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1063

Real Time Test of the Color Code System
Topic by: Silencio
Posted: January 4, 2012 - 10:58 AM PST
Last Reply: February 27, 2012 - 6:49 PM PST

page  1  2      prev | next
author topic: Real Time Test of the Color Code System
Silencio
post #1  on January 4, 2012 - 10:58 AM PST  
Greencine claims that their color coding system works.

Members know that it doesn't.

Since the only response from Greencine is copy & paste emails or tired "But it works!!" responses on this board, I am doing a real time test.

It it Wednesday Jan 4th. I just selected the film The Decameron which was ORANGE. I set that at #1 in my queue.

Now, in theory, I will get this movie next unless there are other Greencine members who have this movie on thier queue AS THEIR #1 CHOICE. The odds of this are extremely low as most people have never heard of this film.

One I get an available slot, I will wait to see if the system actually selects this movie for me.

After a week, I will swap out this #1 movie for another ORANGE or YELLOW title. The odds that this second title will also already be the #1 on another members list are abysmally low (it won't be a new release).

I'll keep cycling through the weeks with new films in the #1 slot.

Greencine's argument WHICH IS A LIE USED TO COVER UP A FLAWED BACKEND SYSTEM is that each and every time I pick a random obscure Orange or Yellow film, that film will miraculously be already #1 on someone else's list. Of course, this isn't possible so we'll finally have to open the discuss to what is really wrong here.

shiftless
post #2  on January 4, 2012 - 11:48 AM PST  
Have you considered that all copies of any given movie may be out for months/weeks at a time as people hang on to them out of inattention or whatever? I do think their catalog could use some cleaning up as far as inventory tracking/number of copies available but I don't think your test will prove anything.
Silencio
post #3  on January 4, 2012 - 11:53 AM PST  
> On January 4, 2012 - 11:48 AM PST shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Have you considered that all copies of any given movie may be out for months/weeks at a time as people hang on to them out of inattention or whatever? I do think their catalog could use some cleaning up as far as inventory tracking/number of copies available but I don't think your test will prove anything.
> ---------------------------------

Well, this test will go on for months. You are no making the absurd claim that there are 100 Orange Or Yellow movies on my list that not only are ALL #1 on other people's lists, but IN ADDITION are all currently checked out and just happen to not be being watched. Beyond doubtful. I am sure there are a few movies that are lost in limbo like that but there is plenty of circulation going on.
shiftless
post #4  on January 5, 2012 - 12:09 PM PST  
Yes, they are likely checked out. You think they are just sitting on a shelf and they don't send it out just to spite customers?

You have no idea what Greencine's customer base is in terms of numbers, or how many copies of these films are in their catalog. It's all guess work on your part. Your test, as it's set up, won't prove anything.

I do think it's possible that they do not have copies left of DVDs that they claim to have in their catalog, and their inventory is not accurate to what they actually have, but your test won't prove that one way or the other either.
Silencio
post #5  on January 5, 2012 - 1:27 PM PST  
> On January 5, 2012 - 12:09 PM PST shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Yes, they are likely checked out. You think they are just sitting on a shelf and they don't send it out just to spite customers?
>
> You have no idea what Greencine's customer base is in terms of numbers, or how many copies of these films are in their catalog. It's all guess work on your part. Your test, as it's set up, won't prove anything.
>
> I do think it's possible that they do not have copies left of DVDs that they claim to have in their catalog, and their inventory is not accurate to what they actually have, but your test won't prove that one way or the other either.
> ---------------------------------

Yes, I am sure that many are just sitting on a shelf. And no, I don't think it's out of spite, but out of negligence and reliance on a flawed DVD system.

I don't need to know how many members they have or how many copies. The odds are infinitesimally low that I will go for 3 months, changing my #1 each week and that EACH AND EVERY #1 just miraculously happens to be #1 on someone else's list or checked out by a person who ... well, what exactly, is your theory? That people take a DVD out and don't watch it for 5+ years and this is the case for hundreds of DVDs? NO. I have dozens upon dozens of films in my queue that have been the same exact color code for 5+ years. Heck, I think 8+ years now for some like The Celebration. This is due to the system not working, not due to hypothetical excuses you raise.

