Netflix, is it worth it?
I was initially skeptical of mail order DVDs. However, my local DVD rental choices are limited — I live in rural area — and expensive. Netflix was offering a free trial, so I joined. I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised.
The Web Site
Netflix’s Web site is cleanly designed and easy to navigate. It has a queue that you use to list the DVDs you want to see; when you send one back, the next DVD in the queue is promptly sent. The site also recommends DVDs you might want to see based on your past choices and a survey of your viewing tastes. It’s surprisingly accurate. I have no complaints about the site at all.
I’ve been pleased by the quality of the DVDs I’ve received. Except for one munched in the mail by the post office, they’ve all played. If one doesn’t play, Netflix will replace it — promptly.
Customer service is excellent. I’ve twice had to contact Netflix, once because a DVD was cracked (damaged in the mail) and once because I received an envelope with no DVD in it. The latter incident was a post office issue; the envelope was torn in transit. Both times Netflix replaced the DVD without question, promptly, and I was not held responsible for the damage or the missing DVD. Netflix also responds to e-mails quickly, though the process for reporting a damaged DVD is automated.
Great selection. It sure beats my local options! Everything I have searched for that is available in the US they’ve had in stock. This has included a few reasonably obscure anime titles, and old/classic movies, and, notably, TV shows. If something isn’t available on DVD yet you can put it on a waiting list and you will be notified when they get it.
Wow. In most cases, I've experienced a three day turnaround time — one day to mail a DVD back, one day for them to process it, and the third day the next DVD shows up in my mailbox. They send e-mails consistently notifying you of the progress of your order. I will say that they’ve got a distribution center in Phoenix, the closest big city to me, which no doubt helps the turnaround time. However, occasionally they’ve shipped DVDs from other cities; they still get here quickly.
The one complaint I have is with the packaging — they mail their DVDs in a bright red and somewhat flimsy envelope. It’s obvious what’s in it (it has the Netflix logo on it) and I worry about theft, particularly since I live in a rural area and my mailbox is at the end of my street. However, so far so good on that count.
In short, this is a company I really recommend for fans who, like me, have voracious appetites for DVDs and limited budgets. I will certainly be continuing my subscription with them -- it's a great way to obtain hard to find DVDs at a very reasonable cost.