GameFly Triumphs Against U.S. Postal Service

GameFly Triumphs Against U.S. Postal Service

image

GameFly has come out on top in its dispute with the U.S. Postal Service over the preferential treatment given to rent-by-mail competitors Netflix and Blockbuster.

GameFly filed a complaint against the U.S. Postal Service two years ago claiming that its policy of manually sorting mailers from Netflix and Blockbuster at no extra charge, rather than running them through automated processing equipment, resulted in significantly less disc breakage and "a substantial cost advantage" for both companies. GameFly requested the same consideration for its rentals but was refused, forcing it to choose between paying a premium for hand-sorting or the hassle and expense of higher breakage rates.

The Postal Regulatory Commission says the USPS is in the wrong, however, and has ordered that it create two parallel rate categories specifically for "round-trip DVD mail" services. Those categories will put all rent-by-mail companies on the same footing, allowing them to avoid incurring extra charges resulting from hand-sorting or slightly oversized envelopes.

Postal Commissioner Tony L. Hammond said he supports the ruling but expressed concern that it would be misinterpreted. The Postal Service wasn't acting unfairly in the matter, he explained, but simply helping a client "thrive through the use of the mail."

"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," he wrote." I hope this decision does not discourage the Postal Service from helping businesses to use the mail."

No mention of Blockbuster was made, since its fortunes have taken a bit of a downward turn in the two years since the complaint was originally filed.

Source: GameSpot

Permalink

Well that makes me happy, I use the Gamefly service I hate to think what would happen to the disks they sent me before. Wonder if Gamefly will give their subscribers a decrease rate now?

You know these DVD by mail services must quite a boon of the post office. Though the market seems to be slowly moving to downloads so it looks like it'll be short lived.

thenumberthirteen:
You know these DVD by mail services must quite a boon of the post office. Though the market seems to be slowly moving to downloads so it looks like it'll be short lived.

which is a shame when you think about it, paying only around $30 a month for pretty much any game released for any platform sans PC is a pretty decent deal when most games only have an 8 hour singleplayer.

But still, paying that much per month and then getting a broken disk in the mail is not only infuriating, but is a lost profit for the rental company, this shouldn't of been a matter that needed a review, it shouldn't of been a matter at all.

Hell if anyone should have gotten the preferential treatment it should have been gamefly. I have no idea how gamefly is getting their games but I would have to assume that they are at least 20 bucks each (depending on the game of course), whereas dvds are at most 10 bucks. Still good for gamefly they are a great bussiness.

Kalezian:

thenumberthirteen:
You know these DVD by mail services must quite a boon of the post office. Though the market seems to be slowly moving to downloads so it looks like it'll be short lived.

which is a shame when you think about it, paying only around $30 a month for pretty much any game released for any platform sans PC is a pretty decent deal when most games only have an 8 hour singleplayer.

But still, paying that much per month and then getting a broken disk in the mail is not only infuriating, but is a lost profit for the rental company, this shouldn't of been a matter that needed a review, it shouldn't of been a matter at all.

You pay 30$ a month? Isn't it only 16-23 a month for 1-2 discs respectively?

Oh Net Neutrality, this is "kind of" the sort of shit you're meant to stop.

Netflix asked for special treatment, and it got it. Gamefly asked for special treatment, and it was refused. I love how the USPS tried to explain that away like they were trying to help Gamefly all along...

Postal Commissioner Tony L. Hammond said he supports the ruling but expressed concern that it would be misinterpreted. The Postal Service wasn't acting unfairly in the matter, he explained, but simply helping a client "thrive through the use of the mail."

Someone likes to pick and choose their "clients".

Kalezian:

thenumberthirteen:
You know these DVD by mail services must quite a boon of the post office. Though the market seems to be slowly moving to downloads so it looks like it'll be short lived.

which is a shame when you think about it, paying only around $30 a month for pretty much any game released for any platform sans PC is a pretty decent deal when most games only have an 8 hour singleplayer.

But still, paying that much per month and then getting a broken disk in the mail is not only infuriating, but is a lost profit for the rental company, this shouldn't of been a matter that needed a review, it shouldn't of been a matter at all.

On Live is only $10 per month and has no waiting time between playing games. I haven't tried it out yet because the DSL internet where I live is probably too slow, and the cable internet providers suck. If the technology for cloud gaming improves and it catches on, we won't even have to wait for a disk in the mail. I don't really want the industry to go completely away from physical media, but if they do insist on it I'd rather pay a monthly fee to have access to as many games as I want on demand than shell out $60 for a game that will just vanish one day because the company that made it or sold it to me went out of business.

