Netflix has announced a new shipping procedure which if the movie you’ve requested isn’t available from your local distribution center, may net you a freebie in the form of the next highest up movie in your queue.
Netflix says they have 55 shipping centers across the country, so if your choice is not available in your local shipping center, they'll send it from another, and to make up for the inconvenience of a shipping delay, send you a freebie as well. When we say freebie, what we mean is it does not count against your monthly allotment. Netflix's original blog post
is a bit fuzzy on the matter, but they cleared it up in the comments (emphasis mine):
Now, if your first choice is not available in your local shipping center, we immediately send the next locally available movie in your Queue, and whenever possible, we also send your first choice from another part of the country.
We want you to receive DVDs as quickly as possible, so we’re taking this extra step to ensure you have another movie to enjoy as a complimentary extra DVD rental if your first choice will be delayed.
And just to be clear, in the comments, they said:
That is correct - the complimentary DVD does not count toward your disc plan allotment. If you are on a 2-disc plan, this new process temporarily provides you with 3 discs.
Nice move by Netflix. As they said, the old procedure was "especially inconvenient for our members on 1-disc plans."
The new policy took effect Dec. 11 and applies to all Netflix members.