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

Turnaround times getting unbearable
Topic by: gnohymmij
Posted: July 30, 2007 - 11:46 AM PDT
Last Reply: November 6, 2007 - 1:37 PM PST

page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  >>      prev | next
author topic: Turnaround times getting unbearable
FGaipa
post #161  on September 7, 2007 - 1:03 PM PDT  
Just spent an hour and a half tranfering 41 red and orange to NF after downgrading GC. Will see how NF performs with a cue composed exclusively of GC rarities.

Aside from a couple neither had (Satan Tango, Eureka Seven Vol 9 not out yet), only Evil Dead Trap director's earlier Angel Guts didn't search out at NF. But who can say whether GC really has it?

In the meantime, day five slips away for a disk crawling back to GC.

fg
Belgand
post #162  on September 7, 2007 - 2:52 PM PDT  
> On September 6, 2007 - 3:52 PM PDT weezy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On September 6, 2007 - 3:04 AM PDT Belgand wrote:
>
> > Finally, while much has been said, I'd be interested to learn what GreenCine is considering an acceptable level of service for their Bay Area customers. Basically, that point where they admit that they're entirely happy with the process and aren't going to be sweating any more over making it better. Is this two days each way (i.e. Monday out, Friday in)? Two day complete turnaround (i.e. Monday out, Wednesday in)? Something else altogether more sinister (soon we won't ship any discs and they will all be mine, MINE, MIIINNNEE!!! *cackle*)?
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Belgand, thanks for your input here, and I'm sorry that your shipping times have been delayed. On our end I can assure you we process all returns the day they are received. The new shipping center has improved the shipping procedures and holds itself to the same, if not higher standards than we were able to maintain in the previous shipping facility. We would be thrilled if the Post Office fulfilled its 1-3 day delivery time for first class mail. I do apologize if these guarantees are not enough, however, we do understand that when your level of service decreases, regardless of if it is the fault of the Post Office or otherwise, it is GreenCine that has the responsibility to improve the service. Please be assured that currently we are developing ways to do this, and we think you'll be very pleased with the results. We'll be announcing more as it comes!
>
>
> ---------------------------------

The thing is, this doesn't answer the question. It's nice that you keep insisting that you're trying to improve shipping speed (and I don't doubt that you are), but I'd like an idea of what the expectation is for discs coming to San Francisco.

Not, mind you, so I can then sit around and bitch and bitch that you guys said you'd make it 2 days, but it's not, but so that we can make reasonable decisions ourselves.

If your goal is that it will be two days shipping both ways (Mon-Fri) then that will likely influence us in our decisions. Yes, the bad, extra-slow problems might vanish, but if that's slower than we'd like we'll at least know now rather than wait around for a "better" that is never going to come.

On the other hand, if the goals are the same as ours (and in my case, at least, that's a return to two-day turnaround (Mon-Wed)) then I'll at least have something comforting me while I endure the current problems. I'll be assured that regardless of what shipping times currently are GreenCine will continue working on methods to improve service until that goal is reached.
eddypcj
post #163  on September 8, 2007 - 1:02 AM PDT  
I need to chime in again: the ship times have deteriorated noticeably over the past month for me (San Francisco). I've read that this was to be a temporary situation but have yet to see any improvement!!

What is the official word on this anyway?

I am seriously considering changing to Netflix, after years of loyal memebership. Very bummed about this possibility...
mrfuzion
post #164  on September 8, 2007 - 6:08 AM PDT  
> On September 8, 2007 - 1:02 AM PDT eddypcj wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I need to chime in again: the ship times have deteriorated noticeably over the past month for me (San Francisco). I've read that this was to be a temporary situation but have yet to see any improvement!!
>
> What is the official word on this anyway?
>
> I am seriously considering changing to Netflix, after years of loyal memebership. Very bummed about this possibility...
> ---------------------------------

