Monday, March 20, 2006

Follow-up to 3-day shipping

The movie that Netflix told me would arrive in three days, did exactly that, but it didn't come from San Jose like I expected. It came from Denver, Colorado.

However, even if it did come from San Jose, it doesn't have to mean throttling. Netflix has said that when a movie comes in, if it's not in anyone's queue, it goes back to San Jose, to storage, because the local distribution centers do not have storage facilities. It's possible that this happens to a small percentage of films. It's probably random. If you are digging deep into the Netflix catalog for your titles, it will happen to your films, too.

Netflix gives you your own personal Netflix store, made up of personalized recommendations, based on your own unique taste, so you can't expect every title to be on hand at your local distribution center all the time.


  1. Your original post about the three day shipping caught my eye, because that week I'd gotten a three-day estimate for the very first time in over two years. As near as I can tell, I live about mid-point between the Chicago DC and the one in South Bend, IN, giving me fast turn around from both centers.

    Then came the three day warning, and in my case, the movie did ship from San Jose. It was an old Warner Bros classics title, something along the lines of what you're saying - a film they're not going to have a lot of copies of or demand for.

    Out of curiosity, I returned it in the San Jose envelope too, just to see how long it takes to get back to them. It'll mean few films this month (is that self-throttling?), but if it's my own doing, how can I complain?

  2. Yesterday, I returned Don't Look Now in its original Denver, Colorado envelope, and Netflix checked it in today.

    I think that, even though the official statement from Netflix is that the USPS will deliver their return envelopes according to the address, the fact that the envelope also says "nearest shipping facility" gives USPS permission to throw all Netflix envelopes in the same bin, without sorting. Which would explain why a 3-day outbound envelope would take only one day to return.

  3. I love Netflix! .. been a memeber for almost 2 years now. Shipping for me is a bit wierd becuase it always take 2 days for Netflix to recieve my DVD, but only takes 1 day for it to get to my house from Netflix??

  4. I got a 4 day shipping estimate for the first time ever last week - on two DVDs. This was immideditately after I upgraded from the 3-out plan to the 5 out plan. The two movies were shipped from Tacoma, WA, and Greensboro, SC. Prior to this of my movies (I've been a member on and off for the better part of 3 years) have come from San Jose and my turn around has been exceptionally fast. I live about 30 minutes from there and my mail goes to a PO box so it's all been good, until this week.

    Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong since I upgraded my plan. A movie has been "lost" in transit back only to magically appear back at Netflix as soon as I reported it as such, the top two movies in my queue were skipped over when I upgraded and I received movies lower down even though my top choices were not new releases and showed availability "Now" as they have the whole time I have been trying to get them (needed for a college class and unavailable locally), when I finally got the top choices they took four days to arrive and one of the discs was mislabled. I upgraded a week and a half ago and at no point have had the full benefit of doing so. Repeated e-mails to Netflix have only added to the frustration. They just don't seem to give a damn. Greencine is looking mighty good at this point.

    Up until now, I've been a moderate volume renter. It wasn't until I tried to step things up that it went into the toilet.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.

  5. No problem! You're welcome to vent here. I'm sorry Netflix is giving you grief.

  6. The real frustration of it is the rotten customer service on top of what had previously been one of the best online vendor experiences I've ever had. Your blog is great, though! No matter what Netflix does, this place a great source of info about online DVD rentals.