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Web www.manuelsweb.com
By Manuel Villanueva 10/24/03, updated 03/25/10

Netflix address: 100 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, CA 95032, Netflix phone # (408) 540-3700

Netflix Exposed on Channel 7 WXYZ (video) and on Channel 7 KGO-TV/DT (text, video)

Netflix has sent me 34 Broken DVDs, 2 Fatally Scratched DVDs, 7 Wrong DVDs, 0 Lost DVDs


What is Netflix?

Netflix is an on-line DVD delivery service.  The customer makes a list of DVDs they wish to rent on Netflix's web site.  Netflix initially sends you x amount DVDs via mail (according to your plan).  Then for every DVD you return by mail, Netflix will exchange it with another one from your list.

The Pros:

The Cons:

My Disappointment with Netflix

October 2004

Initially, I was quite satisfied with their service:  DVDs were arriving in the mail in a timely manner about twice a week.  This was with their standard $20 plan.  Little did I realize this was a bait and switch tactic.  Suddenly, movies shipments went from twice to once a week.  So I thought I could get better service if I purchased the $40 plan but even that proved disappointing.  The condition of their movies was terrible.  Some movies were insanely scratched, many were broken or the wrong title.  When I tried to get help or complain I found it nearly impossible to contact Netflix from their web site.  I would have appreciated being reimbursed for the scratched, broken, or wrong titles but that never happened.  Read my journal to hear the latest news.


Consumer Advice

DVD Players

You'll need a decent DVD player that can play through damaged discs.  Buy a quality DVD player.  The first DVD players I bought from Costco and Sam's Club were both less than a $100 and both broke down.  The cheap players have a difficult time playing a typical Netflix DVD:  Either they won't play at all or stop during the movie.  The worst thing that can happen is for a DVD to stop playing right in the middle of the movie.  I spent about $170 on a Pioneer DVD player.  It does a good job of playing through scratches.  My PC also does a good job of playing damaged DVDs.

Invest in a DVD scratch remover.  Most Netflix DVDs are scratched and may not play.  There's several products available that clean and polish DVDs removing scratches.  This might let you watch a Netflix rental that was otherwise unplayable.  Here's my review of a product designed to repair DVD scratches called, "Skip Dr"  although, this product cannot repair cracked discs.

Returning DVDs

Two rules influence how fast Netflix delivers rentals (turnaround times).

  1. Returning your movies to Netflix as soon as possible through the post office.  I can usually speed up delivery by one day if I drop my movie off at the post office versus dropping it off at the mail box on the corner.
  2. How often you rent from Netflix will also influence your shipping (turnaround) times.  If you rent rarely or infrequently Netflix will send your movies quickly.  Rule 1 applies.  However, if you rent frequently Netflix will penalize you by slowing your shipping times.  Rule 1 no longer applies.  Netflix uses five tactics to delay your shipping time.
    1. They will not acknowledge your movie has been received.  Movies that normally arrive at your Netflix distribution center in one day suddenly take two or more days to arrive.
    2. Netflix acknowledges your movie received but admittedly delays your shipment.  In your queue it will appear as "shipping today" but then change to shipping the next day or the day after that.
    3. Netflix ships your rentals from remote centers instead of your local one.  The return address sends it back to the same location effectively doubling or tripling shipment times.
    4. Netflix is closed Saturdays and Sundays.  Netflix rentals returned over the weekend sit in the post office until Netflix picks them up on Monday.
    5. Shipments are made at the end of the business day.  Technically, they are "shipped" that day however in all practicality the post office won't process them until the next day.  This practice delays your shipments by one day.

Netflix "Throttling" Defined

Consumers will come across the term "throttling" when researching Netflix on the Internet.  In 2003, Netflix stated that it loses money on customers paying less than $2.00 per rental.  To counter this loss Netflix created an inventory allocation and delivery system that curbs users from paying less than $2.00 per rental.  Thus, frequent users will experience long shipping delays, especially for new releases.  The Netflix Turnaround Calculator is an example of throttling.

Inspect Netflix Movies When They Arrive:  Broken DVDs & Wrong Titles

As soon as your movies come in the mail take them out and inspect them for cracks.  Unlike GreenCine, Netflix movies arrive in the mail without any protective packaging:  just plain paper envelopes.  There's been a couple times when I've had Netflix movies sitting on the table for days only to find out it they were broken when I tried to play them.  Or the DVD may be the wrong movie.  Now you'll have to wait that much longer to see your next movie.

Broken DVDs will play if the crack is on the label surface only.  After watching a Netflix rental I discovered the DVD was cracked.  I was surprised it played but noticed the crack was only on label side of the movie.  Cracks around the periphery are okay too as long as they don't cross the metal surface (see picture).

"Rent As Many DVDs As You Want*" Netflix Legal Disclaimer

A frustrated Netflix customer e-mailed me that he called 3 different lawyers and all refused to take up his case because of the Netflix has.

Delivery and Return of Rented DVDs

We reserve the right to allocate and ship DVDs to you in any manner that we, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine. 

In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service.

Basically, this says they don't have to ship you any rentals and makes them impervious to any law suits regarding service.  It also says they'll slow down your service if you rent too many movies.

Oh,   by becoming a subscriber you can't sue them unless you do so on their home turf and on their terms.

Disputes

You and Netflix agree that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and/or the California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute between you and Netflix relating in any way to the Netflix service or Web site or these Terms of Use. You and Netflix expressly and irrevocably consent to personal jurisdiction and venue in these courts.

Don't Count On Netflix

Chances are the night you plan on watching a movie, Netflix won't send one.  I purchase a few movies and keep them as back up when Netflix doesn't deliver.  Don't forget your local video store on the corner.

Voice Your Complaints!

Contact the following agencies for assistance with your Netflix issues.  Be patient.  It took a month or longer to hear back from them.  Both the BBB and the Attorney General contacted me in writing--the FTC sent me an e-mail.

Silicon Valley's Better Business Bureau
California Office of Attorney General
The Federal Trade Commission


Opinions of Other Dissatisfied Netflix Customers

Latest Customer Opinions

E-mail

11/26/04

Hi,

Wow! I was kind of surprise to see the long list of complaints I would have to say. However I just became one of them too!

I have been a member with netflix going a year in december. But lately the shipping has gone bad to worse. I was receiving a few discs that were broken and unplayable in certain parts (middle of show) and yet they say its inspected. I would report the shipping problem, return the disc and another disc was sent but it was the same disc! What! Does no-one checked them.

The other times, I never received the dvds, they just disappeared in the mail and of course it seem like it was my fault since I had to request replacements every so often. Once I got the wrong dvd and I got the same movie twice (I reported it as missing), but of course the only way was to contact through email to complain (before 800#) and what good was that. They didn't get back to me until days later, by then they were returned. 

But I have to agree with everyone else that has written that their shipping time is ridiculous! I began renting and returning too many movies. Now the shipping is SLOW, all of my top titles are on very long to long wait status. 

Thanks 
AJ


E-mail

11/21/04

It's me again,

I've just visited The Better Business Bureau web site and was surprised to read the following.

Based on BBB files, this company has a satisfactory record...

...The following data concerns complaints processed by the BBB since the firm's file was opened or over the last 36 months, whichever is less. Netflix, Inc. has had 274 complaints. 86 were closed as Resolved. 173 were closed as Assumed Resolved. 14 were closed as Administratively Judged Resolved. 1 was closed as Unpursuable. Of these complaints: 32 were concerning Selling Practices. 30 were concerning Advertising Issues. 40 were concerning Service Issues. 126 were concerning Credit or Billing. 25 were concerning Delivery Issues. 13 were concerning Refund Practices. 3 were concerning Product Quality. 4 were concerning Contract Disputes

I encourage people to file a complaint with the BBB at http://www.bbbsilicon.org/gccomplaint.html however it is not good enough to just file a complaint. You must also follow up and answer any questions they may have for you during their investigation. Otherwise it will simply be classified as "Assumed Resolved"

Thanks


E-mail

11/21/04

I have had similar problems of late with Netflix.

I have been a Netflix customer since June, 2003. Up until two months ago, I have been mainly satisfied with the service. Not anymore.

I live about 30 miles from the distribution center in Harrisburg. Since the inception of this center, Iíve enjoyed 1-day turnaround, and I actually got on a fairly regular schedule for about 3 months. Receive Monday, send Tuesday, receive Thursday, send Friday, and receive Monday again. Nothing ever changed. Now, I am lucky to receive three DVDs within any 10 day period. I emailed Netflix about this problem, and their excuse was that since Netflix uses bulk mail in both directions, and the post office treats that mail as low priority, there are no guarantees when it comes to delivery.