The fact is that is it a LIE that if you move a movie to the #1 slot and it happens to be in stock and no one else has it as #1 you will get it. I've tried this for years with so many films and it doesn't work. & no, I am not talking new releases.
shiftless
post #6  on January 5, 2012 - 3:10 PM PST  
I would say that the odds that are "infinitesimally low" is the chance that the DVD you have at #1 in your queue will miraculously come back to Greencine the same exact week that you have it at #1 in your queue. yes, I still think they're checked out (if they have copies at all I mean).

I'm currently requesting a review of several DVDs in my queue that have been there forever to see if they actually still have copies left in inventory. I previously asked before about 2-3 other titles that were in my queue for a long time, and the end result was that they did not have any copies left (they are still shown in the catalog as available though, which I find questionable). So I'm still going to go with that as my main theory as to why some discs never get sent.
Cinenaut
post #7  on January 5, 2012 - 4:04 PM PST  
Right, let's say GC bought one copy of a rare movie and some joker never returns it. Does the system have some way of alerting a human that the DVD has been out for a long time?
Silencio
post #8  on January 6, 2012 - 10:51 AM PST  
> On January 5, 2012 - 4:04 PM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Right, let's say GC bought one copy of a rare movie and some joker never returns it. Does the system have some way of alerting a human that the DVD has been out for a long time?
> ---------------------------------

Well, first off, I would think most of those movies become RED and I am leaving those out of the test.

It still is not an explaination. Sure, ok, maybe the movie I picked first (The Decameron) is a single copy and that copy is currently being used as a coaster by someone, never to return. But next week, I'll be picking The Celebration, which has been Yellow for 6 years or so. Now, maybe this dick is being used as a doorstop somewhere. But then the next week, I'll pick Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1974) which actually went GREEN a few months ago after sitting at ORANGE forever and then somehow slipped back to ORANGE a few days later after I moved it up in my queue to #1 (?).

You can see where this is going. The logic that any one single dick may be checked out by a joker and is not coming back works for a few dicks. In 3 months, I'll be up to a dozen films. The "lazy joker theory" begins to break down at this point. And a month or two after that it becomes absurd.

Hundreds of discs are NOT sitting on kitchen counters going unused AND in the top slot on various lists. You're assuming a huge number of Greencine members who simply pay the monthly fees and sit on multiple obscure movies for...well, years!

And shiftless, just let it go. My method is in NO WAY, miraculous, as you say. It is purely logical. Several threads on this board talk about how the color code system takes into account all the people who have requested a disk. The only way to trump it is the #1 position and ONLY that position. Each member can only have one #1 and the odds of any of these disks being #1 already are very low. The only other factor is that a disk is out. Assuming that most people do watch movies on a regular basis and return regularly it is probable that a disk will come back.

And finally, this is my first logged test. I've done this before on my own. I've put YELLOW/ORANGE/BLUE movies at the top of my queue for months before and they languish there. The odds that each time I do this and it never sends me that disk is infintessimally low. I've been on this site since 2005 (2004?) and never seen it work.

I'm calling NANS on the system.

Anyway, we'll see how this documented test goes off.
Cinenaut
post #9  on January 6, 2012 - 11:35 AM PST  
I wasn't trying to provide an explanation, I was just trying to figure out how a system like this might work.

I do get discs that are in my #1 slot, but it can take a long time and sometimes I have to contact GC before I get them, as Shiftless mentioned.
Silencio
post #10  on January 6, 2012 - 2:46 PM PST  
After I posted this, I realized what part of the problem probably is.

As noted in several threads on this board, it is only the #1 position that carries any clout. If it's not GREEN and it's not in the #1, it's basically invisible.

