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1063

Turnaround times -- the return leg is still not right
Topic by: janeskid
Posted: September 21, 2007 - 11:37 AM PDT
Last Reply: December 5, 2007 - 1:08 PM PST

page  1  2  3      prev | next
author topic: Turnaround times -- the return leg is still not right
janeskid
post #1  on September 21, 2007 - 11:37 AM PDT  
There are two parts of to the turnaround time problem, from GreenCine to the customer and from the customer to GreenCine.

First the good news from here. The first leg of my turnaround is back to the times seen in May i.e. I get it the third day unless there is a weekend that extends the time to four or occasionally five days.

But the time from me (Reno) to GreenCine has some glitch. I am looking at one shipped back to GreenCine on 14 Sept and still not checked as received after seven (7) days.

I noticed in the long thread on turnaround times, down about message 222 or thereabouts someone else had a similar problem.

Additionally, my spouse is getting irritated.
underdog
post #2  on September 21, 2007 - 11:53 AM PDT  
We don't want an irritated spouse! Two questions: Is the seven day or longer return time consistent (how many times)? and more importantly, we have a new envelope we're trying out as of this past week - I'm assuming you haven't seen/used that one yet? (Given the delay and that we just started...) Give it one more turnaround, with the new top-flapless envelope to see if that speeds the return any. That and the slightly-hush-hush other feature that is coming soon should alleviate these return delays but do keep us posted. Thanks!
JKlugman
post #3  on September 21, 2007 - 6:05 PM PDT  
I signed up with GreenCine earlier this month and I have had similar experiences. It took only 2-3 days for my first DVDs to arrive. I sent my first DVD back on September 11th. It arrives at GreenCine on September 17th (6 days). It took four days for its replacement to arrive (today, the 21st).

I sent my second DVD back on Saturday, September 15th. GreenCine has still yet to process it, 6 days later.

It is hard for me to tell, but I think all of the DVDs have been shipped in the new envelopes that the GreenCine staffers have been talking about.

Right now this is not a huge problem, I just started a new job and I am slowly slogging through the Death of Mr. Lazarezcu. But in the long run, I am concerned that this is going to be par the course. I understand that shipping takes a while from Philadelphia to California. I was willing to put up with that to get GreenCine's selection, as well as the nice feeling that I was supporting an independent company that promoted variety in film (e.g. David Hudson's blog). But it is awfully hard to avoid the conclusion that distance is only part of the problem, and that GreenCine's new processing center is just not fast enough to process DVDs on the day they arrive. I sincerely doubt this can be laid at the feet of USPS.

Some customers on these boards have suggested that GreenCine adopt a policy where customers can tell GreenCine they have sent back their DVDs, and GreenCine will take them at their word and send out a new DVD. I think this will not be sufficient to solve the problem. If the processing center is overwhelmed by incoming DVDs, I doubt they will be able to cope with fulfilling this new feature as well. I think they really need to fix things with the processing center, or go with a new one. (as an East Coaster, I would love it if they open up a new distribution center closer to me too, which was the promise of this collaboration with CBT).

I really want to stick with GreenCine because of things like its blogs, this bulletin board system, its selection, and its lack of an intentional throttling policy. But if by the beginning of November I am still experiencing 9-10 day turnaround times I will cancel my account. I will cancel my account even if GreenCine's representatives promise that improvements are around the corner, because that is what they have been saying since July.



> On September 21, 2007 - 11:37 AM PDT janeskid wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> There are two parts of to the turnaround time problem, from GreenCine to the customer and from the customer to GreenCine.
>
> First the good news from here. The first leg of my turnaround is back to the times seen in May i.e. I get it the third day unless there is a weekend that extends the time to four or occasionally five days.
>
> But the time from me (Reno) to GreenCine has some glitch. I am looking at one shipped back to GreenCine on 14 Sept and still not checked as received after seven (7) days.
>
> I noticed in the long thread on turnaround times, down about message 222 or thereabouts someone else had a similar problem.
>
> Additionally, my spouse is getting irritated.
> ---------------------------------

Belgand
post #4  on September 22, 2007 - 12:15 AM PDT  
> On September 21, 2007 - 6:05 PM PDT JKlugman wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I sent my second DVD back on Saturday, September 15th. GreenCine has still yet to process it, 6 days later.
>

This past week I had the problem that DVDs took longer getting back to me after I was told that they had shipped. But I've also experienced delays with them getting back to GC.

