Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

14 August 2005

Dear Netflix,

My wife and I have been members of Netflix off and on for a few years, and have enjoyed your service. Since moving to Denver and starting up our account again, we really appreciate the fast service from your local distribution center. We also enjoy the very wide selection of independent and foreign films.

In the past year Netflix has shipped us a total of three DVDs that were cracked by the time they arrived here.

We really enjoy watching films at home and make quite an event out of it. It’s usually not until we sit down and have the popcorn popped that we open up the envelope to find that we won’t be watching a film tonight because the disc is cracked. Granted, this has happened only three times in a year, but it’s really disarming and a pretty big disappointment as we’re usually really looking forward to watching that disc.

I realize you can’t control how the USPS handles your mail. Damaged discs are going to be a fact of life with this distribution scheme.

I suggest two things you do. Both would really up the happiness of your users.

1. Design sturdier disc envelopes. While, the outer envelope could still stay paper, the tyvek sleeve that holds the actual disc should be sturdier. If it were a slim cardboard, that could lend to less disc damage.

2. Keep a list of those who have had disc problems. I know you do already, as you mention so on your site. For those who experienced more than three cracked discs in a year or less, send them a voucher to buy one of your previously viewed discs for free.

Sure, we realize you’re not at fault for the actual breaking of the discs, but you do decide how to package them. Any day of the week I can walk to either a Hollywood Video or a Blockbuster and rent at least something worth watching. I know that the disc I get will be good enough to watch that day. I choose not to, because I love the selection of Netflix, I enjoy building up a list of movies that I know I want to watch, and I despise browsing the aisles of those stores.

I am a Netflix fan. But I want to be taken care of by you guys. I want to feel like you’re not saving a buck on packaging at my expense and frustration. So, that’s why I’m giving you guys feedback.

Thanks!
Brian

P.S. Like any good web guy, I’m posting this letter on my weblog. Maybe some interesting comments will pop up there.