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Have suggestions, criticism or praise for the GreenCine community? Post them here. Please maintain a sense of decorum here.
1063

Things Seem to Be Getting Better
Topic by: jnissel
Posted: August 1, 2007 - 11:59 AM PDT
Last Reply: August 8, 2007 - 5:41 PM PDT

page  1  2      prev | next
author topic: Things Seem to Be Getting Better
jnissel
post #1  on August 1, 2007 - 11:59 AM PDT  
Since I was very vocal about the problems I have experienced with GreenCine over the past few weeks I feel it is only fair to start this new thread since I see positive changes.

1. GreenCine acknowledged receiving a disc back four days after I mailed it (I'm on the east coast and normal times are three to four days each way). They also mailed the new disc out the same day.

2. GreenCine acknowledged receiving five discs three days after I mailed them. They also mailed four of the new discs the same day.

In case any of you are wondering why they didn't mail the fifth;

There was a fifth disc put in my shipped queue but then last evening it was removed. I was bewildered by this and was going to ask GreenCine for an explanation but before I could do so I received an email from them. The email said the following;

"You may have noticed that the title "*******" was listed as
"shipping" to you today, then taken out and and reinserted to the top of your queue. I apologize for the confusion. We did not realize there was a problem with the copy of your disc until the end of the shipping process today. The title's back at the top of your queue and you're first in line for the next available copy. The next available title in your queue will be shipped tomorrow. I do apologize if this caused an inconvenience. Thanks for your patience and understanding! Please let me know if I can further assist."

I was very surprised to receive it but it was a pleasant surprise.

Now I guess some could say that I have no proof that what GreenCine said is the truth and they might be using that to throttle but I don't believe either of those two things.

Since GreenCine appears to be making a real effort to get things straight I will give them the benefit of believing them.

I truly hope that the recent changes that I have experienced with GreenCine's turn-around time is, or will be, happening to the rest of you.

If your recent problems have gone, or are going, away let the rest of us know by posting it here.

My hat is off to the people at GreenCine. I have been proven incorrect in what I thought was happening and I have seldom been so happy at being proven wrong.
underdog
post #2  on August 1, 2007 - 5:43 PM PDT  
Thanks much, JN! If I wasn't so busy I'd post a lengthier response, but, really, there's not much more to say than... thanks for posting this - and mostly we're glad things are getting better! We think things can and will get better still, so we're still working behind the scenes, but, yeah, if anyone would like to report on improvements since last week, please do post 'em here!

Thanks again for your patience and your diligence.

Obliged,
CP and the rest of Team GC
jnissel
post #3  on August 2, 2007 - 5:31 AM PDT  
> On August 1, 2007 - 5:43 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Thanks much, JN! If I wasn't so busy I'd post a lengthier response, but, really, there's not much more to say than... thanks for posting this - and mostly we're glad things are getting better! We think things can and will get better still, so we're still working behind the scenes, but, yeah, if anyone would like to report on improvements since last week, please do post 'em here!
>
> Thanks again for your patience and your diligence.
>
> Obliged,
> CP and the rest of Team GC
> ---------------------------------

You're welcome, Underdog.

I want to add something that I failed to say in the first post in this thread.

I imagine it would have been easy for the GreenCine staff to move very slowly when it came to fixing things pertaining to my account, as a way to get back at me for being as vocal as I was. They instead "took the high road" and did not do that. That, in itself, has made me feel about GreenCine the way I had felt before the problems.

I know that there may be "blips" for a short while but I am more willing to be patient just because of how the GreenCine staff have handled me.
FGaipa
post #4  on August 2, 2007 - 2:47 PM PDT  
JN's experience may be isolated. The disk I sent from Oakland seven days ago, the 26th, hasn't reached Van Nuys. Nor has the one I sent on the 27th, or the one on the 28th. Either that or they've been at your Van Nuys plant for days, mired in processing.

A single disk might stray in the mails. Not three in succession. These are such slow times at the USPS, that Van Nuys is the more likely villian. Virtually nothing doesn't leave key USPS plants overnight. But the disk supposedly posted to me three days ago also has not arrived.

That's seven days and counting to Van Nuys, four days and counting from Van Nuys.

GC has my best wishes. But whatever is wrong, it's far from fixed.

fg

> On August 1, 2007 - 5:43 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Thanks much, JN! If I wasn't so busy I'd post a lengthier response, but, really, there's not much more to say than...
> Thanks again for your patience and your diligence.
>
> Obliged,
> CP and the rest of Team GC
> ---------------------------------

jnissel
post #5  on August 2, 2007 - 4:11 PM PDT  
> On August 2, 2007 - 2:47 PM PDT FGaipa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> JN's experience may be isolated. The disk I sent from Oakland seven days ago, the 26th, hasn't reached Van Nuys. Nor has the one I sent on the 27th, or the one on the 28th. Either that or they've been at your Van Nuys plant for days, mired in processing.
>
> A single disk might stray in the mails. Not three in succession. These are such slow times at the USPS, that Van Nuys is the more likely villian. Virtually nothing doesn't leave key USPS plants overnight. But the disk supposedly posted to me three days ago also has not arrived.
>
> That's seven days and counting to Van Nuys, four days and counting from Van Nuys.
>
> GC has my best wishes. But whatever is wrong, it's far from fixed.
>
> fg
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------

Did the discs you sent back have the new address? I remember that all of mine did. Maybe that accounts for it.
FGaipa
post #6  on August 2, 2007 - 4:27 PM PDT  
> On August 2, 2007 - 4:11 PM PDT jnissel wrote:
> Did the discs you sent back have the new address? I remember that all of mine did. Maybe that accounts for it.
> ---------------------------------

Yes, everything I've seen lately has the new address. You can't mean we have a new and an old Van Nuys address already???! If so, that might indicate some negotiation with either the Van Nuys plant or the USPS to exedite things.

Oops, now I see a couple did turn up received in Van Nuys today around 3 or 4pm, five and six days one way...

fg
jnissel
post #7  on August 2, 2007 - 5:51 PM PDT  
> On August 2, 2007 - 4:27 PM PDT FGaipa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On August 2, 2007 - 4:11 PM PDT jnissel wrote:
> > Did the discs you sent back have the new address? I remember that all of mine did. Maybe that accounts for it.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Yes, everything I've seen lately has the new address. You can't mean we have a new and an old Van Nuys address already???! If so, that might indicate some negotiation with either the Van Nuys plant or the USPS to exedite things.
>
> Oops, now I see a couple did turn up received in Van Nuys today around 3 or 4pm, five and six days one way...
>
> fg
> ---------------------------------

No, I didn't mean a new and an old Van Nuys address. I was referring to the original address. All of the discs that they received in 3 to 4 days from me (from the east coast) all had the Van Nuys address. the previous discs that took a long time to get back had the original address.
xiaoxiao
post #8  on August 2, 2007 - 6:51 PM PDT  
> On August 2, 2007 - 2:47 PM PDT FGaipa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> JN's experience may be isolated. The disk I sent from Oakland seven days ago, the 26th, hasn't reached Van Nuys. Nor has the one I sent on the 27th, or the one on the 28th. Either that or they've been at your Van Nuys plant for days, mired in processing.
>
> A single disk might stray in the mails. Not three in succession. These are such slow times at the USPS, that Van Nuys is the more likely villian. Virtually nothing doesn't leave key USPS plants overnight. But the disk supposedly posted to me three days ago also has not arrived.
>
> That's seven days and counting to Van Nuys, four days and counting from Van Nuys.
>
> GC has my best wishes. But whatever is wrong, it's far from fixed.
>
> fg

>
> ---------------------------------
I agree with fg that the problem has not been fixed. I also live in the Bay Area and the turn-around time has doubled from three to four days to eight days or more. Also, I think the date they post as shipping date is true but it doesn't get to the post office on time for same day shipping. I always check my queue and I know this has been said before that three weeks ago, the next disk has been received and shipped before 1 in the afternoon. Nowadays they release the disk to shipping around 4 pm so it adds one more day to the delay.

I think most subscribers should quit and then come back after a month or so or have a free month next month. If they still do not improve on their delivery it should be time to quit. This whole month I am getting only a third of what I used to get or maybe less. Contrary to what JN said, things are not improving.
jnissel
post #9  on August 2, 2007 - 10:15 PM PDT  
> On August 2, 2007 - 6:51 PM PDT xiaoxiao wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> I think most subscribers should quit and then come back after a month or so or have a free month next month. If they still do not improve on their delivery it should be time to quit. This whole month I am getting only a third of what I used to get or maybe less. Contrary to what JN said, things are not improving.
>
> ---------------------------------

I can only go by, and post about, what has happened to me over the last few days. I'm sure it's possible that something will happen again, and if it does I will let everyone know. For now though it seems that things are better.
NLee
post #10  on August 3, 2007 - 6:43 AM PDT  
Moral of the story: Good Things Come To Those Who Bitch!

In the past one week I sent back three dicsa. The one mailed on last Friday arrived Thursday (6 days). Two were mailed on Monday. One arrived Thursday (3 days). The other one is not yet received. So it is still not quite back to normal in my case.
janeskid
post #11  on August 3, 2007 - 7:16 AM PDT  
I read the letter from the staff. I saw forecasts that things would get better. I did not find any forecast as to when things would get better.

FGaipa
post #12  on August 3, 2007 - 10:44 AM PDT  
> On August 2, 2007 - 6:51 PM PDT xiaoxiao wrote:
> ---------------------------------
Nowadays they release the disk to shipping around 4 pm so it adds one more day to the delay.
>
> I think most subscribers should quit and then come back after a month or so or have a free month next month.
> ---------------------------------

That late posting of disks received suggests that they're waiting for delivery. GC should arrange to pick up the disks at the P.O. first thing in the morning.

If GC is already doing that and taking all day to process them, then the extra day delay is simply inept.

(I've been too lazy to even calculate the cost, but one strategy for Bay Area users might be to split a four-out into two two-outs, GC AND NF. Some nerd out there should write macro-like device that would search for an entire large GC cue in NF and the reverse.)

fg
Pluplat
post #13  on August 3, 2007 - 11:40 AM PDT  
in this one week of being a customer of NETFLIX, i've received more DVDs on the 4-out plan - which is the same price as GreenCine's 3-out plan - than i did all last month with GreenCine. That should say something...although i'll leave it up to the reader to determine what that says.
woozy
post #14  on August 3, 2007 - 1:00 PM PDT  
Loathe as I am to agree with Pluplat, it looks like things are getting better for everyone *except* folks in the Bay Area (and maybe it's only people in the east bay area). I recieved my last disk in fair, maybe even good, time but having returned it Mon, there's no sign of it being recieved.

Now, I'm not going to say that "there's no way mail can take four days" as I know damned well there are lots and lots of ways mail can take four days.

As I've made a point of being the civil and quit-your-bitchin one I'll continue my tradition of asking specific and direct questions for the sake of clarification.

1) Is GC aware that many of us from the East Bay are finding that our returns are taking more than four days? Does anyone have any ideas why this might be? Is Berkeley-Van Nuys a particularly inefficient route with lots of hubs? Can there be anyway to straighten it?

2) Could the problem be processing at the dist. center? Without revealing too many corporate secrets who often do films arrive and how do you sort and process them. Is there any reason why East Bay returns may be so late?

3)(personal curiosity) Is Van Nuys the only dist. center up and running? For those outside California and particularly those on the East Coast, what do your return envelopes say?

4) For GC members in LA, how are your turnarounds?
FGaipa
post #15  on August 3, 2007 - 1:51 PM PDT  
I often don't have time, this weekend especially, but I suggest everyone with a disk out four or more days in transit and not received, either direction, send a complaint to customer support. That's a separate email for each disk. This board may not have convinced them of the enormity of the problem or the extent to which it is concentrated in the Bay Area.

I work a the USPS East Bay hub and see nothing delaying first class mail. It heads sound the day it arrives here.

fg
GreenCineStaff
post #16  on August 3, 2007 - 2:41 PM PDT  
We're definitely aware of the situation with some lags still being experienced to and fro the Bay Area. The good news is - thank God almighty - we finally got our NEW ENVELOPES TODAY! Huzzah! {{Throw confetti}} That was the main reason for any processing delays. (And no more hand-stamping and labeling.) This alone will help us get the mail out much earlier. Again, thanks for your patience. Please keep monitoring this for us and, yes, do drop us a line at support@greencine.com if you continue to experience considerable delays after this point.

woozy
post #17  on August 3, 2007 - 2:51 PM PDT  
> On August 3, 2007 - 1:51 PM PDT FGaipa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I work a the USPS East Bay hub and see nothing delaying first class mail. It heads sound the day it arrives here.
>
Do you know details? I don't.

How does it work? What is the scale of operation.

1) The mail carrier picks up my mail at my house. Does he take it to the post office branch for my zip code (94702; one of fifteen or so zip codes for Berkeley)? Does he take it to the main branch for Berkeley? Or does he take it to the main branch of Oakland?

2) They sort it. How thouroughly do they sort it? Does every zip code get sent to its respective branch post office. Do they sort it to 100 or so main hubs? Top 10 main hubs? Do they sort it to local and non-local and ship all non-local to another hub? Which hub? Does that hub get it and work on it that night or does it take a day? Do they sort all local. Is Van Nuys local?

What I'm wondering is how long could it possibly take to get to Van Nuys. Suppose it goes like this 1) my mailman picks it up takes it to 94702. 2) p.o. sees it's non-local and sends it to S.F. 3) sf p.o. sees it's California but not SF so sends it to Sacramento 4) Sacramento sees its Southern California and sends it to LA. 5) LA sends it to Van Nuys 6) Van Nuys sorts and sends it to correct node 7) goes out for delivery.

Could any mail be sorted that "deep" and take that long. How "deep" mail sorting? It could be as "shallow" as "1" in which every zip/post office sorts all mail and ships directly to every other zip/post office. Or it could be near infinitely deep. Does being near a major post office, say SF, or Denver make one's route automatically "deep" while being in the middle of nowhere, say Denali Park, Alaska, automatically make one's route "deep". Is Berkeley "deep" or shallow? What about Van Nuys?
artifex
post #18  on August 3, 2007 - 5:35 PM PDT  
Good question, woozy. I remember when post offices had separate slots for "local" and "out of town" mail. I know pretty much everything in Dallas that doesn't route back out the same post office winds up at a central sorting facility. So taking it to that facility removes a step. On the other hand, I once took a NF mailer to the very post office handling the zip code for that NF warehouse, and it took an extra two days over the usual one day turnaround I usually got when dropping it off in my local box. So I wonder if local offices actually process mail coming in on trucks before processing mail from the local bin?
jnissel
post #19  on August 4, 2007 - 12:08 PM PDT  
Another update. A disc was checked-in about an hour ago and a new one was released to shipping at the same time. The disc took three days to get back to GreenCine.
FGaipa
post #20  on August 4, 2007 - 12:41 PM PDT  
> On August 3, 2007 - 2:51 PM PDT woozy wrote:

Some of this I'm going to have to nose around about at work, but top of my head:
> 1) The mail carrier picks up my mail at my house. Does he take it to the post office branch for my zip code (94702; one of fifteen or so zip codes for Berkeley)? Does he take it to the main branch for Berkeley? Or does he take it to the main branch of Oakland?