So let's take a random movie on my list that's ORANGE. "Fog of War" by Errol Morris (2003), which I have at #35. Now, let's go way out on a limb here and postulate that 5,000 Greencine members put this Oscar winner on their lists. Just a random number. Just shows that this movie is in high demand, which warrants the ORANGE color code.

And let's for the sake of argument, just say that this film has one copy and it was just returned today.

So now it comes back and is on the shelf.

And the SYSTEM takes a look out there. And there is no one who has this in their #1 slot. Lowest out there is #10 or so. Heck, many people have it at #100 or higher. They want to see it, but it's almost 10 years old and it's not top of mind.

So now the film is on the shelf. Just waiting.

Waiting for some random time where this film may accidentally shift to the #1 slot on one of the 5,000 users lists. But that isn't happening. So it's in Limbo. The SYSTEM won't find it, the SYSTEM won't proactively send it out and, for all intents and purposes, the film is just collecting dust on the shelf.

I have a feeling this is much more common than anyone thinks, specifically if the system described on the threads on this board is the actual system.

Otherwise, it is an excerise in futility. ORANGE or YELLOW means "Wow, you're so far down the list, you might as well not even bother!"


FGaipa
post #11  on January 6, 2012 - 2:48 PM PST  
Isn't the explanation obvious: GC is too small and cash-starved to stock discs in numbers that would support even their small clientele? I'm a prison librarian just beginning a third straight year with a collection development budget of zero. But I pickup and catalog public library castoffs by the hundreds, maybe thousands, every year. I'm able to do this because even the most budget-challenged public libraries buy dozens of backup copies of both best sellers and well-reviewed slow-sellers.

GC has been caught in a vicious circle for years. Too little income to maintain a viable collection. Too small a collection (in the very important sense of multiple copies) to attract a bigger income.

fg

> On January 4, 2012 - 10:58 AM PST Silencio wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Greencine claims that their color coding system works.
>
> Members know that it doesn't.
>
> Since the only response from Greencine is copy & paste emails or tired "But it works!!" responses on this board, I am doing a real time test.
>
> It it Wednesday Jan 4th. I just selected the film The Decameron which was ORANGE. I set that at #1 in my queue.
>
> Now, in theory, I will get this movie next unless there are other Greencine members who have this movie on thier queue AS THEIR #1 CHOICE. The odds of this are extremely low as most people have never heard of this film.
>
> One I get an available slot, I will wait to see if the system actually selects this movie for me.
>
> After a week, I will swap out this #1 movie for another ORANGE or YELLOW title. The odds that this second title will also already be the #1 on another members list are abysmally low (it won't be a new release).
>
> I'll keep cycling through the weeks with new films in the #1 slot.
>
> Greencine's argument WHICH IS A LIE USED TO COVER UP A FLAWED BACKEND SYSTEM is that each and every time I pick a random obscure Orange or Yellow film, that film will miraculously be already #1 on someone else's list. Of course, this isn't possible so we'll finally have to open the discuss to what is really wrong here.
>
>
> ---------------------------------

speakreflection
post #12  on January 6, 2012 - 8:56 PM PST  
I'd be interested in hearing the results of your test. Although I believe you'd be lacking a lot of information but maybe someone from greencine will take notice and maybe they will run their own test.
shiftless
post #13  on January 7, 2012 - 12:33 AM PST  
> On January 6, 2012 - 2:46 PM PST Silencio wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> As noted in several threads on this board, it is only the #1 position that carries any clout. If it's not GREEN and it's not in the #1, it's basically invisible.
> ---------------------------------

This is 100% false. I regularly get DVDs from somewhere in my top 100 that are yellow/orange/blue and even red on the rare occasion that are not at my #1 position. I can go for a few weeks sometime and only get greens that I keep at the very bottom of the top 100, but more likely I get a one or two yellows/oranges a week.

I try and make sure to sign up for new releases as soon as they are posted on Tuesdays though, and I generally don't put old movies I queued up into the top 100 until they've been on my list for a while, maybe that has more impact.