I know that it'll probably mean there will be less AAA titles out there, but maybe that's for the better. Most games nowadays are military shooters that offer little innovation, have little artistic value, and don't really help gaming's image as an industry that turns a profit by brainwashing kids into becoming homicidal maniacs.

This took 2 years?

Does anyone else find that hilarious?

If they could take less than 3 weeks to get me a new game I might actually care about this story.

PrinceofPersia:
Well that makes me happy, I use the Gamefly service I hate to think what would happen to the disks they sent me before. Wonder if Gamefly will give their subscribers a decrease rate now?

Oh that unlikely, very unlikely, but I agree that it's good to see a great service like GameFly triumph in this matter. They're a great service.

hansari:
This took 2 years?

Does anyone else find that hilarious?

Not really. The Postal Regulatory Commission, as a functional matter, isn't much different than a civil court. It usually takes that long -- if not longer -- for a matter to work its way through a judicial process. Two years isn't that far off the average. Time Warner Inc. et al. Concerning Periodicals Rates (C2004-1) took about 2 years to be resolved.

The wheels of Justice grind slowly but exceedingly fine.

I use gamefly as well. There have been no disc breakage issues as far as I have been concerned. Although it's all small wonder why, the disc is an adventure to get out of the package with multiple layers of protection against the harshness of mail travel verses the paper wrapping of the DVDs that we also receive through netflix. I can imagine a broken game is significantly more expensive to replace than a broken DVD as well. The only thing that I am not impressed with gamefly is the time of delivery it takes for the games. The high demand and slow delivery system certainly takes its time in getting your game to your door. I hope that this may resolve some of the problem and maybe even cut down on the reasonable but lowerable cost for membership.

Atheist.:

Kalezian:

thenumberthirteen:
You know these DVD by mail services must quite a boon of the post office. Though the market seems to be slowly moving to downloads so it looks like it'll be short lived.

which is a shame when you think about it, paying only around $30 a month for pretty much any game released for any platform sans PC is a pretty decent deal when most games only have an 8 hour singleplayer.

But still, paying that much per month and then getting a broken disk in the mail is not only infuriating, but is a lost profit for the rental company, this shouldn't of been a matter that needed a review, it shouldn't of been a matter at all.

You pay 30$ a month? Isn't it only 16-23 a month for 1-2 discs respectively?

Im not sure entirely, I hear $15 a month but those prices could be introductory ones, so a $30 is a pretty generous number.

Still though, getting two new releases and able to return them later to get two more games still is a pretty awesome deal for that price tag, considering the only other ways is to rent the game for a week or buy it at a rental store or a game store respectively.

tjoris9:

Kalezian:

thenumberthirteen:
You know these DVD by mail services must quite a boon of the post office. Though the market seems to be slowly moving to downloads so it looks like it'll be short lived.

which is a shame when you think about it, paying only around $30 a month for pretty much any game released for any platform sans PC is a pretty decent deal when most games only have an 8 hour singleplayer.

But still, paying that much per month and then getting a broken disk in the mail is not only infuriating, but is a lost profit for the rental company, this shouldn't of been a matter that needed a review, it shouldn't of been a matter at all.

On Live is only $10 per month and has no waiting time between playing games. I haven't tried it out yet because the DSL internet where I live is probably too slow, and the cable internet providers suck. If the technology for cloud gaming improves and it catches on, we won't even have to wait for a disk in the mail. I don't really want the industry to go completely away from physical media, but if they do insist on it I'd rather pay a monthly fee to have access to as many games as I want on demand than shell out $60 for a game that will just vanish one day because the company that made it or sold it to me went out of business.

I know that it'll probably mean there will be less AAA titles out there, but maybe that's for the better. Most games nowadays are military shooters that offer little innovation, have little artistic value, and don't really help gaming's image as an industry that turns a profit by brainwashing kids into becoming homicidal maniacs.

Indeed, I remember when Blockbuster started their gamer pass, for a monthly fee you could rent up to 2 games for an entire month, you could exchange the games for other ones, but as long as you paid the $35 [if I remember correctly] for the month, they cared less on how many times you exchanged the games.

I remember one time going to Blockbuster five separate times in a single day to do just that.

It wouldn't be much of a stretch to think that after this next generation, we could expect services like On Live coming to Microsoft's, Sony's, and Nintendo's next consoles, which speaking from a economic viewpoint, wouldn't be a bad investment at all.

Publishers wouldn't have to spend money on packaging or production, not to mention shipping, and games could theoretically have a price cut drastically.

OF course, I could be wrong and in 2023 we could still be paying $60 or more for a game.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here