Oakland is the East Bay hub (renamed recently "Bay-Valley"). We have dispatches direct but by truck to the hub, whose name I forget but it could be Van Nuys, for zip codes 913-916. My work tour at Oakland begins 3pm just as the first trucks full of Berkeley collection mail are arriving. We send trucks direct from Oakland to Elmwood, UCB, Berkeley DDU (whatever that is), Berkeley Main, just as we do for Oakland stations. By 7pm all are back. Most mail including GC's new, but not its old, mailers is dumped into a sequence of automated devices that face, read, and sort it down at least to the hub level, that is 913-916. But I'm pretty sure it's a deeper sort than that. GC's volume so far is way too low to merit the dedicated holdouts, containers, and labeling that NF gets. (Last night I saw a jitney pulling three brim-full rolling containers of NF returns, maybe 150-200 envelopes per tray and 40 or more trays per container.)

I may have been mistaken that any first class mail (fcm) flies south. The truck South ("sound" up there was a wierd typo) leaves at 4am and arrives around noon or earlier.

> 2) They sort it. How thouroughly do they sort it? Does every zip code get sent to its respective branch post office. Do they sort it to 100 or so main hubs? Top 10 main hubs? Do they sort it to local and non-local and ship all non-local to another hub? Which hub? Does that hub get it and work on it that night or does it take a day? Do they sort all local. Is Van Nuys local?

This needs research. I'm a truck dispatcher/receiver. Never worked in automation. We have robot tray sorters now (super cool to watch them "think" before setting down a tray), but only for "junk" mail where our real profit is.
>
> What I'm wondering is how long could it possibly take to get to Van Nuys. Suppose it goes like this 1) my mailman picks it up takes it to 94702. 2) p.o. sees it's non-local and sends it to S.F. 3) sf p.o. sees it's California but not SF so sends it to Sacramento 4) Sacramento sees its Southern California and sends it to LA. 5) LA sends it to Van Nuys 6) Van Nuys sorts and sends it to correct node 7) goes out for delivery.

An Oakland driver picks it up from whichever Berkeley minihub I listed above. It never gets to SF. It's trucked from Oakland. If any fcm flies (as express mail would have to), I'm uncertain what qualifies. I've received running shoes via priority mail in one day from San Diego. No way unless they flew.
>
> Could any mail be sorted that "deep" and take that long. How "deep" mail sorting? It could be as "shallow" as "1" in which every zip/post office sorts all mail and ships directly to every other zip/post office. Or it could be near infinitely deep. Does being near a major post office, say SF, or Denver make one's route automatically "deep" while being in the middle of nowhere, say Denali Park, Alaska, automatically make one's route "deep". Is Berkeley "deep" or shallow? What about Van Nuys?
> ---------------------------------

Our techs can program virtually any cut. GC should harrass/negotiate with USPS customer service reps for special treatment. At a certain point a mailer's volume alone will generate consideration just because huge masses of identical items slow down other mail unless they're isolated. Short of that, any number of mailers with miniscule volume but "loud" voices have earned treatment way beyond what they pay: Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, Nichibei Times, Hokubei Mainichi, India West, etc., etc. It's not all unheard of for some nobody mailing a few dozen items a month, whether for a heroic cause or a knitting club, to receive years of unique attention just for a serendipitously placed complaint.

I've never seen a suit near tears, tearing through my plant with photocopies of a GC mailer, crying "What are these things? Why don't I know? Why aren't we expediting them?" But I've seen it for every other kind of trivia.

One way to speed disks outbound from Van Nuys to the Bay Area would be to send them via Expess Mail open-and-distribute packages. I not sure whether we offer the same with Priority. But either would be hugely expensive.

If GC's new mailers are anything like Blockbuster's, look for more problems. I've lost track long ago of all the Blockbuster remains I've seen in the debris swept out of trailers.

I have five job applications due Tuesday at SFPL. No way would I can trust even Express Mail. I'll have to hand-carry them the morning of a work day.

fg
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