep a tally here: http://www.pharmnerd.com/?page_id=124

I've also started writing "CRACK" with a Sharpie on the discs, with an arrow pointing to the crack. Should hopefully prevent them from going out again to some other poor sucker.

HD Jim

For those folks that think it's the player let me know how well your machine plays a disc with a 1/4 inch crack clean through the outside of the disc. I had a wave of these a while back from the Tacoma, WA distribution center and suspected it was a USPS handling issue combined with the brittle nature of the BD. Knock on wood, but it seems to have been rectified and have not seen a damaged one for a while.

PC

I think your problems are with USPS not Netflix. In Brooklyn NY I've gotten maybe 80 Blu-Rays so far and tons more DVDs. Never had to send a DVD back but might have had to give it a wipedown, and every Blu-Ray I've gotten hasn't had so much as a stray fingerprint smudge on it, let alone a scratch or crack.

Lynn Lavalette

Newbie to Blu-Ray on Netflix but last 2 out of 3 BR discs wouldn't play. Firmware is updated. Can't see breaks but latest "unplayable" has two 1/2" parallel scratches near the center hole & I wonder if that's why latest won't play.(due to parallel configuration, must have been done via some kind of machine perhaps?)
I find most disc I get need wipe down for fingerprints but that's expected due to careless customers.
I like the idea of using a Sharpie to mark the disc with problems but I need more experience before I'd do that. If scratches are an issue, then I'd sure circle the 2 on this disc I'm returning for replacement. (yes I'm waiting before returning).
Our player is a Pioneer BDP-51FD & I agree we should mention what players we have when posting.

Ishtar

Netflix didn't add disc ring stickers to prevent breakage, they added them to prevent people from stealing the discs. If you rent a Netflix disc with a disc ring (which will soon be all of them) and return something without it, they know you attempted to steal it--or accidentally sent your own disc back.

Netflix has absolutely no intention of doing anything to resolve broken Blu-Ray discs. If you consistently get broken BDs, take it up with the USPS, because Netflix doesn't have anything on their end that they can do to track it, other than monitor the breakage rate... but if you're only only person in your area reporting a large number of broken discs, you're not going to be making a dent unless you're the only person in your area with Netflix.

Herb

Over the last two months I have received 50 bluray discs. 21 discs (42%) were cracked. Its definitely due to the postal handling machines since the crack is the same size and in the same place every time. I just dropped the service - it was just getting silly.

Bryce

I think it is pretty clear that NetFlex needs a more sturdy mailer even for regular CD's. Blu-ray even more so. NextFlix does a huge amount of volume with the post office... you'd think there would be room for negotiation on a a special postage rate for the sturdy envelope. After all, the envelopes rarely go far because of NextFlix's regional facilities.

Robert Murillo G

Hi,

I am a subscriber to Netflix and ever since I started to receive the DVD they have all been scratched to the Nth degree and have to manually skip the bad tracks in order to play the movie; some of the DVDs have been so badly damaged that I had to report them to Netflix so I could receive a replacement, February 5, 2010 I received a cracked DVD with glue on the crack which tells me they glue the crack! Are they so stupid to think that a DVD in such condition will be play? Apparently they are ... So, I reported the cracked DVD and mailed it back to Netflix with a letter telling them that their QC really sucks! Today, February 8, 2010 I received the replacement of the cracked DVD and examine it ... I knew it would be in bad shape and correct I was; so, I decided to call their support and talk to some idiot there regarding the bad QC they have, in fact I asked for the manager and she (Megan ID# 87424 .. if that is true) told me that all the managers and supervisors were busy and that she could make an appointment for them to call me regarding my complaints ... Let's see if they do! After my telephone call to Netflix, I did a search looking for similar problems regarding Netflix and I got your link regarding the same problem I had but with Blue-Ray, so I decided to email you guys to let you know that their bad QC is across the board and not only Blue Ray DVDs. By the way, I took a picture of the cracked DVD with glue on it also so I can show it in the Internet, I can send you the picture as an attachment so you probably can post it for people to know about the QC of Netflix.

So you know, I will be paying a visit to Netflix headquarters in San Jose, CA and show to them that their QC really sucks.

I truly enjoyed your comment regarding the cracked DVD for Blue Ray!

By the way, I don't believe is a Post Office problem but Netflix QC.

Robert Murillo G (Cicuta)

DW

This has absolutely nothing to do with BR firmware updates that a few have mentioned. These are visibly cracked discs(if you look closly under a light, at the edge of the disc).

The USPS is the cause, but not the solution. We can't expect the mail service to change handling methods. The solution is for netflix to provide a sturdier shipping sleeve. Important for everyone to make sure you note in your netflix site that your disc is damaged so there is a record of it, and it couldn't hurt to call netflix to complain, as I am sure they record complaints there as well.

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