GameFly calls out USPS

Gaming rental-by-mail service accuses US postal service of providing preferential treatment to Netflix, Blockbuster.

Gaming rental-by-mail business GameFly already has a simmering fight on its hands, considering that Blockbuster recently announced plans to add games to its own rent-by-mail service. However focused it might be on that encroachment, GameFly apparently had time to pick another fight, given that it filed a complaint yesterday with the Postal Regulatory Commission alleging that the United States Postal Service is giving preferential treatment to Blockbuster and movie-by-mail service Netflix.

It arrived, but in how many pieces?

As reported by Ars Technica, the complaint notes that GameFly mails approximately 590,000 DVDs to subscribers every month, and receives about 510,000 in return, for a total of 1.1 million one-way trips through the postal service. GameFly cites a breakage rate of 1 percent per mailing in its complaint, which according to them suggests that, every month, the company burns through 11,000 games that don't survive delivery. Many of the discs are broken by USPS' automated sorting equipment, according to GameFly.

That broken-disc tally doesn't even count loss and theft, two more problems for GameFly. However, the company said that the USPS has been helpful on this front, with a total of 19 postal-service employees arrested for the theft of GameFly property, 14 since the beginning of 2007.

As for the preferential-treatment charges, GameFly notes that broken discs were also problems for Blockbuster and Netflix. However, GameFly says that the USPS responded to those companies' complaints by manually sorting their mailers for special processing, a courtesy that it refused to extend to the gaming-specific rental outfit.

GameFly is asking the PRC to hold hearings on the complaint and order the USPS to offer it the same level of service at the same rates as those received by Netflix and Blockbuster.

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Discussion

87 comments
WestSideAzn
WestSideAzn

I just started using Gamefly, and I am happy with what I have seen so far.

Trogeton
Trogeton

MAN it's been 2 days since my gameQ has been telling me I have a game out and the fricken thing NEVER even showed up yet... Thank God I have the 2 game at a time deal that way in the it will be worth it, but GAMEFLY IS SLOW WOW this is the first time it's this slow I have had like 2 other renewals before my current one this is rediculous

linkspetdragon
linkspetdragon

Consider me corrected. But his copy & paste job did actually explain it better than you did.

allegra_geller
allegra_geller

brownba3: thats what i said only i didn't copy and paste from a web site. glad you set me straight- i was really confused.

brownba3
brownba3

Fact check for allegra geller - wiki -The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution.Since its reorganization into an independent organization, the USPS has become self-sufficient and has not received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s.

allegra_geller
allegra_geller

@linkspetdragon how much clearer does it have to be said- usps workers DON'T get paid by the us gov!! not one penny of you tax dollars goes to paying postal employees. also congress decides many,many things that the government does not have ownership in! like i don't know, try almost everything...

arenafoot
arenafoot

The USPS does NOT hand sort Netfilx & Blockbuster mail inbound nor outbound. To get the cheaper postal rate, the mail has to go thru the sorters, both at Netfilx/Blockbuster and the USPS stations & inbound and outbound, too. Before being delivered by the USPS, one piece of mail may go thru 2 to 30 different USPS sorters before it arrives to its final destination. And most of these USPS sorters bend the discs at a 90 degree angle. Try bending a disc around a 1,000 times at a 90-degree angle and see if it lasts!

linkspetdragon
linkspetdragon

The USPS is privately funded? Really? Then why do the mail carriers I know get paid by the United States Government? Why is congress currently going over a bill that will decide whether mail is delivered on Saturdays to try to save money on payroll? I guess because they want to save the privately funded post office some money...they're cool like that.

endocrine
endocrine

Since they started putting in those cardboard inserts, I have yet to recieve a broken game. Before then, I have recieved a few. I do not see why the USPS is putting up a fight, they should just cave since they arleady have a system in place to deal with gamefly in an economical manner.