I echoed this to my local postmaster. I told him how Netflix seems to receive my DVDs 3-4 days after I send them, yet can ship me a DVD in one day. He made some calls and called me back. Turns out the post office keeps tabs on almost ALL pieces of mail in the system and tracks delivery times so they can spot emerging distribution problems. He specifically said to me there is no reason in the world why mail would take 3 days to reach Netflix when it takes 1 day to reach the rest of the zip code. As for bulk receiving low priority? Thatís true, but he said delivery times for bulk are really no different than first class except during times of high volume, like during December, and near the first of each month. 

I certainly have no illusions of being a profitable customer for Netflix. I am a top renter, and occasionally I return DVDís same day I receive them in order to rent more, quickly. Now, I realize there is no point in doing this. They are imposing their monthly rental limit on me regardless of how quickly I return DVDs. 

I perceive there to be real value in a service that allows me to rent an unlimited number of DVDs 3 at a time. I donít perceive value in a service that limits my total rentals in any cycle while telling me to rent and return as quickly as possible.

I would email Netflix and tell them to stick it, but I really donít think they would mind losing an unprofitable customer.

Thanks,

Zach


E-mail

11/18/04

Hello there,

I have been with Netflix for going on 3 months now. And the first month was great. The distribution center for me is in New Brunswick, NJ which is an hour from my house. So I was getting my movies a day after they sent them and the return time was just as quick. At that point, I was thinking that Netflix was the best thing in the world. Then approximately a month after I started my service, things started getting really bad. Now it was taking 2 - 3 days to receive my movies and it takes twice as long for them to get them back. Sometimes I would send out 2 movies at the same time, and one would get there 2 days later and the other took 4. How is that possible. Anyway, In the past month I have reported 6 movies "lost" in the mail. 2 of them mysteriously "returned" to Netflix the day that I reported them missing. Weird, isn't it? So when this "lost" in the mail thing started happening, I emailed Netflix with my concerns because 1. I was feeling bad, thinking that someone was stealing the movies and 2. I didn't want my account to be put on hold, because this wasn't my fault. The reply I got was just to wait the 6 days to report it missing and just wait for my next movie. Big help, huh? So then I called them with the number that they emailed me, because you can't find it on the website anywhere, sat on hold for 10 min. before someone picked up, and the only thing they could tell me was that it was a postal problem. I wound up going to my post master, having our carrier watched (which I feel really bad for now), and come to find out, it's all a problem with Netflix. I'm really glad I found this site and that everyone is writing in to talk about what a scam this whole Netflix thing is. And although they really deserve it, I don't want to see Netflix get shut down. They have a great selection and their website is set up pretty well. I just want to see us customers get the service that our trial period gave us, along with better customer service. I believe we deserve it. 

Justin

Manuel's Reply:  My thoughts exactly


E-mail

11/17/04

Manuel,

Just wanted to give you a more recent, and maybe more unique, perspective on a Netflix problem. I was given a two-month ďgift certificateĒ to Netflix as a birthday present. The people who gave it to me love Netflix, and as far as I know, never have a problem with the company. So I signed up for a membership to use the gift, and of course, I had to give my credit card number. It seemed kind of weird at first, but it makes sense; I mean, they are sending me DVDs and if they didnít have a credit card, I could give them false information and make off with some free DVDs.

Anyway, after the two months were upÖthey made me a full member without ever notifying me that my free period was up. AND they were charging me $23.95 (it recently went down to $17, so what the hell?). They could have at least warned me about this! So I went to my account and clicked on Cancel. That link merely sends you to a page with a phone number you have to call to cancel. I mean, come on, right? You have the technology to scan DVDs in and out, keep a growing network of customers ďhappyĒ, but you canít hire a web guy to make you a working Cancel page?

So I call the number from work. And I wait. And wait. And wait. I love the dead air they play between ďAll service reps are busyĒ message. It seems like they hung up. I wondered if that was a device to get customers to hang up themselves. So I put the phone on speaker and got back to work. After more than 5 minutes, someone finally picked up.

So no problem, I cancelled and they sent me an email. I had sent the last 3 movies to them that day, and told the woman on the phone to expect them to arrive soon. Today, I had two emails from Netflix showing that two of the movies had been received. HmmmmÖwhereís the third one?

So I looked at a consumer affairs site to see what I was in for. Apparently, a lot of people who signed up for the free trials would cancel, and Netflix would charge them for one lost disc. I wondered if maybe I was headed for the same kind of problem.

But then I realized, the credit card I had given them was expiring this month. My credit card company had sent me the new card, but I never received it. So I had called them and told them about the situation, and they immediately switched me to a new account number, to protect me in case someone had intercepted my new card.

So, with a happy feeling in my soul, I realized that if Netflix does try to screw meÖ.well, good luck to Ďem! A happy accident for me, and one less chance to scam someone for them. I have a feeling that with their scummy practices, they wonít push the issue.

-Matt


E-mail

11/1/04

Netflix Delay Tactics

Hi,

First, I'd like to say that I enjoy your site. I suspected that Netflix was cheating me, but I wasn't completely convinced until I read similar experiences from people on your site. I live in the Chicago area. The address for Netflix returns is in Carol Stream, IL, which is about 10 miles from me. My proximity to the return location is what made me start to question Netflix. When they ship a movie, it arrives in my mailbox the next day. When I return a movie at the post office (before the last pickup for the day), it arrives at Netflix the next day. When I started watching a lot of movies, I, like you, started to experience their delays. What is interesting is that I have driven the 10 miles to the Carol Stream Post Office. I have mailed the return envelopes in the same post office where they have their PO Box, yet they still pretend that some of the DVD's I returned in a batch take a day longer to arrive in their office. About a month ago, I went on vacation for two weeks. For a week after I returned, I started to experience Netflix as I first had experienced them. I returned 5 movies at once, and they checked in all of them the next day and mailed 5 more movies on that same day. Of course, two weeks later (after I went back to my frequent rental pattern) the shipments are again getting delayed as your describe. 

Ted


E-mail

10/29/04

I was just wondering if anyone has contemplated a class action lawsuit or something. Perhaps a visitor to this site has a relative or friend who is an attorney. If so maybe they can provide a answer for us as to Netflix fraudulent advertising and DVD withholding without notification to the customer prior to subscribing.

Please post this question. (with or without my email if you wish) I'm curious to find the answer. The "Carl Cravens" post just infuriated me.

trash0711@hotmail.com 


E-mail

10/27/04

Hello Manuel!

Thank you for your posts. I thought there was something strange going on with Netflix when the wait was getting longer and their receipt/shipping notifications are taking longer and longer--their warehouse is about 80 miles from here.

So, another one bites the dust as far as customer service is concerned. Everywhere I look it's the same story--customer service is non-existent, they just don't care as long as the money keeps coming in.

Regards,
Yolanda


E-mail

10/24/04

I came across your site and I have to say that I agree with almost everything. My Netflix service is terrible. I was going to cancel and they offered me a discount to stay. The catch is that if I cancel within 6 months, they will back charge me for the discount amount. Ever since I agreed to stay for the 6 months, my service has suspiciously gone downhill. My e-mails to Netflix are NEVER answered, I am in a one business day area with a hub located in the neighborhood but suddenly movies that used to take one day to arrive now take days to a week to get to my house, movies don't ship the same day when others are returned, they ship out of order, my priority movies are ALWAYS on "Very Long Wait" or "Long Wait" status, or they will suddenly go back to the awaiting release section. For some reason other online rental outlets will carry certain recently released titles, but Netflix will have the same titles in the awaiting released section, sometimes for months after the release date. All of my title requests have been ignored for months. The titles I have been requesting are very popular 80's titles, and it surprises me that Netflix would ignore requests and instead carry some of the really crappy titles instead. For Halloween we wanted to see a movie called "The Boogeyman" which Netflix has ignored all requests for, yet they carry the sequel, "Boogeyman 2" which is terrible. In the beginning Netflix was great. Now the service SUCKS! When my 6 months are up, I am done!


E-mail

10/14/04

While I must admit that their customer service did respond to my email question within a day, their response was less that appropriate.

I went on their site on 10/13 only to find them advertising a $15.99 monthly rate for the 3-at-a-time subscription. I refreshed the site and then saw $17.99. I logged in and then saw $21.99. I cleared out my cache and cookies, refreshed and saw $17.99. I repeated this on 10/14 and again saw the $15.99 followed by the $17.99.

I fired off an email to them on 10/13 requesting that they change my price to the $17.99. They responded on 10/14 that they cannot change an existing customer's pricing plan based on "random online promotions", specifically:

"Please keep in mind these are random online promotions. If you see an offer like this you will need to take advantage of it at that time, because it may not be offered in the future. Unfortunately, we are unable to extend this offer to you due to the fact it was a random Online offer."

There is no disclaimer on the site indicating that the cheaper pricing is only a special offer or gets adjusted to the $21.99 in a number of months
- just that it is $17.99 (or $15.99!). 

Walmart is $18 something. Time to switch. While netflix has been responsive to me, the rate of movie shipments has slowed to 3-4 days between movies rather than the 1-2 we originally enjoyed, I dont like dealing with companies that randomly charge customers different prices "just because".

