The Dark Side of Netflix

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Turnaround Time

Turnaround is the amount time it takes for your returned DVD to get from you to Netflix, Netflix’s processing time, plus the time it takes for the replacement DVD to arrive at your house.

For example, three-day turnaround = You mail Apocalypse Now to Netflix on Monday. Netflix acknowledges receipt of Apocalypse Now and mails out Bourne Supremacy on Tuesday. Bourne Supremacy arrives in your mailbox on Wednesday.


Anonymous said...

What you've describes is actually a 2-day turnaround. Monday to Wednesday is 2 days, not 3.

Editor said...

Dear Anonymous,

Your confusion is understandable, but even though the “Monday – Wednesday turnaround” example might appear to cover a period of roughly 48 hours, the turnaround is still classified as a three-day turnaround. This is because the turnaround period spans three different days: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Counting partial days in this manner is extremely common. Certainly, you have noticed that cruises, tours, package vacations, etc. almost always count both full and partial days in determining the length of an itinerary. The travel companies are not doing this solely to inflate their itineraries. Counting the full and partial days is just less confusing than calculating the actual hours of the vacation and then dividing the total hours by 24 to determine the number of days on the itinerary.

Declaring the “Monday – Wednesday turnaround” example to be two days is problematic for a variety of reasons. For example, what if you drop off a DVD at the post office at 8:00AM on Monday, but your replacement DVD does not arrive at your home until 4:00PM on Wednesday? This cannot be a two-day turnaround, because the actual time span is 56 hours. Similarly, there are scenarios where your turnaround could be considerably less than 48 hours. The common element in these scenarios would be that the time period would generally span Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Therefore, it is a three-day turnaround.

Thank you for your input. If you have any more questions on this topic, please post them here.

Anonymous said...

i agree it is actually 2 day turnaround. and

Editor said...

Dear Anonymous,

Turnaround is the most commonly misunderstood concept in DVD-by-mail discussions. Most Web sites do not define it, so people make up their own definitions. The confusion is widespread, so to avoid confusion, turnaround has been defined on this site.

Please carefully read the comments above yours. If you still wish to stick with your two-day turnaround opinion, then please explain how 56 hours spanning Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday can be only two days.

If you wish to disagree, that is fine, but you need to present some sort of logic to support your opinion.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

have you noticed that Netflix is not shipping any movies on Mondays anymore? If we return movies on Friday or Saturday to the Tacoma WA facility, our next movies will ship the following Tuesday instead of Monday (the day Netflix confirmed by email that they received the movies). It's been going on for months. Could it be because we are "heavy users"? I have three kids and they keep Netflix busy...:) our average usage is 6 movies/week.