Drkoolbeanz
Drkoolbeanz

I hope something good comes out of this for Gamefly. I really enjoyed my subscription with them last year. They were also supposed to have a "Fast Return" set up with USPS but that was practically completely broken, weather on Gamefly's side or USPS I'll never know..

ionkizz
ionkizz

>>So if Gamefly really had a problem with USPS sorting machines, Gamefly always had the option to presort it themselves Autolycus: ummm, USPS wil still have to handle and sort GameFly mail in their facilities to deliver. Gotta eat more peanuts, eh?

Autolycus
Autolycus

lol for all of you people that rent the game, or buy the game used, you have ZERO right to cry and complain when the prices go up again for the next generation...

Autolycus
Autolycus

Um, for those of you don't work or don't have knowledge on how awesome and effective the USPS is, 1) its privately funded (no government money or tax payers money) 2) They offer so many discounts and you can presort them yourself right on their webpage, for lower rates. So if Gamefly really had a problem with USPS sorting machines, Gamefly always had the option to presort it themselves to 1) save on postage and 2) not break the damn Media. There is no way this complaint is going to make a lick of difference in delivery, plus Netflix and Blockbuster probably have the same problem.

otanikun
otanikun

Go GameFly, I'm with them all the way

darksidecelica
darksidecelica

Why are people complaining about slow shipping? Its dependent on where the nearest Gamefly is located. And on top of that you can rent it out as long as you want! I've been with GF for about 6 months now. Majority of my games get in 2-3 business days.

chupamelpo
chupamelpo

i'm going to suscribe now, order all my broken games and return them. usps will take all the blame. the perfect plan.

flamingboard
flamingboard

i have gamefly and i have never had a major problem. usually a 3-4 day turnaround. for me except this last week which took 5 but that may be related to the USPS budget cuts around here.

trw534
trw534

I think thats a good idea, they should seperatly sort their mail from the regular mail, for more money.

Darkon_X
Darkon_X

I have to admit USPS doesn't have the best service. Countless times I bought something off of the internet USPS has a tendency to mess things up. Arriving late (IE: The day after it's supposed to get here) or leaving notes in the door just so the wind can pick the note, I don't understand why they can't just leave the note in the mailbox. UPS and FedEx is a whooooooole different story. I bought a TV and UPS delivered it, no problems at all.

benjabean
benjabean

also, if i wanted a brand new release, I would return my games a week or so before and clear my queue so that my first and only choice was my desired game. it rarely worked but it was better than having no shot at all, like you have to get anything new any time soon.

benjabean
benjabean

I actually reported Gamefly to the better business bureau two or three years ago because of their incredibly slow shipping time (I found that if I kept a game for a week or so their actual "my mailbox to their mailbox time" was much faster then if I received a game and put it back into my mailbox that night). I have netflix for years and have never had a complaint. Also, I talked to their customer service reps and they were incredibly rude, confrontational and NOT helpful

Odins_Fury
Odins_Fury

Contelis: Gamefly packages their games in a secure cardboard protector and has no room to move around in the envelope. Netflix does not do this.

gameweasl
gameweasl

I have never had a Gamefly game lost in mail, but I have had 3 Netflix movies lost in deliver and return. I love Gamefly and they should be given same treatment as Blockbuster and Netflix....

gamepunk86
gamepunk86

i have netflix and they take about 3 or 4 days between returning the dvd and getting the next one. however, one time i never got one and i had to wait 3 days for netflix send another copy. i was thinking the mailman put it in someone else's mailbox

cdodder
cdodder

I would hope its the sorters who get paid garbage who are stealing, actual carriers make like 20$ an hour. What a fool that would be to steal a game when you make that much. They better hire more trustworthy people to sort and pay better.

ChubbyGuy40
ChubbyGuy40

I had this happen to me all the time about 5 years ago when I subscribed to GameFly. First thing we suspected and Gamefly told us, oh well not our fault, we didnt get the game back so regardless of whos fault it is you must pay us money for it. Even after they terminated my account, I returned a game which they received, and still got charged for it.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

Wow, didn't know so many employees got arrested for stealing. You would think that would make some bigger waves in the media.