Tom Munro, NJ


E-mail

10/6/04

I canít believe that the majority of the emails below donít mention TRYING TO REACH CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! There is no way to email customer service, but when you call there are hour delays. I just canceled my subscription and it took me 1 hour and ten minutes just to get someone on the phone. When they answered they said that no one was waiting and I must have gotten stuck in some loop. I donít believe this as the same thing has happened every time Iíve called. 

They must be aware of the mass upset around the product because they credited my account. However, people really want this service and they want it to work. It is too bad that Netflix doesnít make it work for the customer. They are headed for big trouble.

Advice: when calling Customer Service Ė plant yourself in front of the TV and find something fun to watch so at least you are somewhat entertained during the wait. If you can restrain yourself from screaming at the agent once (IF) you are connected, the actual reps arenít too bad.

Good luck!

Reply:  You would think customer service would be under "Contact Us" but that's just makes too much sense.


E-mail

10/4/04

Over the last three weeks I have seen a change in the way NETFLIX handle my DVD's. The movie is logged in on time but when a new movie is moved into the queue it ships the next day instead of that day. This has happened three weeks in a row. I have come to the conclusion that they don't want you to have more than 6 in a week. If you get 8 in one week you will get 4 or five in the next week. I belong to a different hub than PITTSBURGH but my problems seem to have started when the PITTSBURGH hub opened.


E-mail

10/4/04

Was a member a while ago in summer of 2001 and I used it throughout the summer. I found it took too long to get the films I wanted, so i quit. I was overall satisfied, just impatient, I suppose.

I'd heard earlier this year that their problems with distribution were all squared away, so i gave them another chance in April of 2004. The disks did indeed arrive quicker. However the last straw was getting 4 bad disks in a one month timeframe... these were completely shattered disks. It might be something NF is aware of, might not, but it's not on my dime that I'm willing to put up with this experimentation. I cancelled.

They continued to spam me to join after I'd cancelled--this is unacceptable. Even if it cost $1/month I will never use a business that spams me.


E-mail

9/30/04

Thank you for maintaining this website! I have been getting more and more frustrated with Netflix, and it is so comforting to see that I am not going crazy, and they are really getting worse and worse. Their new trick is to keep dvd's from being shipped out. Up until a month ago, they would ship all movies I requested as soon as they received my shipment. Now, they almost always ship the movies the next business day. This really works out for them if they receive the dvd on a friday, and ship the next one on Monday. My favorite was when they received my dvd's the friday before the memorial day, and then decided to send the new ones the next business day (tuesday).

I am extremely annoyed with them, and looked for a place to vent. I checked out Blockbuster, but they don't have all the movies I want to watch (I watch a lot of international movies, and I couldn't find them in Blockbuster. I will make the switch though, as soon as someone catches up.

Also, I share your pain regarding tv series. I rented the X-files series (all 9 seasons) and now I am going through Babylon 5. My solution is to put them to the queue one at a time.

Anyway, thank you for listening.


E-mail

9/30/04

I Am Just Another Victim of the Bait and Switch Tactic.

During my trial, which ended Tuesday, I was getting DVD's in one day. There is a distro center about 40 miles from my town. I would get a DVD Monday morning, watch it, return in Monday by 5, Netflix would get it Tuesday and I'd have a new movie in my mailbox Wednesday morning.

That was before the trail ended. Now that my credit card has been charged its a different ballgame. I sent my movies back on Monday, and today, Thursday, Netflix still hasn't gotten them. What a surprise! 

I thought having a distro center so close would make things better, but this is just proof that they are liars. We all know they have had those DVD's since Tuesday. I bet they were even shipped out to new people already! 

Be warned. Trial is great. But cancel after that because you will never get your $22 worth of DVDs. 

The rest is just for the author of the page, but feel free to post if you like.

For online Anime rentals there is only one place to go http://www.greencine.com they have everything you want and have lots of great features and forums that are actively participated in by all (i am ivygirl , so you can look up some of my lists and reviews and such) Their only downfall is that they are in SanFran and only have 1 distro center there, so there are some wait times. However, if you have a 5 out plan or higher, you can trade your stamped envelopes (60 cent stamps) (yes, they use real stamps, not postage paid crap) for a priority flat rate stamp (3.85) and eat the 85 cents, and have your DVD's back even faster!

I have been a member there for a long time now and I love it. I hate waiting, but they have the selection and people to make it worth my while. And the customer service is amazing. You get a response from a real person in less than 24 hours.

They also have a free trial, but your status won't change with them once you become a member. Your shipping time will depend on where you live, but they never hold DVD's. I know this for a fact b/c I track every priority envelope I send them. They get the movies, and in a few hours they ship the movies. They also work and ship Saturdays.

Check it out for your anime needs! I love it!

~Jen

aka ivygirl


E-mail

9/29/04

I can only add to the long list of complaints:

  1. Their customer service is lousy, if you are lucky enough to get one of the patronizing ďrepresentativesĒ. 
  2. They simply lie, when they say turnaround time is fast. I am amazed how they get away with this, or will they??

Thank you for providing this forum, which enabled me to call them at least.

Best regards,

Carl Friedrich


E-mail

9/29/04

Netflix is a Bi...ch

Hey man,

I have become a member recently with Netflix, but I already feel the pain. First 2 weeks of bait-and-switch were awesome. I subscribed with Blockbuster at the same time, but due to Netflix being extremely fast and ontime I was like, let me stick with Netflix for now. Though I am optimist in life, people liking screwing other people often didn't let me sleep tight at least first few weeks. After 2 trial weeks I switched to 8 at a time, cancelled my Blockbuster (they still keep info for 6 month). 

For 2 weeks it's been heaven. 3rd week it started coughin a bit, 4th it really started chokin. It got renewd for the second month on 09/26/04 and now it's completely dying. I Definitely support deliberate witholding theory. I have almost all 500 Q filled up, and 98% of them available now. But noooooo.. I have to get stuff shipped not the same day but the next or even the day after. Plus it's like 10 min of driving to delivery location from my place. I stumbled online upon people complainin about Flushing, NY location. It was dated in 2003 but maybe it's still the issue? But I shipp all 8, and they receive it bit by bit the whole week!!!!!! Bulllll!!!!

I don know, the fact is if Netflix doesn't fix their it's-been-so-great-but-it-suck-ass-now service I'm switchin. And though Blockbuster ain't perfect either (at least comparin to Netflix first 2 weeks service), but they're just started and they will try harder, plus it's $10 cheaper (and two instores).

Thanx for not being silent


E-mail

9/28/04

Iíve notice that the DVDís have trickled down to one shipment, maybe two a week also. Not worth the $23 they are asking for. It was good in the beginning. Getting DVDís Hollywood video may not have in stock. But now they are way too slow. What boggles me also about Netflix is this past weekend I took out Fargo, Event Horizon, and Men of Honor. I got Fargo and Event on Thursday. Which is good. I got Men of Honor on Saturday. But whatís funny is, I watched Fargo and Event on Thursday and threw them back in the mailbox. Can you believe when I got Men of Honor Saturday and I watched it and threw it back in the box, Netflix already received Men of Honor by Tuesday and they still havenít received Fargo and Event yet. Meanwhile those were in the box Thursday. Bad service, man.


E-mail [bookmark]

9/25/04

I've been a customer since June 2004. Initially, I was extremely happy. I never have had broken/damaged discs, and the return rate was fast (I'm in Chicago, and they have a center here). 

I decided that I wanted to watch the whole Stargate series, all 6 seasons, and it was quite a few discs. I increased to 5 out at at time, and I started seeing slowups. Previously, if I sent a DVD back on Thursday, they'd receive it Friday, and ship out, and I'd receive it Saturday. That stopped. I would see in my queue: Shipping Monday, or shipping Tuesday. I called them and complained, and their excuse was the hurricane in Florida. They claimed that they weren't getting discs back fast enough since mail service stopped there temporarily. It sounded like a lame excuse, but I didn't argue with it, because that could have played a part.

For a while after I called and sent a stern email, things were fine. Then this month, I started to see a new tactic. At the time, I had made it to season 4 of the series. All of the discs were labeled as available now. At the end of the week a few weeks ago, they sent me 2 discs that were next in line, and 1 that was for season 6! I was furious, because there was no reason for that. I called again, and I was told that I would be increased to 7 at a time until the end of the month for free to get the discs I need. That NEVER happened. The lady lied right on the phone.

This weekend: I have 3 Stargate discs left. I added Babylon 5 as my next TV series (seasons 1-5). I look in my queue yesterday, and they send 1 of my discs at the top, and a season 3 disc of Babylon 5! I was so pissed, because now I knew this had to be deliberate. They know I have to watch these in order, so they have started sending discs out of order so that I either have to send it back or hold it, which decreases me to 4 discs vs. 5. Anyway, both discs were supposed to come today. I get my mail, and only 1 Netflix envelope is in there. I'm sure you can guess which disc it was: The Babylon 5 disc, not the Stargate disc I was planning on watching this weekend. Needless to say, I am furious, and I am considering dropping them. I've already decreased my account to 3-at a time starting in October, but I may shut it off all together. 

