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Retro Hound

They used to send the next two or the next one and then that one from another location further away. Now, they just skip it leave them up there for ages. I'd definitely say "or more."


I have had "short wait" dvds at the top of my list for 6 months or more, and most "long wait" dvds I never get unless they have been fairly new releases.


I watch a movie the day it arrives and return it the following day. All my new releases say long wait, and I generally dont see them for over a month after their release. If i really want to see a new release, i have to go to redbox if i dont want to wait for it. Right now my top 10 movies are all "very long wait".

Larry Dallas

Escape from Alcatraz

been waiting a very long time


Other than new releases, my "very long wait" movies have been "never". Most of them seem to be older movies that Netflix is not replacing after they get scratched or broken. Some of them end up falling off me queue into Saved. It seems like Netflix no longer prioritizes keeping those older movies in stock.


Long wait, very long wait, it's all inane. Almost every DVD in my queue is at least a long wait. I thought perhaps with their subscription base shriveling earlier this year that it'd shorten some of the waits, but no. As a heavy user, I'm sure they're still throttling me.


It seems that the opera or classical music DVDs are very, very popular. Some of my short waits are six months, while the long waits are at least a year. Nextflix needs to remember us DVD people who do not stream.


I have been on "Very Long Wait" status for Downton Abbey Season 2 for about 3 months now. It's absurd and frustrating. Netflix needs to send someone out to the local Best Buy and buy up some more copies like in the old days. I value the DVD side more than the Streaming, but they seem to be putting less and less effort into maintaining the previously stellar quality of service.


I almost never have long wait or any wait at all unless it is something like halloween time and everyone is trying to get those classic fright night special type movies that are popular that time of year. Classic christmas movies during christmas time is another example. If you are on long wait and haven't gotten that title for more than 3 or 4 weeks make sure to contact netflix. A long time ago there was an error that was causing me not to get a title that was showing as long wait.


Very Long Wait generally means 3+ months (9 months in one case).


"Very Long Wait" for me is usually at least two months, sometimes three or more. For example, JOHN CARTER was released two months ago; I've had it as #1 in my queue since then; it still sits there tagged VLW.

About 1/3 of my queue is some sort of "Wait." This is new. I'd always have a few DVDs tagged W/LW/VLW, but now it's just nuts.

I can only assume Netflix is buying many fewer DVDs in order to save $. It's annoying.


Jesus people, you pay $7.99 at least for access to a massive library... JUST $7.99, no possibility of late fees, and yet you STILL whine because you can't get everything, ever, immediately. Demanding SOBs! Cry me a river you first world crybabies.


"Destroyed In Seconds" has been Short Wait at the top of my queue for over six months. Not complaining because I can't get it immediately since it's been so long now, and I pay $38/month for streaming + 4 discs so I'd just like to get it someday. Even spoke with a Netflix rep after several months and they claimed people are just sitting on their copies. Small drawback to the indefinite rental period, I guess.


Ok so why don't we just talk about the algorithm Netflix uses to see who gets DVD's off waits.

1) It is based on usage. Hence, if you have received new releases in the past and are on the 1 dvd out at a time plan. You will be much farther down the line from Grandma who seldom orders a new release.

2) Let's look at it by money. If you are on a 1 dvd out at a time plan and you watch one and return it the following day. You get let's just say 8 dvd's per month. = 1.00 / movie.

If someone who is on the same plan 1 dvd out at a time and they average 4 movies per month. 2.00 / dvd they have it before you.

The second example is actually the most important factor in the Netflix algorithm. It's all about how Netflix sees you in monetary value. Netflix values and for business purposes rightfully so, those who do not use the dvd service very much.


That is why I've hardly seen anyone on the 2 dvd limited plan for 4.99 go on a wait. 2.50 per movie Netflix values you :)

Kayla Sonergoran

I remember getting a long wait for the movie Barefoot in the Park. When I got Amazon Prime, it was on there streaming list for free. Ended up watching it there. When I went to Netflix a few days later to take the DVD off my list not only was it still a "long wait" but it became available for streaming on Netflix too...