> It is hard for me to tell, but I think all of the DVDs have been shipped in the new envelopes that the GreenCine staffers have been talking about.
>

Unlikely. The first disc I got with the new, new envelopes was shipped out on the 15th, the previous week was still in the old style. The old, newer style envelopes had a big, floppy, flap at the top of the return portion and sealed from the top. The newer envelopes are almost the same size both coming and going and load from the bottom. They might not totally fix it, but I don't see any way that they can't help by finally making the return trip machinable by the USPS. I certainly look forward to getting FGaipa's take on this.

> Right now this is not a huge problem, I just started a new job and I am slowly slogging through the Death of Mr. Lazarezcu. But in the long run, I am concerned that this is going to be par the course. I understand that shipping takes a while from Philadelphia to California. I was willing to put up with that to get GreenCine's selection, as well as the nice feeling that I was supporting an independent company that promoted variety in film (e.g. David Hudson's blog). But it is awfully hard to avoid the conclusion that distance is only part of the problem, and that GreenCine's new processing center is just not fast enough to process DVDs on the day they arrive. I sincerely doubt this can be laid at the feet of USPS.
>

I've had that concern myself, but while I harbor it occasionally, I'm not yet at the torch-and-pitchfork level of blaming GC of lying to us to cover-up bottlenecking at the processing center. They've claimed it's not true and they ship on the same day they receive. This assumes that they get their mail delivered on the exact same day the post office in Van Nuys gets it and puts it out to delivery, otherwise that might be considered a bottleneck itself. Still, while it's odd at times, in general my shipping times have been pretty even with a few diversions every once in a while (the past few weeks it's taken consistently longer than in previous weeks). As well, the DVDs shipping to me, again with a few abberent, but consistent deviations, have taken roughly the standard time.

For reference (I've just started taking notes):

Disc 1: posted Wed. 9/12, received at GC Sat. 9/15
Disc 2: posted Thurs. 9/13, received at GC Mon. 9/17
Disc 3: from GC 9/15, received at home Thurs. 9/20
posted Thurs. 9/20 (hey, I watched it ten minutes after it heard it fall through the mail slot in the garage and then ran it to the shipping place on the corner and was able to give it to a carrier in the mail truck outside... I'm desperate!)
Disc 4: from GC 9/15, received at home Thurs. 9/20

Note that since I often drop off discs in the evening after watching or in the middle of the night I'm always careful to count the day when the mail will be collected, not the exact day when I put it in the box.

I live in San Francisco city limits (technically!) and before, after the move to Van Nuys, when things are stable, tend to get two days out and two days back such that a disc sent from my nearest postal box on Monday is received at GC on Wednesday and I have a new disc on Friday.

I'm just compiling this to send off to customer service (and personal irritability and, honestly, anal obsessiveness), but I thought you might find it illuminating to know what someone nearby is getting.

True, this isn't nearly as bad as some others on the boards (and I truly sympathize with you who have it worse... many even live in Oakland to boot ;) ), but isn't it always the case that when you're waiting on something in the mail you really notice every day that goes by until you get it? Plus, while small, I've still had glitches and problems that were almost totally unknown before the move. Of course, that was all local mail then, but still.

> Some customers on these boards have suggested that GreenCine adopt a policy where customers can tell GreenCine they have sent back their DVDs, and GreenCine will take them at their word and send out a new DVD. I think this will not be sufficient to solve the problem. If the processing center is overwhelmed by incoming DVDs, I doubt they will be able to cope with fulfilling this new feature as well.

Heeeeyyy.... yeah, that would be an interesting idea. I know we've discussed it in the past, but it might work. Still wouldn't fix the (obligatory complaint) issue that SF is slower than the past (/obligatory complaint), but it would at least help with people further away and the occasional issues where things get delayed along the way somehow.

