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Author Topic: Netflix  (Read 1055 times)
Mofo Rising
Guest
« on: April 24, 2001, 02:53:14 AM »

Did anybody else notice the massive culling of rentable DVD's at Netflix?  I'm looking most specifically at their anime selections.  If you're like me, Netflix is the only place where you can view anime DVDs without purchasing them outright.  It's the main reason I subscribed to their service.

A quick search will show that there are currently no copies of COWBOY BEBOP available to rent.  One DVD of EVANGELION.  No TRIGUN past the first two DVDs.

Now if I wanted the latest blockbuster, of which they certainly have many copies, I'd go to Blockbuster.  I use Netflix because they have DVDs I would otherwise have no access to, besides the expensive practice of purchasing them.

Now don't get me wrong, I love the service, but they're cutting out the reason I use them in the first place.

Anyway, I'm just looking for commiseration.
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Ken Begg
Guest
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2001, 11:43:23 AM »

Yes, I have also noticed this worrying trend, although more in regards to B-Movie titles like Blood of Ghastly Horror and even the special edition disc of Battle Beyond the Stars. On the other end, I've noticed they haven't listed some Criterion titles like Rififi, adding to my fears.

I feel the same way you do.  I joined early, and as a vet of start-ups have been supportive of Netflix despite sharply rising fees and some cutbacks on service (you can no longer request that they immediately send your next title once you pop your latest return in the mail).  I understand that a new company has to make adjustments to become commerically viable, and have more or less shrugged off these developments.  

However, this new indication that they are foregoing marginal titles is much more serious.  I feel the same as Mofo -- I can get The Perfect Storm anywhere, should I want to. However, if I buy ten of the titles that MGM is releasing in August, I want to know I can access the other five through Netflix.  That's why I go with them.
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Matt
Guest
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2001, 12:52:12 PM »

I tried Netflix back in 1998 - I had a coupon for 10 free rentals when I purchased a DVD player. I liked the service and the selection, but I never really rented once my coupons were used up. I remeber that they had a amazing selection - even in 1998!

As for today, I understand that they went towards a monthly subscription based service, which most people enjoy. As for lowering thier selection, it happens; it appears that Netflix has given out a ton of promotion that involves free rentals and runs ad's on almost all websites that sell DVD players. Over time, your profit margin goes to hell and you need to make adjustments, thus find what is popular and buy a ton of it. I'm sure that Netflix believes that their business is based on the convience of having movies delivered to your home and no late charges. Then the selection of movies would follow suit. When Netflix first started, the selection was key to attract customers, now that the service has taken off (most people seem to like the service and use it quite often - at least the ones I've spoken to) it's time to become profitable. Sure, you can goto Blockbuster and pick up the lastest releasees, but why would you when you can order it on-line and have it delivered to your home for the the monthly charge?

If you love netflix, write to them and explain that you are disappointed with the decline of movie titles beyond mainstream blockbuster hits. Let them know what you want and let them understand this is why you used thier service. I'd tell them that I can use Blockbuster Video if Netflix only intends to carry "The Perfect Storm" - let them know that selection, not convience is the reason for your subscription! They should love to hear your comments - it's invaluable for a company to receive customer feedback. They will probly even give you a couple of free rentals. Also, write the letter - don't email it to them, it makes a difference!

Your have the purchasing power to control the selection of movies that Netflix offers - let them know that!
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Ken Begg
Guest
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2001, 02:28:47 PM »

Actually, as far as I can tell you almost *can't* e-mail them.  I've spent quite some time cruising their site looking for an appropriate e-mail address and have yet to find one.   While Matt is right that most companies love feedback, Netflix seems to be actively avoiding it.  Go anywhere on their site looking for a customer service address (electronic or snail) and you'll be directed to a FAQ.

I understand what Matt is saying, and agree with most of it, as I indicated in my prior note.  That's why, as I said, I never really minded the rate increases and the marginal service slack-off.  However, the drop-off in inventory *does* bother me.  If anything made me go with another company, that would be it.
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Mofo Rising
Guest
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2001, 03:17:27 PM »

Actually, if you go to the Customer Service section and click on one of the "Send an Email to Customer Service" options, and then click on "Send an Email" again, you'll be given a form for an email.

I had to do this the other day, when two of the movies I shipped back were apparently lost in the mail.  This was odd, since I sent them in a bundle of three and only one arrived.  What I got back was pretty much a form letter from one of the staffers stating that they hoped the movies showed up.  Contributing factor to a small inventory, I guess.

I looked around a little more and found their inventory statement which said that they would restock movies when "inventory conditions are right".  Let's hope that happens sooner, rather than later.  I imagine they're paying the same price for DVDs as we are, and not some sort of $100 fee like they have for videotapes.  They've indicated that niche markets are a big hit for the company in their Press Room statements, so I don't see why they'd want to shoot themselves in the foot by dropping them with low availability.

At any rate, I didn't find a suitable snail mail address.  Not unless you're looking for a job or are a member of the press.
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