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Public Discussions

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

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

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author topic: Turnaround times getting unbearable
post #241  on October 22, 2007 - 6:59 PM PDT  
> On October 22, 2007 - 12:37 PM PDT weezy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Awwwright guys, gonna do a couple shipping experiments this week and see how it goes. Thanks for your ideas.
> As for proving that we don't throttle, well, there's no real way for us to do that except perhaps appeal to your sense of business logic. It's very difficult to stay competitive in this field of online DVD rentals without offering benefits to our membership that others can't, and you can consider our "no throttling" guarantee to be one of >them.

A great idea and something I really liked when I first signed up. The thing is, these days GC isn't competitive. You have less selection, charge more, and deliver movies much slower than your major competitors. In all the areas that really matter (e.g. not message boards or unresponsive customer service) you're losing pretty hard.

>By risking the loss of customers over shipping delays we garner no benefit from purposely delaying shipments. It's already been made clear here and elsewhere that the whims of the USPS are hard to predict or sometimes even explain. This though, is nowhere near important to us as the fact that throttling goes against our business philosophy. The more you watch, and the more you read, the more you can take advantage of your membership by discussing the films you've watched on these boards, ratings films, creating lists, commenting on our articles, etc. etc... we really hope to deliver you your movies in a way that encourages these practices because it makes our service stand out.
> ---------------------------------

I agree wholeheartedly. I don't think that you're intentionally throttling either. My major suspicions, when they crop up, are usually that since the work is now outsourced you have less direct control. Workers get lazy, they don't get work done on time, they let stuff pile up and it slows the whole thing down. In a low-paying job where performance isn't at all linked to salary the average employee tends to slack off as much as possible and (as Office Space made perfectly clear) do just enough to avoid getting fired. When you're outsourced (I used to work for an outsource call center during college) you care even less because the client has nothing to do with you. Your only care is to not piss off your bosses and only their bosses are the ones who have to pretend that the client matters. I knew a guy there who once put a customer on hold for about five minutes just because he was listening to a song he really liked. I think the guy got promoted around the same time I left.

So, no, I don't think it's the fault of corporate policy necessarily, just the fact that by uncoupling shipping from GC directly there's less accountability. Go down to the plant, make a surprise inspection, check the postmarks on the returned discs. Look into what might be causing the problems personally aside from just sending test discs.
post #242  on October 22, 2007 - 10:53 PM PDT  
It's not an unfair guess, Belgand, but we have a number of staff members on site at the GreenCine shipping facility as is, so it's not that the two entities are entirely uncoupled. There's a great deal of oversight there with GC staffers already there. Hmm, I guess we could put cameras on there 24-7 just to see if we can catch anyone napping on the job, but we'll wait until Big Brother makes us do that for Uncle Sam, first. ;-) Honestly, if there's anything we can do to improve shipping times at the facility we'll do it, but our eyes are on the local postal facility right now. A new feature soon to launch on the site will help cut down angst about this, we hope.

But if those TPS reports aren't on our desks soon, we'll make some changes. Great, great.
post #243  on November 2, 2007 - 10:20 AM PDT  
FGaipa posted:

> That lends some credence to my suspicion from day one that the Van Nuys plant has been fudging its performance figures. None of us at the East Bay USPS can figure out where Oakland-Van Nuys fcm would be during a two to seven-plus day hiatus. There's simply no place in our plant for that much fcm mail to hide on that regular a basis.
> Twenty miles is a long way I guess. But if you ever find yourself going that way anyway, here's a great way to test Van Nuys' credibility: The plant has to have an office with some sort of mail drop. Go there and without attracting attention, "mail" your disk in person. Drop it in the plant mailbox and see how many days it takes to turn up "received" in your queue.

> fg"
> ---------------------------------

Any clue as to how the Business Reply (BR) envelopes are processed and charged for at the PO, is it automated? Or is this a possible bottle neck? Is the Van Nuy's PO (BR) processing unit properly staffed? What is the charge for GC size (BR) mail, anyhow? Would stamped or internet-generated-postage return envelopes be cheaper and faster?
Hooray for quick return! The time I used it, it was fast! However, I sent that one back this am and cannot "click" quick return, I guess the first dvd did not make it back yet.
post #244  on November 2, 2007 - 2:16 PM PDT  
Just to throw more fuel on the fire... Here is what my rental queue looks like right now:
Rental Queue
currently checked out max 4
title status sent on
Querelle (1982) shipped October 24, 2007
Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective (2005) shipped October 27, 2007
Rated X: A Journey Through Porn (1999) shipped October 27, 2007
Planet of the Vampires (1965) shipped October 30, 2007

quick returned dvds
title status initiated on
Imaginary Heroes (2004) quick returns October 17, 2007
Broken Flowers (2005) quick returns October 26, 2007
Vampire Hunter D (1985) quick returns October 26, 2007
The Scavengers (1959) quick returns October 30, 2007

Made in Secret & Rated X were dropped in the mail on 10/29 & 10/30 respectfully. Currently I have not received either Querelle or Planet of the Vampires at all.

I have tried to remain patient because of the logistics involved in such a huge move you did this past summer, but I have found the turnaround times maddening as others apparently have as well.
I live in SF and had fallen into the expectation that I would drop a movie in the mail and could count on a replacement arriving in two business days.
Now occasionally I will get a replacemnt movie in three days, but its more common to be either five or six or seven days and sometimes even longer.

I even sent an email that hasn't been replied to, to top it off.
Suffice to say i am not very happy but mighty frustrated.

post #245  on November 6, 2007 - 1:37 PM PST  
Just for the record: One NF I ordered recently came, though their inter-office loan system, from Santa Ana, that is from the same USPS distance (same number of handlings - miles are irrelevant) to the Bay Area as Van Nuys. It took three days to arrive and, thanks in part to an NF weekend, a week to return.

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