Anyway, those are my Netflix gripes! Thanks for listening.


E-mail

9/25/04

Hi, I've been a Netflix member for about a year and the dvds come 2 or three days after the day that their email says it should arrive. I know its not the post office because when I send one back they usually receive it the very next day. Also alot of the DVDs aren't playable. This month alone (Sept 25, 2004) i've had two bad DVDs and been able to watch only 4 movies for my $22.00. I just asked for a refund so we'll see what happens.

Steve, in Maryland


E-mail

9/21/04

I have the same old story. Started out really fast and efficient. Then gradually movies were consistently "received" later, and when they "sent" them I somehow started receiving those later than I would expect too. Not to mention the time between when they received a movie and started sending another one increased. To say nothing of the fact that what is listed as "Available Now" in your queue frequently isn't. If something isn't available NOW, and is shipping a day or two late, then don't put it in my "DVDs you have out" box. That just means I'm getting stiffed. And if they send me the wrong disk aren't I entitled to a little compensation, like sending me the next one immediately or even giving me an extra disk rental for my trouble?

If it NetFlix would just say "you can have three out at a time and up to 20 per month for the 3-out plan" or something, I wouldn't mind. I realize they're in it for the money. But this deceitful advertising and passive-aggressive business practices really pisses me off. If there were a better service I'd have switched in a heartbeat, but nobody else is even remotely close in terms of breadth of selection or delivery capacity. I already tried Greencine which I liked, but I'm on the wrong side of the country for that to work well, and they have too few copies of their disks.


E-mail

9/14/04

Home Office Address of Netflix

when i had some billing problems I took it upon myself to research to find that hidden phone number. what I found was a full address with an office phone number. I noticed most of the posts on your site say they can't even find the address. here it is:

Netflix, Inc
970 University Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Phone: (408) 399-3700

i found this through white pages after locating the town they were in through their press release part of their website. My complaint was i was charged for the free month plus instead of once a month i was charged 3 times in 40 days.


E-mail

8/26/04

I received a message today from Netflix saying that they received a movie from me today (8/26/04). The problem is that I haven't been a member of NF for over a year and I never rented that movie even when I was a member! I went to the site to try to email them with the issue to ensure someone wasn't renting under my name but since I'm not a member anymore, I couldn't even get to the "contact us" email page. It just kept bringing up the "welcome back, reinstate your membership" page. So I went in search of a phone number to call..... we know how that search went. Frustrated and getting pissed off, I did a google search and saw your site. I clicked on the link to the other complaint site and tried both of the phone numbers listed several times. I'm getting a fast beep-beep-beep on both numbers. Nothing else! Help please, it seems that they have either disconnected their numbers or they are overloaded? If there's some identity theft going on and I couldn't readily report the problem because of the lack of a phone number, they are really going to hear about it from me and the attorney general's consumer fraud department. Thanks again for your site but please let me know if there are other phone numbers (the ones I have are (888)638-3549 and (800)279-5688.

Teena Williams

Reply:

Teena, I don't know of any other numbers to try.  Maybe someone can e-mail me of others.  Although, I did try both numbers as of 8/27/04 @ 8:45 am and both calls went through.

Manuel


E-mail

8/17/04

Add me to the list of discontented. I've been a netflix user for about 18 months. At first it was great. I had the occasional lost disc every now and then but otherwise pretty good. Delivery was 2 days, sometimes 3.

Fast-forward to 4-5 months ago. Dvds now take 3 days (if I'm lucky) usually 4 to get here. They always take 4 days to get back, sometimes 5. On Monday, I get the email at 7:36am that they received a movie back. They don't send out the next one until Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday, they get the other 2 back, email is at 6:34am. They don't ship until Wednesday.

That's holding shipping an extra day on all 3 dvds!!! In addition, the one that shipped Tuesday shows a delivery for Friday (4 days).

It seems they are getting slower on the receiving and turnarounds. If they hold the movies just one extra day, they can make a killing in a month on everybody.

Now add that the price went up but, even though the press release says 85% get 1-day service, I cannot get reliable 3 day service.

Boy, I'm getting my moneys worth, huh?! I originally could get 12 discs a month, now I can barely get 9.

Just signed up for blockbuster, we'll see how they do. 

 

Goober22


E-mail

8/8/04

I just visited your web site and found it very informative and true. Although I don't have ALL the problems you seem to have with them I do have on main complaint. So much so that I was inspired to write the following complaint to the Office Of Attorney General: State of California - Dept Of Justice http://ag.ca.gov/index.htm

------------------------------------
[edited version]
As you can see the unknown company address and phone number is part of the problem. The main complaint is regarding there use of the term "unlimited monthly rentals". However they clearly limit the amount of movies delivered a week therefore limiting the amount of movies a month.

For example, If I am on the "3-at-a-time" rental plan and receive all three movies on Monday and watch them that evening and return them on Tuesday, Netflix does not show them received until Friday with new movies being sent same day. I then do not get new movies until Saturday.

However, If I receive all three movies on Monday and return them on the following Monday (1 week later) netflix shows them received on Tuesday(next day) and new movies sent out same day. I then receive three new movies the next day (Wednesday)showing a TWO day turn around.

I would encourage other California users with similar issues to write the a complaint at:

http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/consumer_complaint.htm

Thanks, Sly


E-mail

8/2/04

I made the fatal error in February 2004, when I clicked on an internet 
ad that promised $50 if I would try one of three products FREE!

I clicked on NetFlix.

I had trouble on the site trying to learn what I was to do, but finally 
ordered three DVDs. They came in good time. I watched part of them, 
returned them within in the week--and THOUGHT I cancelled with them.

I have not heard from them since ( and never received the promised $50 
coupon).

They bill me every month.

My credit card company would not deal with me until I first dealt with 
NetFlix. The phone call was automatically transferred to NetFlix.

I went through all the phone menus, and was told I would have to wait 
20 minutes for a live representative. After waiting, a voice said 
"Goodbye" and I was all alone.

I was just on the site, searching for a way to contact Netflix. It's 
beyond me. I can find no way to contact them directly.

Apparently, I never get the promised $50, and NetFlix has over $100 of 
my money.

Nice work if you can get it!

Roy Gee


E-mail

7/29/04

The effective limitation on the number of movies rented is what gets to me. Like other people whose posts I have read, netflix began for me with very fast turnarounds. They would send a movie on Mon, I would get it and watch it on Tues, send it back on wed, and then have another movie by friday. Now, using the same scenario, the movie I send back on wed, without fail, will not be received until the following Monday or later. I decided to test their system once by putting 2 movies in one envelope and mailing them back on a Wed. One I had received the day before, one the week before. The one from the week before was back the next day, the other not until the following week. I emailed their customer support, and got a windy form email about how the mail can sometimes take days to deliver items to me. Their response had nothing to do with my question, and completely ignored the specific examples I asked them to address. What it comes down to is that my membership is 3 movies a week, not 3 at a time as advertised. I would be interested if anyone has had a different experience, nobody I know has. The new blockbuster service looks interesting (surprising since their stores are such a joke for selection). If they keep their prices down, may be time to switch. Walmart's selection just isn't worth it.


E-mail

7/26/04

I first heard about Netflix when I was living in California in 1999, however, I didn't have a DVD player. When I relocated to Cleveland, OH in 2000, Netflix was getting popular but I knew that the nearest shipping center to me was in Chicago.

In Fall 2003, Netflix opened shipping center in Cleveland. I immediately signed up for 3 at a time plan. In the first 2 weeks of the free trial period, I rented 8 DVDs. I was astounded. What followed was 3 months of efficiency. I work at home. I would watch movies during my lunch and during breaks. I would mail the DVD back if finished the next day at the Post office. They would receive it the next day.

I knew it was too good to be true. Finally they started slowing down, even though I would mail it via Post office, it would take 2-3 days to get to Netflix. Likewise, the movies Netflix would mail to me would take 2-3 days to get to me where I was living in the same city as the shipping center. I did a "Netflix complaints" search on google.com one day and found out that this was COMMON practice by Netflix. It starts out fast and quick, but when Netflix realizes that they aren't making money on you, they start slowing down receiving and shipping on certain customers.

I have friends scattered across the USA (California, NYC, Boston MA). All major markets for Netflix. They complain similarly to how Netflix started out quick for them and then slowed down dramatically for them.

Unfortunately, Walmart and Blockbuster's new online rental plans are not as good as Netflix DVD selection. Right now, Netflix is the best choice and they know it. They won't improve until competition gives them a run for their money.


