Netflix Saves The Day, Overrides Disc Limit To Send Me Martial Arts Movie To Watch With The Guys

For all the rotting fruit hurled at Netflix over the whole price-doubling thing and the Qwikster debacle, it is easy to forget how much some people used to adore the company and its customer service.

But Consumerist reader Jonathan recently got a reminder when a Netflix employee went the extra mile, all so he could watch a kung fu flick with his pals.

See, Jonathan had just put the finishing touches on the theater in his man cave, and he wanted to have his friends over — including some from out of town — this weekend to experience the awesomeness.

“I went to my Netflix queue and moved Ip Man to the top slot,” he says. “I was confident that it would get here in time for the movie night since I knew they would send me a disc that day. Apparently, there is a lag in the system that doesn’t update the site as soon as a disc has shipped. I went on happily thinking I would get my kung fu flick but they ended up sending me the previous number one in my queue; which was *ahem* a romantic comedy that I had planned to watch with my fianc√©.”

Jonathan could have watched Ip Man through Netflix’s streaming library, but he had really been hoping to show off the movie in its full Blu Ray glory:

I called Netflix and apologetically explained them my situation. The customer service rep got a good chuckle out of my story and we both agreed that a romantic comedy would not work for my movie night. Without hesitation he queued up the kung fu flick and sent it out on a rush. This put me over my two disc movie plan, but he said it wouldn’t be a problem.

Netflix may have gotten some bad press in the last year and I’ll admit to being a bit disgruntled, but this kind of customer service goes a long way to making me a happy customer again.

Speaking of Netflix, a few readers have noticed the following clause in the new Netflix Terms of Service and wondered if this is the company’s way of leaving the door open for tiered streaming plans:

For certain membership plans in the United States with limited hours of instant watching, any unused instant watching time will not roll-over to your next period or otherwise accumulate. If you reach your watch instantly limit while a selected movie or TV show is playing, you are able to complete that movie or TV show provided that you continuously watch it to completion. The number of movies & TV shows you are able to watch instantly during each billing period depends on the length of each movie or TV show you select and whether you watch them to completion. Any repeated instant watching of a movie or TV show, in whole or in part, will count towards your total watch instantly time.

But a Netflix rep confirms to Consumerist that this clause is in the TOS for the customers who have the $4.99/month plan that only allows two hours of streaming each month and that the company does not have any plans for tiered streaming prices.


Edit Your Comment

  1. dolemite says:

    That’s cool. IP Man is a good movie too. And not just if you like martial arts movies.

  2. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Anyone else getting DVDs that don’t play at all? I’m not talking about skipping, I’m talking about they don’t play. At all. And you have to shut down your TV and player to eject the damn thing.

    This happened to me for the second time this past weekend. First time it was ‘True Grit’ — had 3 copies of the damn thing that wouldn’t play. This past weekend it was the latest pirate movie (yeah, I know). What’s the deal with this? Is it a DRM issue? Anyone know?

    • aen says:

      Do other DVDs in your own library still work? Have you considered the possibility that there’s something wrong with your DVD player?

      • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

        Other DVDs play fine; even other DVDs from Netflix play fine (when they don’t skip). So far it’s just those two. I called customer support and he thought it might be the little round label near the hole in the disk. So I removed that bastard from the pirate movie when it wouldn’t play. Popped it in and it still wouldn’t play. ;-Z

        • scoutermac says:

          I had this problem with my PS2. Finally decided it was time to upgrade to a PS3. This solved my problem.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      It could be an older DVD player having issues with some newer DRM. How old is the player?

  3. mbd says:

    Netflix seems intent on killing off their DVD/Blueray only service. If you go to their home page, there is not mention of those plans, nor is there any mention of how to sign up for them.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      True. I had to look at the bottom to find this:

      I’d love to stream movies if I could stream EVERY movie. Not there yet. Plus, the cost for high-speed is still out of line (at least to me) — I’m not paying $40 to $60 a month (or more) to watch a limited selection of movies when I can watch 3-6 movies a week on DVD (when they play) for $17.

