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My Netflix Journal: 11/03 - 11/04

By Manuel Villanueva
October 24, 2003
Last updated January 8, 2007


December 1, 2004

I had to start a new page.  Click My Netflix Journal Present to continue reading.

November 28, 2004 ( bookmark )

Netflix Turnaround Calculator

If you're curious how Netflix does such a good job of slowing down our rentals take a quick look at the link above.  I'm just an amateur programmer so you can imagine how sophisticated Netflix's program is.

Et Tu, Brute?

I ordered Jungle Emperor Leo a while ago from Netflix only to receive a broken copy.  Rather than taking a chance and having them send another broken DVD I ordered it from Blockbuster.  Unfortunately, Blockbuster's copy was broken as well (broken DVD #1 Blockbuster).  In fact, it almost looked like the same DVD.  Both had strange looking cracks that were whisper thin giving it the impression that something was spilled on it.  Where do Netflix and Blockbuster order their movies?  A bargain bin?

November 25, 2004

Netflix Insiders Infiltrate Message Boards Spreading Misinformation ( bookmark )

Here's a great example of how Netflix insiders--honestly I don't know who they are (shareholders or employees)--jump on anyone accusing Netflix of misdeeds.  Can you imagine a customer who likes scrambled eggs viciously attacking another who didn't?  I think not.  That's why it's so bizarre when you see these Netflix insiders (supposed customers) vehemently assailing dissatisfied customers with a cultlike fanaticism.  Oh, I love the way they lay blame to everything except Netflix:

Message board discussion on Netflix 10/28/04

Does the word "sales rep" come to mind?  Also, you might notice a vague similarity between comments made by the user named "gurm" and an e-mail sent to me 3/4/04.  Who the hell cares about Netflix's marketing numbers (i.e. number of subscribers).  I certainly don't.  Most people who drink Pepsi could care less what the company made last quarter.  My point being  these "customers" are fake.

November 23, 2004

Can It Get Any Worse?

Only a couple movies I dropped off at the post office last Saturday have been received by Netflix.  Three are still in the mail (supposedly).  Of the 2 movies shipped out today, one has an expected arrival time of 4 days and the other has an expected arrival time of 6 days yet Netflix boasts 3 day or less turn around.  There's a growing suspicion that Netflix is claiming customer movie rentals have not been received when they actually have.  Furthermore, these movies have already been shipped to or received by other customers.  So, while I'm waiting like an idiot for Netflix to say they got my movies in the mail someone else is already watching them.

Here's some sordid details of what Netflix insiders call "throttling" customer rental service.  These are messages written in someone's blog, quite a few are Netflix shareholders pretending to be customers but some give away their dirty little secrets:

November 21, 2004

Now Renting From Blockbuster Online

Now I have 3 memberships; Netflix, GreenCine, and Blockbuster.

  1. My Netflix queue was becoming backlogged with titles since they stepped up withholding my rentals.
  2. I was using Greencine as a source for rare anime titles.  It too was getting backlogged with titles.  Still the best over Blockbuster and Netflix.  Definitely worth holding on to this membership.  Only downside its 2000 miles away.
  3. I hope to have Blockbuster replace Netflix.  I already hate Netflix.  Although Blockbuster is still growing and doesn't have the selection of Netflix.

Oh, depending on how frustrated I become with Netflix you might see the creation of a new web site:  Your input is greatly appreciated .

November 20, 2004

Unlimited Defined

According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary unlimited means:

  1. lacking any controls: unrestricted
  2. boundless, infinite
  3. not bounded by exceptions: undefined

I think the definition of unlimited is fairly clear.  Netflix must have a different definition of unlimited because they only sent me 27 rentals last month.  I'm not sure but I don't think 27 approaches anywhere near infinity.  When you walk into an all you can eat buffet you don't expect the owner telling you, "that's enough shrimp--you've had 27 already."  Customers get angry when that happens.

A Netflix shareholder commented about the withholding rentals scheme.  He basically said, "that's the way it is.  If you don't like it quit."  I like the way Netflix/Netflix shareholders treat their customers--with contempt.  Burn a customer and they won't forget it.  I wonder what would happen to Netflix's shares if they got sued and had to pay off customers?

Things To Consider

According to Netflix/Netflix Shareholders:

  1. If you rent "20-30 movies per month" Netflix considers you a "heavy user" or "maximizer."
  2. Netflix loses money when you pay less than $2 per rental.
  3. Rent "20-30 movies per month" and Netflix breaks even.
  4. Rent 40 movies per month and Netflix loses $32 dollars per month.

My reply...I don't give two hoots.  Your company opened up its big mouth promising "unlimited rentals."  Now make good on your promise and quit whining!

Broken DVD # 13

Jungle Emperor Leo came a couple of days ago.  The first thing I did was a cursory inspection for cracks and I didn't see any.  Later the day I was going to watch it I noticed it was cracked.  Not the typical crack either.  There was about 5 very faint hairline cracks.  I put it in my DVD player and it wouldn't play.  I tried my PC's DVD player and got as far as the main menu but no luck for the movie.  I ordered the title through GreenCine.  I won't take a chance to find all of Netflix's Jungle Emperor Leo are broken.

Do I Have Grounds To Sue

When I joined Netflix they boasted "unlimited rentals."  If you go to Netflix's web site they mention:

"The number of DVDs you rent depends on how quickly you watch and return each of your DVDs." and " you can rent as many DVDs as you want."

According to the Lanham Act (False Advertising):

To establish a violation under the Lanham Act, consumers and competitors must prove the following: (1) the advertiser made false statements of fact about its product; (2) the false advertisements actually deceived or had the capacity to deceive a substantial segment of the target population; (3) the deception was material; (4) the falsely advertised product was sold in interstate commerce; and (5) the party bringing the lawsuit (known as the "plaintiff") was injured as a result of the deception. Actual loss is not required to show an injury. All that is needed is a reasonable basis for the belief that the plaintiff is likely to be damaged as a result of the advertising.