There's gotta be something more to what's happening with the postal service than with GreenCine. I have to reiterate that I live in the San Francisco Bay area and I haven't had ANY issues with turnaround times whatsoever. Why is it that my discs make it back on time and I get the new ones right away, but others don't? I doubt that it's because GreenCine thinks I'm a swell guy. Which leads me to believe that something right is happening with the postal service here on the peninsula and maybe not right up in San Francisco proper. Although I hear people say San Mateo, which is the town next door, is also having problems. I just can't understand how I live in the middle of the brouha and everything is fine and everyone else has a problem....it's gotta be a postal thing and not a GreenCine thing.
underdog
post #165  on September 8, 2007 - 12:45 PM PDT  
Yeah, it's really odd, I agree - because for me, too, turnaround times have improved greatly (and yes, I work here, and could be a liar, but I'm not). They shipped stuff to me Wednesday night and I got them Friday. Seriously. My sister and another friend of mine all report the same improvements back to really rapid. But then others of you are experiencing terrible delays. It's so bizarre.

But like Weezy posted earlier, we're working on a couple of other fixes, without getting into specifics here, that I think will help expedite things for those of you up here in SF still suffering.

Another thing you can do if you email customer service because something is taking too long, is give them/us as many details as you can about where you send your discs from (a PO box, post office, home, office, the address, a mailbox) and when (day, time). All these things can help us track the source of the problem and narrow down the culprit. It could be that a certain post office or two are still treating our discs like third class mail, whereas others "get it." We're talking to post offices individually as we can to try to straighten things out.

Who knows. I had a friend who was a NF member a couple of years ago who had her discs disappear instead of making it back to them, and it turned out it was a post office that had a clerk who was hoarding DVDs.

Anyway, appreciate the constant feedback here - and we really are working on solutions to make things more consistent. Constantly. I want it to be as fast for you as it is now for some of us.
woozy
post #166  on September 8, 2007 - 10:57 PM PDT  
Okay, I just tore off the silly tab.

I gotta say, the tab just doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever. Can anyone tell us what the idea behind it was?

Hmm, my mail is becoming steady at about three days each way. (Returned Aug 27, got there Aug 31, 4 days. Bleah. Replace Aug 31 got here Sept 4. Two days {excluding Sun. and Holiday} Not bad) It's acceptable. It's not reasonable to demand better. but it's not terrific.
NLee
post #167  on September 9, 2007 - 11:57 AM PDT  
> On September 8, 2007 - 10:57 PM PDT woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Okay, I just tore off the silly tab.
>
> I gotta say, the tab just doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever. Can anyone tell us what the idea behind it was?
> ---------------------------------

The tab acts like 'air brake' on fighter jets. It makes dimensions of GC envelope larger on the return trip, so that the envelope will be caught by USPS sorting machine and be routed to somewhere like Memphis TN. There the envelope will sit for one to two days, before proceeding to its final destination. This is the only way GC can slow down turn-around time for Bay-area customers without throttling. But you will never get any GC staff to admit to this, of course.
Battie
post #168  on September 10, 2007 - 10:14 AM PDT  
Three discs shipped the 5th, got them the 8th. Kind of amazed at the 3-day arrival. I'll drop them off at the P.O. tomorrow to see how quick they make it back to GC. But basically, the 9+ day of (no) return was a flook.
eddypcj
post #169  on September 10, 2007 - 10:54 AM PDT  
> Yeah, it's really odd, I agree - because for me, too, turnaround times have improved greatly (and yes, I work here, and could be a liar, but I'm not). They shipped stuff to me Wednesday night and I got them Friday. Seriously. My sister and another friend of mine all report the same improvements back to really rapid. But then others of you are experiencing terrible delays. It's so bizarre.
>

Sorry, I don't buy the USPS explanation until better evidence is presented to me. I live at the same address as when I did get everything in a timely manner. I have been a GC member for over 2 years, the mail service was always very fast and reliable, both ways, for my eBay/Amazon etc purchases. I am in fact a big fan of USPS, I find their service in general to be very reliable and affordable and have no reason to complain.

The only thing that changed, as far as I know, was the location of the shipping facility.

Now I see my DVDs going out of GC (in the queue) arriving 5-7 days after the declared shipment date during the last month or so. It happened exactly when the change occurred, and I only found about the change when I looked into the forums to see if anyone else was experiencing the same problems.

