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1064

Any word on sent back button?
Topic by: zarran67
Posted: June 23, 2003 - 4:21 PM PDT
Last Reply: July 3, 2003 - 8:17 PM PDT

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author topic: Any word on sent back button?
zarran67
post #1  on June 23, 2003 - 4:21 PM PDT  
A little over a month ago Dennis mentioned that GreenCine is examining the 'Sent Back' feature...

Does anyone know the status of that?

Z67
Dwoodwoo
post #2  on June 23, 2003 - 6:00 PM PDT  
Hi Zarran67--

It's still in committee but hasn't been killed yet. I'll give a report if/when there's progress on it. We've been busy smoothing out other operational issues, but this one hasn't been forgotten.

best regards--

dennis!
Dennis Woo
Managing Partner, GreenCine
dwoo@greencine.com


> On June 23, 2003 - 4:21 PM PST zarran67 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> A little over a month ago Dennis mentioned that GreenCine is examining the 'Sent Back' feature...
>
> Does anyone know the status of that?
>
> Z67
> ---------------------------------

zarran67
post #3  on June 23, 2003 - 6:21 PM PDT  
Dennis -

Thanks for your reply. I'm glad its still on the table... for people like myself whose whole life revolves around movies, it is hell going a day or two without any DVDs to watch. And the 'Sent Back' button would speed up the whole turn-around.

Don't let people get you down about availability issues... GreenCine is still the best and I'm sure you guys will come up with a fix for all our concerns soon.

Keep up the GREAT WORK!

Z67


>> It's still in committee but hasn't been killed yet. I'll give a report if/when there's progress on it. We've been busy smoothing out other operational issues, but this one hasn't been forgotten.
>
> best regards--
>
> dennis!
> Dennis Woo
> Managing Partner, GreenCine
> dwoo@greencine.com
>
>
RobotechMaster
post #4  on June 29, 2003 - 10:15 PM PDT  
> On June 23, 2003 - 6:00 PM PDT Dwoodwoo wrote:

> It's still in committee but hasn't been killed yet. I'll give a report if/when there's progress on it. We've been busy smoothing out other operational issues, but this one hasn't been forgotten.

I'd just like to say that a sent-back button would be the best possible feature that Greencine could add, from my perspective. Given that it takes 4 days to ship DVDs to my location in the midwest, and 4 to ship them back, it would make it substantially easier for me to feel like I'm getting my money's worth in the amount of DVDs I can rent per month.
billbo1970
post #5  on July 2, 2003 - 5:55 AM PDT  
> > On June 23, 2003 - 6:00 PM PDT Dwoodwoo wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> It's still in committee but hasn't been killed yet.

That's not a very encouraging way to phrase it... :/

> On June 29, 2003 - 10:15 PM PDT RobotechMaster wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'd just like to say that a sent-back button would be the best possible feature that Greencine could add, from my perspective. Given that it takes 4 days to ship DVDs to my location in the midwest, and 4 to ship them back, it would make it substantially easier for me to feel like I'm getting my money's worth in the amount of DVDs I can rent per month.

I agree 100% !!! Right now I am very happy with the service & selection. Very happy. I am NOT happy with the amount of rentals I'm able to get /month... It's really not very economical at this juncture, and it just kills me. I constantly consider... 'should I cancel? I'm not getting my money's worth & $$ is very tight right now'. But, I always decide to keep it going due to the excellent service & great anime' selection. I'd like to not have the $$ concern plagueing me though! Sent back button would help ALOT!

Bill


billbo1970
post #6  on July 2, 2003 - 5:59 AM PDT  
I'd just like to add an example.

Read or Die was shipped to me on 6/24. When I got it, I immediately watched it & sent it back the next day (not sure on the date). Today is the 2nd, so It's been 9 days since they shipped it to me, and they don't yet have it back. Too make matters worse I really didn't like the show at all!! Waaaaahhhh.... sniff sniff.

Also, if they don't get it today or tomorrow, there is no mail on Friday... we are talking a LONG turnaround time here!!!

Bill
JHeath
post #7  on July 2, 2003 - 8:56 AM PDT  
I might be the only one, but I don't think this is a good idea. The potential for abuse is just too great.
Cinenaut
post #8  on July 2, 2003 - 10:34 AM PDT  
How would the proposed button work? Are we talking about this thread?

Simply having a button that says "I sent the DVD back" would be totally open for abuse. You could press it the minute you saw the DVD shipped to you.

Charging a fee for additional DVDs to be sent to you on a case by case basis... that seems more reasonable.
RobotechMaster
post #9  on July 2, 2003 - 11:55 AM PDT  
> On July 2, 2003 - 10:34 AM PDT Cinenaut wrote:

> Simply having a button that says "I sent the DVD back" would be totally open for abuse. You could press it the minute you saw the DVD shipped to you.

