The following email exchange between Netflix and my nephew Duncan makes me glad to be alive!
Problem With Your Recent Return
We received an empty white sleeve in your recent return. If you haven’t already sent back the DVD you intended to return, please include it with your next return along with a note including your name and email address so we can match the movie to your account.
If you returned the DVD and white sleeve in its envelope, please visit the Shipping Problems page ( http://www.netflix.com/ShippingProblems <http://www.netflix.com/ShippingProblems> ) and select “I returned a DVD but Netflix has not received it.” We apologize for any inconvenience.
-The Netflix Team
To the brave patriots of The Netflix Team:
Your email is intriguing, particularly in the light of your recent service history. Please indulge a brief review of my interaction with Netflix over the past few weeks.
About a month ago, having returned an environment-themed documentary called An Inconvenient Truth, I was anticipating the next title in my queue: an old comedy called The Party. The next Netflix package I received, however, was just another copy of An Inconvenient Truth. Well, the Netflix shipping center must be a busy place, I thought– no biggie. I sent back the second copy of An Inconvenient Truth and didn’t notify your Customer Service department, the apparent depth of my own inconvenience perhaps tempered by the looming menace of climate change.
The appearance of the next Netflix package restored my enthusiasm, the text on the sleeve promising my eagerly awaited copy of The Party. Without looking at the disc I put it in the player and it turned out to be– you guessed it– porn. Now, I’m not some puritan or something, but this was creepy. I ejected the disc, which turned out to be called Up In Your Brown. (I don’t specify that title to endorse or, as it were, “plug” it; I thought I’d include that rather distasteful detail to give texture to my recounting.)
The next day, with maximum trepidation, I mailed Up In Your Brown back to Netflix from a mailbox at my place of employment. I had also enclosed a letter expressing disappointment that (a) I had unwittingly subjected myself to untold seconds of Up In Your Brown, and (b) that I still had not received The Party. With all deference to “Wild Life Productions” (the creative force behind Up In Your Brown, as one learns from the text on the disc itself), I would have preferred to have viewed The Party.
And now the icing (let’s hope that’s what it is) is your ill-written and grossly unjustified email below. Perhaps at this point my expectations are a bit lofty, and I should simply congratulate The Netflix Team on identifying a “problem with [my] recent return,” though the problem isn’t the one that the Team describes. I don’t know what happened to Up In Your Brown after it reached the Netflix shipping center.
And I don’t care. Here is how we’re going to resolve this situation. I’d like:
-a retraction of your email below, and an apology (nothing fancy, a form letter will manage nicely)
-a promise to ship me a copy of The Party post-haste
-fulfillment of the above promise
I think those are reasonable requests. Please contact me if any of them prove more than The Netflix Team can shoulder. I would much prefer ten minutes strategic planning over the phone than to once again be confronted with the ghastly specter of Up In Your Brown.