OT: Netflix trying to dump their mail-based customers?

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If you had to wait for Inglorious Bastards, it was time well spent. A Taran-turkey.
nb
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notbob wrote:

I enjoyed it and am looking for the sequel: "Insane Bastards" as a committee in the Democratic-controlled Congress investigates the "Bastards" platoon for prisoner indecencies and flagrant violations of the rules of war.
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On Wed, 7 Apr 2010 20:42:17 -0400, "Robert Green"

No, haven't noticed this.
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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wrote Re OT: Netflix trying to dump their

What kind of DVDs do you rent (recent, classics, TV shows) and how fast do you turn them over? I think both have a bearing on how quickly you get your disks along with where you live.
-- Bobby G.
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alt.home.repair:

Yes, I have. I had to wait at least two months for season 2 of "The Wire", which I would not think was either obscure or super-popular. That's just one example. Many more films show long wait times than there used to be.
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On 4/8/2010 1:15 PM, Nil wrote:

available, they send you the next item in the queue that is not part of the same series. If someone is so impatient that they need to see something immediately, they can (1) try the local library, (2) try the local DVD rental store - if there are any left in their area, (3) pay for cable/satellite with premium channel service, or (4) purchase the DVD(s).
For what I chose to watch, Netflix is much cheaper than choices 2,3, and 4, and has a much larger catalog of available titles than choice 1. I average 9-10 titles/month using the one at a time plan by watching the discs the day they arrive and mailing them back the next day. Things will probably drop to 6-7/month if and when the Post Office discontinues residential delivery on Saturdays :-( .
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Another trick that works is to move newly released movies to the top of your queue as soon as they show up in the bottom, before they even release. For example, a movie that is releasing on April 13 will move to your active queue about April 6, with a note indicating it will release on April 13. Move it to the #1 slot right then and it sort of reserves your place in line. I get new releases much faster this way.
I live in a town where the local video store is not only MUCH more expensive than Netflix, but carries 1 copy each of about 10 new releases, and usually about 30 older movies, also 1 copy of each. It's a portion of an aisle (about a quarter of the aisle) in our local grocery store. Our library is similarly limited (they can order movies from other county branches, but that takes far longer than getting them from Netflix). Neither has anything like the depth of selections Netflix offers.
I justify the expense by subscribing to only basic cable and using Netflix to watch TV shows that play on HBO, Showtime, etc. I like the "watch this movie instantly" option, too, for those evenings when nothing's on network TV and I don't have a new movie on hand. I suspect I'll like this option even more when Saturday mail delivery ceases.
The length of my Netflix queue is second only to the length of my reading list...so much media, so little time!

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<Another trick that works is to move newly released movies to the top of your queue as soon as they show up in the bottom, before they even release. For example, a movie that is releasing on April 13 will move to your active queue about April 6, with a note indicating it will release on April 13. Move it to the #1 slot right then and it sort of reserves your place in line. I get new releases much faster this way.>
That's a good idea, and I believe I've actually done that by accident (or at least not realizing I was enhancing my chances of getting it quickly).
<I live in a town where the local video store is not only MUCH more expensive than Netflix, but carries 1 copy each of about 10 new releases, and usually about 30 older movies, also 1 copy of each. It's a portion of an aisle (about a quarter of the aisle) in our local grocery store. Our library is similarly limited (they can order movies from other county branches, but that takes far longer than getting them from Netflix). Neither has anything like the depth of selections Netflix offers.>
The issue is really one Netflix not being able or willing to meet the demand for certain disks, which I believe is due to their siphoning money from the mail-based operation to fund the on-line downloading system they are pushing. The problem is much more acute than it ever was, and I don't remember waiting for over a month to get a particular disk before.
I don't think that there as many people wanting to watch downloads INSTEAD of mailed disks as they think. I have an upscaling Sony DVD player that makes a good quality DVD look like Blu-ray and I can move back and forth at will through the disk. If ISPs decide to institute download caps, you could be paying a pretty penny to dowload large movie files.
Maybe they are right, but I think that now that Comcast has bested the FCC and won the right to throttle network speeds, Netflix is going to be one of the first people they want to throttle for cutting into their premium cable service.
<I justify the expense by subscribing to only basic cable and using Netflix to watch TV shows that play on HBO, Showtime, etc. I like the "watch this movie instantly" option, too, for those evenings when nothing's on network TV and I don't have a new movie on hand. I suspect I'll like this option even more when Saturday mail delivery ceases.>
Same here. I get basic cable and use Netflix to watch cable shows and even network TV shows because of the commentary tracks and the lack of perpetual commercials. It seems that as fewer people watch network TV, they shove more and more commercials into each hour, without a thought about how they might be driving the remaining viewers away by putting in so many ads.
<The length of my Netflix queue is second only to the length of my reading list...so much media, so little time!>
I used to have over 100 disks in my queue but discovered that it made moving things around a problem. I kept getting "a script has stopped responding" messages from Firefox. Those disappeared when the queue dropped below 40.
Thanks for you input, Jo Ann!
-- Bobby G.
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Internet was placed in a lightly regulated designation by the FCC. By a 3-2 vote, the FCC could move it to the more heavily regulated designation and we would be back off to the races.
.
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wrote:

I am hesitant to predict anything will be ruled in the consumer's favor with "I never met a corporation I didn't like more than people" Chief Justice John Roberts, hand-picked candidate of the USCOC, at the helm of the SC.
BTW, the decision was by a Federal Appeals Court for the Distress of Columbia, and not the Supremes. They are a step down the road. The FCC could ask for an en banc review at the appellate level first. I think Chief Justice Roberts, who clearly believes that Nabisco's constitutional rights are equal to those of "we the people" will side with Comcast over the FCC in a nanosecond. I'll bet he's already got the pro-Comcast brief worked out in his head.
I have to tell you, Kurt, not many experts are as sanguine as you about the FCC's future success:
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id 02447624446 says:
<<To S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, an intervenor in the case, the decision "has forced the FCC into an existential crisis, leaving the agency unable to protect consumers in the broadband marketplace." He said in a statement, "As a result of this decision, the FCC has virtually no power to stop Comcast from blocking Web sites." Jenner & Block partner Samuel Feder, who was general counsel of the FCC from 2005 to 2008, paints a marginally brighter picture for the FCC's net-neutrality efforts. He said the decision was narrow enough to "still leave the FCC room to complete net neutrality," though "none of the options are good." . . . Feder called the decision "about as bad as an opinion could get [for the FCC] without having grounds to take it to the Supreme Court.">>
Get ready for your Netflix downloads to ack, ack, ack and stutter as Comcast decides you can't have a high speed video pipeline without paying extra. The Comcast decision really casts doubt on Netflix's grand ambitions to be the movie download king. In trying to hedge their risk from rising postal rates, they may have overlooked the risk of legal throttling by guys like Comcast, who are really competitors to Netflix. How many Netflixers would pay an extra $25 a month to download a catalog of older, less popular films?
One thing's for sure. The dice are rolling. How the game ends is anyone's guess. But I think it's clear we're living in the Corporate States of America, and "we the people" means a whole lot of nothing.
-- Bobby G.
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<stuff snipped>
<I justify the expense by subscribing to only basic cable and using Netflix to watch TV shows that play on HBO, Showtime, etc. I like the "watch this movie instantly" option, too, for those evenings when nothing's on network TV>
You mean every night, don't you? (-: Actually, it's gotten a little better now that NBC regained its sanity and took Leno out of prime time.
< and I don't have a new movie on hand. I suspect I'll like this option even more when Saturday mail delivery ceases. >
Here's a question. Or two. Would you be willing to pay extra for Saturday delivery? If so, how much a year? Would you be willing to pay a steep increase in postage to 75 cents - closer to what it really costs to mail first class, if it kept Saturday delivery? Would you still rent from Netflix if it cost $40 for what a $20 contract gets you now?
<The length of my Netflix queue is second only to the length of my reading list...so much media, so little time!>
I put a shelf over the bed to hold the books I've bought from Amazon and ABE that I have yet to read. Something more interesting to read always comes along. It's starting to sag from the guilty weight. At least with boring DVDs, you get to send them back. Boring books just sit there and threaten your life. (-:
-- Bobby G.
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No, I can live without it. I'd not miss it at all.

No, but I am willing to pay more for postage even without it. Would you take a letter across the country for 44? Most of us would not walk across the street for that little. Mail is really a bargain. These days I only male a few bills a month. Most if paid electronically. Add a few birthday cards or letter (yes, I do send some, handwritten with a fountain pen) so my overall cost per year is minimal.
Would you still rent from

No, I don't use it at all.

Buy a Nook or Kindle. I bought a Nook for my wife and she was a little hesitant about having one, now she loves it.
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wrote

Interesting. In some discussions I've had, taking away Saturday delivery is a real hot button issue.

