Smooth Move

I got an email this morning about a proposed settlement in a class action suit against Netflix

Here’s the brief summary of the suit:

A class action lawsuit entitled Chavez v. Netflix, Inc. was filed in San Francisco Superior Court (case number CGC-04-434884) on September 23, 2004.  The lawsuit alleges that Netflix failed to provide “unlimited” DVD rentals and “one day delivery” as promised in its marketing materials.  Netflix has denied any wrongdoing or liability.  The parties have reached a settlement that they believe is in the best interests of the company and its subscribers.

I don’t recall being offered “one day delivery” in any marketing materials, but then I joined in December of last year, so perhaps they had stopped advertisting this by then.  As for the issue of “unlimited” rentals, I have seen a lot of carping about supposed “capping” in the comments section of various articles posted at Hacking Netflix.  I’ve never experienced it, but then I’m not someone who watches three movies in one or two days and then sends them back.  Supposedly, if you watch all your movies quickly, they will put some sort of unofficial, super-seekrit™, cap on your account that causes weird delays in shipping and causes normally available movies at the top of your queue to suddenly move to “long wait” status.  The rationale given is that it supposedly causes them a lot of churn and they can’t make money if you constantly turn around your rentals.

What I find interesting is that the “remedy” for class members is a free month of upgraded service.  The smooth move on Netflix’s part is that you automatically continue on the upgraded service at the higher price if you don’t manually cancel it. 

Of course, it’s not like this really makes a difference to me.  I think I’m just going to ignore the whole thing and continue with my current 3-at-a-time subscription.  Given my schedule lately, I’m probably the kind of customer they love.  It sometimes takes me a month to work through three movies.  Perhaps that’s why I sometimes get next-day service…

1 Comment

  1. Kevin White says:

    I got that today as well. I think I’ll ignore it. I’m on the not-cost-effective one DVD at a time plan (I think it’s $10/month) and it’s just about right for me. I had the three at a time plan and found that I wasn’t enjoying having three DVDs I “needed” to watch sitting around. One is enough.