Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dear Netflix

Dear Netflix,

I thought we had it all. I thought we had a mutual understanding that could only be classified as the best relationship in the history of the world. You did your thing and I did mine. You supplied me with DVDs and streaming movies and I watched them and cooked you dinner. Yes, sometimes your DVDs would be be a little scratched or a bit finger-printy, but the replacement usually fixed things (except for that one time I went through 3 replacement DVDs of Cloverfield before giving up.......).

After this weekend however, I'm thinking we need to call it quits. I was looking forward to the time we would be spending together. Long hours of laying in bed with you and all that you provided. Watching Tourist Trap, watching streaming movies, tickle fests, etc. But then when I opened my envelope with Tourist Trap I was appalled to find that the disc had been severed down the middle. A giant crack that was about 2 inches away from separating the DVD in two pieces. This is unacceptable. I've allowed past damaged DVDs to go but this crosses the line. How on earth does this evade someone's attention?

And then, when I call your attention to the problem you send me an email--the same email that I always get when something is damaged and this time it made me angry.

Sorry about that!
Dear Andre,

We hate it when that happens! Despite our best efforts, sometimes bad discs get out the door or good discs get damaged in transit. Unfortunately, that's what happened with Tourist Trap.

If you've requested a replacement, we'll send it to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, please send that unplayable disc back to us.

Thanks very much!

–The Netflix Team

I'm sorry, YOU hate it when that happens? Since when is it about you? This about me and the 55th time I've had to report a damaged or unplayable disc. You keep sending me these cookie cutter apologies and that's great and all but you're not listening to me! You keep making the same mistake over and over again and it's really busting my chops.

But you know what kills me the most? There's nowhere to complain about these foul shenanigans. You're just a black hole of movie titles and FAQ's about stupid things that don't matter. How about instead of a vacant apology, you offer me a free month of Netflix? How about instead of saying, "Broken disc? Oh shoot, sorry!" you say... "Let me send you two free ones" ? I don't pay 9 bucks a month to get ONE DVD that works when I should be getting 5.

As if that wasn't enough, I just now decided that it was finally time to watch Oldboy. I was excited, I was nervous and then.....dubbing happened. Yes, DUBBING. What kind of vile world do we live in where dubbing is the accepted method for comfortable moving watching? This is highly unacceptable and embarrassing. It caused me to turn the film off at once and put the actual DVD on my queue. I can only hope that when the DVD arrives, it isn't broken, scratched or covered in a layer of some 14 year old's grubby finger prints and/or semen.

Yes Netflix, I've had it up to here. Let me make it clear to you. The next time something like this happens, I'm taking my business elsewhere. So clean up your act, or you'll never get to have a tickle fest with me ever again.




Andrew said...

Perhaps it's your mailman? I've used Netflix for 6 years, at least 4 or 5 discs a week and have only encountered a damaged disc maybe 3 or 4 times, tops. Sorry about that!

Andre Dumas said...

Haha mayhaps Andrew. This is the only one that has been severely damaged. The rest are just a little cracked or smudged. Enough to not let it play in any of my DVD players. This is of course not counting the times my discs have played but "skipped over damaged disc" parts, luckily they always skip over the important things.

I mostly just get annoyed that there isn't a good way to complain about things. They don't offer options for "You suck" because they don't want to hear it. You can call and complain like my friend did, but nothing will come of it. Siiiiiigh.

matango said...

I think this is largely an artifact of the fact that persons such as ourselves like weird movies. There is little that can be done when there are only a couple of copies nationwide for a movie that was last printed in 2003.

Unfortunately, I expect it will get worse as Netflix winds down its physical collection and moves more and more to streaming. (Evidently, now more of the internet's bandwidth is used by Netflix streamers than P2P pirating at any given time. A lot, like 20% of the total usage.)

I don't know if you were using Netflix back when they were "throttling" (2005 and before). That was fucking annoying.

Where'd the captcha go?

Mikey Sarago said...

I used to have this problem when I used the Blockbuster service. Every damn disc was severely scratched, I tried renting Maniac about a thousand times and they repeatedly sent me the wrong movie (even after writing them twice) and one DVD was cracked down the middle as yours was. I eventually wrote them a very angry email and they gave me a month free (It probably just worked for me because I'm an Italian New Yorker and naturally very scary, lol). I've now been with Netflix for a few years now and haven't had any problems like that at all.

But regardless of the people at Netflix/Blockbuster not noticing the damage, I just don't understand how that kind of damage even happens in the first place. I've actually spent a good 5 minutes once trying to damage a DVD to see what would happen; I grabbed the bottom, used my nails, threw the disc across the room, rubbed it on a hardwood floor, etc....and nothing. Not a single scratch. This shit baffles me.

JohnBem said...

Andre, I'm very sorry to hear about your travails with Netflix. Just yesterday I was singing its praises to a group of friends. I've been a Netflix devotee for 5 years, getting about 7 or 8 disks a month, and I've only had playability and damage problems twice. I sympathize with your frustrations when faced with the facelessness of a large corporation. I hope things get better, and I certainly hope you don't receive any semen-crusted discs.

Andrew said...

My biggest problem these days is the slow decline of good, rare, old, or out of print genre titles. Hammer films, Italian horror, Anchor Bay, Blue Underground...these discs are becoming sparse. Thanks, thieves!

