Netflix throttling rumor confirmed

May 8, 2005

dvd-caseMost anyone who cycles through a lot of Netflix rentals a month, already knows the faster you return DVD’s, the slower you’re next in queue titles ship out. Hacking Netflix.com has all but put the throttling rumor to rest, for those last few doubters.

The site dedicated to all things Netflix has posted an email submitted by a reader and in the last paragraph of the reply, it plainly states:

“In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service. As a result, those members who receive the most movies may experience next-day shipping and receive movies lower in their Queue more often than our other members.

By prioritizing in this way, we help assure a balanced experience for all our members. Those that rent a lot of movies get a great value and those with lighter viewing habits are able to count on our service to meet their limited needs.”

Again this should come as no shock to anyone who cycles through more than 2 or 3 movies a week, but previously I had received an almost contradictory email from NF customer support. I knew at the time I was getting fed the company line du jour. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe NF is within their rights to delve out movies slower to power users, I just never understood the (until now) secrecy behind the policy.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Home Theater


Comments

  • aaron23

    How would those “glazed-eye DVD-addicted slackers” hog your share of dvds when they would return them promptly.

  • aaron23

    How would those “glazed-eye DVD-addicted slackers” hog your share of dvds when they would return them promptly.

  • Dave

    Yes, Netflix has a new approach now. They don’t send regular users the new movies till way late and the movies they do fill, they fill them through Netflix outlets miles from your home. Example I wanted to see “Shooter” it showed available. I live in Northern Illinois and usually get one day service from their Suburban Chicago outlet. Now they have started to send me movies from San Hose, CA which I must return to California. This adds 3 days each way in mailing time and I can’t get near as many movies in per month. Netflix learned little from their loss in court. They simply have invented “ways around it”

  • Dave

    Yes, Netflix has a new approach now. They don’t send regular users the new movies till way late and the movies they do fill, they fill them through Netflix outlets miles from your home. Example I wanted to see “Shooter” it showed available. I live in Northern Illinois and usually get one day service from their Suburban Chicago outlet. Now they have started to send me movies from San Hose, CA which I must return to California. This adds 3 days each way in mailing time and I can’t get near as many movies in per month. Netflix learned little from their loss in court. They simply have invented “ways around it”

  • justMe

    Netflix is still throttling. I used to get 9 dvd’s a week from netflex for my first 3 months I had them. Now I get about 6 or 7 a week depending on their mood. This week, they didn’t send any of the new movies that came out, so now I am getting 3 movies on wednesday and I have to wait probably 2 months for the new releases to finally be available. Time to switch back to blockbuster for a few months, until they throttle me and then keep going back and forth.

  • justMe

    Netflix is still throttling. I used to get 9 dvd’s a week from netflex for my first 3 months I had them. Now I get about 6 or 7 a week depending on their mood. This week, they didn’t send any of the new movies that came out, so now I am getting 3 movies on wednesday and I have to wait probably 2 months for the new releases to finally be available. Time to switch back to blockbuster for a few months, until they throttle me and then keep going back and forth.

  • B.Greenway

    @ Richard Gailunas, I think you’re looking for http://www.netflix.com

  • B.Greenway

    @ Richard Gailunas, I think you’re looking for http://www.netflix.com

  • angy

    I don’t think this throttling is ingenious, because I was so worried they had lost the DVD in the mail! It is not only the frustration of waiting for your next DVD, it is also not knowing. So now after few days I go to the “report problem” section and declare that the DVD never arrived after 6 days they shipped it, and they have no other choice but send me another one.. and by the way, 5-7 days letter they send me an email saying that they *finally* received the DVD (…)

  • angy

    I don’t think this throttling is ingenious, because I was so worried they had lost the DVD in the mail! It is not only the frustration of waiting for your next DVD, it is also not knowing. So now after few days I go to the “report problem” section and declare that the DVD never arrived after 6 days they shipped it, and they have no other choice but send me another one.. and by the way, 5-7 days letter they send me an email saying that they *finally* received the DVD (…)

  • fmw

    My biggest problem with netflix is that from the moment i drop a return dvd into my local post office mail slot, until the moment i receive my crisp new movie takes 7 to 12 days. i thought i lived in the continental US, but i may not. With my two out at a time plan, i once saw 4 movies in one month. I did write netflix customer service asking them to change their advertising messaging from “in about a day…” to “in about two weeks you recieve your new movie…” They thanked me for my interest.

  • fmw

    My biggest problem with netflix is that from the moment i drop a return dvd into my local post office mail slot, until the moment i receive my crisp new movie takes 7 to 12 days. i thought i lived in the continental US, but i may not. With my two out at a time plan, i once saw 4 movies in one month. I did write netflix customer service asking them to change their advertising messaging from “in about a day…” to “in about two weeks you recieve your new movie…” They thanked me for my interest.

