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

Something wrong with support?
Topic by: jeffs
Posted: March 7, 2005 - 1:03 PM PST
Last Reply: April 9, 2005 - 10:23 AM PDT

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author topic: Something wrong with support?
spegg
post #41  on March 23, 2005 - 3:33 PM PST  
> On March 23, 2005 - 2:45 PM PST NLee wrote:

> I keep my queue at around 50 titles, and I never ever run out of available movies to rent. On the other hand, I need to organize my queue almost daily (out with the red, in with the green), and I'm forced to put a lot of crappy hentai animes as filler titles.
>
> ---------------------------------

I didn't used to need more than 35 movies in my queue. Now it appears I do. I've been going on zombie/vampire/etc. kicks in order to have enough filler titles, but quite frankly I'm getting tired of watching those films. I didn't used to need filler titles at all. I realize it's not easy to predict how many copies of each title should be purchased, but it certainly seems like it should scale with the number of users.

There is a point at which GreenCine becomes annoyingly less economical and efficient than other services, at which point I'll be forced to quit. I'd rather not feel that this point is approaching.
underdog
post #42  on March 23, 2005 - 3:33 PM PST  
> On March 23, 2005 - 1:46 PM PST spegg wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> I've noticed that I'm spending many more days with no movies, due to there being no movies available in my queue. I've always kept about 30-35 movies and until early this year, this pretty much guaranteed me two movies at any given time.
>
> I'm guessing that the GreenCine user base has grown. This is nice, since I want GreenCine to succeed (and goodness knows I've gotten enough of my family and friends to subscribe.) Is the number of copies of each film not keeping pace with the growth of the subscribers?
>
> Scott
>
> ---------------------------------


We keep a pretty solid ratio of purchasing so we increase the number of purchases based on the number of queues per film, so even with our user base growing (and thank you! we're happy about this too, of course), we use the same ratio...

The other questions in your situation would be to ask yourself, how many of those films in your queue currently have been released now (as opposed to titles coming out at a later date), and how many are part of a series?

Whereas 30-35 would normally be a pretty common and workable # of titles for a queue, I'd consider it a lot less so if a fairly high percentage of both the above are true.

And then, if you're having trouble thinking of some other titles to add to your queue, I'll repeat (reprint) what we had in our last newsletter:

Don't take the advice of Jackie Chan's character in Shanghai Noon, who said, "Never touch my queue." You should touch your queue, because it works best filled with a good number of discs. We suggest you have at least ten times the number of your allotment, i.e., forty films if you're on the four-out plan. If you're drawing a blank on titles to put in your queue, here are some great places to look for suggestions: our lists of titles coming soon, member lists (which you can look at chronologically, alphabetically or by average rating) and editorial top lists, and by browsing through primers and our active discussion boards. So touch that queue. And if you need to watch something right now, take a gander at our rapidly expanding Video-on-Demand offerings.


Hope this helps!
C of GC
spegg
post #43  on March 23, 2005 - 3:41 PM PST  

> We keep a pretty solid ratio of purchasing so we increase the number of purchases based on the number of queues per film, so even with our user base growing (and thank you! we're happy about this too, of course), we use the same ratio...

--------------

Thanks for the reply. Just out of curiosity, what is the ratio of copies purchased versus queue requests for a film?

Scott
hamano
post #44  on March 23, 2005 - 3:58 PM PST  
> On March 23, 2005 - 3:41 PM PST spegg wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Thanks for the reply. Just out of curiosity, what is the ratio of copies purchased versus queue requests for a film?

You think they're gonna tell you? That's a closely guarded business secret! You're not working for Netflix or Blockbuster, are you?

And don't listen to NLee... who really wants to do queue management on a day to day basis? There are plenty of GC members who have over a thousand titles in their queues! And hardly any of it vampire/zombie stuff! I have a tad under 300 titles in mine, I think... I hardly ever look at it except to set up "personal series" titles, and I've NEVER had a rental slot go unfilled because I didn't have any "green" titles...

On the other hand, if you really don't have a taste for foreign films, anime, documentaries or offbeat stuff, you'll probably get better mileage from a service other than GC...
spegg
post #45  on March 24, 2005 - 9:53 AM PST  

> > Thanks for the reply. Just out of curiosity, what is the ratio of copies purchased versus queue requests for a film?
>
> You think they're gonna tell you? That's a closely guarded business secret! You're not working for Netflix or Blockbuster, are you?

Yes, that may indeed be a trade secret. This would be a shame for the consumer, however, since it would provide a fairly accurate way to compare similar DVD rental services.

Scott
underdog
post #46  on March 24, 2005 - 10:15 AM PST  
>
> Thanks for the reply. Just out of curiosity, what is the ratio of copies purchased versus queue requests for a film?
>
> Scott
>
> ---------------------------------

I'd really like to tell you, but I would then (he says in James Bond villain voice) have to be killed. ;-)

But I can say that we have upped the # fairly recently and people should - and have confirmed this - be seeing more green and shorter wait times for most titles. Some new releases are always going to be the most popular titles and will always have slightly longer wait times, but we are trying to fill in these gaps and waits wherever possible.

