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

New envelopes? New processing center?
Topic by: Cinenaut
Posted: October 31, 2011 - 9:36 AM PDT
Last Reply: May 27, 2012 - 3:45 AM PDT

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author topic: New envelopes? New processing center?
Cinenaut
post #41  on December 7, 2011 - 8:55 AM PST  
I wonder what caused all these missing DVDs? Was there a labeling problem? Did they just never get sent at all?
kaream
post #42  on December 12, 2011 - 5:34 PM PST  
A few observations (mostly already shared with weezy), upon returning to GC earlier this year after a 2-year absence:

1) Mail going both to and from the new USPS address is generally much faster than before - assuming it gets where it's supposed to be going at all.

2) The new envelopes are a major source of the problem, because they are way too flimsy, and get chewed up in the USPS sorting machinery - this means that many discs will never reach their destination, going in either direction.

3) As mentioned earlier in this thread, the "do not bend" is just silly and should be removed.

4) The "open here" arrow points to a very poorly designed perforation about an inch down from the outgoing "top" of the mailer. No one opens a mailer other than at either the top or bottom edge. In GC's new mailers that middle perforation needs to go away, and have the "open here" arrow pointing to the "BOTTOM" of the mailer. If you slice the mailer open at the "top", which it seems the arrow is pointing toward, you've cut off the sticky flap for your return, when the mailer is now turned upside down, with what was the "bottom" now being the top - so you have to tape it up with packing tape to close it.

(By the way, if you're ever returning two or three discs at the same time, put them together in a single mailer - this actually makes it sturdier and less prone to damage (besides saving GC a bit of return postage). And if your mailer has arrived chewed up and torn, reinforce it with packing tape before returning. This helps rescue GC's discs, and saves yourself the hassle of them not receiving it back.)

5) What I'll never understand, after all these years, is GC's NON-customer-service. I think they don't receive emails at that address, or they do receive them, they don't read them; or if they do read them, they certainly don't acknowledge them or take any requested action. As all the oldtimers here will know, this exact same situation has been going on at least since the operation was first moved out of San Francisco, if not even before then.

The only way to get anything done is to message directly to weezy. Why she continues to put up with this situation (and is always very sweet and apologetic to subscribers) is completely beyond me. And why the powers that be - the people who have money invested in GreenCine - allow this to continue, and to continue to drive subscribers away with their shitty customer service, utterly boggles my mind.
kaream
post #43  on December 12, 2011 - 7:38 PM PST  
> On December 12, 2011 - 5:34 PM PST kaream wrote:

> ---------------------------------
> 3) As mentioned earlier in this thread, the "do not bend" is just silly and should be removed.
> ---------------------------------

On the other hand, while it might not actually help, it never hurts to print FRAGILE in big block red letters on the mailer.

Also about the mailers:

Don't get just slightly heavier paper, but instead go ahead and get something extra sturdy - it's more expensive, but still it's a lot cheaper than replacing damaged or missing DVDs (if they even are replaceable - a lot of GC's stock is out of print.)

Use only a single perforation, at either the top or bottom edge of the mailer, and point the "open here" arrow directly to that perforation.


To subscribers with problems:

*Missing discs (sent in either direction):
-- Wait one full week plus one extra day after receiving GC's email, or from the day you mailed it back. Then message to weezy. (If her mailbox is full, wait a day and try again.)

*Damaged or broken discs:
-- Write DAMAGED or BROKEN DISC across the front of the return mailer, and check the box on the back.
-- If a disc is not obviously damaged but still won't play in either of at least two different players, first try cleaning it. Always rub with a clean damp cloth back and forth from center to edge only, never around in the direction of playback, which will permanently destroy the disc. If this still doesn't work, write DAMAGED DISC across the front, check the box on the back, and also attach a sticky note to the sleeve explaining the problem. The last thing you want is for GC to think the disc is OK and send the same unplayable one back to you again.

*Receiving the wrong disc, something other than what GC emailed that they were sending you:
-- If the disc doesn't match the sleeve, write WRONG DISC on the front of the mailer, and also attach a sticky note to the sleeve explaining the problem. Otherwise, if the sleeve and disc do match, just add the title back to your queue, return it without comment and chalk it up to bad luck. You might also want to message to weezy and explain the problem to her.