  • not annoyed

    I’ve been using Netflix for almost two years now, and I have no problem with it. I pay $18 a month, and over the last month alone, I got 16 movies. That works out to a little more than a dollar per movie. As hateful as some people may be towards Netflix, I can be patient and wait a day (rarely two) to get movies for 1/5 the cost of the local rental place. To restate that, I could only get 3 movies *a month* for the same price I pay to have 3 movies *at a time*. Where was all the whining before Netflix and others like it came around?

    “Unlimited” in can be expected not to be true, given that mail would limit that. I find that the limiting factor is not Netflix, but the fact that I have a job and school and it sometimes takes me a few days to even watch a movie I’ve receieved. But, of course, when you go around looking for anything and everything to be mad about, you’ll find things.

  • not annoyed

    I’ve been using Netflix for almost two years now, and I have no problem with it. I pay $18 a month, and over the last month alone, I got 16 movies. That works out to a little more than a dollar per movie. As hateful as some people may be towards Netflix, I can be patient and wait a day (rarely two) to get movies for 1/5 the cost of the local rental place. To restate that, I could only get 3 movies *a month* for the same price I pay to have 3 movies *at a time*. Where was all the whining before Netflix and others like it came around?

    “Unlimited” in can be expected not to be true, given that mail would limit that. I find that the limiting factor is not Netflix, but the fact that I have a job and school and it sometimes takes me a few days to even watch a movie I’ve receieved. But, of course, when you go around looking for anything and everything to be mad about, you’ll find things.

  • ruth

    like earlier commentators, i understand the need in terms of profit, for netflix to throttle and i would be willing to continue the $17.99 plan if netflix offered me at least 8 movies a month for that amount. it’s a great deal and they have a great selection.

    the annoying (and i think illegal) aspect of their behavior is their continued advertising of unlimited dvds. this is absolutely false and continues their bait and switch pre-settlement practices.

  • ruth

    like earlier commentators, i understand the need in terms of profit, for netflix to throttle and i would be willing to continue the $17.99 plan if netflix offered me at least 8 movies a month for that amount. it’s a great deal and they have a great selection.

    the annoying (and i think illegal) aspect of their behavior is their continued advertising of unlimited dvds. this is absolutely false and continues their bait and switch pre-settlement practices.

  • Richard Gailunas

    I’ve tried for at least 30 minutes to contact you in regard to a credit card change that is not listed in any of your categories. Don’t you have an e-mail address than would eliminate all the unnecessary hassles I’ve endured. Don’t cry when you try to bill me this month and can ‘t. I’ve tried to get through. Maybe I should drop you – one less problem.

  • Richard Gailunas

    I’ve tried for at least 30 minutes to contact you in regard to a credit card change that is not listed in any of your categories. Don’t you have an e-mail address than would eliminate all the unnecessary hassles I’ve endured. Don’t cry when you try to bill me this month and can ‘t. I’ve tried to get through. Maybe I should drop you – one less problem.

  • Floyd Vahalik

    What do I do to fight this?

  • Floyd Vahalik

    What do I do to fight this?

  • Lara

    I canceled my membership because I didn’t like the way I was being throttled. Today I got an email about the Chavez v. Netflix settlement because I was a member during that time. This really is stupid. The only winners are the layers who will get $2,528,000 and Netflix who has started a greedy marketing scheme. They’re giving people a free month of upgrades. Big deal- you know what though? If you don’t downgrade yourself after the month then you will be billed at the higher rate. Everyone should check out netflixsettlementsucks.com to get the real story and what you can do to stop this greedy company. Even if you like Netflix you’re going to get screwed by this. It’s a good idea to check it out and see what’s going on.

  • Lara

    I canceled my membership because I didn’t like the way I was being throttled. Today I got an email about the Chavez v. Netflix settlement because I was a member during that time. This really is stupid. The only winners are the layers who will get $2,528,000 and Netflix who has started a greedy marketing scheme. They’re giving people a free month of upgrades. Big deal- you know what though? If you don’t downgrade yourself after the month then you will be billed at the higher rate. Everyone should check out netflixsettlementsucks.com to get the real story and what you can do to stop this greedy company. Even if you like Netflix you’re going to get screwed by this. It’s a good idea to check it out and see what’s going on.

  • B.Greenway

    “likeimgoingtopostithere@nospam.com”

    My thoughts exactly. Odd how you don’t feel like posting your real email address, yet you took the liberty of linking your site, which has your email address on it……..

  • B.Greenway

    “likeimgoingtopostithere@nospam.com”

    My thoughts exactly. Odd how you don’t feel like posting your real email address, yet you took the liberty of linking your site, which has your email address on it……..

  • You all need to get lives. How the hell do you have time to watch that many movies? More seriously: the problem would be that if it weren’t for such policies, those of us who rent fewer movies (because we have, you know, things to do) would end up being shut out and have to wait longer, cuz all you glazed-eye DVD-addicted slackers would be hogging all the DVDs. As a great philosopher once sang, “you should really just relax.”

