So we’ve been customers of Netflix for a while now and always liked the service. In fact, we bumped our plan from the 3-at-a-time to the 5-at-a-time just because we were consistently not having movies for the weekend and were getting angry about it.
Now after having the 5-at-a-time for a little over a year I have to say that no matter how many movies you sign up for, from Netflix at a time, you will likely go long periods of time without movies due to Netflix throttling.
I first heard about Netflix throttling about 2 years ago when the big story broke and there was a lawsuit about it. It was a surprise to me because I had filed a complaint with my mail carrier due to the delays and Netflix had denied any involvement with the delays when I asked and mentioned I was filing a complaint with the US Post Office about the issue. The same thing is happening again, but worse this time.
As it turns out unless Netflix throttles you to the point that they are making $2/movie from you per rental, they will slow down delivery of movies to you until that number is at least $2, in most cases they will target the $3 mark. That means if you do the 3-at-a-time for $18/mo, Netflix will try and limit you to (18 / 3) 6 movie rentals that month. If you watch movies fast, say in week 1 you watch 3 movies on Friday and send them back, then you get all your replacements by Wednesday those are your 6 movies right there… at this point when you send back any of the next 3 movies, I guarantee you that there will be a gap of about 4 days before Netflix sends you a confirmation that they received your movie, then another day before they “Send” your new movies out, and that will take another 2-3 days to reach you… over all pushing you towards the end of your month and them towards their $3/rental mark.
I’m personally getting a little nuts over here because we pay for the 5-at-a-time plan, and it has been a week since I sent back 2 movies we watched last weekend (last Saturday) and I still haven’t received confirmation for them because we have been watching a lot of movies and Netflix is just sitting on them. I am sure I will get confirmation Monday and then 1 or 2 movies sent back, but at this point we have been completely without a single movie for 4 days, just sitting on our hands with nothing to watch. Please tell me again why I’m paying so much to sit on my hands?
Here are some other links to great stories about Netflix’s bullshit:
- Throttling Revisited
- Netflix Customer Support on Throttling
- Netflix throttling?
- My Opinions on Netflix
- Tip for beating Netflix throttle
And if that isn’t enough reading, 88k Google search results will yield some more on the topic…
Update #1: Netflix is another wonderful company that doesn’t invest in customer support, according to Wikipedia, during a 60-minutes interview the CEO was asked to find a phone number to call on the site, and there wasn’t one. So one has been added, but is an automated system. It seems you can get a human on the phone, so here it is: 888-638-3549 (Press 0 for a human operator)
Update #2: Ok so to fair and admit that I suck, I updated my rentals to 8-at-a-time just so I could watch my goddamn movies at a rate I would want to watch them. That means I can rent $48 / 3 = 16 movies a month now and actually receive them instead of being told horse-shit quotes from the Queue or them simply holding my movies for a week and acting like they didn’t get them.
Ultimately what made my decision is when I don’t get my movies, I literally start steaming from the ears at the system and how goddamn frustrating it is. So to get my blood pressure back down, I pay an extra $20/mo… who cares.