I think Netflix meets all the requirements.  Clearly, Netflix insiders are aware the company places restrictions on how many movies customers may rent.

November 19, 2004

This Month's Stats

This month Netflix delivered an all-time low of 27 rentals since joining 8/13/03.  I would say Netflix delayed 90% of my rentals.  Actually, they sent 29 rentals but two were broken.  Since both were the same title there's a high probability it occurred at Netflix's distribution center.  The new discount pricing won't show up until next month's credit card statement so each rental cost $1.88 which is significantly higher than last month.  No, I haven't changed my rental habits but Netflix's rental withholding tactics are at a all time high.  Just 2 months ago I was able to rent 40 titles.  However, I was able to rent a total of 40 titles (all anime) this month thanks to GreenCine (27 from Netflix + 13 from GreenCine).  Netflix touts "unlimited rentals" so why am I supplementing my anime from GreenCine?

November 11, 2004

Why Netflix Service Is So Poor Lately

I'm not the kind of person interested in the stock market.  My only interest in Netflix is watching anime.  However, Netflix has gained media attention by losing lots of money.  Netflix stock used to sell for $39.77 a share.  Yesterday their stock closed at $10.38/share.  The day they rolled back their rental fees their stock fell 41%.  To cut losses they've cannibalized customer service.  I'm sure this saves money but turns off countless customers.  In the mean time, I'm keeping my eyes peeled on their competitors for a better deal.

My Netflix Stats So Far

Total Movies Rented 480
Broken DVDs 12
Wrong DVDs 4
Actual Movies Seen 464
Total Anime Seen 457
Percentage of Broken DVDs  2%
Percentage Wrong DVDs 1%
Total Cost $646
Money Lost on Broken/Wrong DVDs $19
Cumulative Cost Per Movie $1.39

November 4, 2004

Broken DVD # 12

Title Geneshaft: Vol. 2: Halo

This is a common occurrence.  The replacement of a broken DVD is also broken.  According to my previous experience there is a 100% probability that if I request another replacement it will be broken as well.  My question remains:  What goes on at Netflix distribution centers to break copies of all one title?  So I will not request another replacement.  I ordered Geneshaft: Vol. 2: Halo from GreenCine instead.  Oh, guess who pays for mistakes Netflix makes:  YOU DO!

November 2, 2004

Enough is Enough!

I don't know how long I will continue this journal because I'm seriously thinking of leaving Netflix.  Anyone that is using Blockbuster's program please and let me know how many movies your renting per week or month.  I could go on and on about the same problem:  Netflix is withholding rentals!  I talked to a postal employee today and she says these movies should be arriving at my distribution center (Lansing MI) the next day.  But she also says since Netflix is too cheap to send their movies first class, the post office won't deliver unless Netflix pays first.  Maybe Netflix delay tactics are due to a lack of money.  Is Netflix having financial problems?

With the 8-out-at-time plan (the most expensive) I should have no problems watching movies whenever I want.  I return the movies very quickly which should be good for the next person waiting to see it too.  So what's the problem?  Why aren't those darn movies in my mailbox?  Does it make sense that I joined GreenCine because Netflix wasn't sending me enough movies?  What happened to "unlimited rentals?"

As I was talking the postal worker she saw my Netflix movie which I was mailing.  She asked, "If your having problems why don't you send it priority mail with a delivery confirmation?"  I told her it wouldn't help because even though Netflix might acknowledged they received it they would delay my next shipment for 1-2 days (money down the drain).

Don't forget to e-mail me with your Blockbuster info ;-)

October 30, 2004

Broken DVD #11

Title Geneshaft: Vol. 2: Halo

October 26, 2004

Netflix Replies to Withholding DVD Shipments

I did write Netflix and ask them to give an explanation of why they withheld shipment of 7 movies.  My first request went unanswered (that's Netflix for you).  Although my second request was answered with the following:

"when a movie isn't available from your local shipping center, we reserve a copy from another shipping center and ship it to you the following day"

Does this make sense to you?  If a movie "isn't available" why list it in my queue as being available "now?"  I knew they would cover up the truth with some excuse.  I tend to believe Carl Cravens' explanation that Netflix limits the turn-around times on purpose.

GreenCine Put You at Ease

It's been less than a month since I joined GreenCine but so far it's been uneventful and that's a good thing.  The very first thing I do when Netflix sends a movie is inspect it for damage.  Can you blame me after receiving 10 broken movies?  However, there's really no need to inspect my GreenCine movies for damage since they come in a padded envelope.  Mmmmm...movies that actually play.

October 20, 2004

Netflix Delays Delivery of 7 DVDs.

Yesterday Netflix received 7 of my returned DVDs.  The next 7 movies were added to my queue and marked "shipping today."  BUT EVERY SINGLE ONE WAS DELAYED BY ONE DAY.  Netflix no longer tries to hide their fraudulent business practices.

October 19, 2004


Take advantage of it while you still can.  It may not be there tomorrow.  It was like finding the Holy Grail!

"Netflix doesn't care about providing them good customer service"

Those are the exact words used on his web site.  After reading his articles it looks like Mr. Cravens has some vested interest in Netflix stock.  Before I go any further, please read Mr. Craven's article posted October 15, 2004.

"Waah, waah, I can't get more than twenty discs a month!"

Ya know, it's something I just don't get. Netflix three-out plan is $22 a month. And there are subscribers who bitch and moan that Netflix is slow to turn their discs around and they can't manage to get more than six discs a week. Not a month, but a week! 

I don't know what the exact number is, but there's a point where a customer starts costing Netflix money. And I'm sure more than 20 discs a month on the three-out plan is up there in the "we wish you'd just go away" range. 