*Not getting a movie you wanted or expected from the top of your queue:
-- Forget it - the color codes are just a general guide. Live with it, and be grateful that GC is even around to let us see all this good stuff.
kaream
post #44  on December 12, 2011 - 8:14 PM PST  
> On December 12, 2011 - 7:38 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> *Not getting a movie you wanted or expected from the top of your queue:
> -- Forget it - the color codes are just a general guide. Live with it, and be grateful that GC is even around to let us see all this good stuff.
> ---------------------------------

Q: Assume that I've had an orange movie at the top of my queue for a long time. Now assume that 10 subscribers have that same movie at their top slot, and GC now has a single copy to mail out: who will they send it to?

A: My own understanding of the policy is that the one copy is theoretically supposed to be sent to the person, not who has had that title just anywhere in their queue, but specifically in that numbered slot for the longest period of time. I'm not at all sure that if this indeed the policy, it's actually followed with any regularity. But for now, weezy or underdog, am I at least stating the policy correctly?

kaream
post #45  on December 12, 2011 - 11:16 PM PST  
Yes, apparently so - see post #18 at topic: Seriously, something needs to be done about the Color Code System!
Larry
post #46  on December 13, 2011 - 7:42 AM PST  
Yeah, I never received my last DVD, "Shanghai Express", either. It was sent out on Nov. 23, according to my queue.

First time I've ever had a problem with my service though.
Cinenaut
post #47  on December 13, 2011 - 8:28 AM PST  
> On December 12, 2011 - 5:34 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> 2) The new envelopes are a major source of the problem, because they are way too flimsy, and get chewed up in the USPS sorting machinery - this means that many discs will never reach their destination, going in either direction.

Haha! That arrow has been bothering me as well. I always absentmindedly have to pause for a split second before I open the envelope at the other end.
kaream
post #48  on December 13, 2011 - 11:30 AM PST  
> On December 7, 2011 - 8:55 AM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I wonder what caused all these missing DVDs? ... Did they just never get sent at all?
> ---------------------------------

Actually, this has been a problem at least occasionally in the past, where Processing marked a disc for shipment and sent the subscriber an email, but through a foul-up it never actually went out to the post office. That did happen to me once that I know of, and possibly twice. Hopefully their procedures have by now been tightened up so that it doesn't occur any more. (Unless of course so-called "Customer Support" gets involved, in which case we are all lucky to ever get anything at all from them.)
Cinenaut
post #49  on February 2, 2012 - 9:53 AM PST  
I got a cracked DVD yesterday (Morvern Callar (2002)). It gave my DVD player conniption fits, because I didn't notice the crack before I tried to play it.

Bring on the thicker envelope paper!
Cinenaut
post #50  on February 3, 2012 - 9:14 AM PST  
I was pleasantly surprised to get a response from Dani in customer support on the same day I reported the broken disc. Thanks for the prompt reply, Dani!
weezy
post #51  on May 9, 2012 - 10:26 AM PDT  
Hi guys, we just got our new envelope order in. A couple of things - the arrow points to the perforated side now. It's not on the same side as before but we flipped the perforation so that the arrow is pointing correctly.

Also, we decided to ditch the green ink and go with all white envelopes. We were suspecting that the green ink was making the paper stock flimsier than it needed to be. The envelopes weigh what they need to weigh in order for the USPS to ship it first class, admittedly our envelopes were a touch heavier before and after talks with them they have made us drop the weight a touch.

Please send me any questions here or support (at) greencine (dot) com if you have them!
shiftless
post #52  on May 9, 2012 - 6:47 PM PDT  
I got a new white envelope today. The right side (when looking at the address label side) was a little torn. Again, I think it's because of its "double edge" instead of a single folded over edge. The paper does indeed feel a bit more substantial without the green ink.
Cinenaut
post #53  on May 9, 2012 - 7:47 PM PDT  
I got my first white envelope today and it was in great shape. I did think it seemed a bit less flimsy. I guess we'll see how many get mangled.
NCMazur
post #54  on May 16, 2012 - 6:47 PM PDT  
Truly? Greencine actually does ship movies? i was beginning to think that my payments were just another charitable contribution. Looking forward to seeing a movie soon!
Cinenaut
post #55  on May 17, 2012 - 4:10 PM PDT  
> On May 16, 2012 - 6:47 PM PDT NCMazur wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Truly? Greencine actually does ship movies? i was beginning to think that my payments were just another charitable contribution. Looking forward to seeing a movie soon!
> ---------------------------------

I always have to keep some green bar DVDs below the 100 mark in my queue in order to make sure I get something.

