Some Netflix Rental Charts

I have been a Netflix customer since July 2000. I have kept a diary of the dates when I return a disc to Netflix and when they receive it, which allows me to draw some charts.

I have always had a 4-at-a-time plan, except for September 2008 when I was getting 5 discs at a time. In December 2008 Netflix started sending bonus discs to compensate for titles shipped from distant centers and we get a few of those. Our first Saturday check-in and shipment was in July 2009.

My wife and I are pretty expeditious in viewing discs and returning them, without being fanatically compulsive about it. We've never kept a disc for months. We live in a small Midwestern town with what seems to be a pretty good local Post Office.

I'll try to update these charts monthly

How long does it take for a disc to be returned?

Here is a chart showing the return transit times for the complete history of rentals. The 1-day return time has become the most common: this means if a disc is mailed on Monday then Netflix receives it on Tuesday. The times include Sundays and holidays.

Return Transit Time

How have the return times changed?

The next chart shows the average return time by month.

As you can see, the return times have improved greatly since the early years. Most of the outliers in the first chart are from 2000 and 2001.

The mail system was disrupted in the months after September 11, 2001, but since then transit times have improved such that 1-day return monthly averages have become common. Again, this includes Sundays and holidays, so this is an excellent result.

I'm presuming that both Netflix and the Post Office share credit for the improved performance.

Average Return Transit Time by Month

How many rentals per month do we get?

Here we see that the number of discs we receive per month has increased quite a bit since the beginning. This is due to the reduced transit times and bonus discs, with our irregular viewing habits supplying a large randomizing factor.

Rentals by Month

Other stuff

Total discs: 2592

Damaged discs: 34 (1.3%)

A history of the number of damaged discs:

2000 2
2001 3
2002 0
2003 1
2004 3
2005 2
2006 0
2007 0
2008 2
2009 2
2010 1
2011 3
2012 6
2013 3
2014 5

Wrong discs received: 2

Discs that never arrived: 1

Extra discs received (pre-12/2008): 2

What were they? The Mexican (oh no...Brad Pitt) and Big Bad Love (never heard of it, liked it a lot).

Bonus discs (12/2008 and after): 127

My only other movie-related pages are shown at Shakespeare on Film and Video. I post capsule reviews of older films at Review older films here: 1979 and earlier and Review films of the 1980s here!.

This document was generated on January 02, 2015 at 16:14 CST with docutils.


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