Well, somehow the other DVD rental by mail places such as Netflix seem to manage it somehow. And it was tempting to go with them instead of Greencine for precisely that reason. The only reason I didn't was that friends who'd tried Greencine seemed to like it better than Netflix for the quality of service you got.

I should think there could be some kind of safeguard, like the sent back button might not become available until two to four days after the movie was shipped (depending on the geographical area of the subscriber). So they would at least have to have received the movie before it could be sent back. And perhaps some sort of system to track how long it was between the time the movie was claimed to be sent back and the time it actually arrived...and people with a history of excessively long sent-back times for their region might lose the use of the sent-back feature.
KLee
post #10  on July 2, 2003 - 12:31 PM PDT  
> On July 2, 2003 - 11:55 AM PDT RobotechMaster wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On July 2, 2003 - 10:34 AM PDT Cinenaut wrote:
>
> > Simply having a button that says "I sent the DVD back"
> would be totally open for abuse. You could press it the
> minute you saw the DVD shipped to you.
>
> Well, somehow the other DVD rental by mail places such as
> Netflix seem to manage it somehow. And it was tempting to
> go with them instead of Greencine for precisely that
> reason.

Wait, Netflix doesn't seem to have this option. (I'm a concurrent NF subscriber.) They just have a "notify us if you shipped it back more than 6 days ago and we haven't received it" form, basically the same as GreenCine.

Does any rent-by-mail outfit actually have the "sent back today, take my word for it" button? Seems like a bad idea to me.
Dwoodwoo
post #11  on July 2, 2003 - 12:39 PM PDT  
To answer officially: The sent-back feature is currently off the GreenCine features list as a standard feature. We feel the potential for abuse is too great. However, we are considering the feature as a possible premium service feature. The status of this is still in committee. We recognize that particularly for our mid-west and east coast customers, a sent-back feature would have value...but as pointed out, we're working through some scenarios to see what sort of controls we can put on such a system to limit abuse. If it makes any difference, we've learned that Net**** doesn't ship on Sundays and Saturdays; GreenCine receives and ships Monday through Saturday. You can figure what the effect is on you individually, but it means up to four more shippings days (best case, one entire turn or 3 more rentals per month), or faster delivery if your returned disk lands on a Saturday.

I will update you on these boards and announce through our new GreenCine Newsletter (to be launched in the next week or two) to let you know what develops.

best regards as always--

dennis!
Dennis Woo
Managing Partner, GreenCine
dwoo@greencine.com
http://www.greencine.com
underdog
post #12  on July 2, 2003 - 12:50 PM PDT  
And one thing to add to Dennis' thorough response, as far as I know from friends (traitors!) who have or recently have Netfl** accounts, they discontinued the "Sent back" feature as well, after too much abuse. They, like us, will send you the next disc in your queue if you report a disc lost, but will still ultimately hold you accountable for it. Honestly, I don't know of any current online service who does have this feature, but y'all are welcome to prove us wrong. Just too much potential for abuse. But as Dennis said, at some point we may implement it for long/good-standing customers.

Thanks for the input everyone.

Craig Phillips
Associate Editor
GreenCine
Dwoodwoo
post #13  on July 2, 2003 - 12:50 PM PDT  
> On July 2, 2003 - 12:31 PM PDT KLee wrote:
>
> Wait, Netflix doesn't seem to have this option. (I'm a concurrent NF subscriber.) They just have a "notify us if you shipped it back more than 6 days ago and we haven't received it" form, basically the same as GreenCine.
>
> Does any rent-by-mail outfit actually have the "sent back today, take my word for it" button? Seems like a bad idea to me.
> ---------------------------------

I believe that many rent-by-mail-and-internet outfits flirted with this feature early on, but it didn't go beyond just a fling.

best regards--

dennis!
Dennis Woo
Managing Partner, GreenCine
dwoo@greencine.com


XiuLong
post #14  on July 2, 2003 - 2:07 PM PDT  
> On July 2, 2003 - 12:50 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Honestly, I don't know of any current online service who does have this feature, but y'all are welcome to prove us wrong. Just too much potential for abuse. But as Dennis said, at some point we may implement it for long/good-standing customers.
>
> Thanks for the input everyone.
>
> Craig Phillips
> Associate Editor
> GreenCine
> ---------------------------------

The only outfit that I know of that still has the sent-back feature is Indofilms.com. However, there is another feature that I hope Greencine would consider for East Coast customers, having an extra DVD or two for an extra dollar or two depending on the rental plan. For example, for the 3-out plan, midwest and east coast customers would have 4 DVDs out, for the 4-out plan 5 DVDs, for 8-out 10 DVDs, etc.
dh22
post #15  on July 2, 2003 - 2:09 PM PDT  
Seems like the only way to do this is to get the post office involved. You need a third party to verify that the disc has been shipped. Maybe instead of complete tracking you can get a service where they only notify you of the initial drop off, but they don't bother tracking it all they way through its trip.
TCantrell
post #16  on July 2, 2003 - 2:23 PM PDT  
I hope that by premium service means something like what Underdog suggested , a service for long time/good standing customers, and not a higher price subscription package.

