Cyrus: Curious, your experience has been different than mine. I agree that there is occasionally a waiting period for the newest or most popular releases, but I keep from 15-20 DVD's in my rental queue, so there is always something arriving. I also make a point to notify Netflix when I have mailed an item back, and that seems to speed up the exchange process. I am not aware of any other service like Netflix. For those occasional times when I don't want to wait for a new release, I trot down to my local Hollywood Video and rent the new movie.
My experience with Netflix was the same as yours. I had a queue that contained 50 discs, but the only ones that were available were old 1980's vintage movies. All the current releases were long waits.
As a result, I ended up cancelling my membership. To bad too. The service was well thought out, and in the beginning, worked very well. But it didn't make sense to pay $35 a month for old movies.
I've since started renting them from my local supermarket (Albertson's). They have the latest releases, and best of all, only charge $1.99 each, and you have them for 3 days.
While you do have to make a trip to the market to return them, I'm usually there 3-4 times a week anyway. Now I get new releases the day they come out, rather than waiting 3-4 months. You might want to try a supermarket in your area. They're apparently not interested in making much money from the rentals, but use them as a way to get you into the store.
Ken, you've echoed my former membership exactly! I miss the convenience of Netflix deliveries, but their waiting period for current films is much too long. It's back to the rental store shuffle for me!
Long wait yeah but what about the quality of the discs, mine in the bay area were scratched to hell and back it was suprising that they even played. Good idea but they need better availability and a way to ship them other than a silk sleeve.
You're right about the condition. On several occassions I had to take a disc out of the player and wipe it in the hope of getting it to play properly. However, considering how many discs I played, this didn't happen too often.
I did however have problems with the postal service "losing" several of my discs. Either they didn't arrive, or were lost during the return. It always made me feel really bad that Netflix would think that it was me that was scamming them, rather than postal service employees swiping them. They need to start using generic packaging, rather than a bright label that says, "DVD, steal me".
I've had the same experiences with scratched discs, though there have only been a couple that didn't play perfectly. One lost disc (ultimately showed up), one broken disc. I don't have any of the problems people are describing with long waits for discs - occassionally I don't get my first choice the first time, but I regularly sign up for new releases and get them pretty quickly. My biggest complaint (and it's not a very big one) is that it clearly takes longer than it should to turn a disc around - if I watch a movie on Friday night, I should be able to mail it back and have a new one for the next Friday night, but it never works that fast. I think it's a great service and I'm out of the business of late fees, which is wonderful. -Kirk
Cyrus, you might want to check out the website dvdovernight. Very similar to NetFlix in that you order dvd's through the internet. Cost is $3.00 per dvd, for a one week rental period. Dvd's arrive and are returned in a pre-paid envelope. No monthly subscription fee service is available, though. Although I have registered as a member, I have not rented any dvd's from them yet, so I canot vouch for how long a wait there might be for current release dvd's. I have had excellent service with NetFlix. NetFlix dvd's arrive quickly, and have always been in good condition physically. I use the flat monthly fee service with NetFlix. Best regards, Chuck.
I too have had good luck so far with NetFlix, but I understand that its probably just a matter of time before something goes awry. I was initially drawn to them because of the unlimited viewing time, and I still find this one of their most compelling features. It often takes me a week or so to get a chance to watch what I have, and the convenience of simply having them around is very inviting. I generally go through 6 or 7 videos a month, so the $20 I pay is roughly comparable to the prices of the video stores in my area. I don't tend to order up the latest movies, so availability has been quite good with very few waits. I agree with the comments on quality of the disks however. I often receive disks that need a good cleaning before they'll play properly. I view this the same was as I do videos I rent that haven't been rewound -- an annoyance, but nothing to get too worked up over. I know that people's experience with them does vary, but so far I've been nothing but pleased with the service I’ve received.
Overall I agree with you on the Netflix service and model. My only real complaint, and it was a big one, was that all of the current releases were listed by Netflix as having either a "long wait" or "very long wait". While I too like to view the occassional classic flick, my main diet is current releases. I usually watch 16-20 per month, so you can see this would be a bigger problem for me than it is for you.
If Netflix could get more discs from the studios, it would be an unbeatable service. I'm hoping this will happen and then I can renew my membership. After being a member for 15 months, I hated to cancel. But they weren't suiting my needs at that point.
I work with a number of folks that prefer Indian movies and have mentioned their equal frustration with NetFlix. Virtually every movie is listed as long wait, and generally, regardless of how long they wait, they never receive any of the disks. Clearly, NetFlix is either being a little deceptive about the availability of the movies they carry, or perhaps the demand is simply too much for the size of their operation and waiting for a popular movie is unavoidable. My guess is that over time, they'll adopt the same policy that Blockbuster and Hollywood have -- to guarantee availability of first run movies, at the expense of stocking older flicks. Anyway, its still a relatively new business and I'm sure over time they'll fine tune things to improve the service.
The good news is that you can join and leave as desired without risking anything. I'm sure that as my movie queue runs out, I'll be thinking about the cost effectiveness of maintaining the service. For now though, it works well for my limited needs, so I continue to be a satisfied customer.