Red Envelope Madness!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Defeat long-distance Netflix returns

If you have a Netflix return envelope with a far-away distribution center address on it, you don't have to return your disc there. You can simply mark out that address with a black marker, leaving nothing but the words "nearest Netflix distribution center" and the Postal Service will drop it in the local Netflix bin to be picked up by the Netflix truck. This will speed up your turnaround times.

This advice came to me via Netflix Fan Elmer Gantry, who received it from a Netflix customer service rep.


  • At 1/25/2007 12:03 PM, Blogger Buckner400 said…

    All post offices have a "Netflix Bin"

  • At 1/25/2007 12:04 PM, Blogger Buckner400 said…

    Sorry - that was a question. Left off the ? at the end.

  • At 1/25/2007 5:57 PM, Blogger tedder said…

    I've only needed to do this a few times, but I just put a mailing label over the address and fill in the local Netflix center.

  • At 1/25/2007 8:52 PM, Blogger Bullwinkle said…

    I just send back two discs in one envelope every once in a while so I have extras for when I get a movie from a far away DC.

  • At 1/25/2007 10:55 PM, Blogger Becky said…

    I would say not all post offices have a Netflix bin, but perhaps a good many do. Netflix is one of their largest customers.

  • At 1/30/2007 11:02 AM, Blogger Buckner400 said…

    Upon further review - I mailed a disc back yesterday with an address label of San Jose, California. It was received today. It must have been routed to my local distribution center in Flushing NY. It was reeived along a disc that was mailed to the Flushing address

  • At 2/09/2007 6:37 AM, Blogger Scott Fouru said…

    This method of sorting Netflix discs would, in my view, only be applicable in one or both of two scenarios: 1) when said post offices are located in a USPS Processing & Delivery Center service area that also has a Netflix Distribution Center within the same service area; 2) when there is a high percentage of Netflix customers within a given ZIP code service area (such as the reported special drop slots located in some post offices in New York City). In all other cases, Netflix discs would simply be presorted to the ZIP code on the outside of the envelope, which could possibly be a unique ZIP code (though my "home" DC envelopes have only the ZIP of the regional P&DC), but most likely would be part of any other mail that is to be delivered to that area. The only way I see being preferable to obliterate an address is if there are multiple Netflix DCs within a region and there are problems encountered with a home DC. In almost every other case, it would be preferable to simply put the address of another DC =over= the preprinted address on the return envelope. As I stated in an earlier comment, most USPS mail sorting is automated and there is no possible way that machine sorting (or even human sorting) could automatically determine where the "Nearest Netflix Shipping Center" was from any given sorting facility.

    At any rate, I guarantee there is no Netflix bin at my local post office, since all mail (even local) is sorted at the P&DC located 50 miles away, and there is certainly no "Netflix truck" coming to that location to pick up discs to take to the home DC, which is 270 miles away. For further evidence, I would note that mail sent to the area of my home DC takes the same amount of time as any of my Netflix discs to reach that location---two days.

    I can't imagine any Netflix employee or anyone who knows how mail is processed in 2007 advising taking a black marker to a preadressed envelope in order to speed up delivery of that mail! Outside of the specific scenarios I outlined above, this would almost assuredly result in further -delays-, not improvements in delivery.


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