Tom Sucks

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How gamefly and netflix work alike and differently March 24, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 8:08 am

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 ( 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.


10 Responses to “How gamefly and netflix work alike and differently”

  1. Jay Says:

    Netflix always gets my movie to me in 2 days from the time I mail them my movie, till next one arrives. Gamefly on the other hand takes 6-8 days which really sucks.

  2. Trevor Says:

    gamefly works great for me! check out my blog i have a some free trial links too!

  3. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  4. shaide Says:

    Actually, Netflix does do fast return, there was on 2 occasions they “Recieved” the movies the same day I mailed them, and mailed out the next 3 in the queue…I ended up getting 3 movies the day AFTER I mailed the first 3.

    I should also point out that Gamefly(At least for me) that gamefly is extremely slow. I mail the games and they get it in 2 days. At this point, things vary…In most cases, i end up waiting a week to get new games shipped to me, since they apparently don’t get very many games in stock. Occasionally, if i have some extremely old or last generation game titles in my queue they will send the game out the day AFTER recieving mine.

    I then get the games 2 days AFTER they mail it. Roughly, if they have games in stock, it’s a week turnaround. where as netflix on average for their movies is a 3 day turnaround.

    At least this is how it works for me. Everyone depending on where they are to a distribution center will get different results.

  5. austin Says:

    What if say If i used gamefly and already had a God of War game but it doesn’t work so i rent one from them and then send the one that doesn’t work to them and keep the one they gave me as a replacement will i get caught can they detect the difference between the same game discs?

  6. william Says:

    I think have fast it works just depends on how close you are to the shipping center.

  7. Haley Says:

    Tom, have you figured out more of GameFly’s inner workings since your original post in 2006? I believe the numbers following the zeros (after the game title I.D.) are actually the disk identification so they can track the average location and shipping frequency for any individual disk. So the numbers in the 100 range probably mean the game is new rather than popular (at least now that company has grown significantly since your post).

    I was wondering if you had any ideas about the three letter code that started appearing on the shipping label above the shipping center address. My games are sent from the Pittsburg distribution center and after excessive delay (I ended up having to report one game missing because it had been 7 business days since their system showed they shipped it) I received three games at once. Surprisingly one of the three was the ‘missing’ game along with the replacement copy I think the customer service agent personally mailed when I called to complain. Of the two copies, one has the ‘BOS’ code (white letters on a black background) and one does not. The other game that I received that day also has the code which lead me to believe the one without was the game I believed was missing because it took so long to arrive.

    I’m just curious if you or anyone else had any ideas what this relatively new code could indicate?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to blog what you learn. ~Smart men learn from their mistakes, Wise men learn from the mistakes of others~

  8. aaron Says:

    i never had gamefly so far netflix i like only thing they dont have games and there plans are way cheaper

  9. aaron Says:

    i mean come on now 20 bucks for 3 movies thats a pretty good deal

  10. Fun gifts Says:

    Have you ever wondered the reason why in spite of advancement regarding games devices, straightforward flash-based arc cooking food games stay popular of many kids possess …games

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