  • You all need to get lives. How the hell do you have time to watch that many movies? More seriously: the problem would be that if it weren’t for such policies, those of us who rent fewer movies (because we have, you know, things to do) would end up being shut out and have to wait longer, cuz all you glazed-eye DVD-addicted slackers would be hogging all the DVDs. As a great philosopher once sang, “you should really just relax.”

  • Zaferina

    Im a member of Lovefilm in the UK and they have started doing the same over the past few months. Their terms and conditions state:
    “We will do our best to get the discs you have requested to you as quickly as possible. However, we do operate a fair use policy that aims to ensure a balanced experience for all our members. This means that we give priority to members who don’t rent high numbers of discs from us. Therefore, members who rent the most discs from us might experience lower mailing priority. By allocating discs in this way we ensure a fair system for all LOVEFiLM members.”
    I understand why they do this but I don’t understand their attitude towards the higher tarrif members who are all of a sudden missing out on films and questioning this. We should have been informed in someway that the service was changing! Anyone had any luck joining twice with 2 lower tarrifs? Seriously, this could be a solution for those of us who wish to rent 3 or more films a week!??!

  • Zaferina

    Im a member of Lovefilm in the UK and they have started doing the same over the past few months. Their terms and conditions state:
    “We will do our best to get the discs you have requested to you as quickly as possible. However, we do operate a fair use policy that aims to ensure a balanced experience for all our members. This means that we give priority to members who don’t rent high numbers of discs from us. Therefore, members who rent the most discs from us might experience lower mailing priority. By allocating discs in this way we ensure a fair system for all LOVEFiLM members.”
    I understand why they do this but I don’t understand their attitude towards the higher tarrif members who are all of a sudden missing out on films and questioning this. We should have been informed in someway that the service was changing! Anyone had any luck joining twice with 2 lower tarrifs? Seriously, this could be a solution for those of us who wish to rent 3 or more films a week!??!

  • Herb

    I just closed my 3 out at a time account with Netflix. All I ever wanted was 12 per month. I tried to gage it so that they’d arrive on or just before the weekend but Netflix even found that to be too many and throttled that down to about 9 per month. Maybe they ought to just create a 12 per month plan at $2.00 each and get them out on time.

  • Herb

    I just closed my 3 out at a time account with Netflix. All I ever wanted was 12 per month. I tried to gage it so that they’d arrive on or just before the weekend but Netflix even found that to be too many and throttled that down to about 9 per month. Maybe they ought to just create a 12 per month plan at $2.00 each and get them out on time.

  • Cliff

    You have to admit that the throttling is ingenious. I moved up to 5 movies at a time becaues the 4 was not fast enough. Guess what? I’m paying 6 bucks more a month and I am getting less than when I did 4. My next idea is to try to get dual accounts kicking and do 6 at a time and see if the speed accelerates.

    It is total bullsh*t that they are doing this. I smell a class action lawsuit if they dont change their ways soon.

  • Cliff

    You have to admit that the throttling is ingenious. I moved up to 5 movies at a time becaues the 4 was not fast enough. Guess what? I’m paying 6 bucks more a month and I am getting less than when I did 4. My next idea is to try to get dual accounts kicking and do 6 at a time and see if the speed accelerates.

    It is total bullsh*t that they are doing this. I smell a class action lawsuit if they dont change their ways soon.

  • Jims

    NF needs to just stop the unlimited charade and say look, you can rent 3 movies at a time with a max rental of 12 movies, and I think the whining would stop (or at least it should). But throttling people while claiming they can have “unlimited” rentals is just flat out deceptive.

  • Jims

    NF needs to just stop the unlimited charade and say look, you can rent 3 movies at a time with a max rental of 12 movies, and I think the whining would stop (or at least it should). But throttling people while claiming they can have “unlimited” rentals is just flat out deceptive.

  • annoyed

    Netflix isn’t well within their rights to throttle users. They say unlimited rentals. They are liars. They need to drop the unlimited and spell out very clearly what the limits are, or raise prices to a more realistic level, where they can fulfill their promises to customers. Instead, they hide behind a secret policy. They’re despicable. I hope they one day have the integrity to tell us up front we are only allowed x rentals per month. Also, when a new billing cycle starts, customers should be treated equally. END THROTTLING NOW, NETFLIX!!!

  • annoyed

    Netflix isn’t well within their rights to throttle users. They say unlimited rentals. They are liars. They need to drop the unlimited and spell out very clearly what the limits are, or raise prices to a more realistic level, where they can fulfill their promises to customers. Instead, they hide behind a secret policy. They’re despicable. I hope they one day have the integrity to tell us up front we are only allowed x rentals per month. Also, when a new billing cycle starts, customers should be treated equally. END THROTTLING NOW, NETFLIX!!!