E-mail

7/22/04

Well, my story is pretty similar to everyone else's. I checked out Blockbuster's unlimited rentals for $24.99 (you get 2 out at a time which was okay b/c you get 2 DVD's in one case if you order a series i.e. Alias has 2 DVD's for the rental of one b/c of this). Anyhow, they started running out of movies I wanted to see and didn't have a huge selection so I decided to check out Netflix to compare. 

I joined Netflix the Friday morning before July 4th weekend and I was welcomed and officially signed up on that Friday (I have the welcome e-mail dated 7/2) but then my DVD's weren't shipped until Tuesday but yet my membership started on Friday but I didn't care because my DVD's came really fast for the 2 week trial period (which apparently ended the day I was signed up 7/2 and not the day they actually started processing my order on 7/6) and then my account was automatically charged which I was okay with because I was enjoying the fast shipping time. Well, my 2 week trial period was over last week and I sent all 3 DVD's back on Monday's a.m. from the same location as I've always mailed them from, and I am now being told that only one was received last night (Wed.) which makes me go hmmm...interesting...Now, if I am lucky, I will get the rest of my movies for this weekend but after reading your site, I don't think I can count on that happening. I am definitely canceling the subscription. 

Anyhow, last week I saw a news report comparing the different rental companies and they announced that Blockbuster will be offering online rentals sometime in the fall or winter so I am very excited to see that happen so I can check it out. Here is the link and a quote from that link: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5396665/ "Facing growing competition, not only from Netflix, but also from mass retailers like Wal-Mart and BestBuy, Blockbuster is making plans to reinvent itself, such as launching its own online rental service by the end of the year." 

Amy


E-mail

7/20/2004

Hello,

I guess my story is the same as everyone else's, but I just needed to blow off some steam.
I am on the 3 movie subscription. When I started the service, the movies were coming faster than I could watch them. I would send them in one day and they would receive them the next and send out the new one the same day. That was a 3 day turnaround. Great I thought. Most of the movies were new releases and they were being shipped on a Monday so I would get them on Tuesday, the same day as they were released on DVD. It sure beat going to Blockbuster when they opened on Tuesday morning just to assure myself I would get a copy of a new release. Well I guess I made the mistake of getting too many movies sent to me because all of a sudden the new releases started showing Long Wait. Now I am more interested in seeing the new releases so my querie did not contain many older titles but the few I had in there were always available Now. After getting about 20 movies the second month, I noticed a distinct slowdown in the time they reported receiving the movies I sent and the time it took for them to send a new one. And I couldn't believe the 4th of July weekend they didn't function from Thursday evening until Tuesday morning. I wish I had them kind of hours.

Anyway as with most other comments I have heard here, the service has gone downhill and I am seriously considering going back to my old ways and returning to Blockbuster. I understand they have a pass you can but for about $25. a month that lets you take out 2 movies at a time with no return date. I like that and if I don't see some improvement in the Netflix service, I will return to Blockbuster.

I wonder if any of the people from Netflix read these comments. Maybe they would get off their ass and improve the service or at least stop lying and purposely slowing down what could be a great service.

Steve


E-mail

7/17/04

How did I find you? 

Well, today - after 17 months of being on their 8 out program - I had reached my limit with their progressive screwing of their customers. There have been significant changes in both their shipping and shipping problems protocol. I called them to discuss these issues and, as always, I was on hold for fourteen minutes before a "representative" (who was just plain dumb) even answered. I got nowhere with this individual so after that call, I did what I suspect many more people are doing lately - went to [Google] and entered "Netflix Sucks." Your site came up. 

As background, it's important to realize that anything which Netflix can do to decrease disc use - just by even an average of one or two discs per month per subscriber - adds millions of dollars to their bottom line for that month. This is, without a doubt, being done by these ever so subtle manipulations (my "problems") of their system.

My specific problems: within the last two months, more and more are my discs not shipping same day but shipping one or TWO days later. Their excuses are feeble; explaining that it must be shipped from another center. When asked why THAT center (which will itself be farther away further adding to delays) can't, at least, ship same day, they have absolutely NO explanation. 

Then, when you need to report a disc as not received back by Netflix, they now require a six day wait from the projected reception date - that means up to a possible TEN days before a disc can be reported missing! Just inexcusable. The "representative" tried to explain that they "must" allow two to three days for shipping each way. When challenged that this contradicts their marketing which states precisely the opposite - namely that because of their massive distribution system over 85% of all customers get their movie the next day - this doofus had no answer except to constantly offer a meaningless "apology" and ignore my request to report it missing. 

To echo some other sentiments which I have noted here and have also experienced: yes, their support staff are becoming ever more arrogant and truly condescending. They could care less about keeping a subscriber; they respond with nothing more than meaningless pre-programmed platitudes, apologies that are blatantly disingenuous - and of course, the impotent refrain which must be so ingrained in them by now that they repeat it in their sleep: "It's the fault of the Post Office." 

I ask Netflix this question: if you indeed care about your subscriber base and consider yourself - as you insipidly sign each email to us - our "friends at Netflix," just why do you not publish phone numbers for customer service and then adequately staff that center with professionals who not only care but actually solve problems? Why do I have to find your contact numbers on sites such as this in response to a search engine query of "Netflix Sucks"? And, just why have you implemented this absurd six day hold on reporting a disk missing? And, just why do you not ship same day from alternate centers? And, just why are the members of your customer service support staff so damn irritating, unhelpful, insultingly patronizing and overall severely dismissive in their attitude? 

I've had it with them. Moreover, if today's stock market activity specific to them is any reflection, so do many other people; it's a shame, if this service were properly managed and, most critically, were run honestly and ethically, it could be a winner in the eyes of the public. But it's becoming ever increasingly clear that they do not care about their loyal subscribers, their pricing is now absurd and the service is the at the worst it has ever been. I am going to the Blockbuster program (which is less expensive, offers more titles, and gives 2 free in store rentals each month) at the end of my current period with Netflix because Netflix has now jumped the shark and, indeed, Netflix does suck.


E-mail

7/16/04

I agree with you on Netflix -- they were much better before (and now it's more expensive!)

Anyway -- did you notice that now they are sending out copies (burned by Netflix, copies, I mean)... of movies? Is that even legal, ya think?

Just thought I'd share ;)


E-mail

7/6/04

Hi,

I've had Utena vol. 7 in my "awaiting release" queue for at least seven months. I emailed Netflix about it in March and got this cut and paste reply: 

"Thank you for your message. 
NetFlix has not yet received copies of this title. Upon receipt, we will
make the copies available to our members. 
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions 
or concerns."

This is completely absurd because Utena 7 has been widely available for a long time, and with the popularity of the series, it must be in hundreds of people's queues. It would take Netflix about 30 seconds to go to Amazon and order some copies. It's almost surreal how bad business this is.

It's sad because, other than this, I've had good experiences with Netflix---aside from the occasional bizarrely late shipment, and the poor anime selection. 


Sarah 


E-mail

6/28/04

Sorry, Netflix doesn't do it for me. First, they posted a huge raise in their rates in june, not making it such a deal anymore. I was on the 8 movie plan.

Then I got the impression that they were "staggering" or intentionally 'delaying' when they sent movies out.

I cancelled their service and found a comparable one at a lesser price. Walmart. Granted not as big a selection for the categories of foreign film, independent, etc, but for the general audience, I find them perfectly acceptable with a better price and much better service (quick turnaround)(truly and NO staggering).

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. : )


E-mail

6/24/04

What a joke this company has become. I have been with them for over 3 years and it has never been this bad. I have the 8 out at a time plan and it is a complete waste of money. 1 out of every 3 DVDís I receive is either completely or somewhat damaged. I can usually get somewhat through the movie before it starts skipping. Sometimes they wonít play at all. Their customer service is a joke. I am canceling my service after this month and will never go back. Hopefully another company will emerge to take their place. I guess it goes to show you what happens when a company becomes too big.. PROFITS GO UP. SERVICE GOES DOWN


E-mail

6/23/04

My name is Erica and I was with Netflix for about 6 months when I received my first insanely scratched DVD. I immediately e-mailed them and was told that I could either buy a new movie and send it to them or be charged for destroying the movie. So I send the crappy DVD back and I canceled my membership. Then they decided that it was a good idea to email me and tell me they never received the movie and they were charging my account the usual monthly fee until they get it. I emailed them back and told them everything that had happened thus far and not no response. Today I'm paying bills and see a charge of $21.12 to my account. I call my bank to dispute the charge and they tell me to call Netflix.......OOOOkay. I searched nearly everywhere for this stupid number when I found your website. God Bless you for posting the number. So after 20 minutes of listening to elevator music and a recording a woman comes on (by the way, they NEVER received my email ) and after another 20 minutes of arguing I get my account credited. YEAH! I really liked Netflix and really didn't have a problem with it until this. The customer service rep I spoke to today was very condescending. I will never go back. 

Thanks again for the number!!!!
Erica


E-mail

6/22/04

Should I give up on Netflix?

