GameFly Goes Postal over Poor Postal Service

When it comes to shipping rental DVDs, does the U.S. Postal Service give preferential treatment to big fish like Netflix and Blockbuster?

Video game renter Gamefly thinks so and has filed a complaint with the USPS, according to WebProNews:

Gamefly mails 590,000 video games monthly, and between one and two percent of those games is broken in transit or stolen along the way… at $50 per game that could be upwards of $600,000 lost in a month…


According to the complaint, the investigation also found that competitors Blockbuster and Netflix DVDs were manually removed from bulk mail and not processed through machines. This led to the company’s allegations of discriminatory treatment.

In addition to mangling Gamefly’s DVDs in its mail sorting machines, the postal service found that its employees were stealing the company’s games as they went through the system. In fact, 19 USPS workers have been arrested by Postal Inspectors for ripping off Gamefly.

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab Gamefly’s complaint here.

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  1. FlakAttack says:

    Canada Post… oh man, you guys have no idea. Nothing, NOTHING I have ever had sent to me or sent out arrived as it should have, short of Christmas cards. I once had a gaming magazine sent to me in the package with the disk… naturally, despite being in an envelope, they stole the disk and damaged the magazine, and complaints went largely ignored. My brother was invited to review a game, it was stolen in transit.

    My ex’s mother worked for the post office and found out that even in her little office covering Masson-Angers/Buckingham (small towns in Quebec) the theft rate was ridiculous. She knew everyone there by first name. Can you imagine knowing that a large percentage of the people you know and talk to every day regularly steal from innocent people?

    For the amount postal workers get paid here and the benefits they get… Even with a college degree, the pay would beat many potential jobs, and means I wouldn’t need to go to school for another 3+ years.

  2. Zero Beat says:

    So is mail tampering, which includes dropping off a letter in your neighbor’s mailbox without posting it, intenionally destroying a mailbox, and the weirdest one, putting  the newspaper in the mailbox or the mail in the newspaper box.

    All felonies.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  3. GoodRobotUs says:

    I will say that for Royal Mail, they are a lot lot better than they used to be for handling post.

    That said, the sad part is that the Royal Mail is dying, obviously the government were unhappy with the fact it was an accessible, easy to use service and decided to take steps….

  4. Sai says:

    Well of course games are more likely to be stolen than DVDs. I was thinking of canceling my Netflix in order to join Gamefly recently, but it doesn’t sound worth it right now.

  5. ZippyDSMlee says:

    And some aeras wont allow game floppy/CDs but game DVDs …the USPS is messed up!


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  6. JacobAWD says:

    I personaly don’t like USPS. My grandma’s cousin was sending her a package full of books, and there was a $10 fine on it. My grandma went to the post office to ask why there was a fine and they said that it was sent "Media Mail" (sending only books and its cheaper) but there was a card in it. Through the power of the internet, Grandma found out that greeting cards can be sent with the books. Grandma went back with a printed copy and the woman in charge (the biggest bitch you’ll find outside of high school) said she needed to open it AGAIN (I didn’t know they can do that!) to confirm what was inside. And lo and behold packed in the botom of the box was a shirt! The clerk who recomended media mail to cousin forgot a few major details. 



    We don’t need the government, all we need is Medicare, Medicade, and Social Security!

  7. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Uhg like the teaching profession if you are not maintaining a level of quality(smarter kids/completed deliveries with no complaints) then you should be fired….


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  8. ZippyDSMlee says:

    And its not a USPS aprooved mailbox they wont touch it even if you have a case of mail robberies they still wont use somethign more secure… and fcking hell the postmen are fcking sub contractors so WHY can’t the mail box be used? its there to recive envelops nothignmore nothing less…


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  9. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The sorting machines eat mail,I wonder if netflix is having the same trouble.


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  10. cmpLtNOOb says:

    Gamefly does use use cardboard mailers and I’ve never had a problem with cracked discs.  Considering that, the USPS must be tossing them around hardcore to manage to crack them.

  11. mootyslayer says:

    I am on the west coast and the same thing happens to me when I used gamefly. I never got games on the top of my list. I cancelled it and have been using gamerang more frequently. Not as high on the food chain but I get a lot more out of them. The only thing I do not like is that they have no reward system and the used games are not as cheap. But I get more games out of them.

  12. zel says:

    They can’t compete, because they legally can not deliver to a mailbox. Same reason newspapers can’t deliver to your mailbox without going through the USPS even though they have their own delivery people, but you can put up a seperate box labeled for them to stick your newspaper into but they’ve long since stuff them into plastic bags and lob them onto your front porch/lawn/driveway.

    When my dad started a business up a while back when i was a kid we printed up fliers to stuck em to the outside of mailboxes. We quickly got a call from the USPS notifying us that we can not do that, its against the law to deliver anything onto or into a mailbox that did not pay postage. After that we stuck em to door :/

    so ya, its not direct competition.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  13. Kojiro says:

    I’ve tried GameFly twice.  The first time was on the East coast, and the games were lost in transit half the time, and GameFly would threaten to deactivate my account.  The second time was on the West coast, and here they just sent me crappy games from the bottom of my queue.  You never get anything from the top of your queue from GameFly.  So I no longer had the shipping problems, but the service just sucked, and you can’t blame that on the USPS.

  14. Ganjookie says:

    The postmaster general told us straight up that they loose 10% of mail at a tradeshow. 🙁

    Otherwise for the amount of mail they handle they do a SUPERB job.


    Trevor Gray

  15. SilverMelee says:

    Perhaps the USPS could use some competition.

