The Dark Side of Netflix

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Netflix Favors Eliminating Saturday USPS Mail Delivery

On June 23, 2010, Netflix's Chief Service and DVD Operations Officer, Andrew Rendich spoke before a Congressional hearing in support of the United States Postal Service's desire to reduce mail service by eliminating Saturday deliveries.

This is a good time to ask what Netflix's priorities really are. Netflix is a company whose existence is largely based on residential mail delivery. Sure, some Netflix subscribers have moved to downloads, but millions of subscribers still receive all or most of their movies through the USPS. If Netflix was primarily concerned about meeting the needs of their customers, they would be horrified by the prospect of the USPS cutting back on delivery days. Instead, Netflix is actively supporting reductions in postal service.

Here is one likely reason why. If the USPS eliminates Saturday mail deliveries, average mail transit times are going to increase. It's simple. Under the proposed Monday through Friday delivery schedule, whatever mail you should have received on Saturday will arrive on the following Monday or later. Even worse, that DVD you watch on a Friday night will no longer be able to go out in the Saturday morning mail and get back to Netflix on Monday. Under the new plan, unless you go to a lot of extra trouble, Monday will be your first chance to mail that DVD back to Netflix. Who knows when Netflix will actually check in that DVD and send out a new one? If that new DVD does not happen to get to you by Friday, you will just have to wait until Monday to watch it. It will be a frustrating cycle.

This change will increase significantly the turnaround times on your account. Essentially, you will be paying the same monthly subscription fee, but you will be getting less DVDs per month. Here's the best part. Netflix gets to blame the whole reduction in service on a lazy, slow, and inefficient postal service. The elimination of Saturday delivery is a dream come true for Netflix. It is no wonder they are marching into DC and supporting the measure before Congress.


A Boy Named Muffin said...

Of course. This is exactly what I would have expected of them. Companies love to blame problems caused by them on sources they allegedly can't control. Right now, the excuse de jur is, "Unfortunately our policy prevents me from being allowed," as if they have no control over their policy. The best way to deal with this sort of bullshit is to talk to them the same way they talk to you just to show them how fake it sounds. And, in the incredibly likely even the person you're speaking to is too stupid to understand what's going on, you stop and say, "It's annoying how fake I sound when I use your script, isn't it?"

I even wrote a policy of mine just so I can blame said policy as if I have no control over whether or not I can do what they want. Article I of my policy (because this article could really benefit us all if we put it to use) is, "I don't need your service. Your service is nothing more than an expendable convenience for me. You claim you need my money. Prove it."

So, if you're still a Netflix member after this... Well, you can't say you didn't know they didn't work for you. They've been one giant red flag as long as I've been following them. They're the most obvious scam I've ever dealt with.

On a side note, all companies are scams really, but if you can talk to the peons who work for you rather than their boss, it would do you a world of good. Unfortunately, those peons are outnumbered by the other kind. Fortunately, I'm one of the good peons. I deliberately work for the customer despite (and sometimes in spite of) company policy. And, one day it'll get me fired, but until then, I'm here for you. Unfortunately, I don't work for Netflix.

A Boy Named Muffin, Wearing A Tiara said...

I saw an episode of Millionaire (I swear it was an accident), sponsored by Netflix. They gave a "free" year of Netflix subscription to the contestant, and also to the studio audience. You should do some research and write a story about how they screwed all those people by either not honouring the subscription or persuading them to give their credit card info for the "free" subscription.

14 august sms said...

Its really very great post.thanks for sharing the information.i like it very much.

Connect the Dots said...

Mail service IS going to be cut down, there is no doubt about it. The cause of this is not netflix. It is true that this will increase turn-around, but it increases other things we have to think about, like getting your bills paid on time, or that birthday card to your rich old uncle who still does not get email, but you don't want him to forget about you. Life is gonna get tougher. Learn to adjust. And if you don't like Netflix, or it is too expensive, don't get it. As someone else here said, it is a luxury. Luxuries are not rights. You don't like it, don't get it. We have much bigger problems coming at us.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Connect - How come the ultra rich in our country get to have luxuries beyond imagining while the rest of us have to get used to doing with less and less? Geez, so that Mr. Hedge Fund Manager or Mr. Major League Baseball star can get paid his millions (or, in a few cases, billions) but only gets taxed at best as much as someone who is supposedly rich with an income of $250 K. I'm tired of hearing about austerity for we, the people, who are the overwhelming majority of citizens of this country while the ultra rich get richer and richer and richer, pulling farther and farther away from all the rest of us with their wealth. And apologists like you are simply enablers for the downward spiral being visited upon the American people by the top 1% of the population. Get a clue.