I just signed up for the service, and the day after I was charged for my first month's service, I have my current problem.

6/16 (Wed) - Netflix says they shipped out, with expected delivery on 6/18 (I actually expected it on 6/17 since the shipping center is close to my house, and comes w/in 24 hours).

6/17 (Thu) - no DVD ("Hmmm...")

6/18 (Fri) - "Don't worry [wife], they'll be here today"... NOPE. ("Hmm... Maybe the USPS didn't pick it up early enough on 6/16")

6/19 (Sat) - "They better be here in time for the weekend viewing"... NOPE!!!! (... deep resentment of a burned new customer...)

( e-mails to Netflix ensue... only to receive form letters and copy/paste jobs at best by anonymous CSRs named Bonnie and Randy... )

6/21 (Mon) - "Well, at least they'll surely be there today. [Wife], look in the mailbox for your movies when you get home from work and watch them until I come home." Wife says, "Netflix hates you apparently".

.
.
.

I'm looking for an alternative to Netflix. Blockbuster has a new plan that they unveiled a month ago. Something about a $24 flat monthly plan for 2 (or 3) movies out, a-la-Netflix. Only trouble is, they don't have the huge number of titles that Netflix has, and the membership is only good at the one store.

I was also browsing Walmart's DVD rental, and they don't seem to have a great selection either. (Looked up BBC series "Office series 2" and the wait was "very long"... as was "50 first dates" - not that I'd rent it, but I wanted to test a new release, versus "office series 2" - somewhat more obscure and less popular)

What other choices do I have?

Netflix may have an impressive collection, but if it's locked away behind non-transparent and unfair/fraudulent business practices, it doesn't do me any good. Plus, the increase in blood pressure can't be great either, hoping for (and failing to receive) Netflix DVDs.

I haven't even been put through the broken DVDs that others apparently have been treated to, thanks to Netflix.

I think I'll vote w/ my wallet by canceling Netflix towards the end of the billing cycle... (and DOCUMENTING the cancellation, b/c I don't want them to get any more of my money. -- I also think I will return all DVDs and DOCUMENT that I have no DVDs outstanding (taking screenshots and saving my returned confirmations).

Signed,

Disappointed (and Netflix detractor for next few years.. or until wife and friends get tired of me spitting on Netflix Ad Nauseum).


E-mail

June 4, 2004

I basically have had the same experience as everyone else. NetFlix was great for the first month; I'm on a 3-at-a-time and I rented 16 DVDs in one month. That must of ticked them off because now the service is simply horrendous. 

Here's the situation, I receive two DVDs one day, X-Files Season 2: Disc 1 and Disc 2. Disc 1 is cracked so bad that it won't even play. Desperate for my X-Fix, I watch Disc 2, and it totally ruins the continuity of the mythology episodes. Anyway, I thought that the horribly broken Disc 1 was a fluke. I sent it back immediately. A few days later I receive Discs 1 and 3. BOTH cracked beyond playability and also seemingly melted or damaged with water or something. Is it a coincidence that two separate copies of Season 2: Disc 1 are horribly damaged? Something isn't right here.

Infuriated that I had no DVDs to watch, I sent them a well-articulated--albeit angry--email. I got a reply within an hour, which said all the right things and that mine was a "strange and unique" situation. Yeah right, what about everyone else on this webpage. Of course they want to blame the postal service, which may be partly to blame; but if that's the case, then it is NetFlix that needs to think of better packaging protection.

The real problem I face is that I can't cancel. I'm on a gift subscription and the gift-giver won't get a refund either way, so I'm stuck with this crappy service for another few months. Quite frankly, I'm also a little worried that they're going to start charging ME for THEIR mistakes. I once looked forward to my NetFlix arrivals; now I'll be surprised when one of them actually works.


E-mail

May 4, 2004

I am a new netflix customer. Less then one week and still on my free trial I am already having problems.

Got my first 3 dvd's, all good. In good shape etc.... Returned two the next day.

Now, one is showing not received almost 6 days later. The other two have returned just fine. Have to wait until tomorrow to report the missing dvd. After reading all these problems I have a feeling it will show up in a day or so. That they DO do this to slow down your rental time.

I am going to cancelled even before my two weeks are up. I agree that this is a bait and switch company.

Must be in bad shape to have a screw up in the first week.

Funny thing is I asked about 10 people who have used it and they love it!

I say stay away.

BJ
What lies behind us and what lies before
us are small matters compared to what
lies within us.


E-mail

April 19, 2004

Well, wonder of wonders! After spending all weekend making periodic visits to my Netflix queue and each time seeing "Very Long Wait" for all 85 movies, and after flushing my queue this morning and then adding five movies (all of which were immediately labeled "Very Long Wait"), I got home from work tonight to discover all five movies are available "Now." So, what could the reason be? I don't want to blame Netflix if all this was just a fluke, but enough people have bitched about problems getting worse as one's Netflix membership lengthened to make me think I wasn't being paranoid.

Maybe it WAS a "technical problem" that needed to be resolved, rather than a form of punishment from Netflix for being a "bad" (unprofitable) customer. It sure did seem, though, that they were firing a shot across my bow, just a warning.

Unfortunately, whatever the reason for this sudden problem--and equally sudden solution--from this day forward I'll always approach my Netflix queue with some trepidation.

Just to be on the safe side, I joined GreenCine this afternoon ($20 a month for 3 movies out). 


April 19, 2004 Link

I've been a Netflix member for at least two years, and my turn-arounds are pretty quick. I'll get my movies on Thursday and mail them back on Monday. I'm on the five-out plan. 

So the other day I go to check out my queue, and ALL 85 OF MY MOVIES ARE LISTED "VERY LONG WAIT."

I sent e-mail to Netflix, and the response was: "our inventory is always updating due to movies being checked in and out of our warehouses, therefore, it may not reflect real time on our site. That is the reason why you will see the different wait statuses for some titles."

I e-mailed back and said that I could understand individual movies would be scarce due to the volatility of demand, but by the laws of probability alone, it would be impossible for ALL 85 of my movies to suddenly become so scarce that they were labeled "Very Long Wait." 

I got a second e-mailing saying: "Thanks for your message and this problem you have brought to our attention. Our technical team is currently working to resolve this issue."

I have Adobe Acrobat 6.0, and I made a .PDF file of my queue so that I could toggle back and forth between the file and my queue. I then completely flushed the queue so that it contained zero movies. I then added five movies to the queue, AND THEY WERE STILL LABELED "VERY LONG WAIT."

All I can say is that their technical team better work damned hard "to resolve this issue," or I'm gone. And you'd better bet that I'll flush my queue so that when I cancel, they can't accuse of losing a movie they shipped to me.


Jim R.


April 18, 2004 Link

Hi,

NetFlix is capable of doing a bang up job. I had a "perfect week" in October of 2003 where I received 8 movies on a Tuesday, returned them same day, received 8 more on Thursday, returned them same day and then again received 8 movies on Saturday. As their service got worse I reminded them of their "perfect week", and they more or less put the blame on the post office. Right.

In February (a short month) I did a side by side comparison of Wal-Mart's 4 out plan and Netflix's 8 out plan. I returned all movies the day they were received. Results: Wal-Mart 41 movies - NetFlix 48 movies. Wal-Mart turned each one around 10 times during the month as compared to Netflix's 6. Wal-Mart is open on Saturday, and in fact turned movies around when they were received. I planned on discontinuing NetFlix on the last day of paid service for this month, and am going to do just that. NetFlix sent me an email yesterday announcing an upcoming rate increased of 25% - 39.99 up to 49.99 per month. I hope Wal-Mart doesn't follow suit. Based on these figures, for the month of February, Wal-Mart rentals came to about $0.54 each. Under the new price plan NetFlix will run about $1.

No brainer ?

Mark William
Former NetFlix customer of 2 1/2 years


April 12, 2004 Link

Hello hello-

Can we all band together and sign a petition or mass letter to the Better Business Bureau and www.ic3.gov (online fraud)? That'll improve service, I bet--that, or drive them out of business, which is where these crooks belong.

Thank you for your efforts, proving what I'd come to suspect after one initial, introductory month of lightning-fast service from Netflix, then an abrupt, screeching halt of service over the last 6 weeks.

Netflix has stopped processing my DVD returns in order to avoid having to send new ones, thereby forcing a slowdown in my number of rentals. I was averaging 6 movies a week at first (my 2-week intro period, plus all of February), but in the last 6 weeks I've been forced down to zero or one at best. My last 3 DVDs have not been posted as received even after a week (after invariably being received the next day in my first 6 weeks of membership), and I have to wait 6 days to file a "missing in the mail" report. Then it's another couple of days before they mail one out to replace that "missing" one. Mysteriously, the DVDs have also suddenly started taking a week or so to arrive, whereas before they arrived the very next day (the Gaithersburg, MD dist. center is about 6 miles from my home).

