GameFly wins in USPS dispute

Postal service ordered to treat games-by-mail rental services as equal to Netflix by introducing new first-class DVD mailer categories.

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The two-year dispute between GameFly and the United States Postal Service has finally come to an end. The Postal Regulatory Commission handed down its ruling today in GameFly's dispute with the USPS, finding that the service has been unfairly giving preferential treatment to the parcels of movie rental-by-mail services like Netflix and Blockbuster Video.

GameFly's long, hard struggle for equality is finally over.

At the heart of the dispute is a question about the hand-sorting of the various companies' disc mailers. GameFly claimed that its movie-renting counterparts received hand-sorting at no charge, a practice that kept their discs from going through the USPS' automated sorting machines, significantly reducing the rate of breakage. However, the USPS has thus far refused to give GameFly and other rental-by-mail outfits the same consideration.

In its ruling, the PRC determined there was an unreasonable preference given to the mail of Blockbuster and Netflix and ordered that it be remedied by having the USPS establish two parallel rate categories specifically for roundtrip DVD mail of the sort used by those services. The new categories will prevent GameFly from incurring a surcharge for hand-sorting or an excess ounce fee for envelopes that avoid the automated sorting machines by being slightly thicker and heavier.

In a concurring opinion, Commissioner Tony L. Hammond supported the ruling, albeit "reluctantly." Specifically, he was worried people would misinterpret the PRC's finding in the case.

"The Postal Service worked with a customer, Netflix, to help its business thrive through the use of the mail," Hammond wrote. "The Postal Service should work with current and potential customers. Netflix explained to the Postal Service what treatment would be most helpful to it. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, the Postal Service should encourage this type of communication. I hope this decision does not discourage the Postal Service from helping businesses to use the mail."

Discussion

119 comments
bakagami
bakagami

@oldboy36 I've noticed that too. when I started my subscription, I was led to believe that they had an arrangement with USPS that allowed Gamefly to register my return the moment it was scanned at the post office. that hasn't been my experience with them however, it routinely takes a week (at least) for them to register my return.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

Finally.....its finally over.....

oldboy36
oldboy36

Duh when a new game comes out it takes a day maybe 2 for me to get it. But when I send them back man it takes over a week sometimes USPS had to be holding envelopes or something. Glad this was resolved. Now maybe I dont have to turn my games in 2 weeks before a release.

WiteLite
WiteLite

i wanna email address thats @USPS.com that would be awesome!!

HWGuy14
HWGuy14

so is this the civil war version of 2011?

Frost259
Frost259

@drswank Couldnt agree more. Hate sending out a game and havin to wait anywhere from 3 to 10 business days.

drswank
drswank

Hey Gamefly, now that you've saved all of this money, why don't you build us a new distribution center now?

jjarvis92
jjarvis92

@edjos I get it and I still don't know why we should feel sorry for you. You live in your country and your argument doesn't apply to this story. I hope your retailers and mailing system in Brazil improve.

edjos
edjos

@RogueShadow0618, as i said, there's net commerce here in Brazil too... They import and stock the games in huge quantity, but they show less respect for the costumer than amazon, or gamefly, etc 2 days would be a dream.

edjos
edjos

@jjarvis92 bro you didn't get it... i meant, i buy the game from a net store here, in Brazil (they already have it in stock), yet it takes 9 days to deliver. consumers don't have self-steem here. comparing, it's the same transaction of buying a game in amazon, where you are. can you imagine buying portal 2 and waiting 9 days to play it?

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@slyguy65 I've been wanting that for awhile. They often advertise near each other so I always assumed they were affiliated... But a combined price model would be amazing.

slyguy65
slyguy65

Netflix merge with Gamefly...say what?

SoNin360
SoNin360

GameFly is okay, would be lot better if Fast Return always worked, and if the shipping times were a bit faster overall... but still it's a great option for renting multiple games. Plus there are some pretty good deals for used games.