These people aren't Netflix' target customers. Netflix doesn't care about providing them good customer service... they cost money instead of making money. Yet these people whine and complain that Netflix just isn't treating them "right." That [shock! horror!] Netflix might be limiting their turn-around times on purpose! [Gasp!] 

Screwing Netflix isn't a God-given right. If a customer is costing Netflix money, Netflix has no responsibility to improve that customer's "quality of service." Netflix isn't doing anything for shareholder value by not putting a damper on the customers who aren't in the "profit" column. 

So if you're trying to milk Netflix for all their worth, do us a favor and switch to Blockbuster or something. You can't get nothing for free, and I wouldn't mind if Netflix created a "too many discs and you're out" policy. It would keep costs down for those of us who aren't trying to get more than we paid for. And it make more discs available to the profitable customers, too. 

So now you get the feel of what Netflix really thinks of their customers.  They hate us.  How am I a bad customer?  Do I break every video I return?  No.  Do I scratch up my rentals so the next customer can't use it? No.  I rent too many movies!  Yes.  I was mistaken in thinking the liberal use of "unlimited rentals" on Netflix advertising meant I could rent as many movies as I wanted.  As Mr. Craven's said, if you plan on renting more than 20 movies a month Netflix doesn't want your business.  You know, before I read this article I felt cheated after paying Netflix $487 dollars last year but now I feel like a complete heel.

I like how Mr. Cravens alludes to the fact Netflix limits our number of rentals ;-)

This is for Netflix and Mr. Cravens...Okay Netflix customers you know who you are.  Find business elsewhere!




Oh, one question.  Just how many rentals did we pay for?

October 18, 2004

This Month's Cost

I was anxious to find out this month's cost after Netflix took on the practice of withholding deliveries of my DVDs.  This month I received 35 rentals, five less than last month.  Cost per movie was $1.51.  Overall, the number of rentals Netflix shipped this month was within the norm of what I've been receiving since I joined a year ago but it's obvious I would have received more movies this month had it not been for the delay tactics.  I would say Netflix delayed a third of my shipments.

After Netflix pulled their little stunt of holding up my movies I decided to try a competitor.  At first I thought I might sign up with Blockbuster but after comparing anime selection I decided to go with GreenCine (Thanks for the tip Jen).  I was worried at first, "What should I rent from GreenCine?" but it didn't take long before I filled my rental queue with anime titles Netflix doesn't carry.

October 5, 2004

Shipping Tomorrow

Screen capture

Netflix continues to delay shipments of rentals.  About half of my shipments are delayed by one day.  This is definitely a turn-off.  Why make a disappointedly slow service even slower?  It already takes a week to get my movies.  If I turn my movies in Sunday night new ones won't arrive until Friday.  So there's no rentals until the weekend.  Now it's going to take longer? 

September 27, 2004

Netflix Withholding Rentals

More and more of visitors claim Netflix is deliberately withholding their rentals and I've noticed it as well.  Instead of shipping rentals out that day, Netflix is shipping them out the next day or 2 days later.  There's no logical reason for it.  If you have a 100 DVDs in your queue which are "available now" why should shipments be delayed?  Around mid October I will post my stats for the month and we'll see if Netflix is truly cutting their service.

I suspect Netflix is losing profits to Blockbuster.  To make up for this loss Netflix is cutting their service but charging customers the same.  Of course, this tactic will backfire.  I've checked out Blockbuster's anime titles and they seem to have a better selection (i.e. Orphen season 1 & 2, Escaflowne vol. 5-8, Magic User's Club, and You're Under Arrest).  If Netflix keeps this up they'll be losing a lot of customers to Blockbuster, including myself.

September 26, 2004

I Feel Your Pain

A visitor on 9/25/04 writes about his Netflix experience renting StarGate the TV series.  Finally, someone who can relate to my experiences renting TV series from Netflix.  First, the slowdown in service he experienced is most likely due to his trial period since he recently joined on 6/04.  That's the bait-and-switch tactic Netflix uses on all it's new customers.  Next, he writes his rentals of StarGate are received out of order causing him to wait until he receives the missing episodes so he can watch them.  Are they doing it on purpose?  It certainly sounds like it.

So what to do when Netflix sends you a series out of order:

  1. Watch them as they send them.  It's confusing, not too enjoyable but that's the Netflix way.
  2. Wait.  Don't watch your rentals until the missing episodes arrive in the mail.  Not cost effective.
  3. Illegally copy the episodes you do have and return them to Netflix.  When the missing episodes arrive you can watch your serial in order.

I can sympathize.  This week I received Gatekeepers vol. 8 two days before vol. 7.  Luckily, I had a busy schedule for 2 days.  Another solution is to avoid renting your series all at once.  I have 29 anime serials in my list.  For example, I'll add Azumanga Daioh volume 1 to my queue.  I won't add volume 2 until I've seen volume 1 and so on.  The drawback is long waits between episodes and trying to remember what happened last episode.

Oh, and for the lady that writes, "Don't blame Netflix for your bad luck."  Luck has nothing to do with it.

September 24, 2004

Netflix Ads on Their Own Site?

As if there weren't enough Netflix banner ads throughout the vast Internet, Netflix has decided to pelt their own customers with still more advertisements on the Netflix web site itself encouraging members to sign up friends and family.  I wonder what annoying tactics they'll come up with next.

September 21, 2004

Please Don't Send Hate Mail

I welcome Netflix member's opinions.  I hope to give every member a chance to air their discontent.  On the other hand, if you are a Netflix investor or sales rep and feel my web site adversely affects your finances don't bother contacting me.  I'm not interested.  Notice, there is no advertisement on my web site.  You won't find any banner ads for Netflix or Blockbuster here.  That's because my opinions are mine alone.  As long as I'm a dissatisfied customer I will continue to complain plus I find it therapeutic.

September 15, 2004

This Month's Cost

Last month I received 40 rentals.  My plan costs $52.99/month so each DVD cost $1.32 to rent.  There's been improvement in service and that reason is Blockbuster.  No broken or wrong DVDs as of late.  Plus, I've had fewer visitors e-mailing complaints.  Netflix knows their service sucks and Blockbuster is there to pick up the slack.

