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Tuesday, January 23, 2007 :::

Using Netflix to Spread the Joy of Dan

Ever since I joined Netflix I've been astounded by what must surely be an incredibly complex service infrastructure. They have millions of DVDs in millions of sleeves in millions of envelopes in millions of mailboxes every day, and they ship unbelievably fast. I couldn't conceive of how it was possible, and I didn't really understand how they knew what DVD was in what sleeve when you returned your envelope. But today I found out by accident that they apparently have no idea what DVD is in the sleeve you return. In fact it doesn't even have to be a DVD at all.

You see, I was organizing my movie collection and putting discs back in boxes, etcetera, when I decided to hit the eject button on my DVD changer. I was surprised when the Hostel DVD popped out, because I had supposedly returned it to Netflix three weeks ago. Confused, I looked around for an empty box to help me figure out which of my personal DVDs I had returned to Netflix by mistake, but they were all accounted for. The only empty case in the vicinity was for my own homemade Kickassiest Xmas music mix. Which means some lucky Netflix customer out there who was expecting a gory pseudo-snuff horror film would instead be hearing some lovely holiday classics from the past and present, including the planetdan original Xmas song: The Kickassiest Xmas. What a treat! Sure, it's a little out of season, but who wouldn't love an opportunity to tickle their earholes with a little dan?

This would make an interesting grass roots distribution system for struggling bands, I think. Just keep ordering Netflix movies and replacing them with your demo disc. Netflix has yet to contact me about the error, which means they probably never bother to check to see if the proper titles are in the proper mailing sleeves. Who knows, maybe the head of the Holiday Song Division at some huge record company is listening to The Kickassiest Xmas right now! Of course, that would mean they expected to be watching Hostel tonight, so they're probably not too happy with me right now. Plus I neglected to include any contact information for them to call and offer me millions for the distribution rights, but whatever.

::: posted by dan at 11:09 PM :: [ link ] :: (18) comments Social Bookmark Button

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18 previous comments:

All our DVD rentals (from lovefilm) have a barcode sticker on the DVD itself, so it can be tracked. Does Netflix not do a similar thing?

By Blogger Joshua, at 6:13 AM  

i want that system to be in germany, too... :(
I already sent netflix a mail asking if they might know of a similar company or possible affiliate operating in Germany, but still no answer...

By Anonymous Richard, at 7:40 AM  

"who wouldn't love an opportunity to tickle their earholes with a little dan?"

That made me uncomfortable.

By Blogger Kristina, at 8:36 AM  

I can see it now. The mood is set.

The lights are low...the popcorn is popped...all snuggled in on the couch under a big blankie...and...

We don't want the classiest Christmas
We want the kickassiest Christmas

Huh? *&$&^#@% Netflix users!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:58 AM  

With Netflix there are no identifiers on the actual DVDs. There is a barcode on the sleeve itself, but that's it.

As for Netflix going global, I think you can bet it will happen soon. They have also just announced that they will be offering a download version, too, but I hate watching movies on my computer.

By Blogger dan, at 9:24 AM  

I made the same mistake once, but on a much more embarassing scale. In the "Prairie Home Companion" sleeve, I returned the DVD "Briana Banks AKA Filthy Whore," which, believe it or not, was pornographic in nature. Yes, that was the actual title, and it was one of those DVDs with a naked picture on the disc and everything. I never got it back, and I was far too humiliated to call.

Luckily, I didn't return it in the "Cars" sleeve...

By Anonymous Patrick Walsh, at 12:34 PM  

OMG I have Prairie Home Companion right now. I gotta go check the sleeve...

By Blogger dan, at 2:15 PM  

you were SOOOOO hoping to get acquainted with Briana, weren't you Dan?

By Anonymous toddbee, at 2:58 PM  

I am pretty sure I wouldn't want my earholes tickled by a little dan.

By Blogger Nate Dogg, at 3:00 PM  

I'm pretty sure that if I was expecting a movie loaded with gore and naked Czech women and I received that gaaaaaaaay homemade xmas song, I'd ask Netflix to do a track & trace on the barcode to see who last had that DVD so that I could hunt him down.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:07 PM  

I think you meant to say "who wouldn't love an opportunity to tickle their earholes w/a big Dan?"
Bigger is always better when it comes to aural action.

By Anonymous August, at 2:53 AM  

Nice hyperbole, August

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:59 AM  

Oops, I meant, "Nice homophone, August." Guess I deserved that D- in high school English :C

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:09 AM  

I wonder how many DVDs you could get away with stealing from Netflix before they caught on, tracked you down, and arrested you. :-)

By Anonymous Zoe, at 1:24 PM  

I got to 7...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:02 PM  

Yeah, I've been screwed a couple times because of the fact that netflix doesn't check the dvd sleeve. Twice, we've gotten severely cracked, unplayable dvds--twice in the same month, in fact. One of them was completely broken in half. Yeah, netflix immediately replaces it, but still, you're bummed when you open it up and it's broken.
Also, you're supposed to be able to return two movies in one sleeve if, say, you lose an envelope (where do they go? who knows?). But I once returned two movies in one sleeve, and they claimed they never got one of them.
Luckily, netflix gives you about a million chances for movies to be lost/stolen/broken, whatever, before they give you the boot or charge you or whatever. So I still love 'em.

By Anonymous lola, at 3:44 PM  

thaks, everybody (expecially Lola), for all the netflix info. I've been a member for sixish years and have never broken or even bent a rule. I'm such an ass. I was stressing about the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" DVD that I misplaced about three weeks ago (found in a child's ski coat hood - not pocket, HOOD), thinking there would be repurcussions. I'm such an ass.

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