As for your test, you'll never know the exact reason why you didn't get a particular movie. It's all guess work and assumptions. My guess is that there aren't enough copies to go around.

Blumphf
post #14  on January 7, 2012 - 1:24 AM PST  

> I regularly get DVDs from somewhere in my top 100 that are yellow/orange/blue and even red on the rare occasion that are not at my #1 position. I can go for a few weeks sometime and only get greens that I keep at the very bottom of the top 100, but more likely I get a one or two yellows/oranges a week.
>
>
> As for your test, you'll never know the exact reason why you didn't get a particular movie. It's all guess work and assumptions. My guess is that there aren't enough copies to go around.
>

"I regularly get DVDs from somewhere in my top 100 that are yellow/orange/blue and even red on the rare occasion that are not at my #1 position."

REGULARLY? Really?

See, it's statements like this that make it so hard to gauge how the color-code system is exactly configured. In the whole time I've been a member on GC (about 2 1/2 years), I've gotten a handful of yellow/oranges that were above the greens in my queue--and that's not a good ratio. And in that whole time, I actually got 1 red title (yes, amazingly, it did happen..."I, A WOMAN").

I've tried keeping EVERY TITLE IN MY TOP 100 or so being blue/yellow/orange titles, and they have been still skipped over for green titles that are way down below 100 on the list.

A factor that is not being discussed here is what kind of membership everyone has...I have a 1 disc out at a time membership. Is it possible that's hindering getting rarer titles more frequently? I certainly know it's not helping. If I subscribed with a 2, 3, or more disc rental membership would I get better (more preferential treatment)?

And btw Silencio, I don't think your "test" will tell you much because you don't have access to enough criteria (which GC will not provide) to make an accurate conclusion, but I applaud you for at least trying.

And lastly, I just want vent one more time (if anyone has read any of my previous post)...I am absolutely PISSED that there even is a BLUE designation for certain titles, because this is a flat out lie! I've put a dozen titles in my top 20 that are BLUE and none of them have been sent to me for 3 or 4 months! BLUE is supposed to mean will be available VERY SOON, and especially if they are that high in my queue! The yellow/orange/red crap I know is iffy, but if something is BLUE, I expect to have it shipped within a few weeks, especially if I have it high in my queue.




kaream
post #15  on January 10, 2012 - 3:15 PM PST  
> On January 6, 2012 - 2:48 PM PST FGaipa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Isn't the explanation obvious: GC is too small and cash-starved to stock discs in numbers that would support even their small clientele?
>
> GC has been caught in a vicious circle for years. Too little income to maintain a viable collection. Too small a collection (in the very important sense of multiple copies) to attract a bigger income.
> fg
> ---------------------------------


Frank is right - this is undoubtedly the most basic problem.


> On January 4, 2012 - 11:48 AM PST shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Have you considered that all copies of any given movie may be out for months/weeks at a time as people hang on to them out of inattention or whatever? I do think their catalog could use some cleaning up as far as inventory tracking/number of copies available but I don't think your test will prove anything.
> ---------------------------------


I'm absolutely with shiftless on this. The people who post here on these boards are the conscientious ones, who watch their movies and send them back promptly. I have no doubt at all that many subscribers just "hang on to them out of inattention or whatever" - with probably the "whatever" including people just deciding to keep GC's copy of a hard-to-find movie.


> On January 5, 2012 - 4:04 PM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Right, let's say GC bought one copy of a rare movie and some joker never returns it. Does the system have some way of alerting a human that the DVD has been out for a long time?
> ---------------------------------


No, and that's another large part of the problem. From what I understand from underdog several years ago, sending out email reminders is actually contrary to GC policy. It's a stupid policy, but there you are. All I know is that neither underdog nor weezy are in any position to change it. Well, I don't know that, but it's pretty clear.