Netflix Search Engine Sucks

I saw a trailer for an anime called "Seven of Seven."  I did a search at Netflix to see if it was available and there were 217 "movie matches" but none of them included this title.  On the first page of this search was the "Abbott & Costello Show," how that was included is a mystery.  Their competitor GreneCine gave me an exact match: one of the reasons I opened up a membership with them.

Shipping Today Or Maybe Not!

Have you ever seen movies in your queue say "shipping today" then later say shipping tomorrow?  There's no logical reason for this.  If you have a hundred movies in your queue and the all say "available now" surely they could manage to send one of them.  There's two possibilities: 1)  You have exceeded your quota.  Netflix won't admit this but there's a limit on how many movies you can rent.  I'm sure they'll be sued for it some day.  2)  The Netflix employee filling your order punched out and went home.  Hopefully he'll take care of it if he shows up for work tomorrow.

September 6, 2004 [bookmark]

Holiday Weekends = No Movies

Wouldn't it be nice to watch DVDs on your Memorial day vacation?  It would be if Netflix would send some movies.  I didn't get any movies from Netflix this holiday weekend.  Netflix claims I should have received my rentals on September 4th.  Don't forget there's over 100 days a year Netflix movies won't come in the mail.

September 4, 2004

Haven't I seen this before?

How can you tell if you have previously rented a DVD from Netflix?  There's a couple ways. One, you could pull up your complete rental history but it takes some time for Netflix to e-mail it to and you have the tedious task of sorting through a long list.  Two, you could rate every movie you've rented from Netflix.  This lets you see at a glance whether a movie in your queue has already been rented.  However, anime fans don't have the second option.  When you rate an any volume of an anime series all the other volumes get rated as well, whether you watched them or not.

One recent improvement Netflix did prevents you from adding the same DVD twice into your queue.  The following message will be displayed if you do: 

This movie is already in Your Queue.

Netflix could add an additional alert such as, "You have rented this movie on...Would you like to rent it again?"  Or place an icon next to DVDs we have already rented.  Why not?  Netflix already has an icon for recommendations.  You could mouse-over the icon and get the date you last rented a particular DVD.  Here's an example:

  Movie Title
1 Saikano: Vol. 1: Bonus Disc Previously rented on: 6/15/04
2 Last Exile: Vol. 5: Grand Stream Recommended based on your ratings
3 Tenchi Muyo GPX: Vol. 1: Out of this World

I know, you're thinking how could you not know whether you've rented a DVD or not.  This makes sense with movies but not anime or tv series.  For instance, the anime Inu-yasha has over 20 volumes/DVDs with additional volumes yet to be released.  I'll be asking myself, "did I leave off at volume 18 or was it 19?"  Right now I have 29 anime in my queue each with multiple volumes.  It's not easy to keep up with.

All this after Netflix sends me 2 DVDs I already rented.  I don't know if it's my fault or mistakes made by Netflix.


August 15, 2004

A Year In Review 8/13/03 - 8/13/04

It's been one year since I joined Netflix and I wanted to tally up some figures.

Movies rented  381
Broken DVDs 10
Wrong DVDs 4
Lost DVDs 0
Anime watched 358
Total cost $487
Average cost/movie $1.33
Netflix delivery rate* 96%
Movies per month* 30.6

* Delivering playable titles I requested
* Playable titles I requested

Of the 381 movies sent to my door, I was only able to watch 367 because some were either broken or the wrong title.  In my case the Netflix's "unlimited" rental plan is actually 30 movies per month.  I paid $487 dollars for a year's worth of Netflix.  However, my plan now costs $150/yr more due to rate hikes.  Hats off to the US postal service--delivering 381 movies and not losing one!

I first joined Netflix while browsing anime titles at Media Play.  A Media Play employee made me aware of a rental plan that boasts a large selection of anime.  I was interested since anime titles are expensive and hard to find at my local video rentals.  I used to watch anime about 14 years ago but stopped due to price and availability so I thought I could do some catching up with Netflix.  By the way, it would have cost around $9000 to purchase the 358 anime titles I've rented from Netflix.

After joining Netflix and experiencing their poor customer service I figured I would cancel my membership as soon as I caught up with all my anime.  A year ago Netflix didn't have half the anime titles I searched for.  However, Netflix seems to be carrying a lot more anime lately.  So it looks like I'll grin and bear with Netflix's crappy service a while longer (as long as there's new anime to be seen). I want my anime!

July In Review

Last month Netflix sent me 37 movies.  That's a $1.43 per movie.  According to the United States Post Office, my movies should take a day to be delivered to my nearest Netflix distribution center located in Lansing, Michigan.  So a 3-day-turnaround should be reasonable: 1 day to reach Netflix, 1 day for Netflix to fill my order, and 1 day to reach my house.  So why is it when I return my movies on Sunday night I don't get new ones until Thursday, Friday or Saturday?

July 31, 2004

Shareholder Class Action Filed Against Netflix

Anonymous sent an e-mail with info about a lawsuit against Netflix.  Here's what the lawsuit alleges: 

The complaint charges Netflix, Reed Hastings and W. Barry McCarthy Jr. with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. More specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them: (1) that the Company knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that the Company's growth was adversely affected by substantial customer attrition; (2) that in order to camouflage the high rate of customer attrition, defendants manipulated the Company's churn rate; and (3) that as a consequence of the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements about the Company's growth and progress.

