Netflix Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement Sucks

NetflixI’ve been a Netflix subscriber since 2001 and rented from them starting in 1999. When I received an e-mail about a Netflix class action lawsuit, I knew immediately what prompted it. They promised unlimited rentals but they wouldn’t ship out new DVDs until several days after the movie was returned to them, thus artificially limiting the number of movies you could rent in a month. They would claim issues with the US Postal Service, but I found it strange that the USPS would hold on to every Netflix movie sent to them for several days before delivering it. Of course, this was not the case and Netflix was falsely advertising their service.

I was a bit surprised by the settlement though. Only one month of rentals at one tier above your current plan. So I received the potential to watch an extra one or two movies, a $4 value based on their pricing, in exchange for them cheating me out of a couple of DVD rentals each month for the past 2 or so years. That just didn’t seem fair to me. So I did some searching and came across NetflixSettlementSucks.com. I’m not the only one upset about the settlement and the settlement was more unfair than I imagined. The 1-month-free-upgrade had be canceled by the customer after the first months or they would starting paying more each months. Also, the lawyers would be paid $2.5 million for the “great benefit” bestowed upon the poor customer. Great settlement for Netflix and the lawyers; not so great for the customers. But according to NetflixSettlementSucks.com, the offer is being revisited.

During 2005, I switched from a “2-at-a-time unlimited” plan to a “2-at-a-time max of 4 per month” plan. When I switched, I found it weird that if I sent in a movie on Monday, I would have a new movie of Thursday at the latest (providing I hadn’t already used my 4 rentals that month). Obviously, Netflix did not delay shipments with this plan because I could never rent more than 4 each month anyway. This was definitely not the case with the “unlimited” plan; a movie shipped on Monday wouldn’t be replaced until Tuesday of the following week. So, I guess I solved this problem myself by switching to a plan that states that the number of rentals is limited. However, I do feel that I should receive 1 free rental for each month I was on the unlimited plan, because it that is the minimum number of rentals I missed-out on each month.

Written by in: Entertainment,Home Theater | Last updated on: 2006-January-14 |

2 Comments »

  • Kyle Lucas says:

    I have a similar problem with netfil. I usually would return a movie on a Monday and would have a new movie by Wednesday. It worked like a charm until just this week I sent in my movie on monday and still have yet to reicieve on of those emails alerting me that they recieved my movies. I send emails and no one ever responds. Another problem I noticed is how I can never get any releases to be shipped to me. I put them on my que but the will always be tabbed long wait or very long wait. I ‘ve had new release on my ques for more than two months that I have yet seen. This is getting quite frustrating. Any suggestions?

  • Carlton Bale says:

    Kyle: It’s debatable if there is anything that helps the situations you’ve described. The first problem you mentioned is Netflix not acknowledging receiving a movie after a reasonable amount of time and/or them not really shipping a movie when they say they do. For this problem, I know some people will logon to their account and report the movies as LOST IN THE MAIL. Here is how to report a DVD being lost:

    • Go to http://www.netflix.com
    • Sign-in
    • Click the "your account" link in the upper right
    • Click the "Report Problem" link in the "Rental Activity" box
    • Click the "Report Problem" link next to the movie in question
    • Submit a report for either "The DVD hasn’t arrived" or "I returned the DVD (with or without the white sleeve) but Netflix hasn’t received it"

    As far as getting past the long waits for new releases, Shawn Morton (in his blog) suggests removing everything but the long wait movies. Personally, I’m not sure this works and I certainly wouldn’t want to reconstruct my queue, but you can give it a shot.

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