Thursday, February 01, 2007

Longest Netflix turnaround?

Netflix Fan Elmer Gantry says he lives in Northeast Tennessee, and he has to wait 12 days for his Netflix discs to arrive. That's just wrong. I suspect that somewhere between his mailbox and Netflix, someone is "borrowing" them.


  1. Between a shipment from Hawaii and a holiday, I had to wait 8 days once. There was also a time I had to wait 8 days because the DVD I sent back was lost in the mail, but Netflix wouldn't send out a replacement until it's been missing for 6 days.

  2. Actually, that doesn't surprise me at all. I just joined Netflix, and I live in Knoxville, which is in Northeast Tennessee. It's a 7-8 turnaround for me from Duluth, GA, our nearest distribution center. There's a real good chance that if Elmer is any farther north or east than Knoxville, you can tack X number of days on to my 7-8 day turnaround for his.

    I really like Netflix's service and have been looking forward to being able to join (wife just finished college) for a while, but the turnaround is ridiculous.

  3. The longest I have had to wait is about a week...
    I live in Raleigh and the center is in Raleigh... but because I turn over my movies FAST and they know it... I think when they catch onto people like me, once in a while they conveniently STALL your next shipment. I have read about this and have seen class action lawsuits about it too.
    I sent my discs back yesterday morning and here it is the next day afternoon and they still havent posted. So... all i can assume is one of 2 things, they either have the day off, or they are stalling....
    I really cant complaint too loud. I have been with them for 3 years now and I have a phenominal collection of movies! *wink*
    I also use BB, but cancelling them cause they are too SLOW...

  4. Elmer here...

    More specifically, I live in Elizabethton, Tennesse (near the very northeastern tip of Tennessee), see

    and here is the cycle that I have been monitoring for my Netflix turnaround as I am a very recent member:

    1) signing up for my membership;

    2) placing the (now about 67) dvds in my queue;

    3) watching them over one late afternoon and evening (groan);

    4) dropping off the viewed dvd at local post office by 4:00 p.m. next day;

    5) checking email to see that Netflix has received my dvds;

    6) finally receiving email from Netflix that my dvds have been received;

    7) receiving email from Netflix that the next three dvd have been mailed, and;

    8) actually receiving the next three Netflix dvds in my mailbox.

    Aside from the obvious time lag, I am very pleased with the Netflix 70,000 dvd title selection that is available for me. As I am about 100 miles northeast of Knoxville, I would especially like to see Netflix locate a distribution center here in Elizabethton (or Northeast Tennessee) to speed up the distribution to this region of northeast Tennessee, western North Carolina, southeast Virginia, etc.

    From talking with local postal employees that I know, mail leaving from the Elizabethton post office (and in turn,the regional post office in Johnson City) is trucked directly to Knoxville the same night, so I am thinking that the problem is not on that leg of the trip.

    According to the Netflix MediaCenter web page, 90% of the Netflix customer base receives their dvds within one day of shipping --- while not my experience, the Netflix web site does not display any U.S. map that indicate in what part of the country that the unfortunate 10% of Netflix customers live.

    A Netflix customer service rep did give me one good piece of advice to speed delivery: take a black Sharpie marker to the Netflix return envelope, and cover over the return adress (p.o. box, city, state, zip) below the text line that reads "Nearest Netflix Shipping Facility" --- black it out.

    I have also noticed on the bottom right of the address side of the return envelop is a long string of verticle hack marks, probably a sorting code for the pre-printed address location that we can read on the envelope --- my next return envelope going out will have that covered up as well.

    I just do not yet understand why Netflix does not process the customers' queues and returns on Saturday as the USPS is open for the better part of the day...

  5. To be an ass, let me say, I lived in TN for 1.5 years and I'll just blame the Postal Service Workers for the delay because people in that state seemed to have no work ethic.

  6. The "verticle [sic] hack marks" referred to are actually the POSTNET bar code that the USPS uses to automatically sort mail. I do not understand why a Netflix representative would advise anyone to cross out the actual address (and certainly not a POSTNET bar code), on any return envelope since that makes the envelope non-automatable, and potentially undeliverable. At any rate, this would require hand-sorting or rerouting, which would almost assuredly cause a further delay in transit of the return disk. There is no way a machine, or even a human could automatically translate "Nearest Netflix Shipping Center" into a physical address. Because of the sheer volume of mail that the USPS handles, it is almost essential that every piece of mail be machine sortable.

    What most likely happens in those situations is that the otherwise undeliverable piece of mail gets sent to the postal facility where the Business Reply Permit is located--in the case of Netflix, this would be San Jose CA. But that would be even farther away from almost anywhere east of the Mississippi, and possibly even farther away from almost any other TN address than any other DC save for Seattle or Honolulu.

    If you wish to try the address obliteration, I would suggest doing it with one envelope containing one disk only and seeing what happens, but being prepared for an even longer delay or possibly even non-receipt by Netflix.

  7. I live in Knoxville and I usually get a movie every other day. Three days at the latest. I am on the 4 at a time plan.