But, yeah, I have to be vague, or it's curtains for me, curtains I tell ya!

C
NLee
post #47  on March 24, 2005 - 11:22 AM PST  
> On March 24, 2005 - 10:15 AM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'd really like to tell you, but I would then (he says in James Bond villain voice) have to be killed. ;-)
> ---------------------------------

Here's something that bugs me in all Bond movies. The bad guy always get killed just before he can spill the name of the mastermind. Why doesn't the assassin/sniper kill Bond instead?

("But that's not the way we do things", says Dr. Evil)
kohnfused1
post #48  on March 24, 2005 - 11:57 AM PST  
> On March 23, 2005 - 2:45 PM PST NLee wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On March 23, 2005 - 2:01 PM PST hamano wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Speggy, 30 to 35 is waaay low for a GC queue... you need at least 150 or 200 to assure a steady supply,
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Speggy, don't listen to hamano. Most of us normal people don't keep hundreds of titles in our queues.
>
> ---------------------------------

Speggy, don't listen to NLee, he's not normal.
NLee
post #49  on March 24, 2005 - 12:07 PM PST  
> On March 24, 2005 - 11:57 AM PST kohnfused1 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Speggy, don't listen to NLee, he's not normal.
> ---------------------------------

How would you know? You are perpetually ...
kohnfused1
post #50  on March 24, 2005 - 1:45 PM PST  
> On March 24, 2005 - 12:07 PM PST NLee wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On March 24, 2005 - 11:57 AM PST kohnfused1 wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Speggy, don't listen to NLee, he's not normal.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> How would you know? You are perpetually ...
>
> ---------------------------------

It takes one to know one... ;)
SGraves
post #51  on March 28, 2005 - 4:40 PM PST  
Just a few weeks ago, I waited two days for a response to a support request on a missing disc, only getting action after posting something on the forums complaining, so here I go again. Friday, I sent a support request via email and the support page for a disc that hasn't arrived after 11 days (as of today, March 28th). I've heard nothing so far. I'm beginning to think that their delivery time has slowed down so much that they don't take support requests seriously after "merely" a week's disappearance.

I've been a Greencine member since 2002, but since the beginning of this year service has been terrible. With a three-disc plan, I've gotten an average of barely 6 discs a month so far, compared with over 7/month average for the last six months of 2004, and 9/month from Netflix (whom I rejoined not too long ago). The real kicker is, the average proportion of time spent in delivery (the number of days the discs are in the mail over the total time from shipping to return) for Greencine this year is nearly .7 while for Netflix its close to .5. So, Greencine is sending me significantly fewer discs per month than Netflix on the same plan and over two-thirds of the time discs are "lent" to me is time I don't have them. With three out at a time, I've had zero discs from Greencine in my possession since last week.

I don't write this because I hate Greencine, although I am upset about these issues. I've been weeding my queue for some time, moving discs from my Greencine to my Netflix queue if they have them and there are still several things Netflix just doesn't carry. Still, as the service declines it becomes less attractive to maintain and also calls into question the company's ability to survive. It won't be too long before larger companies narrow the catalog gap enough to make the delivery time and support issues dominate.

I also write because I want to see if somebody will answer my goddamn email.
SGraves
post #52  on March 28, 2005 - 5:04 PM PST  
> On March 28, 2005 - 4:40 PM PST SGraves wrote:
> ---------------------------------

> I also write because I want to see if somebody will answer my goddamn email.
> ---------------------------------

Wow, I just got an email sent about 15 minutes after I posted this.
Dwoodwoo
post #53  on March 28, 2005 - 6:55 PM PST  
SGraves--

hi, this is Dennis, Managing Partner here at GreenCine. I appreciate your frustration and are aware of some issues of late that we need to work on. One is the mail service -- trust that we've had a number of meetings with the USPS and we're trying to pinpoint why there has been sudden delivery degradation. If it helps any, the number of complaints over the last few weeks has been reduced -- we hope this is metric that points to improvement on the part of the USPS. We have a long-range plan that may include the introduction of tracking USPS first class pieces -- in the near-term, we trying to identify what we can do to improve on delivery. We have not changed our mode of delivery in any way, so it's difficult to account for why this is happening. If we discover a viable method that will improve times, we'll go ahead and do that.

As to the other issue regarding response time -- yes, this is also an issue we're aware of. We're ramping up additional resources to take care of our growing customer base. We apologize for what should be temporary blips in service and we make it a goal to respond to all inquiries within 48 hours of receiving an email. Yes, we've had some bobbling along the way particularly in the past month -- we're aware of it, adding additional personnel and trying to hammer down on the issue.

