Here’s how Netflix works:
Netflix actually appears to reuse the same paper sheath repeatedly, through coffee stains and even tears in the paper. There’s no external labeling as to what is inside, but there’s a slot on the big red netflix side for the barcode for the movie to show through. I noticed this after sealing my first, but from now on face it the other way. They even suggest that if I lose a sleeve or a mailer to either put two sleeves in one mailer, or two discs in one sleeve (if i’ve lost the other sleeve but not mailer, but who cares since i’m sending both in one mailer in one sleeve?).
They may or may not check the discs, I don’t really want to accidentally send them back a dvd-r at this point in time. I plan to eventually, once I’ve been a customer in good standing for a while. I hope to report back on that eventually.
Gamefly offers a feature called fast return, available in some post offices. I’ve mentioned this before (in the previous post) but now it’s time to detail HOW this works. Originally, since I get two games at a time (usually the same day) I would keep both the cardboard ‘protector’ and game sheath in the mailer, because there’s really no way to determine what’s right. What if I put the wrong game in the wrong bag and sent it back alone, keeping the other one for more gameplay? Fast Return would show I’ve returned the wrong game due to it being scanned in at the post office. To allay my questions as to how this works (a thing which they could do for netflix too, provided customers allign the barcode), I checked out the numbers on the top of the label. It appears that the number in the top far left is my customer ID, seeing as it’s the same on both packs. The number on the far right is the game ID, with the first 6 digits being the actual product id (http://www.gamefly.com/products/detail.asp?pid=XXXXXX). The numbers after that have quite a few leading zeros then another number, on both packs it’s 3 digits. I’m assuming this is “shipment number” for this game, so you can most likely tell how popular a game is by this number.
I recently rented a game which had come out the day before I ordered it and had it shipped to me. It too has a 3 digit number, but it is “100″. I am pretty confident in saying that numbering must therefore start at 100. Hence, Dave Chappelle’s UMD comedy is really popular.
Netflix could learn from gamefly with fast return, because netflix has to do this (for existing customers)
Day 1) Receive disc
Day 2) Ship disc (i honestly can’t believe this still, gamefly ships same day they recieve)
Day 3) The Postman Runneth
Day 4) Customer get’s disc
Day 5) Customer sends disc back with a chortle
Day 6) Postman Runneth
Day 7) Receive disc
If we start off on monday, you can get 4 discs a month on a 1 at a time unlimited plan, 8 on a 2 at a time unlimited (but 4 on the stupid two at a time 4 a month plan, this is just accellerated 1 at a time unlimited), so on and so forth. “Unlimited” my ass, they really do slow this shit down.
Gamefly (this is a recent experience)
Day 1) Customer sends disc back
Day 2) Gamefly acknowledges discs sent, sends more discs
Day 3) Postman Runneth
Day 4) Game played
Day 5) Game Returned
Day 6) Game return caught, sending more discs
instead of day six (and with gamefly, 7 and 8 too) being downtime, day 6 is used productively and actually gets to netflix’s day 7 and 8 in one fucking day, so you’re already on day 9 (or 3), on the 7th day! Gamefly, somehow, with it’s only one shipping center, has gotten a game back and to me faster than netflix.
Yeah guys, complain gamefly is slow again on a forum thread because they don’t do it “the netflix way”. Damn straight they don’t, and they’re worth the extra cash. I might just start renting more UMD movies becauase I get them faster than I get netflix movies.