> On January 6, 2012 - 2:46 PM PST Silencio wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> As noted in several threads on this board, it is only the #1 position that carries any clout. If it's not GREEN and it's not in the #1, it's basically invisible.
>
> So let's take a random movie on my list that's ORANGE. "Fog of War" by Errol Morris (2003), which I have at #35. Now, let's go way out on a limb here and postulate that 5,000 Greencine members put this Oscar winner on their lists. Just a random number. Just shows that this movie is in high demand, which warrants the ORANGE color code.
>
> And let's for the sake of argument, just say that this film has one copy and it was just returned today.
>
> So now it comes back and is on the shelf.
>
> And the SYSTEM takes a look out there. And there is no one who has this in their #1 slot. Lowest out there is #10 or so. Heck, many people have it at #100 or higher. They want to see it, but it's almost 10 years old and it's not top of mind.
>
> So now the film is on the shelf. Just waiting.
> ---------------------------------


There are two different things here. First is how the system assigns discs to send. It has been explained several times that the computer first looks at everyone's #1 slot, and if a copy of the movie is in the warehouse it gets sent to the subscriber who has had it in their #1 slot the longest. Then it moves to everyone's #2 slot and repeats the process, etc, until it has worked its way through everyone's queue. If someone has a short queue with no greens, they may get no movie sent out at all. Now this may be wrong, but personally I see no reason not to take it on faith.

The second is the assumption that wanted movies just sit on the shelf. If computer assignment works as explained here, this can never happen. No, it's not outside the realm of possibility, but it seems awfully unlikely. Even if computer assignment does not work as described, it wouldn't make any sense. On the other hand, not everything GC does does make any sense. So there you are.

> On January 7, 2012 - 12:33 AM PST shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
I regularly get DVDs from somewhere in my top 100 that are yellow/orange/blue and even red on the rare occasion that are not at my #1 position. I can go for a few weeks sometime and only get greens that I keep at the very bottom of the top 100, but more likely I get a one or two yellows/oranges a week.
>
> As for your test, you'll never know the exact reason why you didn't get a particular movie. It's all guess work and assumptions. My guess is that there aren't enough copies to go around.
> ---------------------------------


I'm currently on 1-out, so I don't get as many as shiftless, but basically my experience is similar to his.

By far the bigger problem that I'm seeing now is with these terrible new mailers. On the one hand, when a mailer actually gets to where it's supposed to be going, shipping time in either direction is at least one or two days faster than it used to be, to or from Van Nuys. But on the other hand, something close to 1/4 of my shipments, divided about equally between outgoing and returns, are lost in the mail and never get delivered at all. I'm convinced the flimsy mailers are getting chewed up in the USPS sorting machines.

Except for the currently huge loss of discs in the mail, all these other problems have been going on for many years. People have been bitching about the color bars, and the zero "Customer Support", like clockwork, all this time. And it never changes.

My feeling is that without weezy to step in and take care of things, we would all be up some bad kind of creek without a paddle. She must have endless patience, to put up with all of GC's corporate ineptitude, and all of our endless complaints, while still managing to sound cheerful in mopping this stuff up.
kaream
post #16  on January 10, 2012 - 3:32 PM PST  
I forgot to say anything about inventory, which shiftless had also mentioned.

I have no idea how GC's inventory is actually done, but my guess has been that every disc might be retained in inventory unless and until it has been reported as lost. Or maybe they take inventory once a year, and strike off anything they haven't seen back in that time. The problem is that when a subscriber is just sitting on a disc, GC has no way of knowing when or whether it will ever show up again.