I think long wait is just a nice way of saying "we no longer have this DVD and aren't planning to replace due to low demand".


"The Clash: Up Close and Personal" has been on very long wait in my queue for well over a year.


Bob, you look like the only one "crying a river". Yes, we're paying for the service, so we would like to get what the service offers. Are you saying we should say "ah, it's just $7.99 a month or whatever and we aren't getting what we put in the queue. We'll just get it next month" then you are part of the problem, and just wasting your money. Sure there is other stuff to watch, but it would be nice to get a more detailed or honest answer, like if "very long wait" means "we don't have it anymore."


Ya folks that have been waiting over 3 months; have you contacted netflix support? If so, what do they have for an excuse?


, but it would be nice to get a more detailed or honest answer, like if "very long wait" means "we don't have it anymore."

If they don't have it anymore they DO pull it from the site/make it a save option. HOWEVER, they do have titles that have 10 or less copies on the site. And they won't ship from a far away unless x number extra is available (x being determined by estimated demands). Also, if a disc is out for a year on an account that IS BEING PAID FOR, that disc is still considered in circulation. So if Joe Nevercheckshisbills or Susan Forgotievenhadthedvdservice is sitting on a disc they got two years ago but are still paying the subscription, Netflix will indefinitely consider that disc in circulation and not pull it from the site.

And if it's not a very popular/in demand title, or the studio is no longer regularly printing copies, they aren't going to go purchase a studio minimum* to cover 200-300 people wanting a title that they 'have' 15 copies, Nor are they going to breach contract and lose their primo pricing on 'the avengers' to purchase a few more copies of some movie not very many people want.

It is FAR from being a perfect system, I can pick it apart with the best of them. But it makes sense in an overall supply and demand respect, and while there are many problems, it is still overall the best disc service around in my opinion. And even if you don't agree that it's the best, you DO agree that it's worth the price of Netflix... Or maybe you like to spend your time criticizing things that have absolutely no pertinence to you or your life. Could be either I guess. THIS BEING A GENERAL OBSERVATION NOT DIRECTED AT GALAGATRON. The quote was just a jumping off point, your comment makes perfect sense to me.

*they have contracts with most studios to get discounts from that studio if they only buy rental copies direct from the studio, and the studio isn't going to print a few copies


Crappy NF. I liked it better when I had to get in my car to rent a movie. IF the rental store even carried the movie or had it in stock that is. It was much more satisfying despite the 2-3 dollar rental fee per flick. It was great, I remember getting there and being like, "oh crap they don't have it on the shelf" and asking the employee to check he return bin. If it was in there it was like winning the lottery. Good times.


Ethan or Bob or Wilmot or whatever your name is, I believe you miss the point.

It's not whether or not Netflix has the DVD, it is how Netflix communicates about its availability.

At this point in the game, Netflix knows completely and fully well that some DVDs are not available in any meaningful way. They should not be listed as "Very Long Wait" or "Long Wait." They should be taken off the Netflix catalog. Period.

As with much of Netflix's interaction with customers, instead of being transparent about the issue, the company chooses to be opaque and less than forthcoming...


@ethan ...

I see the problem as being twofold:

1) the LW and VLW attributes are hazy and not at all well-explained by Netflix. The explanation Netflix does offer does not match up with what is being experienced by Netflix customers. Netflix needs to come clean about the real meaning of LW and VLW, state the problem causing the waits, and how Netflix intends to resolve the problem.

2) the higher prevalence of LW and VLW seem to be a more recent phenomenom. Why is Netflix having difficulties keeping discs in stock? Your rationalization about people having DVDs at home that they've forgotten about doesn't hold water, because that could have always happened, yet in the past there was a much lower rate of LW and VLW discs.

My opinion, which I've stated before, is that Netflix is trying to reduce expenses drastically for the DVD division in order to continue to show a nice profit for that division.

The quality of customer service is down, the disc inventory appears to be down, the shipping times are up (i.e., shipping from distant warehouses without providing the usual bonus disc), etc.