  4. chefboyardee says:

    $5/month to watch 2 hours of streaming video? That’s…umm…ridiculous is a good word to use here.

    Yes, I know that’s close to what one used to pay at Blockbuster to rent a movie back in the dark ages. That, too, was ridiculous.

    • KidRey says:

      If you fork over an extra 3 bucks a month its unlimited, though it is a tired selection, but it’s vast…

    • fatediesel says:

      The $4.99 a month plan is actually a DVD plan in which you can rent 1 movie at a time and a limit of 2 movies rented per month, and with that plan you also get 2 hours of streaming. I still wouldn’t consider it a good deal, but it’s more than just the 2 hours of streaming.

  5. John says:

    And what about movies that run 2 hours and 10 minutes, etc?

    • who? says:

      It says you can finish watching it if you keep watching. But if you stop it at 2:05, you can’t finish it until the next month rolls over.

  6. macnbc says:

    “the company does not have any plans for tiered streaming prices. “

    Because that would be the quickest way to kill the company.

  7. ariven says:

    On more than one occasion netflix has sent me the next movie in my queue when they havent had a dvd at the local distribution center and had to send it from one further away.

    It is a nice little touch, which I like since they keep jacking prices on us.. :)

    • nybiker says:

      I too have had that happen and it’s a nice touch. What’s been even more amazing is the processing of returns over 3-day weekends. I mailed back a disc on Sat, Feb 18 figuring that ok, they might get it on Monday, Presidents Day, and sure enough that’s what happened. Next I get the email saying my next disc would be received by me on Wed. But the goodness was that I actually got it on Tuesday, so not only was Netflix working on Monday, but so were some folks at the USPS.

  8. comatose says:

    So is it Intellectual Property Man, or Internet Protocol (version 4, presumably) Man?

    • parv says:

      Before reading the details, I also thought of the same. Since it is a Bruce Lee movie, I was leaning towards the intellectual.

  9. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Good, because they just got Rosario+Vampire and a few other anime titles and I plan to use the streaming with my new blu-ray player.

  10. StarKillerX says:

    I love how they can’t print something nice about netflix without starting the story off by linking two articles that bash it.

    Stay classy!

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      I know, right? It’s like, you can’t say anything nice about Hitler at all without people getting all “nazi” on you.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Ah okay so now netflix is equal to Hitler?

        My point is, these writers would likely bitch if the only time their boss gave them a compliment it went somethin like this “Your normally a worthless piece of shit but today you did a good job!”

  11. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    I…um, am I the only one who assumed “IP Man” was a photochop? Like…it seems like something the MPAA/RIAA would dream up: “IP Man bitchslaps the content pirates with his mighty Writs of Fury!”

  12. Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

    A very similar thing has happened to be 4 or five times. In each instance, a cheerful Netflix employee sent me the movie I really wanted, going over the number of of discs in my plan. I think they still get CS, but agree that whole fiasco last summer was some serious foot shooting.

  13. bitplayer says:

    IP Man 2 is even better, Samo rules!

  14. d0x360 says:

    You wanted to show off your home theater with ip man? No no no you gotta use a showcase title like the matrix or lotr… Something with amazing picture quality

  15. drjayphd says:

    That’s nothing. Just wait for the heart-wrenching finale of the trilogy, “IP Man 3: You Can’t Go Again”.

  16. HogwartsProfessor says:

    They were nice to me recently when I sent my Doctor Who disc back, but it never registered as received. I went on the website and indicated that, and they went ahead and sent me the next one. I was completely ready to call them and tell them I DID put it in the mail. I don’t know what could have happened, unless someone took it out of my box.

    The next one I mailed downtown. Just to be sure. I hope it went. Once they can understand but twice might make me get in trouble.