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February 17, 2006

Netflix and their customers don't care

I was given a gift subscription to Netflix during the holidays. I cannot say with all honesty that I've completely enjoyed this gift.

My queue is mostly filled with subtitled Hong Kong (martial arts/action/drama/comedy) movies. More often than not the DVDs I've received are so scratched that they skip to the point where the movie cannot be watched or is just not enjoyable to watch because it skips so often. When they're not scratched they're completely filthy and require heavy cleaning.

I've tried playing these scratched DVDs in multiple dedicated DVD players and also multiple computers with DVD drives and these DVDs continue to skip at the same exact points so its not a problem related to my individual player(s).

When you tell Netflix a disk is damaged you get a form email that reads as follows:

We're sorry to hear that [movie title] was unplayable. We go to great lengths to ensure the movies you get will play without any problems but occasionally a few get through our inspections, or are damaged in transit.

Please return the unplayable disc and if you've requested a replacement, we will ship it out as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Because of the number of problem DVDs I've received I don't believe Netflix is really inspecting them. In any case each and every DVD should be inspected, cleaned, AND tested before it goes back out. Period. Too many to do by hand? No reason why they cannot develop an automated system for it. The amount of damaged disks I've been receiving is just completely unacceptable and it shows a completely lack of care on their part.

But Netflix doesn't deserve all the blame in this. Obviously they're not dragging the DVDs across carpet for fun, using them as throwing stars in mock kung fu fights, or allowing a dog to use them as chew toys, but it sure seems some Netflix customers are!

If you're a Netflix customer you must remember that a DVD you receive from Netflix is BORROWED and should be treated with care. Other people will have to watch it after you. The DVD should not be thrown around for fun. Don't give them to children so they can finger print them up with candy and chocolate smudges or roll over them with a toy truck. DVDs should not even be placed on any surface out of its protective sleeve. I sure hope you wouldn't treat a DVD you've borrowed from a friend with so little care.

When you damage a DVD from Netflix you're just going to cost the company more money in the long run and any increased costs on their end will eventually cause them to increase their prices, thus costing you more. In essence when you damage a Netflix DVD you're taking money out of your own pocket! Please remember this the next time the red envelope arrives.

Posted in Movies, TV, & TiVo by usrbingeek at 2006-02-17 16:12 ET (GMT-5) | 1 Comments | Permalink


I've had the same problems. Netflix should 1) inspect rentals before they ship them out and 2) reimburse us for unplayable rentals. You might save yourself some grief by buying a SkipDr. It can remove scratches and let you watch your rental. The alternative is returning it to Netflix and waiting for them to send a "replacement." Is it really a replacement if it's not free?

Posted by: manuel villanueva at February 19, 2006 05:31 AM

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