Andy, I would check into this since you lost money in Netflix stocks.  Anyone else who has lost money on Netflix contact:

Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP
Marc A. Topaz, Esq.
Darren J. Check, Esq.
Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706
Or by e-mail at 

July 30, 2004

E-Mail Praising Netflix

Andy from California writes my opinions of Netflix "seem very negative."  That's not entirely true.  How many customers will tell you what they're paying for each Netflix movie.  I would say $1.89 per movie is a decent price.  On the other hand, Netflix customer service stinks.  I don't care if you believe my journal or not.  Poor customer service is hard to hide and word gets around.  Andy goes on to describe Netflix as "awesome," with "superior service."  I would hardly call Netflix awesome.  I would call the force of a hurricane or the wrath of God awesome.  Netflix superior?  There's not too many services I consider superior and Netflix is certainly not one.  If Netflix is "awesome" with "superior service" why did their stock depreciate as you mentioned?

"We have overnight delivery to nearly 90% of our subscribers."

Reed Hastings

Okay Netflix customers, how many of you get your movies the next day?  Not only does Hastings lie to his customers he dupes his investors as well.

July 22, 2004

Broken DVD # 10

FYI -- If you request a replacement for a DVD and the replacement is broken too, cut your losses and don't order any more replacements.  It's highly likely all their copies of that particular movie are broken.  I'm not sure what goes on at Netflix but DVDs get damaged in their warehouse.  Of course I'm reminded of the e-mail customer service sent me the last time this happened.  This time I specifically wrote "Don't send replacement" on the sleeve.  I'll be angry if they send me another replacement without a request.

By the way, the movie was Ranma 1/2: The Movie 2.  This is a warning not to rent it but if someone does, please  letting me know how things turned out.

July 19, 2004

Netflix Changes Its Rating System, Again

If you noticed, Netflix has changed their rating system again.  This is the second time I've seen them change their rating system.  The oldest rating system is 1.  The current rating system is 3.

Rating System 1 Rating System 2 Rating System 3 Stars
Did not like it Hated it Hated it 1 Hated it
Just okay Did not like it Did not like it 2 Did not like
Liked it Just okay Liked it 3 Just ok
Really liked it Liked it Really liked it 4 Liked it
Loved it Loved it Loved it 5 Loved it

Confused?  I am ;-)

July 15, 2004

Broken DVD # 9

July 8, 2004

Less Bang For Your Buck

Last month Netflix sent me 30 movies. One of the 30 flashed "For Promotional Use Only" throughout the movie and was only 22 minutes long.  The other was a replacement I never requested.  So, of the 30, I saw 28 movies last month.  My next Netflix bill will be $52.99, so each movie I watched last month cost $1.89.  I admit I didn't return each movie on the same day I received it but Netflix service has slowed considerably since their $10 dollar price hike.

How to spot fake testimonials praising Netflix:

I've been a happy Netflix customer for 3 glorious years!  Netflix is always so prompt sending out my rentals.  I usually get my rentals the next day!  In all this time I've never received one broken movie and they always get my order right the first time!  I honestly don't know why anyone would ever say anything bad about them.  I just love them to death!  Did I mention I'm a stockholder?

Now if you believe that, can I interest you in a pain reliever; just .  I'm sure Netflix pays employees just to write hype and BS on every message board they can think of.  Any former/current Neflix employee interested in stepping forward?  Just .

June 22, 2004

Wrong DVD # 4

  1. prior November 6, 2003
  2. prior November 6, 2003
  3. 12/27/2003
  4. 6/20/2004

I'm keeping track of wrong titles Netflix has sent me.  I'm sure there's more but I can't remember.  A few days ago Netflix messed up on my Kaleido Star rental.  As I watched the video, "For Promotional Use Only" kept flashing on the screen.  Then I find out only one episode was on the DVD when it should have five.  It turns out the DVD was a promo intended for a anime magazine.  Funny how they charge me for something they got free!  On the web site, I notified Netflix I received the wrong DVD.  What happens when you report receiving the wrong DVD?

Thank You for Reporting the Problem
  • Please return the DVD and sleeve in its postage-paid mailer. 
  • To reorder the movie, place the correct movie back in Your Queue in the first position. We will ship you the next available copy. 

No further action is required.

I can't help feeling cheated.  Rather than take my chances* and request another copy of Kaleido Star (Vol.1), I purchased and watched my own copy.  Although I made no request for Netflix to send me a replacement, they took it upon themselves to ship Kaleido Star.  In conclusion, Netflix sent me a DVD that flashed "For Promotional Use Only" throughout the entire movie then they send me a DVD of something I already watched.

* See what happened the last time I asked for a replacement.

May 31, 2004

Since I started out with Netflix in August 2003, I've received 312 rentals.  Eight of those were broken.  At least 3 were the wrong movie.  That makes 302 movies that I've seen from Netflix.  Of those, 284 were anime.  That's a lot of anime!  Netflix is wise enough to keep ordering new anime titles which is why I put up with their horrendous customer service.  I like to include a letter here sent by a Netflix Customer in Colorado.

I am amazed at these netflix stories. we've been subscribers for two years and have never received a broken dvd and very few scratched ones. during this time we have rented over 150 titles; only one was lost in the mail. usually a disk is received the day after we send it back and we have a new title the following day. i wonder if the difference is the the sector you're in. we are in the Denver area. perhaps things just work better here.

In response to your letter:  I have a feeling my anime titles are coming across country from California (the main office).  I doubt other Netflix centers carry my anime.  I live in Detroit and suspect my rentals experience more damage on their long journey.  Thanks for writing!


May 21, 2004

No Extra Video

Yesterday I reported a broken DVD.  In the past, Netflix has sent me a so-called extra video when I report a broken DVD.  Looks like they gave up that practice.  If I were to tell my local video rental their DVD was broken they would either give me a replacement or refund my money.  With Netflix you get neither.  Netflix is making out like bandits charging customers for broken DVDs.

Broken DVD Log

  1. 5/20/04
  2. 4/22/04
  3. 4/15/04
  4. 4/11/04
  5. 4/05/04
  6. 3/31/04
  7. 3/04/04
  8. 11/26/03

May 20, 2004

Broken DVD # 8

Did anyone else notice improved service after Netflix announced they were raising their subscription rates?  For a while Netflix was sending me movies like gangbusters.  It didn't last long.  They could have kept up the charade until next month when higher rates went into effect.  They don't even scam well.  By the way, I received another broken DVD.