I can't say I'm as dismissive to begin with though. It might cause problems, but while we each have our hypotheses we'll have to wait until experimental data comes back to verify. That is, of course, if they ever implement a system like that.

>I think they really need to fix things with the processing center, or go with a new one. (as an East Coaster, I would love it if they open up a new distribution center closer to me too, which was the promise of this collaboration with CBT).
>

Probably they've been too busy trying to work things out over here to move on. Plus they'd need to amass a pretty large inventory. And what do they do about those movies that they only have one copy of and are in-demand and out-of-print? I, of course, would say that those should stay here as close to San Francisco as possible, but I'm willing to bet that people everywhere else probably have a different opinion on the matter.

From what I recall reading though CBT has a shipping center in New Jersey, but I'm not aware of any others that are around at present.

> I really want to stick with GreenCine because of things like its blogs, this bulletin board system, its selection, and its lack of an intentional throttling policy. But if by the beginning of November I am still experiencing 9-10 day turnaround times I will cancel my account. I will cancel my account even if GreenCine's representatives promise that improvements are around the corner, because that is what they have been saying since July.
>
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, I understand where you're coming from. Personally, while I like the forums I've mainly been interested in them since the problems occurred and have to admit that the blogs don't really do much for me. Likewise, it looks like the selection isn't quite as superior as it once was since more money has apparently allowed competitors to further build their selection of smaller and niche titles to the point that I was hard pressed to find something they didn't have (that wasn't, of course, an adult title which they just refuse to carry) and was able to find a number of things that GC didn't carry, not due to lack of desire per se, but just having less money and needing to make it count (heh... I haven't been able to find a job since graduating college a few years ago, I totally understand having to make each dollar count). I'm honestly finding myself in the position where I'm having to make some tough decisions about which side is really the Greenest. Haven't made up my mind yet, but well... it's getting a lot tougher than it used to be.

HChang
post #5  on September 23, 2007 - 11:34 AM PDT  
I've also noticed the turn-around time seems to have lengthened. I live in Maryland so expect longer mailing time than most subscribers. However, whereas it used to take about 3-4 days each way, the norm now is 4-6 days each way. I used to drop my movie in the mail Sat morning and GC would receive it Monday. Now, GC doesn't receive it till around Wed. I don't know why the mailing time has increased because I thought recent changes were supposed to improve turn-around time, especially for East Coast customers.

I'll probably stick around GC because I want to support the little guys. But I hope you will try to assess why the mailing time has lengthened instead of shortened. Luckily the local library about a mile away has free movies I can check out (good selection too) to curb my "lack-of-movies" withdrawals, especially on the weekends when I am left with zero movies to watch.

On a different note, I've been having problems trying to access certain databases. I just tried to upload an avatar and received an error although my avatar is within the specs you've provided. Same with my "recommendation" list. Is this part of the changes GC is undergoing?

Other than these clitches, do keep up the good work.
underdog
post #6  on September 23, 2007 - 3:48 PM PDT  
> On September 23, 2007 - 11:34 AM PDT HChang wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> On a different note, I've been having problems trying to access certain databases. I just tried to upload an avatar and received an error although my avatar is within the specs you've provided. Same with my "recommendation" list. Is this part of the changes GC is undergoing?
>
> Other than these clitches, do keep up the good work.
> ---------------------------------

HC, just to clarify so we can help you better. For now, until we get new discussion board software up, to get your own custom avatar, which is I assume what you wanted? you have to email us a 64x64 gif picture to icons@greencine.com and we'll upload it for you. Otherwise you can select one of our avatar options in your member profile. (If that's not working, let us know and we'll investigate.) More here.

And yes, the recommendation list is being upgraded and is currently either not regenerating or not working at all. Sorry about that! We're definitely going to fix that soon. (Hey, while that's broken, feel free to email me at craig@greencine.com and I'll give you some recommendations personally based on your favorites...)

Cheers!
BeneGesserit
post #7  on September 25, 2007 - 8:45 AM PDT  
I am also experiencing an incredible lag compared to before. It's really starting to make me nervous.

