It took me several months to experience the poor customer service that Netflix is rumored to have for their older customers, especially those like me who tend to receive and return 3-5 movies per week. Since they pay for shipping both ways, at that rate, half the standard membership fee is eaten up in shipping cost alone. So, it makes sense to lengthen the turnaround time for movies to lower that overhead. Jericho however, got to experience their service (or lack thereof) first hand on his initial dealings with the company. While trying to set up the referrer plan membership, he encountered technical difficulties which were clearly on Netflix's end. After trying repeatedly to contact them, Netflix finally responded that the problem was on his end, and not with them. Again, after subsequent attempts to fix their technical problem and get guidance from the company, neither of which worked, he gave up. I'm no businesswoman but I know that's not the way to treat a potential client or business partner.
In order to get a better grade of service, they will frequently request that you upgrade your service; e.g. 5 DVD's for $30 or 8 for $40. Ummm.....no. Why give them more money to slow down more DVD's? In order for the upgrade to be worth it, you will still have to process a certain number of disks per month, which will cause the service to slow down again, but now you'll pay more for the priviledge. Moreover, if you see fewer than 5-7 movies per month (depending on your plan), you're paying more per movie than you would if you'd rented them at a store. There is an economy plan (4 disks per month for $13.95), but Netflix hardly ever promotes that. Many customers don't even know about it.
Will I stay with Netflix? I don't know. The service is becoming progressively and suspiciously slower and my movies are turning up MIA. I do like the selection, but that sole benefit is not enough to outweigh the downturn of service, especially when I know that they can do better. What Netflix needs, and I hear they are soon to be getting, is competition. Walmart is offering a mail order DVD rental service that is similar to Netflix, at a slightly lower price. (3 disks for $18.76 or 4 disks for $21.94), which may be a persuasive reason to switch. However, let me caution that it's still in its infancy and only has 7 shipping centers (Netflix has 20), but they could expand their shipping operations to their existing retail locations. Until then, Wal-Mart's limited shipping adds a considerable amount of wait time, and new releases are hard to come by (but they do have hentai anime). Blockbuster's answer is Film Caddy which charges $19.95, and ships from Arizona. They have little in the way of anime and only 1 rental plan.
Well, I don't know what my future with Netflix will be (especially if they try to charge me 30 bucks for a flick I returned (and didn't even like)). What I do know is that eventually their poor customer service will catch up with them, and with the prospective competition and dawning of electronic movie distribution, Netflix may just flicker off the net.
*Note: Netlfix did notify me that they received "A Man Apart". (It took 6 days to "arrive". The distribution center I returned it to is located 33 miles from my home). Czarina