May 13, 2004

Review of $39.95 Plan (Netflix Ultimate)

For starters the $39 dollar Netflix Ultimate plan costs me $42.35/month because of sales tax.  The Ultimate plan allows members to have 8 DVDs out at a time.  How much movie do you get with this plan.  I rented 37 movies in the last month.  Three of those movies were broken and unplayable.  So I watched 34 movies last month which comes to $1.25 per movie.  How many movies do you get per week?  On average, I receive 7.7 (playable) DVDs per week.  Try as you may, you won't get many more than this.  I really have to work hard to get this many movies too.  I try to watch them the same day they arrive in the mail sometimes having to watch them back to back and staying up late.  Also, I always drop the movies off at the post office--it takes longer if you drop them off at the mail box.  No matter how fast I return my rentals they typically send me 7.7 movies per week  (smells like a scam).

Netflix will begin charging me $52.99/month for the Ultimate plan starting next month . 

May 8, 2004 (updated October, 18 2004) [bookmark]

Netflix Review For Anime Fans

Criteria Netflix Local Video Store 1 Local Video Store 2
Selection Liked it Hated it Did not like
Customer Service Hated it Loved it Loved it
Titles Easy to Find Loved it  Hated it Liked it
Title Availability Just ok Just ok Just ok
Wait Time Hated it Liked it Liked it
Overall Rating
  1. Selection -- Netflix has a good selection (GreenCine is better).  I imagine you could probably fill every shelf in video store 1 with Netflix's anime titles alone.  Video store 1's selection is pathetic.  Video store 2 (Blockbuster) at least has a humble anime section.
  2. Customer Service -- Netflix customer service is non-existent unless you call automated web forms service.  In less than a year I received numerous wrong titles and broken DVDs.  Now if something like this were to happen at my local video stores I would get a replacement or at least my money back with no hassles.  Customer service is Netflix's downfall.
  3. Easy To Find Anime Titles -- Just type in the title name at Netflix's web site and you'll get results even if you misspell it.  Local video store 1 doesn't even have an anime section.  They're scattered throughout the store with all the other titles.  At least video store 2 has an anime section.
  4. Title Availability -- No real advantage for either here.  For old releases Netflix has pretty good availability.  Occasionally you'll get a "short" or "long" wait.  New releases are a different story.  Netflix sent me an e-mail that Millennium Actress was out which was pointless because it everybody else wanted to see it too.  For the local video stores most titles are in.  Anime just isn't that popular in my area.
  5. Wait Time -- Another area where Netflix sucks. I usually have to wait a week before I receive my next batch of movies.  And to think I was groaning over having to wait 5 minutes in line at the local video store.

Even though Netflix has a good anime selection their overall rating isn't that good once you consider customer service and the wait time.  If it wasn't for Netflix, there's no way I could have seen the amount of anime titles that I have without spending a small fortune.  You just have to put of with rotten customer service.  I hope to have another update (update 10/14/05).  I've joined GreenCine which has even better anime selection.

May 6, 2004


Netflix sent me an e-mail asking me to fill out a survey about their customer service.  I let them know my discontent too!  Netflix customers make your opinion heard!

April 22, 2004 ( bookmark )

Broken DVD # 7

"All of our DVDs are inspected prior to their shipment." --Horsefeathers!  Of course, this is just a euphemism of the word I'm really looking for.

801 TSS Airbats (vol2) broken 3/31
Replacement # 1 broken 4/5
Replacement # 2 broken 4/11
Replacement # 3 broken 4/15
Replacement # 4 broken 4/22

I marked replacement # 4 of 801 TSS Airbats (vol2) as broken.  I will not request another replacement because there seems to be a pattern here.  That's 5 rentals that I paid for and couldn't watch.  Just think, this June you'll be paying $53.00 for the same service I'm getting now.  I'll say it again, you pay for all of Netflix's mistakes.  It doesn't matter how many times they screw up because they still charge your credit card at the end of the month.  I received my copies of TSS Airbats (vol2) and (vol3) VHS from  Thank goodness.

April 16, 2004

Netflix Raises Its Prices

I'm paying $42.35/month (includes 6% sales tax) for their 8 DVD rental program.  Netflix just informed me the price will go up to $52.99/month (tax included) in June.  That's a big jump in price isn't it.  I was planning on canceling my membership or at least downgrading it once I've seen all their anime.  However, as long as they have new anime titles I'll probably keep my membership.  I want my anime!  Netflix replied to my complaint.  That's the first time anyone from Netflix has actually replied to any of my on-line inquiries:

"All of our DVDs are inspected prior to their shipment. Unfortunately, it may be possible for a disc to become damaged while in transit with the Postal Service. As a courtesy I have issued a bonus disc outside of your plan allotment, in the hope of accommodating you for the trouble you have experienced."

I have already ruled out this explanation as postal workers cannot possibly possess psychic powers that selectively destroy DVDs at will.  Come on...4 broken DVDs in a row of the same title?  Although, sending me a extra movie was placating.

April 15, 2004 [bookmark]

Broken DVD # 6

"What we've got here is failure to communicate."--Cool Hand Luke.  Three replacements for 801 TSS Airbats (vol2) were all broken.  That's 4 broken copies of 801 TSS Airbats.  Here's a list of probable theories:

  1. Netflix employees are simply shipping me the same DVD over and over
  2. Some tragic accident destroyed all of Netflix's copies
  3. Combination of 1 and 2.
  4. Disgruntled postal employee

I ruled out # 4 unless postal workers have psychic powers that selectively destroy DVDs at will.  I also have doubts about #1 since each time I returned a broken copy I've marked the sleeve with a red marker and each time they've sent an unmarked sleeve although the crack sort of looks the same on each DVD.  I'm betting on # 2.