I live in East Tennessee and have been accustomed to almost a week's wait to receive a title, and for GC to receive it from me.

The last two titles I had, though...

One of them I received on August 15th and didn't get around to watching it until Labor Day weekend. So it would have gone out in the mail September 4th and according to GC, they still haven't received it!!

The other title I had has been received, and I'm waiting to get a new one. There was a longer than usual wait for it to get to GC, and just this morning I received an email dated the 19th that said that they had gotten it and were shipping the next one. Considering how long turnaround has been on this title, I really feel like I should have my next disc by now, but I'm not half as worried about that one as the other. If it really went out on the 19th then it might be in my mailbox today.

I got an email a while back saying that there a new east coast distribution center was being set up... has that happened yet?
JKlugman
post #8  on September 25, 2007 - 11:09 AM PDT  
EMerkle, you are not the only person out on the eastern side of the country who has had problems. It does sound like the disk you sent on 9/4 got lost. You should send GC an e-mail and explain the situation and get them to release another DVD to you.

In another topic I too asked about the eastern distribution center. The GC representatives did not respond. It sounds like the eastern distribution center is something that will happen in the indefinite future (if at all).



> On September 25, 2007 - 8:45 AM PDT EMerkle wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I am also experiencing an incredible lag compared to before. It's really starting to make me nervous.
>
> I live in East Tennessee and have been accustomed to almost a week's wait to receive a title, and for GC to receive it from me.
>
> The last two titles I had, though...
>
> One of them I received on August 15th and didn't get around to watching it until Labor Day weekend. So it would have gone out in the mail September 4th and according to GC, they still haven't received it!!
>
> The other title I had has been received, and I'm waiting to get a new one. There was a longer than usual wait for it to get to GC, and just this morning I received an email dated the 19th that said that they had gotten it and were shipping the next one. Considering how long turnaround has been on this title, I really feel like I should have my next disc by now, but I'm not half as worried about that one as the other. If it really went out on the 19th then it might be in my mailbox today.
>
> I got an email a while back saying that there a new east coast distribution center was being set up... has that happened yet?
> ---------------------------------

weezy
post #9  on September 25, 2007 - 12:18 PM PDT  

> In another topic I too asked about the eastern distribution center. The GC representatives did not respond. It sounds like the eastern distribution center is something that will happen in the indefinite future (if at all).
>

An East Coast Distribution is still in the works. We do ask for your patience, however, as this is a large development project that will take some time to implement, and we've got quite a few other neat features we'd like to push out to improve the service before moving on to the next big undertaking. So, the project is not in the indefinite future, we'd just like to get some projects out of the way before fully focusing our efforts toward this goal.
woozy
post #10  on September 25, 2007 - 12:48 PM PDT  
The return leg seems to be getting better.

I mailed a disk Saturday and it got returned today, tuesday. That's not bad.

It's nice to end on a grace-note, isn't it?
mgeis
post #11  on September 25, 2007 - 2:41 PM PDT  
My last 3 returned from SF have been 5, 5, and 3 days going to Van Nuys, and 6, 4, and 4 days respectively coming back to me.

(that's turnarounds of 11, 9, and 7 days -- far short of the target of 4 days, 5 if you throw in a weekend).
BeneGesserit
post #12  on September 27, 2007 - 6:10 AM PDT  
Well, I sent an email to customer support the day before yesterday, about the possibility that my disk has been lost. I have received no reply.

What's the usual wait you guys see for customer service?
tungwaiyip
post #13  on September 27, 2007 - 11:24 AM PDT  
This week I have received 2 movies in the new new envelope. The envelope seems to be better designed without a flap that make the return envelope larger. And it has an oversized label of "FIRST CLASS MAIL" printed that's even larger than the address.

Well the first return mail scored one of the best time of 2 days from SF. It is too soon to tell if this performance is consistent. But I'm optimistic.

