Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How the Netflix throttling story ends

Following up Saturday's story, we've been permanently throttled. We are now receiving our movies from a distribution center that will never get us movies by the next day rather than the distribution center that is “down the street” from us. It may be time to move to Blockbuster. And, just so ya know, this doesn't appease us:

LOS GATOS, California (AP) -- Netflix Inc. will start showing movies and TV episodes over the Internet this week, providing its subscribers with more instant gratification as the DVD-by-mail service prepares for a looming technology shift threatening its survival.

The Los Gatos-based company plans to unveil the new "Watch Now" feature Tuesday, but only a small number of its more than 6 million subscribers will get immediate access to the service, which is being offered at no additional charge.

Netflix expects to introduce the instant viewing system to about 250,000 more subscribers each week through June to ensure its computers can cope with the increased demand.

After accepting a computer applet that takes less than a minute to install, subscribers will be able to watch anywhere from six hours to 48 hours of material per month on an Internet streaming service that is supposed to prevent piracy.

The allotted viewing time will be tied to how much customers already pay for their DVD rentals. Under Netflix's most popular $17.99 monthly package, subscribers will receive 18 hours of Internet viewing time. (continued)

We like to watch our movies on the big screen, and I'm not hooking my laptop up to the big screen every time we wanna watch a movie. Oh wait, I can't because this only works on “Window's OS”:

We were supposed to receive The Illusionist on Thursday. It's now Tuesday. We still didn't receive it yet. This is supposed to be the replacement movie for Miami Vice, which we shipped back on January 3. We have since now sent back and received two other movies in the time it has taken for Netflix to receive Miami Vice, for us to report it missing, for them to send The Illusionist, and for us to report that film missing. I'm pissed off. If someone offered to send me a good present for switching to Blockbuster I'd probably do it. Anyone wanna offer me a good present?

And, this just in: Hay's parents, who live a few hours away from us, received four movies from Netflix last week. Effing a, b, c, and d.

Update: Thanks to Avi who recommended PlanetFeedback.com for filing a complaint with Netflix about this issue. We have decided to hold off sending the complaint via this site until the end of the week when we've had more of a chance to cool off. Netflix is now shipping Employee of the Month to replace The Illusionist. Since I am totally into watching stuff about store life right now this is a better movie choice for me anyway. (That sounds vague and weird, so I'll explain that 10 Items or Less and Illeana Douglas's celebrity grocery store webisodes are encouraging me to quit my job and work for a grocery store.)


Anonymous said...

How about today I got an email notification from Netflix telling me my next movie was shipping today from Hawaii and I'd have it Friday? I find this hard to believe when a movie shipped from the California facility takes a good 5 days to reach me in Ohio. I don't think that they should be shipping you movies from outside of your zone. Especially when there's a freakin' warehouse in Cleveland, 1 hour away.

Anonymous said...

Dude. You're right; Netflix is messed up. As much as I don't like Ballbusters and the way they treated me in December of 1998 (I don't hold grudges...much), I'll bet they're never going to send you something from Hawaii. Cripes!

Molly, there's also a warehouse in Louisville, KY. Still closer than Hawaii!

Anonymous said...

Every time I post a comment, I get a really complicated word verification picture, with Zs and Xs and letters my fingers don't usually type, and I'm worried that I'll misspell it. Then, when I type it right, the page refreshes, and there's a really easy one. zwzphi

Avitable said...

You should complain. They'll give you a few free months sometimes.

Anonymous said...

or just wait until something you really wanted to keep for your collection shows up and then tell them THAT never came.

Anonymous said...

The on-demand web movie thing doesn't appeal to me, either (though the friend who told me about it was pretty excited by the idea). I'm with you--I'm watching my movies on a normal-sized screen from the comfort of my couch, not from my wooden, upright computer chair on a 15-inch monitor.

Also, I think I live directly below a Netflix pneumatic tube-like thing (is that what you call the magic tube at the bank that sucks things up and shoots them back down again in an instant?). One time, I dropped a movie off at my neighborhood post office after closing time, and by 6:00 the next morning, I had an email saying Netflix had received it. I still don't understand how that happened, but I am not going to complain.

P'nut said...

DO NOT wait until you've cooled off to complain. You will need that fire to get across your point and make them understand how much they're inconveniencing you & how stupid their distribution system is. Whenever I wait to calm down, I'm less agressive about wanting the situation rectified and they take advantage of it. Complain while the piss & vinegar is still fresh!

Poppy Cede said...

The angry letter is already written, it just needs to be sent. I promise it's plenty aggressive, and I did send it already but Netflix sucks and doesn't have a way to directly send correspondence to their customer service department. So stupid...