After a lengthy search using Google, I was able to order 801 TSS Airbats vol.2 and vol.3 at  They were VHS but very cheap.  I am requesting Netflix send me yet another replacement but the odds don't look good.  You would think someone at Netflix would be wondering, "What's going on here?  This guy keeps sending back all these broken DVDs...and it's the same title!"  This is what happens when everything is automated by a computer and a problem exists.  I should be able to tell Netflix my problem but what we have here is a failure to communicate.  I've filled out those on-line forms and have never received a reply.

Do we really get an extra DVD when the send us a replacement?  Take a look the next time you report a broken DVD and request a replacement (see example below).  For example, if your membership lets you have 3 DVDs out at a time and you request a replacement you will have a 4th DVD added to your list of "DVDs You Have Out."  It will be indicated as a "+" in the list.  Notice that "+" is only there for a day or two and you'll go back to 3 movies in your list.  Now, if this were truly an extra DVD it should stay in your list as a 4th DVD until you return it to Netflix but that's not the case.  So this so-called extra DVD is just a scam...just for show..."yeah, we sent you an extra DVD, look, there it is."

Not my actual queue, just an example.

What happens when you report too many broken DVDs?  Well, I guess I've reported too many broken DVDs now and Netflix is penalizing me by not adding the so-called extra DVD to my list.  I'll say it again, you pay for all of Netflix's mistakes.  It doesn't matter how many times they screw up because they still charge your credit card at the end of the month.  Reed Hastings, you're a greedy turd!

April 11, 2004

Broken DVD #5

You have got to be kidding!  My replacement of a replacement is broken.  Something tragic must have happened to all their copies of 801 TSS Airbats (vol2) because this is the third broken copy they sent me.  Reed, why don't you tell your people to check the doggone DVDs before they ship them out!  Here's an idea Reed ol' boy, why don't you make the inner sleeve out of clear plastic so your people can spot a broken DVD at a glance?

April 10, 2004

Improvement Needed

I've mentioned before I watch a lot of serial anime.  By serial I mean programs like M.A.S.H or Cheers or Days of Our Lives.  These programs reveal the plot in chronological order.  Missing one episode may leave you confused wondering what happened.  Netflix attempts to send your movies in the order your requested but in reality they don't arrive that way in your mail box.  For example, I'm watching Lost Universe.  I received episode 6 the other day but episode 5 is still in the mail.  My dilemma:  Do I go ahead and watch episode 6 feeling confused because I missed what happened in episode 5 or do I wait until episode 5 comes so I can watch them in order?  If I want the most DVDs for my money I'll choose the former.

Furthermore, Netflix makes it difficult to tell which episodes I've seen.  Normally, I can tell which anime I've seen because I gave it a rating except for serial anime.  If I rate one episode of a particular serial anime, all episodes will receive the same rating even if I haven't rented them.  What's really irksome is finding out what new episodes Netflix has acquired.  If I can't remember the last episode I saw I have to labor through my entire Netflix rental history.

April 5, 2004

Broken DVD #4

No.  This isn't a joke!  On April 1,  I received a copy of 801 TSS Airbats (vol2) that was broken.  I just received the replacement and that one was cracked too!  It makes me nervous reporting so many broken DVDs.  Is Netflix going to make me pay for them?  Is there a disgruntled postal employee who's deliberately breaking Netflix movies?  In the end, I'm disappointed because I still haven't seen the movie, especially since the first one was so entertaining. doesn't carry volume 2 either.  The real question is, will I ever get to see volume 2?


April 1, 2004

Broken DVD # 3

It seems I couldn't escape being the victim of April Fool's.  Netflix sent me my third broken DVD.  Oh well. Why not?  I got one last month too.  Should I blame the post office for being rough with the mail or should I blame Netflix for being so cheap shipping DVDs in plain paper envelopes?

How much movie did I get for my money last month?  I saw 34 movies last month and my plan costs 42.35/month which equals $1.25 per movie.

March 16, 2004

Netflix Changes Their Rating System

I do rate the movies I watch.  Since I do watch a lot of serial anime, rating them gives me an idea of whether I wish to continue watching them.  Now I've noticed that Netflix has changed its rating system.  Movies with 2 stars were "just ok," but now they're "did not like it."

Old Rating System Stars New Rating System
Did not like it 1 Hated it Hated it
Just okay 2 Did not like Did not like it
Liked it 3 Just ok Just okay
Really liked it 4 Liked it Liked it
Loved it 5 Loved it Loved it

I think the new scale makes more sense.  There's more of a middle ground like a Likert scale but what about the 200 some movies I've already rated?

March 4, 2004

Broken DVD # 2

I'm getting ready to enjoy a movie for the night.  I was just popping a Netflix rental in the player when I noticed it was cracked in half.  This is the second broken DVD I've received in the mail.  However, I was surprised to find Netflix sent out a replacement DVD after I reported the broken DVD.  With my subscription I can have 8 titles out.  Now I have 9 titles out (with the replacement).  This is what they should have done from the beginning.  Maybe they can start sending out replacement movies when they send you the wrong titles as well.  So far, they've just been adding the correct title back on your queue.

Apparently Netflix ran out of copies of Revolutionary Girl Utena: Volume 7 because it has been on my "DVDs Awaiting Release" list for over a month.  I ended up going to Media Play and buying it myself.  When a business doesn't stock its inventory, isn't that bad for business?

Oh, I would like to share one angry letter from 

Add your opinion??? Only if it's negative, right? Million plus subscribers, and you've found 8 or so detractors. Good job.

I've used Netflix for about a year and a half. Get about 2 movies a week. Never got the wrong movie. Never got a broken DVD. A few with minor scratches. As I recall, that sometimes happened with Blockbuster DVD's too. 