Anonymous said...

With the exception of "Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl" (stuck in one spot and had to fast forward to get things going again), I've never had any trouble with Netflix dvds.

As for dubbing in the Instant Watch; doesn't really bother me. Large part of my growing up was done during the 70's and foreign horror movies on TV were always dubbed. For me, coming across a dub movie nowadays brings up a strong sense of nostalgia.

The French Waffle said...

I completely sympathize. I only wanted to watch Suspiria but it came impossibly scratched and I didn't even get one of those cookie cutter apologies or a replacement disc. What tipped me over the edge and crawling back to Blockbuster, was the time they sent me a copy of my favorite movies of all time-The Seventh Seal. Bergman's masterpiece was dubbed, a crime against art and humanity. There wasn't even an option for the original language. Needless to say, I cancelled my subscription and we haven't talked since, Netflix can have custody of the children for all I care. Of course Netflix keeps sending me emails reminding me of all the good times we had all for only 8.99 a month, but that ship sailed long ago. And that is my break-up story.

Matt-suzaka said...

I've never had an issue with busted DVDs from Netflix, but I can see the frustration. As Andrew points out, it's probably your mailman and it might be something that you should report to the post office.

Then again, that might anger your mailman and he'll, in a spiteful retaliation move, pee all over you Sephora catalogs and Sears flyers. Nothing is grosser than mailman pee.

It is a bummer that some of the foreign films on instant are dubbed, though, not too many are. I know the technology isn't quite there for them to have a subs option, but in that case, they should offer the film in both subbed and dubbed. If they can have 300 episodes of The Cosby Show on one instant spot, they can do two versions of the same film, right?!

I have a copy of Tourist Trap and a few copies of Oldboy if you wanna come over and watch them. You can bring your cat.

Andre Dumas said...

It seems that some people get the crap DVDs and some people luck out. I get the crap!

And jeesh you guys it's not my mailman! It's obviously those evil Netflix people, breaking them on purpose! Plus, my mailman has changed at least 5 times in the past 2 years.

Matt I would come over if you lived closer or if teleportation could be invented in a timely manner!!

Rienna Incognita said...


CashBailey said...

Dubbing of foreign films is the devil.

Thomas Duke said...

Mail covered in semen IS THE WORST! That is NOT where that stuff belongs!

I've had maybe 5 or so busted/unplayable DVDs out of a bunch, so maybe I'm lucky or my mailman isn't a dickface (I avoid him so I wouldn't know).

The one annoying episode was when I ordered some obscure cult title (I think it was the Bollywood ripoff of Nightmare on Elm St, actually). So, some fuckface stole the DVD (it had just come out, so It's not like it was even rare) and just replaced it with a blank DVD with the movie title written on with a sharpie! So, I send Netflix an E-mail, ship it back, and wait for a replacement, and they ship me the same stupid DVD-R. So, I call Netflix, explain the situation, they tell me to mail it back...blah, blah, and I get the SAME disc back! Finally, I call again, lay down the beeswax, and the guy tells me to throw the disc away and just ship back the envelope. Finally, I get the stupid movie (and by stupid, I mean awesome). I hope Netflix took a shit on that guy's account.

I love the streaming because of all the rare titles. I accept the pan and scan and dubbing with the rare stuff because it was never put on DVD (or even VHS in some cases). I tend to use it for this or if they have something in HD, so it's not so bad for me.

Aren't you in the Boston-y area? Maybe you have frat retards using the DVDs as coasters for bottles of Killian's Irish Red and this destroys the discs. Assholes.

William Malmborg said...

This happened to me with the 1983 movie Scream. I was so curious to see it since no one ever talks about it, but everytime I got a copy it was either cracked down to the middle ring or broken in half completely. After this happened twice they told me to hang on to every disc while they sent me a new one, but it kept happening. Once I had all the discs I realized every crack was in the same place, which made me think it was a storage problem. My guess is they store these one on top of another and someone must have either dropped something on this stack or set something heavy on it, and never said anything. Whatever the issue I gave up on trying to see this movie.

Chris Hewson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

Shit, Oldboy is dubbed on the streaming version? I've been meaning to watch that too but I must say NO to the dubbing. Thanks for the tip!

Eddie said...

You go girl!

The Scream Queen said...

Maybe it's your distribution center? I've gotten three movies at a time for the last few years, and recently scaled back to two because so much is available on streaming. I've only received a couple of damaged DVDs over the years, and my DVDs come super-fast (I think because we're in NYC and the distribution center is just across the river in Queens)

However, the delay on new movies on Netflix is driving me NUTS! The 23 DAYS BEFORE NETFLIX commercials just taunt me endlessly.

Spooky Sean said...

It sounds like you are in an abusive relationship with Netflix. It might be best to distance yourself from Netflix for a while, you know, take a break.

Anonymous said...

To me the broken discs are far and few between. I have 2 DVD players running and the past month I have reported many that will not play on either player. Error codes pop up. Both machines sound as if they are about to take flight. Netflix throws the cracked ones away...but puts all the others damaged reported back in rotation. A small red ink dot on the bad DVD will prove this is true. This is a company without a face. I am very close to filing for divorce. I have no other recourse.

Anonymous said...

many times, damaged discs don't play because the firmware on the DVD player hasn't been updated