Netflix, Why Cause Me Grief?

I’ve been a faithful Netflix subscriber for almost three years now. I love the convenience of being able to set up a movie queue and have the movies I select sent directly to me, in the order that I wish, via snail mail. I’ve always disliked Blockbuster and their damn late fees so Netflix and its no late fee policy was a godsend for me.

All has been good, except for a few hiccups that I have experienced the last couple of weeks. First of all, there was that much publicized shipping debacle that affected Netflix and its huge base of, like myself, faithful subscribers. They ameliorated that problem by giving us a %15 percent discount on or monthly membership fees. That was all fine and dandy until the following happened.

You see, this summer one TV series has captivated me (well maybe two if you count Six Feet Under). That TV series is Showtime’s Dexter. It’s a great series, albeit a demented one, starring oddly enough, Six Feet Under’s Michael C. Hall. About two weeks ago I wrapped up watching Dexter Season 1 on DVD, DVD’s that I get shipped to me via Netflix. Nonetheless, even before I finished watching Season 1, I eagerly added Dexter Season 2 to my faithful Netflix queue.

Dexter Season 2 was released this past Tuesday, along with the plethora of new releases that stock store shelves on Tuesdays. In any case I eagerly awaited for discs 1, 2 and 3 (I have the 3 discs at a time deal) of Dexter in my mailbox, as I had situated those three discs at the top of my Netflix queue. So yesterday rolled along and I receive a fresh Netflix shipment as expected. To my utter dismay I discovered that Netflix had shipped me Dexter Season 2 disc 4 without even sending me discs 1, 2 or even 3 first! To make matters worse, I only received 2 of the 3 DVD’s that I was supposed to receive! The second disc was the movie Sidekick (which was below Dexter discs 1, 2, 3 and 4 in my queue). The third DVD that I was supposed to receive (which they said they were going to ship out this Friday) was pulled apparently because it is currently not available for shipment (even though they said it was available a just a few days ago) and I have yet to receive a third DVD!

To make matters even worse than they already are, Disc 1 of Dexter currently has a “very long wait” on my queue. Will I ever be able to watch Dexter Season 2 in episodic order via Netflix? Why even bother ship me Disc 4 of the season if I haven’t even received Disc 1 yet? Netflix, Netflix, Netflix, you guys should have some sort of algorithm to handle this issue or at the very least have a preference setting in which I can check off whether or not I would like to receive season discs, or multi-disc movies, in disc order or not.

End of rant.


  1. RodK says

    I have not had a significant problem with Netflix at all, and I recommend it when I can. I have not been the victim of throttling; only once or twice did I have to wait when a disk was sent from out of town; an annoyance, not much more. I am stuck on Dexter Season 2 Vol 2 “long wait” but I am free to watch something else, so I lowered it in my queue, no problem.

    But we also have an excellent public library with lots of discs available with a generous lending policy, so if nothing comes in the mail, I can still pick up something else for free, just gas, as the back up plan.

    The gripe I have is with the renting process generally. With 8.5 million Netflix users and about the same number of Blockbuster users, and with the libraries and all, I am wondering if the producers think it is a losing battle to put stuff out on discs at all if a just few thousand discs circulating amongst renters or borrowers is enough to satsify all of them.

    For reasons so far officially unknown, Season 4 out of 12 is the last NYPD Blue out there; Season 2 of 5 is the last Hill Street Blues; Season 1 of 5 is the last St. Elsewhere; no Thirtysomething at all; no LA Law at all. All of these are kinda sorta elite shows, for viewers smarter than the average bear; wonder if the producers think that their watchers aren’t the type to buy the disks, just rent and borrow, so not much money in it for the producers, so why bother?

    I also have a gripe with using disks. In the long run, this is not a green or economical solution to sending around movies; really should use flash drives that can be rewritten — can make more copies quicker on release, cheaper to mail around, smaller envelopes mean less garbage too, less breakage, and no pressure to sell used discs; there won’t be any. And that is still better than broadband and on-demand transmissions, people without broadband still get great results.