Needless to say, it took a week for a reply from their e-mail "service" center, and took a week of daily endless-on-hold calls to their "service" lines to get a response. I eventually spoke with 2 supervisors, who at first claimed there was no basis for my suspicions, then got quiet when I made each of these points in succession, calmly, while pointing out the obvious financial angles of their little scam and uttering the magic words "Better Business Bureau." THE NEXT DAY, ALL MY "MISSING" VIDEOS SHOWED UP AS RETURNED IN MY QUEUE. I was thrilled, but it was just that once. They're back to their old ways again, as of my very next batch of returns. No help from their Calif. corporate headquarters (a phone number I found only by scouring their annual report--did I mention I'm in journalism, and my old job used to be factchecking and research?), of course. The sweet but helpless receptionist at their headquarters admitted that she's not allowed to patch through calls to anyone in customer service, and none of them are listed on the "dial-by-letter" directory.

A rather litigious friend of mine has suggested a class-action lawsuit to protest their fraudulent business practices (bait and switch practices are illegal everywhere, and advertising "unlimited rentals" while manipulating the pace of rentals to force them into a more profitable range certainly qualifies), but that seems extreme to me. This is an obvious scam, and the fact that they're getting away with it shocks me. If I write the letter, who wants to sign?

S.T.

Reply:  Sign me up!  Yes the "unlimited rentals" is a farce.

Manuel


April 9, 2004 Link

wow i am AMAZED at how a company will expect to stay in business by ripping its customers off!!! but hey i know it happens ALL the time(some people just arent bright at all!). At first my movies were being received just fine by Netflix....but now, out of the 5 movies i get at a time....one or two ALWAYS seems to take 5 days to the point that they acknowledge they received it(yeah ummm right!!!!!) I KNOW they are ripping us off....i mean hey! it makes sense.....saves them money! but will also make them go out of business faster too! kinda sad but they just lost me! screw em

~Craig


March 26, 2004 Link

Well, I am in the same boat. I have been an on-again/off-again member of Netflix since around 2000. They are simply a classic bait and switch company. New sign up, everything is hunky-dory, fast turnover and excellent availablity. Be with them for about three months and you are treated like an old tired spouse. Just going through the motions. Turn around slows and absolutely no availability of new releases. Even though Netflix is the big boy around they are primed to be overtaken like Kmart by Walmart (whose dvd service is just as bad). Maybe Amazon should give it a try.

Anyways I am still with Netflix. Why, I don't know. Maybe that is their M.O., they know fools like me will just stick around no matter what but they are on their last leg with me.

Michael T.


March 23, 2004 Link

Only started using Nexflix about 2 months ago. I noticed that I could probably get around 6 movies per week. Fast shipping and turn around rate. Now it seems like I can only get 3 movies a week if I am lucky. Not to mention that I had 2 discs that were unplayable and one that was snapped in half.

What I don't understand is if I send back 3 movies on Friday they will have them by monday. Yet they won't ship anything out until Tue or Wed.

I am going to cancel my account soon. It was good the first month but it has gone way down since then.

Jason


March 16, 2004 Link

I signed up for Netflix about two months ago. At first I got my DVDs twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday. All the DVDs looked new and played perfectly. New releases were all "Available Now." Netflix seemed like the best thing ever!

After a couple of weeks I started to get more and more severely scratched and damaged DVDs. I figured this was just the luck of the draw. One day, one DVDs out of the three I dropped in the mailbox together didn't get there until until the next day. Oh well, luck of the draw. A week later all three DVDs I mailed back showed up a day late. Five weeks in, 1 out of 4 DVDs was unplayable and shipping time had mysteriously increased. Last week a DVD "shipping today" took two days to ship... and three days to arrive... and was broken in half when it did. Today the DVDs I mailed 4 days ago arrived, but the outgoing DVDs aren't even scheduled to ship until tomorrow.

At this point, I'm going to take advantage of their billing policy and up my plan to 8 at a time on the second day of the billing month, then cancel three weeks later. Unfortunately I hear Wal-Mart pulls the same sandbagging, chiseling tactics so it may be back to Hollywood Video for me. 

-- 
Bert


February 2, 2004 Link

The stories read with respect to NetFlix are exactly what I have experienced. The free trial period produces quick turn around times as if on a run away train going down hill. However, after the trial period ends, the poor little train that "thinks it can" learns it is up hill all the way and soon runs out of steam. So does NetFlix! The life expectancy of a human being is 76 years. The quality of life expectancy of NetFlix is two weeks. 

Ed


January 28, 2004 Link

I have only been a Netflix member barely three weeks. When I started the two week trial, I received my movies in a day or two, and they acknowledged my returns right away. Now, since I've been a paying customer for barely a month, the service has already deteriorated. 
Last week, I mailed back two movies, it took five days to acknowledge receipt of one (I live barely 8 miles from the local warehouse), the other I had to claim as lost as it has been 7 days. I mailed another one two days ago, and I have a sinking feeling (as of the night of the 2nd day), they will claim they never got it. I made the mistake of mailing all three back after viewing, and now for the 3rd day, no DVDs. 
They claim they mailed two all of a sudden tonight (after their status kept going from "Now" to "short wait"). I'm going to cancel, as (1) It takes forever to receive movies. I will acknowledge that the post office does have problems, but I have a feeling this is Netflix. and (2) I don't like saying something is lost as (a previous poster had said), I don't want Netflix to suggest maybe I'm not returning them, when either they're losing them, or not checking them in. This is a shame too, because it was a good concept.

Allen


January 14, 2004 Link

My Netflix complaints:

Just spent over 15 mins on hold trying to reach a CSR. I have memorized the # which is apparently a bad sign, but luckily I get some free time at work to waste 15 mins on hold trying to reach someone.

I get my movies from the Gaithersburg, MD warehouse. I live in Fairfax, VA and its really not that far away. 40 mins at most. They can go from being very prompt with their service.. quick turn around with getting movies..and quick turn around with them receiving my movies.

Lately it takes 6 days (if im lucky) for them to get my movies back and also for them to get me the movies. The woman on the phone accused me of being a liar, saying that would never happen, and its obviously the post office's fault. I work with several people in my office and they all have the same problems with the time to receive movies. The woman assures me that the way netflix operates.. They take in all the movies from the prevoius day and put them into their system, checking them off that they received them.. only after they follow that process will they send out movies. It seems almost unbelievable to me. She also told me, if I return a movie via the Post Office on a Saturday there is no way they can get it. So I told her, well the post office does ship mail on Saturday.. Whether you are open or not is irrelevant to the equation. They would obviously have the movie there on Monday. Apparently Netflix doesnt understand that because they are not open on Saturday does not mean the Post office does not send out mail. She has now assured me she will send my complaint to someone higher up in the company. I asked for some sort of proof that its not just something she tells everyone. She said there is no way I can tell you that. 

Anyway I am beyond frustrated. The only people who had good things to say about netflix were friends in california who lived in the bay area which is where netflix is headquartered. Maybe they run their operations smoothly out there but it seems that all of their other warehouses have recurring problems.

-Rachel


Taken from BizRate.com
October 16, 2003

Netflix participates in deceptive advertising! They state unlimited rentals but that is only true during the free trial. When your trial is over the check-in and delivery of DVD slows to a crawl. I live in Gaithersburg MD which is the same town where you return your Netflix DVDs to. During the free trial and the first month Netflix would receive my return DVDs the day after I sent them and my return DVDs would be received by me the next day also. But then after a month it now takes 4 days for them to receive and check in something that was sent from the same town! At times I only get 9 DVDs a month. Not close to unlimited now is it? But if you are not worried about getting you money's worth but want a convenient way to rent DVDs with a large selection then you can't beat them. But why can't they be honest and say that you are limited to so many DVDs per month??? 

Taken from RateItAll.com
December 18, 2002

Very slow to send next rental. Also, it can take over a week from mailing back a DVD before they say it was received. The DVD's are shipped by First Class mail, so there is no reason for it taking over a week. I have been with Netflix for awhile. The service was fine in the beginning, but now it is getting progressively worse. I have mailed back DVD's they say they never received. Mail can't be tracked unless you are willing to pay extra for Registered mail. They put a suspend on your account for missing DVD(s) and unless you are willing to purchase the DVD you mailed back, you are stuck. It is your word against their's. I would not recommend joining Netflix. They are a one shift "only" operation and the more people that join - the slower the service. Also this makes them more prone to mistakes.