HBBII69
HBBII69

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

if this means faster deliveries to and from them, this is a good thing.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Now if gamefly can actually get a game to me in a decent amount of time, provide inventory that allows me to get a game more than 4 months after it's release... I might consider getting it. Wait.. nvm, 'cause I shop at Gamestop, and just trade my games in. lol Gamefly... god what a waste.

TerrorformZero
TerrorformZero

My Gamefly turn around time is 6 business days from sending the game back to receiving a new game, two states away, so its not that bad. But I love the service. I have a kid, so its great for for keeping her out of my hair for a $40-$60 game. And I use it for all those single player 6-9 hour games like Gears of War, Force Unleashed, Metriod, etc...

admiral_picard
admiral_picard

New games for $60 from Gamefly? Hmm, if I have a new release at the top of my Q and it gets to me I have my long term member discount plus $5 coupon that they give every few months. I can generally get a new game for $40-something that has never been in anyone elses hands. But maybe some of you are talking about just ordering it off their website without having it rented. I sure wish they would get their games in stock sooner, seems like a new release comes out and it's like 3-4 months before I can rent it after the fact. I would cancel my service, but now the only local Blockbuster I had went out of business. No where to rent games local (And I don't live in a small town either).

jjarvis92
jjarvis92

@edjos If I were to buy a product from where you live (Brazil), I would definitely be more understanding of a 9 day delivery time. I have a Netflix shipping center about 10 miles from my house, and it's a 2 day turn-around. When I was on Gamefly, (2 states away from CA) the AVERAGE turn-around was a little over a week and a half. When our closest Netflix center was in CA, the turn-around was 3 to 4 days. @Gamefly Now comparing Gamefly turn-around with Amazon Prime ($79 extra a year), I am guaranteed two day shipping from anywhere in the US. If Gamefly were to offer a UPS or FEDEX plan with a two day turn-around service, I would sign up again for Gamefly right now.

CJ45_
CJ45_

Canceled my ages ago (although much better service then Blockbuster Online)

joeisnub
joeisnub

Hopefully this means more FastReturns will happen. They BARELY ever happen for me..... :\

RogueShadow0618
RogueShadow0618

@edjos So how is it you can use GameFly when they don't ship to South America?

deesnutts25
deesnutts25

@ToughCritic28 Try typing /sarcasim off next time and people will know. Also on mine it shows most new games for $55.

ToughCritic28
ToughCritic28

@deesnutts25 And you do realize that I am defending Gamefly right? Notice my sarcastic tone in the text. However, I don't know what gamefly service you are subscribing to, because the new games are all $60. Right now I can purchase bulletstorm, crysis 2, homefront, and portal 2 each for $60.

theKSMM
theKSMM

Depending on the type of gamer you are and how particular you are about what title you receive when, GameFly is either a boon or a bust. It can certainly save you money and allow you to play a whole lot more games than you could probably afford to buy, but the 7-10 day turnaround and the low availability of popular games can be frustrating. The ability to get updated about games' status by text is nice though...so is their GameCenter app. I have found that Gamerang often has mildly shorter turnaround though their site isn't quite as well organized and they don't offer as many subscription options.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

The good news is that I might not have to wait as long for my replacement discs to arrive... maybe. The nearest warehouse is apparently 2 states away.

edjos
edjos

guess what, here in Brazil we purchase a game via internet and it takes 9 days to arrive at home. By the price of R$ 200,00 (it's equal to 110 dollars).

fkbwii
fkbwii

Don't we all just want equality.

papachump
papachump

I have used gamefly off and on for better part of a year and a half. I found that the best way to go was with 2 games at a time so you were never without a game, just make sure you have an open slot 2-3 days before the new game you want releases. I live about 150 miles from nearest center but never had to wait more than 3 days from the time they said they sent it. Plus DONT expect them to ship a game that has low avail. it's just not gonna happen.

oneligas
oneligas

well here comes the 50 cent postage stamps, not stamps featuring the rapper just stamps are going to cost more sooner

EKGProd
EKGProd

Good maybe this will speed up their shipping. Considering I live in the same state as one of their shipping centers, I still have to wait 3-4 days for them to ship me a game, and 3-4 days longer for them to get it back when I put it in the mail. I am tired of waiting 6-8 days for something that should only take 1 to 2 for shipping, and 1 to 2 days for receiving.