EMerkle, I've 2 disc declared lost recently. In both case the customer support responsed within 24 hours and released another disc promptly. Perhaps you should ping them again if you see no response.
Belgand
post #14  on September 28, 2007 - 1:52 PM PDT  
Well, one of those odd things happened again where I sent two discs at exactly the same time and one ended up getting checked in before the other one. A solid two days (ugh, to think that this is the best we can hope for nowadays) out and I'm assuming the other one will show up tomorrow. I still don't know how this could be a post office problem exactly, but this isn't the first time this has happened to me with GC.

I wish I could comment on other mail to get a comparison, but, seriously... who mails things these days? I finally used up some stamps I'd been using '99 only a few months ago... and that was the tiny sheet.
underdog
post #15  on September 28, 2007 - 2:14 PM PDT  
> On September 28, 2007 - 1:52 PM PDT Belgand wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well, one of those odd things happened again where I sent two discs at exactly the same time and one ended up getting checked in before the other one. A solid two days (ugh, to think that this is the best we can hope for nowadays) out and I'm assuming the other one will show up tomorrow. I still don't know how this could be a post office problem exactly, but this isn't the first time this has happened to me with GC.
>

Two days is bad? Or did I misunderstand that?

And yes, items sent at the same time but arriving separately is a post office thing, and has been going for years now, alas. I once sent two packages to my mom for her birthday on the same day; one arrived two days later, the other a week(!) later. It's an X-File, I tells ya.
HChang
post #16  on September 29, 2007 - 8:36 AM PDT  
> On September 27, 2007 - 6:10 AM PDT BeneGesserit wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well, I sent an email to customer support the day before yesterday, about the possibility that my disk has been lost. I have received no reply.
>
> What's the usual wait you guys see for customer service?
> ---------------------------------

I've rarely had my discs lost. On those rare occasions (two) I waited a week before sending GC an email. Both times, I received a personal reply informing me they were shipping the next movie in my queue.

RE: Post #6: thanks underdog, for the avatar clarification. The upload avatar capability I was alluding to is via GC's Central hub. I've successfully uploaded an avatar there before (85x85) but wanted to change it. Is "GC Central" different from "GC Main"? I don't really know the difference btw an avatar and an icon but I don't have any problem changing my icon from my account. It's no big deal. I kinda like my current icon.

I finally saw the new-new envelope this week. I certainly think the design is much better - the large flap is gone, and the disc fits snuggly in the envelope. I hope this will solve some of the recent shipping issues. Will report back if not (^_^)v
JKlugman
post #17  on September 29, 2007 - 12:15 PM PDT  
I too can report that the last DVD I sent back to GC (from Philadelphia) got there in 4 days, which is much better than the 6-7 day lengths before.
Belgand
post #18  on October 3, 2007 - 12:38 PM PDT  
> On September 28, 2007 - 2:14 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On September 28, 2007 - 1:52 PM PDT Belgand wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > Well, one of those odd things happened again where I sent two discs at exactly the same time and one ended up getting checked in before the other one. A solid two days (ugh, to think that this is the best we can hope for nowadays) out and I'm assuming the other one will show up tomorrow. I still don't know how this could be a post office problem exactly, but this isn't the first time this has happened to me with GC.
> >
> And yes, items sent at the same time but arriving separately is a post office thing, and has been going for years now, alas. I once sent two packages to my mom for her birthday on the same day; one arrived two days later, the other a week(!) later. It's an X-File, I tells ya.
> ---------------------------------

Well, the same thing happened here. The disc finally showed up exactly a week later. In that same time I've had a chance to have another disc received, a replacement shipped, watch the replacement, and ship it back in yesterday's mail.

This is, without a doubt, the absolute worst performance I've ever seen from GC yet.
ciaran
post #19  on October 3, 2007 - 1:02 PM PDT  
Ditto here.

SF -> Greencine, 4+ days
Greencine -> SF, usually 2 days.

Although I have a similar problem with gamefly (also based in LA) so it may be a USPS problem...
Nenufar
post #20  on October 3, 2007 - 1:15 PM PDT  
Amazingly, I had a *two* (2) day turnaround from SF to LA this past week, and 2 days back. Bravo! Must be the new envelopes. Sent it from a mailbox in the panhandle, picked up Saturday.
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