Monday, May 08, 2006

I'll Throttle Ya!

When I first joined Netflix a few months ago, I hadn't heard of "throttling." Now, however, I know too well what it is.

I joined Netflix mostly to rent episodes of TV shows on DVD. My local Hollywood Video has a very small selection of only the most popular shows. However, less trendy shows, like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Degrassi Junior High and The O.C. (I know! Go figure! I thought that was trendy!) aren't in their stock. So, after I joined, I gleefully filled up my queue with all the TV shows I've wanted to see.

At first, Netflix was bliss. No sooner than I returned a DVD, I got another one in the mail. However, after two months of that, Netflix began to "throttle" me.

First, they began by letting me know they received the DVD I sent back, however wouldn't be shipping my next one until later in the week. Then, they began sending me items in my queue out of order. Now they won't even acknowledge receipt of DVDs from me until the end of the week. (Since they have a distribution center here in Reno, any DVDs I send them on Friday or Saturday are processed as received on Monday. However, due to throttling, they won't even acknowledge the receipt until Thursday or Friday.)

Today is a prime example. They should've received Degrassi Junior High, Season 3 Disc 3 today in the mail. Oh, I'm sure they did. But, according to them, the DVD is still at my house. Because they now view me as a heavy renter, they won't ackonwledge receipt until at least Wednesday, but more likely Thursday (based on past performance). And it just makes me want to scream.

I'm not a heavy renter. I can't be, under my plan. In fact, there are few times that I would ever receive more than 9 DVDs a month. But, they feel as if I'm taking advantage of their plan, so they are making me wait for processing and sending.


Todd tells me to just quit, but again... it's better than I can get through the local neighborhood Hollywood, which doesn't carry most of what I want to watch, anyway. And while Blockbuster has a good plan (in store rentals free, as well as online for cost), they only have 30 distribution centers, which means that processing time will be much slower... not to mention that they also throttle their customers.

Greencine promises "no throttling," but their service is much more expensive and their inventory limited. They're one to watch - hopefully in time they'll get bigger - but for now, they just won't do.

In the meantime, I'll just continue to curse Netflix and greedily watch my Degrassi episodes as they're meted out to me in their Pony Express timeline.

I feel weak for putting up with their antics, but if I want to find out what happens to Spike and Wheels next, I've just got to buck up and deal.


Anonymous said...

I had same problem with Netflix I now use Blockbuster (no problems yet), which has a $9.99 offer if you go through this Xbox website:

Anonymous said...

I just had surgery and am laid up for 3 months on my back- the throttling is disgusting. I returned DVD's on Wed and Thurs, expecting a new DVD for the weekend, and they acknowledge receiving neither.
I am going to send the next one back with DELIVERY Confirmation from the post office and see when they actually receive it.