NCMazur
post #56  on May 17, 2012 - 5:43 PM PDT  
> On May 17, 2012 - 4:10 PM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------4
> I always have to keep some green bar DVDs below the 100 mark in my queue in order to make sure I get something.
> ---------------------------------

What? There are green bar DVD's? My queue is not outragously esoteric, culled from Oscar nominated movies, critics best 10 lists, etc...but the best i have is one movie--Restrepo--coming in at blue. My number one, The Sting, is orange. #2, The Man With The Golden Arm, is red. Seriously? Shane, orange. The Gambler, yellow. Nobody's Fool, red. The American, orange. King of California, yellow. Dog Day Afternoon, yellow. Three Days to Vegas, red! i mean, i feel like i'm in the Monty Python cheeseshop sketch...you do have movies here, right?

And i don't want to screw around with my queue because as i understand it, if i change the numbers around, i lose my place in line for the dvd. And as they are all so seemingly rare, i certainly don't want that.
shiftless
post #57  on May 17, 2012 - 7:36 PM PDT  
> What? There are green bar DVD's? My queue is not outragously esoteric, culled from Oscar nominated movies, critics best 10 lists, etc...but the best i have is one movie--Restrepo--coming in at blue.
> ---------------------------------

You can email support and just ask if they have any copies of a particular DVD left. I've done that a couple times for about 10-12 DVDs and in every case, they had either run out of copies (until they ordered more at some point in the unspecified future) or had run out and weren't planning to get any more. Worth asking IMO, so you can clear up space in the top of your queue, it helped me start getting some DVDs that were yellow or orange, but actually available to rent.

Switching your queue around doesn't lose your place as far as when you added the title to your queue. You could move #2 down to #100 and then 2 days later move it back to #2 and it would have the same chance of being sent to you (none, if they have no copies left!).

NCMazur
post #58  on May 22, 2012 - 6:46 AM PDT  
> On May 17, 2012 - 7:36 PM PDT shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Switching your queue around doesn't lose your place as far as when you added the title to your queue. You could move #2 down to #100 and then 2 days later move it back to #2 and it would have the same chance of being sent to you (none, if they have no copies left!).
> ---------------------------------

Thanks for the info. i don't know where or when, but somehow i got the impression that every time you moved a movie around in your queue it took on the new date.

The way you state it, it certainly makes more sense. So that makes me feel easier about moving things around so that i might get more movies...and i'll def. email support about the availability of those red movies.
kaream
post #59  on May 22, 2012 - 10:53 AM PDT  
> On May 22, 2012 - 6:46 AM PDT NCMazur wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On May 17, 2012 - 7:36 PM PDT shiftless wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Switching your queue around doesn't lose your place as far as when you added the title to your queue. You could move #2 down to #100 and then 2 days later move it back to #2 and it would have the same chance of being sent to you (none, if they have no copies left!).
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Thanks for the info. i don't know where or when, but somehow i got the impression that every time you moved a movie around in your queue it took on the new date.
>
> The way you state it, it certainly makes more sense. So that makes me feel easier about moving things around so that i might get more movies...and i'll def. email support about the availability of those red movies.
>
> ---------------------------------

You got that impression from me, because that has been my own understanding of the way their computer is programmed. Shiftless may well be correct, and I am wrong. To the best of my knowledge no one at GreenCine has ever confirmed these speculations one way or the other - they seem to carefully avoid giving out any details, but have simply hinted on rare occasions at more useful queue organization. I've specifically asked on several occasions, and have never received a response to that question.

Shiftless, do you have any specific knowledge for your explanation, or is this just your interpretation of their hints? I'd love to know, and it would be wonderful if you're right.

I might add that I fail to see any point in GC keeping this information on queue priority a secret from subscribers. Maybe we'll luck out this time and weezy will chime in here to settle the question.
shiftless
post #60  on May 22, 2012 - 4:32 PM PDT  
kaream- the short answer: I have no verification of my assertion.

long answer - I know enough about programming, databases and algorithms to know that GC's Send Out process can not distinguish between a queue slot number that was selected/manipulated by a user, and a slot number that was the result of a DVD getting sent out (thereby moving up all DVDs below the sent DVD by one slot). It's just not that fancy, a janky site like GC (sorry GC not to be rude, but your site is a creaking Frankenstein monster of jankyness) would not have that complicated a process, it would be enormously messy to maintain.

If that were so, it would punish every person who got a DVD sent by resetting their place in line for all the other DVDs below it! I know that that doesn't happen by the pattern of DVDs I have gotten over the years. I manipulate my queue quite a bit. I get a lot of yellow/orange titles that I will have just added to the top 10 of my queue within the last couple weeks.

All that matters, as far as I can tell, is the date/time you add the DVD to your queue, and it's current position in your queue when the Send Out process occurs, with a somewhat greater weight given to lower queue slot numbers.
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