Friday, August 22, 2008

Greatest Invention since the Internet!

So, Netflix has been a fantastic experience for us.  In the past 2 years, even though we have had 2 lost discs and 2 damaged discs, we have had about 100 discs in pristine condition.  4% failure rate...that's pretty good.  I don't have a 96% success rate with other experiences, so I am quite happy with Netflix.
For those of you that don't already indulge in netflix, here is the way it works.
You choose a plan (one disc at a time or more up to 8) and sign up with your credit card.  You get billed monthly.  
First, you go to their site and add the movies/tv shows that you are interested in to your "queue".  You can add as many movies as you want as often as you want.  Understand that seasons of tv shows are broken up into multiple discs, so LOST season 1 is 4 discs, not one. 
Depending on the number of discs you choose, in your plan you can expect to have that many at any one time.  So, say you choose 4 at a time, you get sent 4 discs with pre-paid return envelopes.  You watch the discs (at your leisure) and drop them in the mail when done.
There is a lag time between when the discs are returned to netflix and when new ones are sent to you.  In short, netflix doesn't ship or catalog on weekends or holidays, so their work week is Monday - Friday.  Also, if you are really attentive and watch all your 4 movies on Monday, ship them back on Tuesday, you can expect them to be cataloged and recorded by netflix on Wed or Thursday and a new movie dropped in the mail on Friday, with arrival on Sat or as late as Monday.
Occasionally, but not often, Netflix has "outages" or complications, but it is rare.
I have noticed (and my husband thinks I am nuts) that when you go through your discs quickly, netflix slows down and you get slower service.  In other words, even though they don't publicize it, I think that they have a maximum number of discs that they will send you over a given period of time... so even though you ordered 4 at a time, you might only be allotted 16 a month, rather than the expected "watch as many as you can at your own pace"...
Again, not that big a deal, as most times, we have discs waiting to be viewed, but on occasion we get on a run where we are hooked on a show-- LOST was one example and they couldn't send our discs fast enough...
But, overall, the plan is worth it for many reasons.  First off, I had a tendency to purchase discs, as some were cheap (under $5) and some were under $20.  But, the storage was an issue.  I am sick of storing a bunch of movies, especially if I am not crazy about them.
Also, with a little planning, I can order movies that I love to watch and re-watch.  Netflix allows you to view already ordered movies.  But, if there were movies or shows that I was curious about, but didn't want to commit to purchasing and owning or dealing with the hassle of the video store (the local one claims that all of our movies are returned late) then Netflix is the way to go.
I think it helps me to declutter and keep a cleaner house.
Here are just some of the netflix "winners" that we love and have been hooked on these series...
The Closer, Alias, LOST, Monk, JAG, NCIS, Dr. WHO, Star Trek Enterprise...
Funny thing, the whole "netflix" concept, paying a monthly rental fee and borrowing items has started all new businesses online renting  purses, jewelry etc.  Kind of interesting.
I think netflix has a great selection, prepaid shipping and reasonable rates.

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