RufusChambers
RufusChambers

Seinfeld blows - it's a 90's meme that's dying a slow and noisy death

jdog8888888
jdog8888888

Nice. My biggest gripe with gamefly, when i used it, was turn around time was horrid. Maybe it is worth it again?

ResidnetEvil777
ResidnetEvil777

@kintama88 Whoever gave you thumbs down is a complete moron or doesn't know what Seinfeld is.

hunter8man
hunter8man

Gamefly is the best thing that's happened to me in a long time. I don't mind the slow delivery. I'm just happy that I'm saving a lot of money from not having to spend $60 on a game anymore. And they have gotten a little faster near my area as well.

dbene
dbene

Dont' understand the hate for Gamefly. Turnaround times are remedied by having a two or three game plan and then you player other games while you wait for the others to come back. I used to spend probably $800-$1000 a year on new games and such and now I only purchase maybe two games a year and pay $22 a month for Gamefly. If you are the type of person who has to have EVERY new game as soon as it comes out it is bad, but I am a little older and don't have as much time to play. I am still playing games that came out 6 months ago and loving it. It's a great way to get to play a lot of games i couldn't afford the whole game. Another option is to buy games used and resell them when you are finished but a lot more time and effort is required.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

@petey3 Amen! I cancelled my sub. a loooong time ago from GF because the turnaround time for sending/receiving a game was absolutely atrocious! Some people have had no problems and others, like me, experienced very piss poor service which is why I cancelled. I could never get games I wanted because they were always out of stock because by the time they got my game back it was so friggin' long that the game would already be out and I'd have to resort to some crap game instead. Hopefully this new policy will help address that problem. I still I won't sign up because I own enough games to keep me busy until next gen (and beyond) but for new customers I hope it works out.

petey3
petey3

well that explains a lot! Ive always noticed that it took about a week for Gamefly to receive my games and vice versa. Gamefly is a great service and hopefully faster sorting times will increase their business

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

Agreed. Additional distribution centers would also expedite GameFly disc delivery times.

ii20JcM05ii
ii20JcM05ii

This still doesn't help the fact that they send me games at the MIDDLE of my list, even if my #game is "Fully Availible". I guess now i'll be able to send back the game I didn't want quicker. ha

boctober
boctober

This is good news. Gamefly always takes longer than Netflix. Hopefully this will get things moving faster.

namcoman67
namcoman67

I used to have Gamefly for a month but every time I would receive a game, the game would be scratched and freeze.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Last I heard Games cost more than DVD's anyway so why this has even had to be disputed over is ridiculous and a bad sign of the times we live in.

aboy1411
aboy1411

What luck for me! I subscribed to Gamefly at the perfect time. So far the service is great but I have not sent my first games back yet.

R3NeGaDeAnGeL
R3NeGaDeAnGeL

Great, hopefully this means that customers can now get their games without waiting over an entire week!

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

@Kerrizma, Simple really....FEDERAL CHARGES. It's actually a federal crime to steal someone's mail (as the USPS is government-run service) and it's even worse if you work for them and steal. Like about a year ago when this dude that worked for the postal service got busted in a stealing thousands of dollars worth of games from GF--he not only got hit financially but they also sent his ass to federal prison. Another deterrent? Believe it or not, working for the postal service is a helluva good paying job. The good common sense of most people would probably tell them that minimal return of 'lifting' some gamers' games from GF or whatever would most certainly not be worth losing such a set job/career, I would think.

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

i always wondered why my netflix turnaround was 3 days while it was a week with gamefly.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

If you've read about this before Gamefly envelopes didn't conform to the same standards as Netflix and Blockbuster such as color and the inserts. Gamefly offers a truly terrible service where I regularly received broken discs or they took days after receiving games back to actually ship anything and never responded to my emails. Of course I don't like the post office either but my hate for Gamefly is greater.