The very reason I was hoping for a Sent Back button is because I dont have a lot of cash to burn. Once I view the hard to find disks I joined GC for, its going to be hard for me to justify the higher rate I am paying per disk.

Implementing this feature for good standing customers is a good idea. It shouldn't be too hard to cull memebers who are "cheating". If every other disk comes back over a week after the button has been pressed there is reason for suspicion.

Its a nice incentive for members to play be the rules.
markhl
post #17  on July 2, 2003 - 2:52 PM PDT  
boy... this one's a really tempting feature. I'm casting my vote against as well for the same reasons of potential abuse mentioned above - which would hurt us all in the long run. Getting the post office involved would just introduce the bureaucratic inefficiencies of the government into the workings of GC more than necessary - remember the envelopes issue? haha (oh wait, is that over yet?)

But I know what you guys mean since I'm an east coaster myself. How about if GC does some sort of study (if they haven't already) for a month to see the average # of discs checked out per member per month for different geographic regions and see how they compare? (if you can exclude slower viewing members to increase accuracy, it's better of course) And then perhaps the pricing plan can be modified a little for those living in slower-delivery zones or something (so it'll be same equivalent service for same cost). It'd be easier to manage than tracking envelopes through the USPS.

or.. GC could hire a fleet of flying monkies... hmmm... now that'd be a sight to see...
AKrizman
post #18  on July 2, 2003 - 3:02 PM PDT  
Here's how DVD Barn does it:

If you have the 3-out plan, you can declare only 2 movies sent back at a time. once you declare a movie sent back, that title occupies one of the two sent-back slots until the movie is actually received. Once the movie is received by DVD Barn, that title is removed from the slot and you have that slot available to declare the next movie you send back.

This slot system effectively prevents abuse. It's still possible to claim that a movie is sent back without actually sending back, but you will only be able to do it twice, and you wouldn't actually be able to get another movie after that until a movie is actually received.

The system isn't as complicated to figure out as it is to describe; it's easy to use and really makes a difference. It was definitely the best feature DVD Barn offers.

The effect of this is not much different from just having 5 out, except you never actually have 5 in hand at one time. It's a good way to equalize the service for all users. Folks who live within a short mailing distance from GC will probably find that they rarely keep one sent back slot filled, while those of us who are further away will probably find that our last slot will usually just clear up in time to send back another.

Three reasons to consider the sent back feature:

1. It would eliminate the disadvantage that folks who live far away from you have, opening up your potential market from just SF to the rest of the country.
2. It's cheaper and easier than opening distribution hubs.
3. It would eliminate the shipping delay headaches with the USPS.
aacevedo
post #19  on July 2, 2003 - 5:04 PM PDT  
> On July 2, 2003 - 11:55 AM PDT RobotechMaster wrote:

Well, somehow the other DVD rental by mail places such as Netflix seem to manage it somehow. And it was tempting to go with them instead of Greencine for precisely that reason. The only reason I didn't was that friends who'd tried Greencine seemed to like it better than Netflix for the quality of service you got.
> ---------------------------------

Lets me tell you a story... In May I hit the "I RETURNED A DVD BUT NETFLIX HAS NOT RECEIVED IT" button and reported 3 DVD's that were not received by them in 7 days. My NETF*** account had a DVD on record that I never received. Their system automatically shut me out of my account and would not ship anymore DVD's until all DVD's were accounted for despite my contacting the USPS and getting a "case number" for lost items.

Even after the DVD's arrived my account was shut down for 48 hours. After 4 heated phone calls, they gave me 1 week free. My account was frozen from Thursday until the following Tuesday.

In general, I am somewhat disgruntled that when I first signed up with GC they had sooooo many DVD's available I could "lock" my queue and see a specific anime title in order. Now, I am lucky to have 1 anime DVD of a series "available" out of the top 20 in my queue. This consternation is quelled by the fact that the "DVD fairy" (a close relative to the shipping monkey) miraculously sends me DVD's even though they are listed as LONG WAIT.

But not to worry, GC etal., is a new rapidly expanding market. They are experiencing growing pains akin to AOL when they went from a $2.95/hour fee basis to $19.95/month unlimited access (circa 1996).

So, we as astute consumers do what consumers did to AOL when demand grew faster than available services... we slap GC with a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT.

Regarding the button issue, Be careful what you wish for or to quote Tom Waites "the big print giveth', the small print taketh' away".
greenmonkey
post #20  on July 2, 2003 - 7:06 PM PDT  


Quote: "Now, I am lucky to have 1 anime DVD of a series "available" out of the top 20 in my queue."
My ship times are 3-4 days each way to/from Michigan. My only grumble would be that disks become available, but I have disks still in transit for several days. I personally would take better availability (for me, especially with the aforementioned anime series, it is very hard to watch it in order), over a sent back button.

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