XanderZane
XanderZane

I'd probably would use one of these services if I was single and actually had time to play all the games. But I only get to play about 15-20hrs a week if I'm lucky. That's definitely not enough time. When I was on my own, I was playing about 40-50hrs a week.

da1writer
da1writer

@ Hunawearl: That's what I said, lol!

Hunawearl
Hunawearl

As far as packaging - no, Gamefly has theirs in cardboard sleeves, whereas netflix just uses paper sleeves.

Shakezulah
Shakezulah

It took me almost 2 weeks to get a game from the time I shipped my previous one back. I don't know whether that's Gamefly or the USPS, but service that slow is simply unacceptable when paying monthly. They have been pretty slow with almost all of my games, actually.. I almost cancelled my membership with them but they offered me the next month at $9.99. I reluctantly accepted and decided to give them another chance.

ccso151
ccso151

Ive been a member for about 18 moths and two games I have sent back never were recieved by Gamefly. Gamefly has always been decent about not holding the customers accountable, especially since you could easily say you send it back when you didn't. Never have gotten a broken game tho.

Contelis
Contelis

OR...maybe netflix and blockbuster package their product better? hmm?

Shmoe82
Shmoe82

The USPS lost 2 games from Gamefly i had sent to me but i never saw my netflix lost.

bertm1975
bertm1975

I had the same problem before, when I rented Fable. I mailed it from work, and it never arrived. I assumed it was either someone from work or the post office, and I never mailed from work again. Strange though, is that I NEVER had a problem with Netflix. All my movies returned fine and never one missing, and I've been a Netflix member for about 4 years or so.

re4leon22
re4leon22

Hmm, maybe thats where my gears 2 case and flashback maps went DAMN YOU USPS!! XD ok maybe not but I had to buy them damn maps they were like FIVE BUX!!!!

Bigboi500
Bigboi500

I think GameFly has enough problems already with slow shipping times and never enough new game copies. I quit using them all together.

StumpyTrash
StumpyTrash

Glad to hear about the arrests... thought it was just me! When I first signed up with GameFly, they had to ship the discs 3 times before I finally received them. Netflix discs came up missing several times too.

InfectX
InfectX

I just had a game take 10 days to get to me. It didn't show up until I reported it stolen to the post office.

nappan
nappan

You don't truly appreciate how good our mailservice is in the USA until you travel... Trust me, most of the world would kill to have the USPS, 44cent stamps and all ;)

kurohubby
kurohubby

I have gamefly and netflixs netflix gets here fast because the shipping center is about 150 miles a way. where as my gamefly 2 or 3 states away 5 days to get there and 5 back to me, but I'm not complaining if you have two out at a time you stagger them out so I have one and when the other gets here I'll mail the other, but the biggest plus for me I can buy the games from them and it's cheaper than any store and free shipping and every 3 months you get 5 dollars (gamebucks) used for any game you buy and I get a 5% discount because i've been renting for 6 months

okassar
okassar

I HATE USPS,the government should seriously stop funding them--try preordering any game from Walmart through USPS and see how long it takes you,probably 3 weeks,defeats the whole purpose.Hell,try getting anything shipped through USPS through a company.It's pathetic and incompetent.If any shipping company should be government funded,it should be UPS,I really like their service and business model.

Fenris1124
Fenris1124

gamefly needs to quit the whining and suck it up its not just a good business to send video games via mail PERIOD

csista
csista

I'm currently on my third try with Gamefly. Shipping time isn't that bad, on the rare occasion they send me what I want. Even non-new releases have a wait time. I just waited three days for them to ship The Simpson's Game to me. God forbid I try for anything released within the last six months.

firedrakes
firedrakes

well i know why gamefly would not send me anymore games.... dam usps

getbig
getbig

I've been down wit them since they're first year in buisness probably over 4-5 years anyway I'm happy with them I have not bought a game since PS2 days you do have to wait for games but no big deal to me I'd rather wait than spend 59.99 4real,and plus when I do buy a game it's discounted 10% and I get a loyalty coupon for 5.00 I usually pay 18.00 for games I really like so it's give and take.