It won't be the first time that a company's profits were held up at the expense of customer good-will, so that the company can continue to look profitable enough to be sold.


What I find frustrating with Netflix is they have very poor customer service reps -- Hulu has the best in customer reps. I called about a short wait disc in getting an addition one while it was coming to me because in the past that was what Netflix did. So I asked if they changed their policy in this regard which would be Ok it happens. But what got me angry is the Netflix Representative said they never did it before and made me feeling like they were saying I was lying about receiving an additional DVD while waiting for the short wait one. I asked if they were new and the customer service representative was very rude and said they work for company for 28 years and never gave out an additional DVD while for short waits. Netflix should focus on providing better Customer Service it is OK to change the terms but don't make the Customer feel like a fool!!!


Yes, it is frustrating I have seen too in the last few months more short waits and newer releases becoming Very Long Waits for the first disc of the series. I wonder if Blockbuster DVDs are any better -- I'm considering them if it becomes to frustrating....


and the customer service representative was very rude and said they work for company for 28 years and never gave out an additional DVD while for short waits. Netflix should focus on providing better Customer Service it is OK to change the terms but don't make the Customer feel like a fool!!!

If that's the epxerience you had, absolutely! That person was clearly a liar as Netflix has only been in existence since '97 I believe... I've called in about a bonus while one was on wait before as well, the rep I spoke to didn't say they'd never done it, simply that they'd never had that as the normal thing their reps were SUPPOSED to do. So maybe they've cracked down on monitoring what the reps are actually doing, I'm not sure. It does seem like some of the reps are very open with what's going on, the majority are vague but pleasant, and some just plain shouldn't be working in customer service.

The messaging system for waits could be infinitely better, I wholeheartedly agree with that. If they're going to run it all by an algorithm, it does seem like it'd be relatively easy to plug in the factors to give the titles a rough percentage of your odds of getting that title. From a sense of utilizing the service and having the clearest expectation that would probably be best, but at the same time I can envision a slew of people being infuriated to see a .5% on some of those releases.... I'm sure they keep a level of ambiguity for just that reason. In a world where everyone assessed things logically, that would be fantastic. But I'd be lying if I said I'd do it in their shoes.


Bob, your comment on "no late fees" is wrong and was genius of Netflix to have used in their marketing of their product.

You pay $8.00 a month for your DVDs. So if you get one movie a week every month you pay about $2.00 per rental. One day you rent DC Cupcakes and fall in love with the show. You decide to keep the DVD for a couple of months so you can watch the DVD several times learning how to make the perfect cupcake. It just cost you $16.00 to rent one DVD and Netflix profit (with you) went thru the roof because all the postage and handling they just saved by not sending out those 7 other DVDs that you would have rented.


I have the two dvd's out at a time plan. By using Ripit and Cyberduck ftp'ing to AppleTV, I get 4 dvd's a week.

I always make sure to mail two on Sat. Living in Houston I get 1-day turnaround, so mailing on Sat. usually means one of two things will happen: either I get 1 or 2 new releases, or I get the pick of the returned dvd's which are 90% of the time, "very long wait's" or "long wait's".

Also, I have found that by quickly returning New Releases will also get you VLW and LW items, and by returning two dvd's in a single envelope also has good results. I have been using this system for what? 8 years?

My relationship with Netflix (Reed Hastings aside...) has had its ups and downs, but over the long term it has been a good one. It is like everything else in this life: you got give a little, to get a little...that's the glory of, that's the story of....wait a minute....is that a musical? Accept for "Hudson Hawk", I don't really like musicals!


@Ethan - Most representatives at Netflix are pleasant but still can be frustrating when some times it seems I know more about what's going on then they do with Netflix.

Yes the representative said that.... I guess it could be possible it was never an official policy that would have been nicer to hear than making me think I was losing my mind....