It's that simple, it takes way longer now. I am not pleased with the additional times it takes, and will shortly be changing to a competitor if there is no marked improvement soon. I am also willing to provide more info if required to help track down the problem, if requested.
underdog
post #170  on September 10, 2007 - 11:52 AM PDT  
> On September 10, 2007 - 10:54 AM PDT eddypcj wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Yeah, it's really odd, I agree - because for me, too, turnaround times have improved greatly (and yes, I work here, and could be a liar, but I'm not). They shipped stuff to me Wednesday night and I got them Friday. Seriously. My sister and another friend of mine all report the same improvements back to really rapid. But then others of you are experiencing terrible delays. It's so bizarre.
> >
>
> Sorry, I don't buy the USPS explanation until better evidence is presented to me. I live at the same address as when I did get everything in a timely manner. I have been a GC member for over 2 years, the mail service was always very fast and reliable, both ways, for my eBay/Amazon etc purchases. I am in fact a big fan of USPS, I find their service in general to be very reliable and affordable and have no reason to complain.
>
> The only thing that changed, as far as I know, was the location of the shipping facility.
>
> Now I see my DVDs going out of GC (in the queue) arriving 5-7 days after the declared shipment date during the last month or so. It happened exactly when the change occurred, and I only found about the change when I looked into the forums to see if anyone else was experiencing the same problems.
>
> It's that simple, it takes way longer now. I am not pleased with the additional times it takes, and will shortly be changing to a competitor if there is no marked improvement soon. I am also willing to provide more info if required to help track down the problem, if requested.
>
> ---------------------------------

Again, we're extremely sorry to anyone who continues to experience problems with shipping times. I appreciate the direct feedback here. I don't mean to harp on this point, but I have to say that to just assume that this has nothing to do with the USPS seems a little out of kilter with the reality of the USPS. They are often wonderful, amazing even, but they are just as often illogically muddled and bureaucratic. This is not to say that a) we haven't had kinks of our own in moving to a new facility that we've needed to work out - we've been pretty forthright here (and in the email we sent to all our members a month ago and in the newsletter) in both admitting what's been failing and telling you what we can of what we're doing to fix it. And b) not to say that you're not entitled to be frustrated, because you are!

As you can see from the messages here, people have had varying degrees of improvement lately, often radically improved - while some, like yourself, unfortunately continue to experience frustrating slowness. As said before here, we're working on still more ways to speed things up further. While expecting everyone in the SF bay area to get 2 day shipping times from LA across the board is probably not realistic (though it will happen for some people), we're working to get it closer to this, as close as we can. If someone in Texas can get their discs in 3 days, we certainly hope someone here in SF can, as well, by gum! Another related change will be coming to the site itself soon, but we can't say more than that at the moment.

And yes, if you have time, please do by all means drop a note to support with the details of how (and where) you've shipped your discs. By tracing to specific zip codes and post offices it can help us further narrow down why some places are so quick and others are much slower.

Thanks so much for your feedback and patience.
mooselg3
post #171  on September 10, 2007 - 12:48 PM PDT  
It isn't getting the disks that's the problem. I'm in Utah and have been a member since 2003. My disks when shipped get here the same rate as usual. But when I return disks they are taking several days longer to be checked in. This is not the USPS's fault, and Greencine should stop trying to suggest even the smallest bit of it is. (Amazing how the USPS would suddenly stop delivering as quickly just as Greencine changes to a new shipper.)

The service is NOT fixed at all. I've noticed a huge slowdown in processing and the number of disks I've been getting, and I'm only two states away.

I can understand SF people getting the shaft by moving things to L.A., but that shouldn't have changed anything for me at all. Yet it has.

I also wonder if Greencine hasn't been sold a bill of bad goods from their outsourced shipper. There are companies that will promise the world to get new business, but that doesn't mean they can deliver.

I, like many others, liked Greencine because they were small and responsive and had quality disks. I appreciated that anime fans like me were careful with the disks and had the extra cardboard protector, especially for the rare out-of-print ones.

I knew that I wouldn't get as fast a service as Netflix and Blockbuster, but I didn't mind because the quality was there. But now? Greencine doesn't protect its rare disks anymore. Its inventory of new anime is routinely lacking new and popular titles. I've had to constantly request disks that should have been automatically bought and added to Greencine. For pretty much an anime only renter, which Greencine has been famous for supporting and courting, this is unacceptable.