In the meanwhile, we are appreciative of your support. We ARE trying to do better.

dennis!
Dennis Woo
Managing Partner, GreenCine


> On March 28, 2005 - 5:04 PM PST SGraves wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On March 28, 2005 - 4:40 PM PST SGraves wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
>
> > I also write because I want to see if somebody will answer my goddamn email.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Wow, I just got an email sent about 15 minutes after I posted this.
> ---------------------------------

kolohe61
post #54  on March 29, 2005 - 12:32 AM PST  
"One is the mail service -- trust that we've had a number of meetings with the USPS and we're trying to pinpoint why there has been sudden delivery degradation. "

It's a conspiracy. Netflix is paying off the USPS to slow down GC envelpoes! LOL
SGraves
post #55  on March 29, 2005 - 6:17 AM PST  
> On March 28, 2005 - 5:04 PM PST SGraves wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> Wow, I just got an email sent about 15 minutes after I posted this.
> ---------------------------------

I also received another personal email later last evening assuring me that they appreciate the problems with mailing and service that have risen recently and are working to address them. Although my previous post might have come across as intemperate, I'm still a Greencine member and will remain one as long as I think it's worth it. That said, I think it's important that service providers be made aware of problems with their service and how serious they are before customers exercise their option to exit. I'd prefer for service to improve than to drop out without making an effort.
SGraves
post #56  on March 29, 2005 - 6:18 AM PST  
> On March 29, 2005 - 12:32 AM PST kolohe61 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> It's a conspiracy. Netflix is paying off the USPS to slow down GC envelpoes! LOL
> ---------------------------------

I'm sure stranger things have happened.
artifex
post #57  on March 31, 2005 - 9:27 AM PST  
> On March 28, 2005 - 6:55 PM PST Dwoodwoo wrote:
> As to the other issue regarding response time -- yes, this is also an issue we're aware of. We're ramping up additional resources to take care of our growing customer base. We apologize for what should be temporary blips in service and we make it a goal to respond to all inquiries within 48 hours of receiving an email.

Dennis, do you find 48 hours to be a good target for responding to complaints about scratched/unplayable discs? Have you considered trying to streamline that any, since some of us already wait days for the replacements when they ship?
artifex
post #58  on March 31, 2005 - 4:54 PM PST  
> On March 31, 2005 - 9:27 AM PST artifex wrote:
> Dennis, do you find 48 hours to be a good target for responding to complaints about scratched/unplayable discs? Have you considered trying to streamline that any, since some of us already wait days for the replacements when they ship?

Scott answered my complaint in about 5 hours, today, btw. Yay, Scott! It's even in today's outgoing mail. This makes me feel like the 'old' GC is coming back.
JHernandez1
post #59  on April 2, 2005 - 7:16 AM PST  
> On March 21, 2005 - 3:09 PM PST kohnfused1 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On March 21, 2005 - 1:30 PM PST NLee wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Most people here love to praise about the great customer support from GC, and how the other rental places suck because thay are cold and impersonal, blah blah blah. However, GC actually sucks more when it comes to reporting lost or late DVDs. Most other places all have automated procedure to report DVD problems, so that replacement discs can be sent within the same day. In contrast, the GC procedure (which requires you to cotact customer service)adds another extra 2-3 days of delay - on top of the 6-7 days of waiting period.
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Whoa! Someone didn't get their daily dose of Hentai...
> ---------------------------------


Sometimes it just works out that way.

It's funny. I actually might have a lost DVD situation right now. I'm gonna give it a few more days to show up until I report it. It just happens to be a porn DVD, though. So now I gotta go report to Greencine customer support that my PORN has gone missing. I realize it's just e-mail and there's no reason to be embarrassed, but I'm a neurotic. In my defense IS a classic 70s porn film, though and not the latest from Vivid Video. Still why couldn't that Sergei Eisenstein movie I rented a few weeks ago have been the one to get lost in the mail?
Shaky
post #60  on April 2, 2005 - 10:26 AM PST  
Back on March 11, I wrote this:

I go through my Greencine queue periodically and check it against Netflix's catalog. Since the turnaround from Netflix is more than twice as fast as Greencine, if a movie or series in my Greencine queue becomes available at Netflix, I add it to my NF queue and delete it from my GC queue... I just deleted 69 discs out of my GC queue as a result.

Update:

Today has been really slow at work, so I had time to go through my queue again. I just deleted 30 more DVDs out of my Greencine queue that Netflix didn't have just three weeks ago. I didn't bother with movies that Netflix had marked as "save" (else it would have been another 20, at least). I only moved the discs that Netflix has listed in their catalogue as available, and all of them came up as "available now."

That's 99 DVDs just in my queue that Netflix has added to their catalogue in the last three months. How many do you suppose they've added in total?

Yet while Netflix has been improving their selection, nothing seems to be getting better at Greencine. On the contrary, the complaints here seem to indicate things are getting worse.

Do I hear bells tolling in the distance?
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