Monday, February 21, 2011

Going Postal

We were discussing movies with a friend of ours when she mentioned off-hand that odd thing recently happened regarding her Netflix DVD rental account. She watches a lot of movies so lots of DVD’s flow regularly through her mailbox.

She noted, when reviewing her online queue status, that when Netflix sent a DVD to her from their distribution center, it usually arrived in a day. However, oddly, when she return-mailed the DVD back to Netflix, it often took a week or so to arrive.

This went on for some time until one day she happened to meet her postal carrier on the front porch as he was delivering her mail. Being the inquisitive person that she is, she asked the carrier what, in his opinion, might cause this odd delivery discrepancy: one day to receive a DVD but often a week for it to transit the return mail?

“Oh, it shouldn’t take that long.” he explained. “They are very distinctive red envelopes; they get sorted immediately and go into a big bin that is delivered directly to Netflix.” She and the carrier briefly exchanged a few pleasantries then he continued on his route.

However, following that conversation, when she checked her Netflix queue online, ALL her return DVDs now began arriving back at the Netflix distribution in one day!

20 comments:

DJan said...

Hmmm. I stopped Netflix because several DVDs that I returned in my mailbox never made their way back to them. I figured somebody was lifting them out of my mailbox and so it wasn't worth it to me to keep the service when I couldn't control their return.

VERY interesting and not surprising about the mail carrier. Sigh.

Mary Witzl said...

It really pays to get to know your mail carrier. Not only do you let them know you're interested in their performance (which they appreciate, in all senses of the word), but the average mail carrier has more dirt on the people on his/her route than even the most enterprising gossip. Better to stay on their good side.

Antares Cryptos said...

While I like receiving pleasant things in the mail, I still prefer walking to a local store, browsing and picking up what I want to see immediately.
Talking to fellow film aficionados is a bonus.

secret agent woman said...

I got one of those pick-up slips once saying a package from my grandmother had arrived (it had her zip code on the slip, so I knew who it was from). It was right before Valentine's and contained the box of chocolates she always sent. Mysteriously, when I went to claim it, they denied lal knowledge and insisted the package had never arrived!

Robert the Skeptic said...

DJan Now you can "stream" them over your internet connection. I've tried it, a bit of a trick to get it though to the TV.

Mary Our carrier now feeds a huge metal box at the entrance to our neighborhood. I don't even know if our carrier is male or female.

Cryptos Those "store front" DVD places are becoming fewer and far-bwtween; the two in our area have closed for good. For us, mail is now the only viable option.

SecretAgent We once picked up a wedding gift from the post office; the box was crushed and there was a TIRE MARK across the top of it!! No damage claim because it has not been "insured". But that is the exception - I've always had excellent service from the USPS.

alwaysinthebackrow said...

For the most part the USPS has been wonderful. If you think of starting a system of delivering items 6 days a week to every individual address in the country.....what a concept! A law for it would not likely pass if it were to be decided these days. I also didn't realize that they will deliver almost anything upon which a label may be placed. Including items such as pumpkins....unboxed.

billy pilgrim said...

i guess the mailman has plenty of other netflix customers on his route to borrow movies from. still, it's not a job i'd want.

TechnoBabe said...

We watch the instant play movies on Netflix on large screen computer and we also get Netflix movies in the mail. We have not had the problem you describe in the post with the mail being slow to return the DVDs we watched.

Robert the Skeptic said...

BackRow I agree, it really is a remarkable task they accomplish every day. I have only once in my life had something lost in the mail, never make it to it's destination.

Billy Not a job I would want either.

TechnoBabe We have an old TV so we "can" hook the laptop to the TV but it is really a bother.

Antares Cryptos said...

Sadly, I know. I'm trying to keep the local ones open as long as I can.
Persistence is futile, but I know what will happen if a monopoly exists; prices go up.

My WV is "muzzle"...

Marylinn Kelly said...

So far, the coming and going of Netflix has been efficient. When my son was much younger, we spent way too many Friday afternoons at Blockbuster trying to find something appealing and way too many times they managed not to keep track of videos we returned. I am a strong advocate for local, independent business but there is not much available for DVD rentals.

Rain said...

We live in the country and get excellent service both ways on the netflix. I didn't expect it to be this fast but it makes the system we have, of one at a time but unlimited numbers in a month, work very satisfactorily. I have always thought it could be hijacked though and keep an eye on how well it works as if it didn't go smoothly, it'd be history.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Cryptos Alas, all the local rental places in our area have closed. It was inevitable.

Marylinn I prefer browsing the Netflix web site and look for films I am interested in than to wander aisles aimlessly looking at random box covers.

Wow, that was awkward said...

That is funny. Can you rent hardcore porn? Based on the return rate, you can figure out what kind of perv the mail carrier is. And maybe meet him at the box with gestures and comments laced with innuendo.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Awkward Netflix films can be rated "R", there is another service that mimics Netflix for adult films.

Kay Dennison said...

My Netflix videos are always sent and received in a timely fashion and I have great mail carriers. I guess that I'm lucky.

Stinkypaw said...

Funny coinkydink!

The Mother said...

I had my own little tussle with the post office, when they absolutely refused to issue a forwarding order for a doc who left the practice.

Got three different answers from three different people on the national hotline, none of which worked.

Finally, I went down to the post office personally, and spoke to a lowly mail carrier who happened to work a beat with lots of doctors on it. She straightened it out in minutes. Huh.

GutsyWriter said...

Wow, Now you have me wondering if I should NOT GET Netflix. I've told my husband we should as he buys the DVD's and often I hate the movie. Too expensive, but he loves to collect.

adrielleroyale said...

Hmmm somebody else gaining from her Netflix subscription?? That's kinda funny. Still, it always amazes me what a simple question and or communication can accomplish! :)