So now with the really, really poor turnaround times, and a selection that is more and more being matched by the bigger companies (if not surpassed), Greencine is putting me in a position I don't want to be in.

I, and many other longtime users, will walk away if things don't improve. Promises mean nothing. I'm not promising to pay Greencine hard-earned money, I'm paying Greencine that money now for sub-sub-standard service.

Personally, I think Greencine made the biggest mistake of their business life by messing with the core that actually worked in their favor for what? To better compete against Netflix? To be another Netflix?

I understand that on paper Greencine's new deal with the shipper looked good, but it has been far too long already. Kinks should have since been ironed out. And I'm beginning to doubt that Greencine management has the power to effect any changes because they are no longer in direct control of shipping.

If the shipper doesn't have to meet a set standard for turnaround, how will Greencine management improve anything for us? Switch shippers again? Not likely, though if they decided to retool and do it in-house again, I would happily continue to support them through such growing pains.

Again, this has all been a frustrating and disappointing experience. I had something good that I liked as it was. Now I'm given a bunch of promises for sub-sub-standard service at a premium price that I'm paying now. >.<

Not happy, Greencine. Not at all.
speakreflection
post #172  on September 10, 2007 - 2:24 PM PDT  
People are still talking about this?
Not sure, but why not change over to another company?
I don't even pay attention to the turnaround times. I didn't join Greencine to get as many movies as possible for the cheapest price.
I joined cause of the selection, cause of what I thought could be a very cool movement (such as GC renting DVDs from places like Film Movement).
I prefer to enjoy movies and not watch them as soon as possible. If I keep a movie for awhile, it's cause I either am too busy or just not in the mood for that kind of movie/series.

I understand being pissed, but why bitch and moan and threaten when you can just leave. If GC is really going downhill, then that hit to their margin will be felt better by people cancelling their subscription. Then it would be by people complaining in a Public Discussions forum about the same thing for over a month.

Netflix is right over there. Just join them, that way you could complain about the throttling over there.

Guess it's just annoying, boring and human nature to keep rehashing the same old complaint.
woozy
post #173  on September 10, 2007 - 2:29 PM PDT  
> I joined cause of the selection, cause of what I thought could be a very cool movement (such as GC renting DVDs from places like Film Movement).

Funny, as GC for a while couldn't afford the films of Film Movement so they were only available at netflix.

> I understand being pissed, but why bitch and moan and threaten when you can just leave.

Hear, hear!
mooselg3
post #174  on September 10, 2007 - 3:04 PM PDT  
> On September 10, 2007 - 2:24 PM PDT speakreflection wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> People are still talking about this?

And you aren't "people"?

> Not sure, but why not change over to another company?

Perhaps because we are being loyal and want the service we once had and appropriately voicing our concerns that it isn't?

> I don't even pay attention to the turnaround times.

So if Greencine shipped you one disk a month, you wouldn't pay attention? Your threshold for what you'd pay to be screwed isn't my concern, nor anybody elses.

> I didn't join Greencine to get as many movies as possible for the cheapest price.

Who the hell has ever said that?! I was quite happy with my service until the change to the new shipper and stated so. Why are there idiots here trying to blame customers for pointing out service problems?

> I joined cause of the selection, cause of what I thought could be a very cool movement (such as GC renting DVDs from places like Film Movement).

A movement? You joined a cause? I don't remember joining a cause. I joined an online DVD rental company. But hey, believe you're part of a "movement" if it makes you happy.

> I prefer to enjoy movies and not watch them as soon as possible.

Why didn't I think of that! Oh right, I'm not an idiot. As if watching rentals right away means you don't enjoy them.

> If I keep a movie for awhile, it's cause I either am too busy or just not in the mood for that kind of movie/series.

And we care because...?

> I understand being pissed,

I really don't think you do. You couldn't have been more dismissive and clueless if you tried.

> but why bitch and moan and threaten when you can just leave.

