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December, 2008

At the end of 2008, I finally decided to terminate my Netflix service. I still like Netflix and the idea of getting movies on DVD delivered to your mailbox, but here are the reasons I decided to cancel:

  • Even at the lowest all-you-can-view package ($8.99 per month), I still thought I was spending too much on movie rentals (and indeed since then I'm averaging spending just $1-$3 per month)
  • I was a bit frustrated that it was sometimes difficult to get new releases (i.e., netflix would report a "wait" on being able to rent the latest releases)
  • I found that I was putting movies in my Nexflix queue that were way way down on my "I want to see this movie" list
  • I suppose since my mailbox is in a kiosk instead of direct to my door, that might have had something to do with it also
  • "Redbox" came into existence. While it's not perfect, I like being able to visit my local grocery store and rent the latest release for only a buck a night. I usually don't get more than a couple movies a month, so $2 (plus 12 cents tax) per month for new releases is an awesome rental deal, and I don't mind not being able to rent older movies

I'll keep these pages up, however, since in 2007 I did go to the trouble of tracking in detail mail delivery times, and I hope these pages remain useful to some folks.

June 26, 2008

(Update, 8/1/2008): It seems that rather than an improvement of service between Denver and Laramie, the recent improvement in delivery service is due instead to the opening of a new distribution center in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I just noticed tonight that the return envelope lists Cheyenne as the nearest netflix distribution center:

Image of Netflix Envelope Addressed to Cheyenne

As I note below, this addition of a shipping facility in Cheyenne has improved my frequency of 1-at-a-time movies by 60%, from 5 to 8 movies per month. Whether new shipping facility or simply improved US Mail service, I'm grateful for this improvement (at no additional charge to me).


(Original news item from June 26, 2008):

Woohoo! As of June, 2008, it appears that Laramie, WY now has improved USPS delivery service. Previously, movies traveling from the nearest Netflix mailing office in Denver would take two days to arrive in my post office kiosk box. But as of June 2008, this appears to have changed to one day. The implication of this change is huge, service-wise. If this serice continues, it means that folks like me on the 1-at-a-time unlimited plan could see an overall increase in movie arrivals of about 60% (from about 5 movies per month to about 8 movies per month). And it follows that my 2007 overall average of $1.71 per movie rental could possibly fall to about $1.20 per movie rental, bringing the price more in line with that of RedBox movie rentals ($1.06 per rental).

I don't know why this change occurred: perhaps it is a new deal Netflix has with the USPS, or perhaps it's just an indication that regular USPS service has improved between Denver and Laramie. But it's an unexpected and unannounced improvement in service, which I appreciate. Thank you, Netflix and the US Postal Service!

March 25, 2008

Did you notice a slowdown in your service this week? I did: I have the 2nd-lowest service level, 1-movie-at-a-time, unlimited per month for $9. I mailed back my previous movie last Thursday. With my local USPS service, this usually means that Netflix will receive it by Friday. But, apparently either Netflix or the Post Office had the day off for Good Friday. And since Saturdays are not "work" days for Netflix either (I have not ever received a delivery notice from Netflix on a Saturday or Sunday), therefore I expected that I'd receive notice of receipt early Monday 3/24/2008 and later that day a "sent" notice for my next movie.

Instead, I received the notice of receipt in the late evening of 3/24, presumably after Netflix was back up and operating, and didn't receive notice of next movie mailed until Tuesday. Yuck--that's three and a half days later than I had anticipated. So if you saw a similar lag in service, you're not alone.

Later in the day on Tuesday 3/25/2008, however, Netflix sent its customers an email with a letter of apology about the outage, plus an automatic compenstation (a percentage off the monthly fee). Here is the text of the email:

We're Sorry Your DVD Was Delayed

Dear Customer,

As you may have heard, our shipping system was unexpectedly down for most of Monday. We should have shipped you a DVD but were unable to. Your DVD was shipped today, Tuesday, March 25th, instead.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. We will issue a 5% credit to your account in the next few days. You don't need to do anything. The credit will be automatically applied to your next billing statement.

Again, we apologize for the delay and thank you for your understanding. If you need further assistance, please call us at 1 (888) 638-3549.

-The Netflix Team

For more information, visit this external link:

January 2008

Netflix has given its customers (except at the lowest service level) unlimited online viewing for free! Previously, customers could view for free 1 hour per month per subscription dollar per month, but they have now increased this to unlimited online viewing for their ~6,000 online movie and TV titles.

Here is the text of the email they sent to their customers:

Dear Customer,

As part of your current Netflix subscription, you have the option to watch some movies and TV episodes from the Netflix library instantly on your PC at no additional charge. Now, we've made it unlimited!

So watch instantly on your PC when you want, and as often as you want. Select from our separate, smaller library of over 6,000 familiar movies and TV episodes available to watch instantly.

- Your friends at Netflix

For more information, visit this external link: