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Post Office Proposes Special Rate For Mailing DVDs 176

Posted by timothy
from the let's-get-the-doj-right-on-this-monopoly dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The United States Postal Service is seeking to implement a special postage rate for companies such as Netflix, GameFly and Blockbuster (PDF), which send DVDs to their customers and then receive them back. This proposal for special rates for two-way mailers of optical disks follows a protracted legal complaint from GameFly, which argued that Netflix was receiving special handling by the Postal Service while paying a cheaper postage rate."
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Post Office Proposes Special Rate For Mailing DVDs

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  • by Kal Zekdor (826142) <kal.zekdor@gmail.com> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @02:24PM (#44400963) Homepage

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/03/the-cost-difference-in-mailing-netflx-vs-gamefly-all-of-gameflys-profits/ [arstechnica.com]

    The reason GameFly pays more is because their mailers weigh more. Netflix keeps the mailer at 1 ounce and pays 44 cents each. GameFly's mailer is 2 ounces and they pay the two ounce price. The big giant clue in the linked article is that the USPS is considering changing the price of the 2 ounce mailer to the price of a 1 ounce mailer.

    So the real story is that GameFly wants a discount with zero actual justification.

    The packaging for GameFly costs more. Work it into your business model or reduce the packaging weight.

    I don't do business with GameFly but if I did, I'd cancel. They actually have the nerve to pretend Netflix is getting some kind of special treatment while they are the ones seeking it.

    There is nothing unfair about what the USPS is doing. The rest of us have to pay by the ounce for our mail.

    Just read the article you linked. While interesting, it does kinda support Gamefly's case. A 2-ounce mailer cost $1.05, whereas a 1-ounce mailer cost $0.44. In other words Gamefly pays ~238% of what Netflix pays, 38% above any differences in weight. Further, at these weights, the majority of the cost of delivery is a flat cost, rather than an increase in fuel consumption due to weight. The cost of fuel to transport 1 ounce of additional weight is certainly less than a penny; the vehicle, occupant, and other cargo make up the vast majority of the weight (and the occupant's time is no small factor on the cost). Just basing numbers on the weight of the packages alone, charging ~$0.10 extra for the additional ounce will more than make up for the added costs.

  • Re:How is this news? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @03:19PM (#44401289)
    Both offer "last mile" USPS delivery to ANY address in the US for reduced costs. FedEx calls is "SmartPost" and UPS calls it "SurePost". Your package is still shipped via the parcel company's network, but instead of being delivered directly to your door, it gets dropped off at the local USPS distribution center where they take care of the rest of the delivery. The trade off is that it usually takes longer for your package to arrive. The only perk is that you get Saturday delivery (for now).
  • by g1powermac (812562) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @04:13PM (#44401669)
    That's pretty difficult, actually, at least if you dropped the dvd's at the post office. The back room of a post office is pretty well secured to protect such things, with cameras everywhere. I've worked at a small/medium sized post office and have toured a processing plant, and there is quite a bit of interesting things going on to prevent stealing of mail. I especially liked the closed in catwalks with one way mirrors for the postal inspectors that go all the way around the processing plant. Even at my post office, there was a separate entrance with its own key going to a secured room for a postal inspector to enter only. The joke of the whole thing is though that outside of the post office/processing plants, there's pretty much no security. Most of the rural carriers drive their own vehicles, and there's no inspections to make sure you cleared out all the mail in your car. And for the postal trucks, there's no cameras or gps to track where you're going, but they at least check the truck to make sure everything is out. So, how difficult is it to take mail while on route? Sadly, incredibly easy. And many carriers have went to prison for it because of doing even more incredibly stupid things, like stealing tracked packages. Now, here is a possible reason why those dvds got there at different times. I was told that I needed to separate all netflix dvd's I picked up from the regular outgoing mail. The clerks then did something different with them compared to the regular outgoing mail, but I'm not sure what. I would happen to guess that they are sent through different channels. So, maybe some of your dvd's were separated, but not all. So some got there faster than others.

Byte your tongue.

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