Hmm, why voice concerns about service when Greencine specifically asks for feedback. Gee, I can't think of a reason... But thanks for the condescending "bitch and moan" from an apparently care-free Greencine cultist.

> If GC is really going downhill, then that hit to their margin will be felt better by people cancelling their subscription.

And yet that solves nothing. Which was the whole point of Greencine asking for feedback. They don't want to lose customers. I don't want to leave. But if things don't get better, I will. And I'm letting them know that as opposed to your brilliant solution of simply canceling without explanation, in which case Greencine has no idea why.

If you don't understand why companies like that kind of feedback, negative though it is, I'm really not going to explain it to you.

>Then it would be by people complaining in a Public Discussions forum about the same thing for over a month.

Or having idiots complain about people complaining, which is a remarkably unproductive and stupid thing to do considering your service and satisfaction has nothing to do with my service and satisfaction.

> Netflix is right over there. Just join them, that way you could complain about the throttling over there.

Hey, why don't you join Netflix so you can complain about people complaining about bad service there like you do here!

> Guess it's just annoying, boring and human nature to keep rehashing the same old complaint.

Yes, you're boring and annoying when complaining about other people's complaints. Why do you do that? Do you somehow feel your experience is primary and everyone else must live according your lackluster expectations?
underdog
post #175  on September 10, 2007 - 8:20 PM PDT  
Okay, let's try to keep it civil here folks. You're welcome to jump in and defend us, you're welcome to give us critical feedback, just to be civil to each other when you do. Otherwise your mom and I will turn this car around right now! ;-) More soon!
lGoldberg
post #176  on September 10, 2007 - 9:26 PM PDT  
> On August 22, 2007 - 2:27 PM PDT Belgand wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On August 22, 2007 - 1:59 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Thanks and sorry Kate - just to help us trace this. Is it slower coming back to us, or coming to you, or both equally slow?
> >
> > Do you mail from home, from a mailbox, or the post office?
> >
> > Just to help us trace what's up. I work for GC and live in SF too so I'm also seeing varying degrees of success (and failure) depending on when and where I send back.
> >

I decided to read this thread to see if I could find a solution, or at least a hint of a solution to the frustration I've been having over the past few months with GC. I live in SF. I have always been impressed with GC, but the waits over the past two months especially are getting unbearable. I pop them into a blue mailbox downtown, where pick-up is three times a day, but that seems to make no difference. I dropped a disk in last Tuesday (day after the holiday) and I still haven't heard that it's been received. The hold-up seems to be much worse in the user to distributor end, once the disk is sent from the warehouse the time is a reasonable 2-3 days (although not as great as it was). I'm giving this about one more month and then it's back to the few little independent video stores still standing.
> > ---------------------------------
>
FGaipa
post #177  on September 10, 2007 - 11:29 PM PDT  
> On September 10, 2007 - 11:52 AM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
By tracing to specific zip codes and post offices it can help us further narrow down why some places are so quick and others are much slower.
>
> Thanks so much for your feedback and patience.
>

Let's see you "trace" this one: I drop nearly all of my disk returns into the employee mail box at the Oakland Main Office. It's collected hourly, 24/7 including Sundays and many holidays. The Van Nuys truck leaves from the same building at least six, but I think seven, days a week. No Station to Main transfer. No cinefile mail carrier. No carrier at all. Not one disk since whenever Van Nuys happened has arrived back there in less than four days, and that was just one. The rest have taken five to seven and more days.

It beggers belief that the same crew that came up with one-ounce postage superfast rectangular outbound envelopes didn't realize the flippy-floppy square nonconforming-postage-rate return envelope would have an easily deniable throttling effect.

> On September 10, 2007 - 2:24 PM PDT speakreflection wrote:
> ---------------------------------
I didn't join Greencine to get as many movies as possible for the cheapest price.
> I joined cause of the selection

I don't want to go through it again. It's in this thread, I think, and elsewhere. But disks in transit are unavailable for rental. Long turnaround times shrink the collection by "warming" the color scheme of your queue.

