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Gamefly files complaint against USPS over broken games

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 26 Apr 2009 13:00 User comments (6)

Gamefly files complaint against USPS over broken games Gamefly, a Netflix-like rent-by-mail service specifically for video games, has filed a complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission which accuses the United States Postal Service (USPS) of improper sorting, resulting in goods being damaged in transit. The service is useful for those who don't want to pay top dollar for new game titles. Like Netflix, subscribers choose a number of games to rent each month, keep them for as long as they like and then mail them back.
Gamefly calculated that it sends out 590,000 games and receives 510,000 games back from subscribers a month. It estimated that between 1% and 2% of the discs end up broken. "Testing by GameFly and Postal Service personnel has revealed that breakage occurs during the processing of DVD mailers on Postal Service automated mail processing equipment," Gamefly states.

While some discs can expected to be broken in transit, and some stolen (19 Postal Service employees have been arrested to date for stealing games), Gamefly goes on to accuse the USPS of providing a better service to other rent-by-mail services, including Netflix and Blockbuster. "On routine visits to multiple Postal Service facilities, GameFly's employees have observed that a large percentage of mail pieces from Netflix and Blockbuster are culled from the automated letter processing stream," the complaint states.

It continues: "GameFly has asked the Postal Service to give GameFly's DVD mailers processing on terms and conditions comparable to the terms and conditions offered to two larger DVD mailers, Blockbuster and Netflix. The Postal Service has not done so." Gamefly claims all attempts to solve the problems have failed, including using a protective insert in the standard-sized mailer, doubling the shipping cost.

Considering that Blockbuster is beginning to offer videogames in its own service, Gamefly says its preferential treatment from the postal service is damaging to fair competition. "As a result of this initiative, GameFly now faces direct competition from a rival that is larger and longer established and which, because of the preferential treatment given by the Postal Service, enjoys a substantial cost advantage in the distribution of its DVDs to consumers."

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6 user comments

126.4.2009 16:09

There goes are stamp prices (Going up in May .02), So the new big 3 can send there DVD or Blue Ray, What do they thing one person handle them at every office , USPS is in the hole for money right now.

226.4.2009 19:38

i have netflix & love it but if you need to raise my S&H charges please do so! i don't feel that my Netflix usage threw the USPS should raise everyone else rates! (yes i know USPS rates raise every year also)

330.4.2009 13:25

As far as Netflix goes, I think streaming is the future unless you want Blu-Ray.

41.5.2009 12:08

The USPS really does give a rat's patoot about the damage it causes to its customers' mail. It takes a large dollar customer like Gamefly to get their attention, and it still won't fix the problem for everyone else. That's why I always ship UPS or FedEx. The UPS sorting equipment handles thousands of times the volume of the USPS' package handling gear, and yet still does thousands of times less damage.

529.8.2012 14:55
jordosaxman
Unverified new user

Originally posted by BadCatt:
There goes are stamp prices (Going up in May .02), So the new big 3 can send there DVD or Blue Ray, What do they thing one person handle them at every office , USPS is in the hole for money right now.
What do you think the USPS is for now? People don't send letters anymore, deal with it. The postal service is used for delivering packages via Fedex/Smartpost and dvd's/games/etc. If the postal service hadn't offered itself as a solution to these companies, they'd be out of business.

629.8.2012 21:51

Originally posted by jordosaxman:
Originally posted by BadCatt:
There goes are stamp prices (Going up in May .02), So the new big 3 can send there DVD or Blue Ray, What do they thing one person handle them at every office , USPS is in the hole for money right now.
What do you think the USPS is for now? People don't send letters anymore, deal with it. The postal service is used for delivering packages via Fedex/Smartpost and dvd's/games/etc. If the postal service hadn't offered itself as a solution to these companies, they'd be out of business.
Now used for ebay. I put a comment about this in 2009 . WoW. That is a long time in computer time.

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