gdude, you may have worked in a post office, but every post office I walk into (and I do for my job often) they are still to this day HAND cancelling the netflix mailers. And they don't charge for that hand cancelling...
It costs the post office a fortune to hand cancel all those dvds...
This came out in 2007... But, they are STILL using the same (illegal) mailer today... AND not paying for the additional costs.
"Netflix's return DVD mailers are apparently costing the U.S. Postal Service $21 million in annual labor costs (in 2006). And the Postal Service wants some of its money back. (but they never did anything, and netflix has grown dramatically since 2006)
Simply put, Netflix's return DVDs clog the postal machinery and require manual sorting. When Netflix subscribers open their mailers the leading edge of the package is removed. On return, the same package comes back without the hard edge and plastic instead and jams the sorters."
I have read the manual on mailing CD/DVD's and the netflix mailer did not meet the criteria... And instead of kicking it out, and charging more for the hand cancelling, they instead got a special deal.
There is ONE mailer that I know of that is patented that meets the postal regulations for mailing a CD/DVD's two ways without breakage through the automated equipment, and Netflix/blockbuster does not use it, as it costs too much and their business model depends on mailing at rates that the regular public can't get.
Blockbuster directly copied netflix's mailer and it still was not being accepted by USPS, that is why they sued.
No wonder they won.
My friend owns the patent for the only mailer that fits the criteria and can be put through automated equipment with minimum breakage. And netflix is not using it... They got special "rules" from USPS that no one else can get... Namely hand processing and cancelling without using the machine. while not PAYING for that service.
I know all this because I helped my friend develop the mailer and printed all the test versions, and watched them go through the MERLIN system at the post office with no breaks.
Bottom line, Netflix pays for AUTOMATED rates, in a mailer that does not pass the regulations for a two way mailer of CD's/DVD's. And if you or I tried that, we would be hammered with our mail kicked out, and our postage doubled.
But, again, it is WHO you know... and what palms you grease...
I work in this industry, and deal with the post office daily. Walk in with a netflix envelope and try to mail it to your house, and see what they would charge you for that...