Be careful not to print this. It's an opinion, but not the one you're screening for.

You're an idiot.

Signed Anonymous

Reply:  Glad to hear you like Netflix.  Miraculously, your membership has been uneventful--no wrong titles, no broken DVDs, and movies that actually play.  I wish I could say the same.  My goal isn't to destroy Netflix.  This is a protest to improve their service.  I want my anime!

January 15, 2004

Badly scratched DVD

Two DVDs arrived unusually late.  I was beginning to think they were lost in the mail.  I was going to wait a few more days and report them as lost when they showed up in my mail box.  One of the DVDs was badly scratched.  It barely played in my DVD player (see advice).  While playing, the movie stuttered, depixelated, lost audio and eventually froze.  When the audio was lost I tried watching with subtitles but that too eventually disappeared.  Luckily, I was able to watch the movie without problems on my PC.  Yes, it took a 2 GHz processor and 512 MB of memory to play such a badly damaged DVD.  I did report the movie as damaged.  I also noticed Netflix has updated its web site.  Now after you click the "Report This Problem" button, you can choose to have a replacement sent out.  No such option existed before.  Just remember this is the standard service you get from Netflix.  It doesn't matter whether the movie is badly scratched, doesn't play or lost in the mail, Netflix still charges your credit card every month.

There're several movies on my "DVDs Awaiting Release" list.  No, these aren't new releases.  These are movies that Netflix had at one time but are now lost or broken.  Instead of flooding the Internet with banner adds Netflix should maintain and replace these missing titles.  Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, must be thinking, "we need to find new customers 'cause we already screwed over our current ones."

How much movie did I get for my money last month?  Netflix's service has slowed considerably plus I haven't returned every movie on the same day it came in the mail.  I saw 29 movies last month and my plan costs 42.35/month which equals $1.46 per movie.

No Deliveries on Over 100 Days of the Year

Don't forget the U.S. Postal Service only delivers mail 303 out of 365 days a year.  Furthermore, Netflix employees don't work Saturdays or Sundays or holidays.  That's over a 100 days a year Netflix doesn't send you diddly-squat!  Just 2 more reasons why Netflix sucks.

January 6, 2004

Why I Hate Netflix!

The thing I detest most in life is waiting.  I remember that's what I disliked about the Army.  Imagine having to wait for every thing you did.  I had to wait in line to eat.  I had to wait in formation.  The list goes on and on.  I also abhor waiting at restaurants.  Given a choice between waiting half an hour for a meal at a fancy restaurant and waiting 1 minute for a burger at a fast food joint, I choose instant gratification!  Now I find myself waiting for movies from Netflix.  It doesn't make sense!  I return movies as quick as I can but Netflix doesn't ship anything out.  The days that I'm off work I'd like to enjoy a movie to watch.  Isn't that why I pay Netflix $42.35 a month?  After all, my plan includes 8 DVDs so I should have at least 1 movie to watch for every day of the week.  I've come to the conclusion Netflix places a limit on the number of movies they send you.  There are times when I return movie after movie and Netflix won't ship out a thing.  Then suddenly, they'll send me 5 or 6 movies out at a time.  So it's feast or famine with Netflix.  This tactic also works to their advantage.  They know you can't watch 6 movies in one night so this slows your returns down.  Thus less rentals.

Netflix doesn't seem to be adding that many new anime to their list.  As I've mentioned before, I'm reaching the point where I've seen most of the anime I'm interested in.  When that point comes I'll gladly cancel my membership.  I've noticed a glut of Netflix banner adds on the Internet.  I see where my money's going.   Instead of improving customer service, Netflix is looking for more victims to scam!

December 27, 2003

I've been buying a lot of anime titles that Netflix doesn't carry (i.e. Chobits).  Netflix sent me the wrong DVD again.  The cover was right but the DVD inside was something else.  I read a review by Scott Weinberg who claims Netflix sends you out an "extra" DVD if you receive a damaged one.  He also calls Netflix "flawless" and a "godsend."  Scott, you must be joking :)  Maybe that was their policy in the past but they don't do it anymore.  I'll say it again.  You pay for all of Netflix's mistakes.

December 12, 2003

I'm reaching the point where I've seen all the interesting anime that Netflix has to offer.  There are many titles that Netflix just doesn't carry (i.e Orphen, Chance Pop Session 2&3, Ai Yori Aoshi, Escaflowne 5-8).  It won't be long until I scale back my membership to the $20/month program.

December 2, 2003

How many movies can you get a month with the $40 dollar plan?  In the past 30 days, I rented 37 movies.  The cost of each movie was $1.14 (with tax my plan is $42.35).  That's not bad.  Keep in mind I tried to watch each movie the same day it arrived then I returned it at the post office that night.

November 26, 2003

Broken DVD # 1

I've rented over 80 DVDs to date and I finally received a broken DVD.  I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.  I read other people's horror stories about returning broken DVDs and Netflix asking them to pay for them.  So I'll wait to see what happens.  In the mean time, I added the movie title back into the top of my queue but Netflix also shipped out the same movie.  So they sent me two copies of the same movie--a waste of my money.  Make up your minds Netflix!  You won't send me send me a DVD when I report it as a wrong title but you will when it's broken.

Most of my rentals are anime and often serial i.e. Neon Genesis Evangelion which has 8 DVD volumes.  It's becoming irritating watching series out of order.  Netflix sends you whatever they have on hand.

November 6, 2003

Okay you're wondering what happens when they send you the wrong disc.  This happened to me least the protective sleeve says it's the disc I ordered but the movie inside was actually something else.  I go to the web site and report a shipping problem.  I choose "The white sleeve and DVD don't match."  I'm expecting they will correct the problem.  No!  The reply says thanks for reporting the problem if you want to see the DVD add it to your list again.  The end result is you pay for their error.  Any video rental store in your neighborhood would have gladly given you the correct DVD at no cost or credited your account for the error:  Not Netflix!

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