I'm considering possibly splitting my DVDs or maybe even just switching DVDs to Blockbusters.com and keep the streaming at Netflix. If the newer releases end up being an issue of extended unending waits with the hope that Blockbusters may be better. A company that doesn't want to eventually do away with its DVD business might treat its customers better and provide better return. I will give Netflix more time to resolve the issue with the DVDs in case it has something do with new Employee hiring and training.


Now I understand if you have a bunch of new releases at the top of your queue you're gonna have to wait. However if its an older movie than shame on Netflix for not sending it to you. For me though I've only ever had a couple movies that had any waits at all at the top of my queue and it hasn't really been a problem. As of now only 1 out of 119 movies have waits and its only a short wait.


Two recent situations in my queue highlight what is clearly happening with DVD purchasing. I keep movies that are soon to release at the top of my queue. I had a documentary Miss Representation at the number one spot on its release day. There it stayed for four months. Always VLW. I finally called and a rep said they would investigate and get back to me by email. That never happened. I waited another month and called again. This time the rep told me quite a few interesting things because by now, movies that had been VLW were dropping to my Saved section and I was down to TEN items in my queue. All were on Waits. I asked if they were trying to get me to drop my DVD plan after being a customer for 8 years and she replied that movies that were out of print were not being replaced.

One of the movies that had dropped off was The Hedgehog - which had been released (on NF) only a month before. She said look at Amazon and you will see it is out of print. That was not true and it was available to purchase.

Needless to say - she authorized an additional disc and I was sent the movie in question the next day.

So, to answer the original question, I waited 5 months. And I believe they are no longer buying as many copies of new movies and are not replacing damaged copies of older movies. The game plan can not be any clearer.


Very long wait *should* mean "we're buying more copies in response to customer demand". You know, if Netflix actually cared about customer service.


I had "Very Long Wait" on "The Night Stalker / The Night Strangler" in my number 1 spot since November of 2010 . Today suddenly it has been moved in to "Saved". This article having an impact perhaps?


I just got War Horse. Nothing more to be said.


Try your local librarie's DVD section. They get new dvds faster than I can on Netflix, and it's FREE!

Riverside Guy

I'm slowly but surely getting seriously tired of how NF seems to be running it's business. On the streaming side, I've had it with getting 3-4 days notice that a series I was in the middle of is getting yanked, when I KNOW NF knew months if not years earlier when their license would expire. AND they never seem to actually come back (get renewed). Series via discs do NOT work. As for DVDs & BDs, more and more of my list is VLW & LW and I'm not sure if ANY of them have shipped to me in the past 3 months.

Now I know why my good friends have all canceled NF and gone to acquiring stuff from Amazon & Hulu and from the "underground." They had been w/NF longer than I and just got tired of being dicked around. It's getting clearer and clearer they only get a very small number of discs of anything released in the past year or so and just keep re-circulating them.


To be fair to Netflix, when a DVD is out of print, it really is out of print. You cannot buy a lot of first generation (90s) discs anymore.

As much as I hate to give away the secret... if you want new releases, you need to mail your discs on Saturday. Netflix will get them on Monday and you get the new discs on Tuesday. If you are a heavy user, you will never get the new discs if you wait to mail your discs on Monday.


the secret of sending on Saturday is a method I've used for years...it stopped working a few months ago. If it works for you - great. But, I think the number of copies purchased has dropped significantly and the new release are portioned out differently now.

Of course if DVD's are out of print - they can no longer be purchased. But, NF told me this was the case and it was on a current movie. The customer service rep and I both searched on Amazon and when she saw the movie I was asking about was still available to purhcased - she released an extra disc to me.

Very Long Wait was always described to me by customer service as up to 90 days. We are talking about waits now that far exceed that and then are just dropped to Saved section, never to be purchased.


30 days...poppycock! I just waited 3 months for True Blood, and 3 months for Game of Thrones.


I think the creator of this site should publish or investigate the IP numbers of commenters to see their geographic distribution in relation to Netflix HQ.

I suspect the amount of astro turfing - employees of Netflix posting here to support the company - is extreme. Of course, there is nothing wrong with posting if you work at Netflix but not indicating as such is of course deceptive.

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