Why you want Netflix (or another DVD mail service)

There is a rumor that people are still driving to stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video to rent from an extremely limited selection of DVD's and paying 4 dollars per rental and then late fee's for returning them late.  For someone like me who has had Netflix for over 3 years now, it is hard to believe.  I can only assume the reason for such a choice is the misunderstanding or the lack of knowledge of what Netflix actually does.  

So hopefully I can tell you a little about mail order rental service, answer questions, dispel rumors, and get you to join what I feel is one of the top creations on the internet.   So come along and check out what Netflix is really all about.


Netflix, Inc.

Netflix, Blockbuster Online, and Intellflix pretty much work the same way, however I have only ever used Netflix, so most of this article will be able Netflix, but I will add in some information about the other two as well when I can.  

You have seen the commercials, and I am sure you kind of understand it.  You pick movies online, they send you those movies in the mail, you watch the movies, and then send back the movies in the pre-paid envelope.  It sounds weird, and like there could be a lot of gotcha's.  Like damaged DVD's.   We will go over everything step by step to help you understand everything a little better. 

First step pick movies online.
This is where you begin, there is so much going on a Netflix page, reviews, stars, the poster, friends, new releases, and all this stuff.  It is a lot to take in if you are just picking a movie to watch, and like most things online, there is a small amount of set up for big returns later.    The easiest way to get started is just type in the movie you are looking for in the search and once the movie is found click Add.  This will add it to your queue.  Now assuming you are signed up and are signed in you have rented your first movie.  Usually the next day (as long as it is not the weekend) your movie should be mailed out to you.  That is in a nutshell it.  Pretty easy right.  

300netflix.jpgI am sure you don't just want one movie however.  Depending on your account level (you can have from 1-8 movies out at a time) so you can just add away.  Keep looking for movies you want to add, and just keep clicking add.  This will build up your queue.  This is what I am talking about when I say Add to your queue in my movie reviews.  Another nice thing is you can even add movies not out on DVD yet to your queue.  Look up 300.  Haven't seen it in the theater and want to wait for it on DVD?  Click Save, and it will add it to your queue as soon as it is on DVD.   What about that one movie that you watched when you were 8 that have always wanted to see again, but Blockbuster doesn't have it.  See if Netflix does, they have over 70,000 titles.  Your local store carries a lot less than that.  Also they carry NC-17 films, and you can rent porn from Intelliflix for a little bit larger subscription fee.  

Now you have all these movies in your queue, but you don't want what is next to come next.  No problem, you can order your queue however you like.  There are buttons to put any movie at the top of your list, and you can always enter a number for which place you want a movie to appear in your queue.  Press Update Your Queue, and now your movies are in order.  You can keep adding and adding and each movie will be added to your queue, no more forgetting about that movie you wanted to see but slipped your mind.  I currently have 136 movies in my queue and 18 in my saved list.  

Step Two, Watch Movies.  
Usually within 1 day from when it was mailed you will receive your movies.  I say usually because depending on where you live, if there is a snow storm, or some other act of god or various other reasons you might not get your movie in 1 day.  However Netflix and the others try to have distribution centers in many major cities and areas so their coverage is 1 day, usually.  

So you will get this red, or orange or blue envelope (depending on your service) and in it is one DVD.  It really is amazing, there is no box, just a envelope and inside of that a sleve.  Open up the outer envelope and there is your DVD.  Now keep that envelope.  That is what you send back your DVD in.  So time to watch the movie.  But you are going out of town suddendly because your sister just told you she is getting married tomorrow and you have to be there.  What about the late fees.  There are no late fees.  I literally kept a copy of Schlinder's List for 5 months, before returning it.  No late fee, no e-mail asking where their movie was.  No problem what so ever.  So after your sister's wedding, you finally get down to watching a movie.  Watch it, and be amazed that you are actually watching that movie that no one else has heard of and your local store didn't have.

Step three, Return Movies.netflixenvelope.jpg
Take the DVD out of the DVD player, put it back in the sleve, put it in the envelope following the instructions on the envelope on how to seal it and drop it in the mailbox.  No stamps, no money, no nothing.  Easy.  This is literally it.  I am totally serious.  No money, no hassle.  I bring my movies to work and drop them in our outgoing mail.  

Step four, Rate and repeat. 
When Netflix gets your movie back in the mail, in about 1 day, they will mark your movie as received and send out your next movie on the list that afternoon.  Usually you will get an e-mail asking you to rate the movie you just watched.  You can click on the star rating based on if you liked it or not.  1-5, 5, you loved it and 1, you hated it.  As you rate movie movies, Netflix will start to get to know you and offer suggestions based on your ratings.  Liked Stranger Than Fiction like I did?  It will suggest, Finding Neverland and others.  You can find movies you never heard of.  Or just stick to what you added to the queue.  Netflix doesn't mind.  You do not even have to rate movies if you don't want to.  

This is about it as far as the process of renting, watching and returning movies goes.  Amazingly simple right?   Below I will get into some other things, like issues, and options. 

callofduty.jpgGames and Porn.
Intelliflix rents not only DVD's but games for all disk based systems and porn.  This service with games and porn is a bit more, but then it is your one stop shop for all you uber geeks out there.  And all you hip internet couples that want discreet rentals for your special movies.  Netflix and Blockbuster do not rent games or porn.  One more thing Intelliflix has is single rental choices, so you don't have to be part of a plan if you want to rent a game for a week.  There are details on their site for single rental options.  

Problem and resolutions.
I have had some damaged disks, lost disks in the mail, and a few things like this.  The resolution system with netflix is a dream.  They have an online form you fill out and can do everything online, without talking to anyone.  No questions asked, as long as you are not reporting problems every week, and they will send out your next movie the next day.  I have only had I think 3 disk problems in 3 years so that is pretty good odds.  

 What all this means is that you will have a better selection of movies, a cheaper price, and you never have to leave your house to get or return movies.  So if all of this sounds good to you check out either one.  You can click on the banners at the top or bottom.  At this time I think Intelliflix is having a deal where if you prepay for a year you can get it 3 DVD's out at a time for 11.92 which is cheaper than Netflix but you have to pay upfront.  I would check both out and see if you can find a plan that is right for you.  I love Netflix and wouldn't trade it for the world.   


Netflix, Inc.

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