I agree. That's why I said that 75 cents is closer to what it actually costs to mail a letter. I suspect as volume decreases, the actual cost is going to skyrocket. I wonder if paper mail will even exist 100 years from now?

How do you spend your entertainment dollars?

When they made the headlines by yanking back some book they had sold that they didn't really have the rights to, I lost interest in E-books. It's like CD's and DVDs. I like to have the physical media under my control, loanable if I chose to lend it, sellable if I choose to sell it. I wouldn't want to spend 100's of dollars on rights to something that lasted only as long as the vendor or the hardware. I know some people love it, but nothing beats a book.
Thanks for your input, Ed.
-- Bobby G.
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Depends on how you define entertainment. I do woodworking as a hobby. That takes some of my weekend hours. I do watch TV and record what I want to watch on the DVR. Between Nat Geo, History, Discovery TLC, Food network, I have plenty to view. There are enough free movies and the occasional rental to take care of the rest.
While I'm working in my shop, my wife sews, knits, reads and watches some of the movies on TCM.
Dinner with friends takes some time too.
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It may become a non-issue as the USPS is also considering ending Sat service.
nb
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<Another trick that works is to move newly released movies to the top of your queue as soon as they show up in the bottom, before they even release. For example, a movie that is releasing on April 13 will move to your active queue about April 6, with a note indicating it will release on April 13. Move it to the #1 slot right then and it sort of reserves your place in line. I get new releases much faster this way.>
<stuff snipped>
It WORKED! I moved a movie I wanted to the top of my queue and I got it very shortly after that. Have done the same with the Book of Eli. Inglorious Basterds finally arrived last week after 4 months in the queue. That was a record.
-- Bobby G.
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Glad to hear it worked for you! Still haven't had a chance to check out Swaptree, but I did Woot a Kindle the other day. Now all I need is a Kindle with a scanning feature so I can "file" my shelves full of books in it.
How did you like the Book of Eli? Haven't seen it yet but got a couple recommendations for it.
Jo Ann
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<stuff snipped>

What sane business wants their customers exploring alternate vendor options to their product? That seems pretty dumb. You want to keep your customers happy and keep them your customers. All the options you mention *should* be exactly what Netwits *doesn't* want customers doing.
This is a simple problem with a simple solution. Add a button that jumps you to the top of a "long wait" queue for a few extra dollars. Isn't that a better option for something you really want to see, but don't want to own and don't want to run all over creation looking for when it's already right there in the queue but Netflix didn't buy enough of?
Paying for premium cable is overkill and lots of people (me!) have dropped premium just because they have Netflix. Just charge me an expediting fee, Netflix, and allow customers like me who occasionally want to see something recent and popular quicker than usual some flexibility.

I agree with what you're saying, but wouldn't it make sense to have a HOV sort of arrangement where if you really want to see something, they charge you a premium to bump you to the top of the list? They get more money to buy more disks that makes less of a queue and their customers don't get the wandering eye and decide to try blockbusters or go back to cable.
It seems like a no-brainer since every commerce website I know has a way to select faster delivery - if you're willing to pay for it. Well, on some disks I am willing to pay for it but Netflix won't even let me.
They've got every other garbage web trick up their sleeve so you never know how to get back to where you were after all the popups open. Why can't they try something useful that would turn out to be a win-win for everyone?
I've rented over a 1000 DVDs (been with them on a large plan for a long time!) and I am running out of things to stuff in the queue that I don't eject after 5 minutes thinking "WTF did I rent THAT for?" These latest three movies that have languished in my queue have been there much longer than any other DVDs that I can remember. My suspicion is that instead of buying disks, they are spending money building a download service that won't be of any use to me (and alot of other people, I think, who prefer having the real DVD and not just a download stream). People who are still on dial-up (and there are many) aren't going to wait a week for a movie to DL at 53kbps.
Thanks for your input, Peter.
-- Bobby G.
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wrote in

That's been my experience. I wanted to rent Nurse Jackie in order, but when there was no wait for disks 3 and 2, there was a long wait for the first disk. When I finally got the 1st disk, then disks 2 and 3 became unavailable. I've also read they want to dump the fastest turnover people because they lose money servicing customers who turn their disks back the day after they receive them. If I may ask, Nil, are you a fast turnaround renter, average or slower than most?
-- Bobby G.
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alt.home.repair:

I'd say we would be considered a fast turnover customer. We probably have 100 movies in the queue, and we watch 3 or 4 a week.
I've noticed a few cases of a disk showing long wait for us, but my relatives on the other side of the country get it right away. I'm not sure what it all means, but it's suspicious.
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