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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Netflix Punishes Frequent Renters

Netflix, the online DVD rental company, has been caught “throttling” accounts of frequent renters. Throttling is the practice of giving preferential treatment to low-volume renters over high-volume customers.

This is a classic insurance company style move, in that the less Netflix (or insurance companies) have to do what they are paid to do, the more profit they get. Profits over customer service!

As a Netflix customer myself, I found out long ago that there are ways to game the system to my own advantage, getting as many movies as possible each month. Obviously I was not the only one gaming the system in such a way so Netflix has taken measures to prevent, or at least slow down, such manipulations.

My issue with the practice is not so much in the fact that, as a frequent renter, I’m pushed to the back of the list for new releases, that much makes sense. What bothers me is that DVD shipments are often being deliberately delayed. Netflix boasts a one-day shipment for many areas, including my own. I often see that a DVD is being held for shipping the next day, when it clearly can go out the same day. On the surface, this appears to be a good-faith violation of their claims. If a movie is available, it should be shipped, not held because the person rents “too frequently”.

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