I feel sure this is the biggest problem with the color bars. But again, who knows? I strongly doubt there is any deliberate deception going on. For one thing, how can it possibly be to their advantage to be deceptive about availability?
Silencio
post #17  on January 11, 2012 - 10:50 AM PST  
> On January 10, 2012 - 3:32 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I forgot to say anything about inventory, which shiftless had also mentioned.
>
> I have no idea how GC's inventory is actually done, but my guess has been that every disc might be retained in inventory unless and until it has been reported as lost. Or maybe they take inventory once a year, and strike off anything they haven't seen back in that time. The problem is that when a subscriber is just sitting on a disc, GC has no way of knowing when or whether it will ever show up again.
>
> I feel sure this is the biggest problem with the color bars. But again, who knows? I strongly doubt there is any deliberate deception going on. For one thing, how can it possibly be to their advantage to be deceptive about availability?
> ---------------------------------

Your still not accounting for movies that are just sitting on the shelf because the system "logically" isn't sending them out.
GSavino1
post #18  on January 11, 2012 - 2:08 PM PST  
> On January 10, 2012 - 3:32 PM PST kaream wrote:

> I feel sure this is the biggest problem with the color bars. But again, who knows? I strongly doubt there is any deliberate deception going on. For one thing, how can it possibly be to their advantage to be deceptive about availability?
> ---------------------------------

I have also noticed that a movie in the blue position has been there for weeks. The customer service at Greencine evidently doesn't even care to respond to emails requiring a very simple answer, let alone complete lack of the courtesy to answer what should be a valued customer. I've sent about 10 over the course of the past month. Thinking I will never bother with them again. It's more than obvious to me by now they don't give two hoots about keeping me.
GSavino1
post #19  on January 11, 2012 - 5:15 PM PST  
> On January 11, 2012 - 2:08 PM PST GSavino1 wrote:
>
> I have also noticed that a movie in the blue position has been there for weeks. The customer service at Greencine evidently doesn't even care to respond to emails requiring a very simple answer, let alone complete lack of the courtesy to answer what should be a valued customer. I've sent about 10 over the course of the past month. Thinking I will never bother with them again. It's more than obvious to me by now they don't give two hoots about keeping me.
> ---------------------------------

I have to apologize as I just checked my email and saw yesterday I received a most helpful and accommodating reply from Greencine support. Please accept my apology for my previous nasty note.
Silencio
post #20  on January 11, 2012 - 8:39 PM PST  
> On January 11, 2012 - 5:15 PM PST GSavino1 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On January 11, 2012 - 2:08 PM PST GSavino1 wrote:
> >
> > I have also noticed that a movie in the blue position has been there for weeks. The customer service at Greencine evidently doesn't even care to respond to emails requiring a very simple answer, let alone complete lack of the courtesy to answer what should be a valued customer. I've sent about 10 over the course of the past month. Thinking I will never bother with them again. It's more than obvious to me by now they don't give two hoots about keeping me.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> I have to apologize as I just checked my email and saw yesterday I received a most helpful and accommodating reply from Greencine support. Please accept my apology for my previous nasty note.
>
> ---------------------------------

was it this brush off copy & paste thing which is neither helpful or accomodating which they have been shooting out for years?


"So here is how it works:

The color bar is an estimation based on how many copies we have when compared with demand. Then there is what we call a master queue for each title, which everyone who picks the movie (lets just say for example King Kong) gets inserted into. If ten people total have selected King Kong, and I was the 6th person to select it and place it in my queue, I would receive a copy after all 5 ahead of me have received theirs. This sounds simple, but when you take into account customers damaging and losing discs, and more often keeping them for extended periods of time, the wait periods can get a little skewed. Also, if I am 1st in line to get King Kong, but I also have other titles above it in my queue (say King Kong is 5th, and my top 4 are green), then I will be shipped the highest ranked available movie. The system examines the first 100 titles in queue, so what Id recommend is keeping low availability titles at the top (closer to 1) and leaving a lot of green titles within the 1-100 range. That way, when you are up to get that super rare Kurosawa flick, you have it higher up, and are thus shipped the rare movie, instead of the green title below it. Anything else I can help with?

Best Wishes,

Paul"

fact: this "explanation" only proves that it doesn't matter where the movie is on your list and heavily implies that many movies sit in limbo on the shelves constantly waiting for random people who may have lapsed to get the film

There's something rotten in the state of Denmark
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