And despite Underdog's periodic upbeat apologies (face it, it's his job, he's a sort of spin doctor, even if he speaks from the heart he can't deny his job), aside from a few anecdotal flukes only disks traveling from Van Nuys, in the retangular envelopes, are anything like timely.

fg
Catullus
post #178  on September 11, 2007 - 9:56 AM PDT  
> On September 10, 2007 - 11:29 PM PDT FGaipa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On September 10, 2007 - 11:52 AM PDT underdog wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> By tracing to specific zip codes and post offices it can help us further narrow down why some places are so quick and others are much slower.
> >
> > Thanks so much for your feedback and patience.
> >
>
> Let's see you "trace" this one: I drop nearly all of my disk returns into the employee mail box at the Oakland Main Office. It's collected hourly, 24/7 including Sundays and many holidays. The Van Nuys truck leaves from the same building at least six, but I think seven, days a week. No Station to Main transfer. No cinefile mail carrier. No carrier at all. Not one disk since whenever Van Nuys happened has arrived back there in less than four days, and that was just one. The rest have taken five to seven and more days.
>
> It beggers belief that the same crew that came up with one-ounce postage superfast rectangular outbound envelopes didn't realize the flippy-floppy square nonconforming-postage-rate return envelope would have an easily deniable throttling effect.
>
> > On September 10, 2007 - 2:24 PM PDT speakreflection wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> I didn't join Greencine to get as many movies as possible for the cheapest price.
> > I joined cause of the selection
>
> I don't want to go through it again. It's in this thread, I think, and elsewhere. But disks in transit are unavailable for rental. Long turnaround times shrink the collection by "warming" the color scheme of your queue.
>
> And despite Underdog's periodic upbeat apologies (face it, it's his job, he's a sort of spin doctor, even if he speaks from the heart he can't deny his job), aside from a few anecdotal flukes only disks traveling from Van Nuys, in the retangular envelopes, are anything like timely.
>
> fg
> ---------------------------------

in all fairness FG Ive been to my local post office and the trend continues that the USPS seems to be staffed full of complete morons. No disrespect intended however facts are facts USPS is legitimately horrible and staffed by incompetent people. It NEEDED to be said.

I also would like proof that there is this employee mail drop that is picked up every hour 24 hours a day 365 days a year. I find that particularly hard to believe without any quantifying proof than taking your word for it.

Also CRY MORE PLZ
Catullus
post #179  on September 11, 2007 - 10:03 AM PDT  
Also I would like to know so what if its picked up 1x an hour 24 hours a day... what happens to it after that?

Thats what I really have trouble believing... that they are sorting and processing employee mail or even transporting it if they are not sorting and processing or transporting regular mail. Where would this super speed increase happen by putting your mail in an employee drop box after hours? In other words im calling you a liar until proof is presented that any of these things take place. For example Sunday there MAY be some mail transportation done by the USPS but where is your proof that it is first class GC mail being transported? If it is not how is that GC fault?
Your blanket statements are vague and very hard to believe sir.

After all you WORK for the USPS... you should clearly know how horrible your service is sir.

I know how ****ty my bank is with their NSF fees and exploitation of poor people. There is no way you can think that USPS has anything but horrible problems.
Belgand
post #180  on September 11, 2007 - 1:43 PM PDT  
> On September 10, 2007 - 11:29 PM PDT FGaipa wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> It beggers belief that the same crew that came up with one-ounce postage superfast rectangular outbound envelopes didn't realize the flippy-floppy square nonconforming-postage-rate return envelope would have an easily deniable throttling effect.
>
> ---------------------------------

I'm not sure I want to get that conspiracy theory about the flap yet, but I do find it odd. Especially that whenever we ask about the flap we're always told that it's something that they can't talk about for business reasons.

I've always assumed that they have some sort of sorting process or machine on their end that's designed to only work with the larger envelopes, but it doesn't seem like it would be that revealing of their trade secrets to reveal "well, the flap is necessary for our sorting process, sorry, but we can't go into any more detail than that". I can't think of much else that would make a certain envelope size/shape important. It can't even be that the big floppy end makes it easier to tear into because the old envelopes weren't floppy.

Then again, "secret throttling program" is definitely something they wouldn't be able to talk about (especially not to the customers) and one of the few things I can think of that they wouldn't be able to at least vaguely hint at.
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