Friday, February 10, 2006

Is Netflix Evil? If They Aren't Yet, They're Working On It

This is an article anyone who either has or is considering subscribing to Netflix needs to read. In January 2005, 4 months after a subscriber filed suit against them, Netflix admitted to systematically delaying shipment of movies to subscribers who rented more than 9 movies in a given month, even though all Netflix subscriptions are supposed to be (and advertised as) "unlimited" rentals, the only variable being the number of movies a user is paying to rent at one time. This practice is called "throttling", and I think this sucks. I always thought Blockbuster were the bad guys in the video rental market, using deceptive statements in their advertising to lure unsuspecting customers, like "no late fees" for example. Now, it's Netflix. Netflix says they do "throttling" to protect their profit margins, and that's fine, $0.78 an envelope can add up, but don't resort to deceptive advertising and say your rental plans provide "unlimited" DVD rentals.

Why does it seem like absolutely everyone on the planet is either lying outright or just shaving the inconvenient bits off of the truth? Anyway. Today is Friday and that is good news indeed. Have an awesome, truth-telling weekend.

19 comments:

blankfist said...

You know, I kinda figured something was up with them. I just thought they didn't stock as many new releases, because everytime I'd try to get one it would either say "Short Wait" or "Long Wait"... I didn't know it was business strategy. Did you read this guy's comparative study of Netflix accoutns? http://www.dvd-rent-test.dreamhost.com/

Interesting.

He shows that new members and infrequent renters have a better chance at getting the movies they want over someone who rents over a certain amount. If you're a new member or an infrequent renter, then when you add a new release to your queue its availability reads "NOW". Returning customers get "Short Waits" and excessive renters get "Long Wait" to "Very Long Wait", because Netflix wants to keep new customers and to really keep the infrequent renters happy with their service.

On a lighter note, Netflix actually has an area of their site where you can send in your film to be considered to be added to the netflix library. Check it out here: http://www.netflix.com/SubmitFilm

blankfist said...

No ready my blog, Crane. You no more ready.

blankfist said...

ready was supposed to be "readie"... as in you no longer read my--

ne'ermind.

blankfist said...

by the way, I didn't post that up twice - that's all on blogspot, dude.

blankfist said...

No ready my blog, Crane. You no more ready.

Speck said...

Its after midnight...Happy Bday Crane

blankfist said...

So that's where the 0211 in judgeholden0211 comes from... ah...

Gettin' old.

Nathan said...

hey, yes. Happy birthday.

full flavor johnny blaze said...

Happy B-Day, Crane.

This does suck, and if it weren't for my intense hatred of Blockbuster, I would have quit Netflix long ago.

The boys over at DVD Talk have been on to this throttling crap for a long time now.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/search.php?searchid=1068981

I've noticed how unless I perfectly time my returns for arrival at the Netflix distribution center on the Monday a new release comes out (meaning I ship the returns on Friday), I won't have a snowball's chance of getting that new release. It will be on "long wait" for months before they send it to me. When I was a new customer, they rushed out whatever movies were at the top of my queue, regardless of what days I returned my old ones. Now, something like 16 of my top 20 are on "wait".

The way to stick it to 'em when you have a lot on "wait" is to remove everything from your queue that isn't "waiting". Back 'em into a corner, force 'em to put up or shut up. If it weren't for such aggressive tactics, I STILL wouldn't have seen Fat Albert.

harwell said...

Yes, Happy Birthday. Enjoy the fact that though you're getting old, you'll never be as old as Heath.

blankfist said...

Unless I die, then I'd stop aging.

blankfist said...

Hey speck! Go here: http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=21712499&postID=113890209358704011

Funny times!

Nathan said...

Shawn,

"You'll never be as old as Heath."
Physically...maybe not. But Heath stopped aging, mentally, at around 11, when he first discovered toilet-papering houses.

My ass is still smarting from Heath's latest bloop.

Crane,
You have a good bday?

JudgeHolden said...

Yeah, I had a good birthday, and thanks for all the birfaday wishes. I turned 29 yesterday and in celebration, I bought a book (with a gift card) and my folks and Peggy's folks each took me out to gorge on rich foods I shouldn't be eating. It was fun. Now, onto the final year of my twenties.

blankfist said...

Soon to be 30, huh? Yeah, that's a magical time. I remember when you were eighteen and bright-eyed. I was, of course, forty-seven at that time, but um... you know what? I never thought it weird at the time, but looking back maybe an eighteen year old and a forty-seven year old shouldn't have been able to hang out.

On any account, I wanted to give you a very, very special birfday gift. I call this 'my impression of Crane'.

"Hey Peggy, I know you got school and all that, and that's probably taking up all your time and money, but how about buying me the first run hardbound of Stephen King's newest book. I had a tough day today blogging and reading and eating, and I think I deserve it. Also, speaking of eating, my belly ain't gonna fill itself, so why don't you use some of that financial aid and run down to the Piggly-Wiggly. Thanks."

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

blankfist said...

Oh yeah, and also... my blog is back up for the time being. It's no longer stuck on Zorro. Just FYI...

harwell said...

Ahh, Heath...I know it's so evil when you pick on Crane for not having a job and yet I can't help but find myself laughing out loud when I read it.

I'm the exact same way when I watch America's Funniest Home Videos. Which reminds me - Hey Crane, why don't you blog something about America's Funniest Home Videos? Either that, or maybe some more sandwich recipes. Come on, you're 29. You're not getting any younger. We NEED those blogs about A.F.H.V. and new sandwich recipes. And we need them NOW.

blankfist said...

Yeah, Harwell, they make me laugh as I type them. It's a guilty pleasure, for sure, but that's only because Milton thinks about it every night and day: http://spreadmystaplerandflyaway.ytmnd.com/

blankfist said...

ho-hum... crane inanities...