Taken from RateItAll.com
February 28, 2003

Netflix was a great service at first. For months I had no problems in returning movies to the Flushing, NY center. However, they recently opened a center in Stamford, CT which began to service my subscription ( I live in CT). Since December I have had returned EIGHT movies they claim they never recieved. Other movies that I had placed in the mailbox at the same time were recieved in 2-3 days. My account was placed on hold, but after I filed a claim with the post office for the lost DVD's and called Netflix to give them my claim number they did remove the hold, but just this last week, TWO more DVD's appear to be "lost". In reading the other reviews on this site, I am glad to see that I am not the only one with this problem, there is definitely something going on in the NY/NJ/CT area. Either there is someone in the postal system stealing the DVD's, or the Netflix staff here are not recording recieved DVD's properly. The only other online DVD service I have found (and used for a short time) that ships from the east coast (thereby reducing turnaround times to an acceptable 2-3 days) is RentMyDVD.com. However, their inventory was very low and most of the movies I wanted were never available. Every other company online ships from California, which means you can only get about two "rounds" of DVD's a month, making Blockbuster about the same cost.

Taken From RateItAll.com
July 17, 2002

I thought Netflix would be perfect for me! I started noticing right away that it took over a week for me to receive the movie and only two days for them to get it back from me. When I asked them about the discrepancy, they said I wasn't in the US mail databank. I called my post office and they said I certainly was, he was looking right at it on the monitor! Then I started getting empty mailers from time to time. I faithfully reported them, even though they put an ominous "pay for it" button beside each title on my queue. Who in the world would pay for something they didn't receive. Didn't that imply that I was stealing them? Meanwhile, I would have to wait another week for them to send a replacement title. I averaged 4-6 movies per month whether I sent them back promptly the next day or kept them a while! The claim was unlimited DVD's a month (3 out at a time - $19.95) and there was no way to get more than 6 a month with their turn-around-time. I started writing the dates I received each DVD and the dates I sent them back on the part you tear off of each mailers. After a year of repeatedly reporting EMPTY mailers to Netflix (and my post office as well) and asking the company to consider a sturdier mailer (it's a very THIN, flimsy, PAPER mailer with paper seals that are often missing or broken) they put my account on hold because my queue had 6 DVDs still missing. I reported more than that and returned them faithfully when a few of them eventually showed up. Netflix apologized and had repeatedly replied to my complaints of empty mailers that these missing DVDs were not my fault. Then without warning they put my account on hold as if the "never received DVD's" WERE my fault. I'm a person who values my integrity and I believe in fairness overall. I'm really dissapointed in Netflix, I thought I'd found the perfect solution for me. I've read where other people are happy with their service, but usually they've only been with Netflix for a few months. Also, they're probably like me, they feel bad themselves when a DVD is missing. I know it's silly, but I'm really upset that this "anonymous company" is implying that I'm stealing movies and it's frustrating that there is no way for me to prove my innocence. My husband is more cynical, he thinks they make a practice of just sending out empty mailers because they're really out of the more popular movies and they know I'll have to report them missing so it looks like their holding up their end. Oh, I didn't even mention the wait time on the more popular and current movies! Oh well, I've probably said more than enough already. Maybe you'll be lucky and not have these problems. Maybe you won't have this feeling of not being able to prove you've done nothing wrong except to hope for a great solution to renting movies. 

Karen


Taken from RateItall.com
June 6, 2003

It was fine in the beginning - I sang its praises far and wide. Then my rentals started showing up 6+ days after they were mailed and many days after the due date. Sometimes they showed up in those white windowed envelopes from the post office claiming the item was damaged in the mail. I saw no damage other than the floppy side of the envelope was folded over. I'm sure that Netflix consulted with and had their envelopes approved by the USPS, but I'm also certain that the postal workers don't like dealing with the floppy envelopes - they probably don't go through the automatic scanners very well. I think it may be possible that my post office is just putting them in those white "damage" envelopes to prove a point - they hate them. As well, they keep going missing on their way back to Netflix. AND THE BIGGEST SCAM IS THE LACK OF PHONE NUMBER ON THE SITE. The CSR told me how to find it after I did a search on the web for "Netflix Phone Number" - she said it was on my credit card statement. Huh - why wouldn't it be on the Customer Service page? She also acted as if it wasn't deliberate on Netflix's part to hide the number from its customers. Sure! 

Taken from Epinions.com
November 6, 2001

Netflix is an excellent idea that worked well initially - but recent changes have made their service awful. So, I'm canceling my membership until they improve their service.

I've been a member of Netflix for 6 months now and when I first became a member I was absolutely ecstatic because they had such a wide variety of movies and since they are in the Bay Area - I used to get my movies the very next day that they mailed them! 

But as time went on and their customer base grew - it seemed that their level of service slipped dramatically. So, I'm sad to report that I'm going to discontinue my Netflix service - here are a few important pros and cons: 

PROS: 

-Wide variety of movies; The selection is the best out of all of the online movie rental websites. They have very obscure foreign films to that hard to find indy flick. 

-Affordable - at only $19.95/mo for 3 movies outstanding at any given time itís a pretty good deal. Especially when you consider Blockbuster charges $4+ for a DVD rental - And that doesn't include the occasional late fee (which I'm notorious for) that you incur at Blockbuster 

-Convenient - Very easy to mail my DVDs back and drop it off at any mailbox vs. rushing to my local video store trying to get there before they close! (we've all had that happen to us) 

-Great website - the best of all of the online DVD rental websites. Its intuitive and easy to navigate. 


CONS: 

-Shipping times - Like I previous l said, when I first started with Netflix - the shipments were coming like clockwork because I live right in the Bay Area so they would arrive the very next day they were shipped. But, now they "wait" for a couple days and then ship out your next selection. When I complained about the delays - The first customer service rep claimed they were waiting to make sure they could send the best selection. But, another rep told me the truth and said they instituted the new policy to limit the number of rentals - so, basically the unlimited rental slogan is a farce! Besides, why would they ever have to wait to send you the best selection when every user has to set up a queue to indicate their order of preference - so, when a movie is not available they will just ship the next one down on the list that is available! 

-Another peeve was the fact that the movies never seem to be available! So, I ended up having to watch old or lesser-known films because the new releases were NEVER available! And I would have to go to Blockbuster if I ever wanted to rent a new release! Netflix definitely has to purchase more copies of each new release. 

-Sometimes the DVDs are damaged! This says a lot about their quality control because often times you will get a movie that just doesn't play or even worse - it doesn't play when you are 3/4 into the movie! And you send it back to get a replacement copy and they say itís unavailable (After you just waited a few days just to get a movie)!!!! 

In summary - I am very unhappy now with Netflix because of their poor service. Perhaps, it is just compounded by the fact that I remember when Netflix was VERY good. Hopefully, they implement changes to get their service back on the right track. 

Recommended
No


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Update 2/21/06:  I am overwhelmed and more than a month behind posting your complaints.  Please post your stories on Google's Netflix Complaints in the meantime.  You must be approved however you may post your stories as often as you like afterwards.

My Goals

Search engines will eventually index this page then the world will be able to see it.  Potential customers will learn about Netflix's problems.  Next, Netflix will correct their problems.  I want my anime!

UPDATE 1/9/05, 8/28/05:  My Opinion Of Netflix makes it to page 1 on Google when searching for "Netflix."  Even if it's only a fleeting moment I consider it achieving my first goal.

UPDATE 2/12/06:  The Associated Press' article, Netflix sends frequent renters to the back of line appeared in hundreds of news sites throughout the country--even overseas.  Having my opinion of Netflix appear on CNN was unbelievable (screen capture).

Attention Current & Former Netflix Employees

I'm sure some of you have an idea of what your employer is doing to their customers.  If you would like to step forward I will be happy to publish your story.  Have you been paid to work at a Netflix competitor to steal or break DVDs?  Have you been paid to harass or hack Web sites relating to Netflix?  You can remain completely anonymous.  No one needs to who you are.  Please be as specific as possible with your information including dates, times, and places.  I am offering $400 cashier's check for your story.  E-mail me with your information.  Also, I'm offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to a conviction relating to the hacking of my passwords (i.e. email, domain, etc) or the hacking of my personal computer.  If the information results in a felony conviction the reward will be $5,000.

Netflix Alternatives

GreenCine

Blockbuster (recommended by Consumer Reports Money Adviser)

RentAnime

Intelliflix (recommended by Consumer Reports Money Adviser)

Amazon (coming soon!)

Links

Site Description
Is Netflix All That? Commentary
Comparison of Renting DVD's Online
from Netflix, Blockbuster, & Walmart
Data, Commentary
An Analysis of Netflix's DVD Allocation System Valuable consumer resource
TallRock.net Enter your Netflix data and site generates your rental statistics complete with graphs and charts.  Includes a rental simulator.  Web site no longer exists :(
News blog
Netflix Underground

How To Get Revenge on Netflix

Blog with consumer advice

How file complaints about Netflix 

Truth About Renting Online Mike Estes gives the pros and cons to renting DVDs online.
ConsumerAffairs.com: Netflix Consumer complaints
Consumer Reports An unbiased review of Blockbuster Online, Netflix, and more.
Calculates possible number of rentals without consideration to throttling

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NOTICE: I am not employed by nor have financial interest in any video rental service. Furthermore, I do not receive money, goods, or services in exchange for my opinion.

Manuel Villanueva

 manuelsweb.com

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