Is Netflix costing the post office millions of dollars with its poorly-designed DVD mailers? Um, sort of. [Machinist]


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  1. humphrmi says:

    If the Post Office’s Inspector General needs more work to do, he should find another job. All this is in the article but the salient points are:

    1. Netflix delivers their outbound mail directly to the regional postal centers, rather than requiring a carrier to pick them up, saving the USPS lots of money, and despite the fact that they pay full first class mail postage on every envelope

    2. Speaking of full first class mail postage, that gets the USPS an additional $100 Million per year in revenue against the lower bulk rates that Netflix could pay

    So it’s down to a math calculation:

    $100 million extra revenue (one year)
    -$ 42 million extra cost (last couple of years)
    3. Profit!

    USPS should just shut up and be happy that someone still wants to use their lousy service.

  2. 44 in a Row says:

    Also, USPS approved the mailers. Sure, it was the marketing department, not the engineering department, but you can’t fault Netflix if, after showing a design to the USPS and getting it approved, they go ahead and use that design.

  3. Raignn says:

    Not really news. Not only does the article say they won’t be charged anything extra, but if it comes to it Netflix can easily redesign their envelopes. I do love the USPS bitching about one of the few newer companies that actually use them for much any more.

  4. robdew2 says:

    Leave it to the USPS to blame its customers for its poor service. Jeez.

  5. trollkiller says:

    Read the PDF [] linked to the article. The last couple of pages is the VP of Customer Service’s response to the outside audit. It politely tells the to STFU.

    As I understand it full First Class mail is charged at the non machinable rate. That is why you don’t pay extra when mailing a bulky but light letter to you Aunt Tilley.

    Net Flix needs to redesign their envelopes to be machinable if only to keep them from being tore up when they are accidentally machined.

  6. mrestko says:

    Crazy, crazy post office. Why can’t the government just open up mail delivery for competition?

  7. timmus says:

    Hmm… I’ve been tearing off those lousy tabs at the top and bottom of the mailer before sending it out, because I suspect they jam the sorting machines, and of course I don’t want to have a problem with my Netflix subscription. Yeah, the envelope design is pretty bad and the fault is on the entity that approved its use.

  8. synergy says:

    @timmus: Yay! I’m not the only one! For the same reason I was removing all unnecessary bits of sticky paper from the return envelopes. Sadly, that doesn’t occur to everyone, I think.

  9. balthisar says:

    @humphrmi: Can’t be bulk rate, because the contents aren’t identical.

  10. NoWin says:

    @timmus: Ditto here.

  11. iamme99 says:

    IF USPS would stop filling my home mailbox and my POB with all those graphic cards pitching their services, they would sure save a lot of money on printing and design costs. I bet ti would be in the 100 million+ range.

  12. swalve says:

    @mrestko: Because it’s against the law.

    @iamme99: No kidding. My mailbox is so full of crap…

  13. mconfoy says:

    @mrestko: Because only densely populated areas would receive mail at a reasonable cost. And since no country in the world has been stupid enough to do that, why should we be that stupid?

  14. trollkiller says:

    @mrestko: Because the private companies would cherry pick the profitable routes/areas and leave the costly routes to the Post Office.

  15. kc2idf says:

    I’m particularly amused by the stock recommendations — sell Netflix and buy Blockbuster. What bull. Netflix is kicking Blockbuster’s ass and we all know it.