    Isn’t that why we have companies like UPS and FedEx? I mean, on some of the sites I shopped at, I even had the option of using thier services instead of the USPS (although their costs were higher).

    Or am I missing something here?

    — I do more than just play games. I draw, too:

  16. Father Time says:

    I read in a book that a while ago some political writer started his own mail service to compete with the USPS, he was doing so well he forced to USPS to cut their cost of stamps, but eventually Congress forced him to start.

    Perhaps the USPS could use some competition.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  17. JDKJ says:

    Hyper-technically, USPS isn’t even part of the federal government in the typical sense. It’s actually a so-called "quasi-corporation." Which means that unlike most all of the typical federal goverment’s services, it’s supposed to be operating at a profit. But I don’t think they’ve ever ended a single year in the black. Even though the federal government has carved out for USPS monoply areas in the market for mail delivery within which Fed-Ex and UPS, etc., are not allowed to compete. 

  18. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    I used to rent DVDs from a small company (GreenCine).  Originally they’d send them out in sturdy cardboard mailers, and all was well.  Then to cut down on postage they went to the disc in paper sleeve inside paper envelope method, and I started getting cracked discs all the time.  Got sick of it so I tried switching to Netflix, problem stopped even though they send their discs the same way.

    My advice to GameFly is, if nothing comes of your complaint to the USPS, try using sturdier cardboard mailers.  It may cost you a bit more in postage because of the weight, but it sounds like the number of game discs saved would be more than worth it.

  19. McCoul says:

    This isn’t a huge surprise for me. Growing up in a small town I never had a single complaint about the postal service. Everything was delivered on time, no issues whatsoever. After moving to New York City I’ve had many, many complaints, from people leaving delivery attempt notices without even ringing our buzzer, sending packages back to their senders without a notice and other issues. The best part is when my fiancee filed a complaint, they sent us a form letter thanking us for our kind words. While I’m sure there are thousands of Postal Service employees who are hard working upstanding citizens, it’s a job like any other and many people go in for government jobs because of the benefits, not out of any desire to serve.

  20. hellfire7885 says:

    yes, but it’s a white collar crime, so more often than not they get away with it.

  21. Icehawk says:

    "Theft of" but what about "Theft by"?

    USPS is a federal job.  Gotta wonder that happens to those that caught breaking there internal laws, as well as federal mandates. 

  22. hellfire7885 says:

    Stil ldoesn’t make it right. If I paid 60 dollars for a game and it never arrived because if vanished into the system or was stolen by a disloyal employee, I’d be royaly pissed off.

  23. JDKJ says:

    Theft of U.S. Mail is a federal felony offense punishable by up to five years in prison. (18 U.S.C.1708). It’s also the most popular white-collar crime committed in the U.S. 

  24. Sukasa says:

    Haven’t had any games stolen in the mail (yet) but I did sadly have a $2000.00 laptop stolen I ordered a few years ago.  Fortunately, it was insured and I got the money back but I was so pissed(though they tried to fight it by blamming the military mail office for it being stolen).  I wanted to hunt down what post offices it suppposly went through and start waterboarding postal clerks!

  25. Neeneko says:

    People tend to remember the bad and ignore the good.  Given what they do the USPS is actually surprisingly effient and is considered one of the best in the world.

    People also tend to underestimate just how massive the job the USPS does.  They only think about their own tiny usage and think ‘it can’t be that bad!’.  We are talking about hundreds of billions of deliveries per year.

  26. SpiralGray says:

    I read and hear a lot of complaints about the USPS, but I personally haven’t had much problem with them. I’ve sold and purchased probably dozens of items over the years and never had one go missing or be damaged. I’m sure as the number of items you ship/receive goes up the incidents of damage also go up.

    Gamefly says that 1 – 2% of their product is damaged or stolen. What is the percentage for Netflix and Blockbuster?

    Lastly, if you think the USPS is bad, just be glad you’ve never had to deal with Canada Post.

  27. Zero Beat says:

    Not to mention people blame them for when an improperly treated icy road causes their truck to skid into a ditch and makes the mail/packages late.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  28. AbsumZero says:

    If you think there was or ever has been one big standardized tests for all branches of government, and that those with low scores got sent to the postal service, you clearly have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about and would have been better off just keeping your mouth shut. In order to get a job with the postal service people take a standardized test specifically for the postal service and those with the highest scores are contacted first during hiring; preference is given to people with previous government employment in the form of an additional 10 points to their score, so those "functionally retarded" people are disproportionately military veterans.

    Postal employees steal for the same reason employees of any agency or business steal; they’re disgruntled. Postal employees are constantly expected to process and deliver more mail, carry longer routes, and do it faster. Even after 25+ years of service a mail carrier’s route continues expanding. If they push themselves they get more added to them, if they slow-down they’re pushed into retirement. In the meantime they have to worry about dogs, getting their truck broken into, getting robbed at gunpoint, dealing with angry customers whose mail has been destroyed by the office’s fancy sorting machines somewhere, people begging for their welfare checks, postal inspectors constantly up their asses, and constant ‘pep talks’ about the dangers of package bombs, sexual harassment, etc.

    The post-office points-out theft every time their competence as a whole is called into question because it’s an easy scapegoat, despite there being only a relatively small percentage of the nearly 8000,000 of postal workers who are thieves. It’s easier to try and blame some anonymous employee for stealing grandma’s christmas card than it is to admit that large quantities of mail are sent to nowhere or mangled by the fancy machines intended to reduce labor costs and speed-up processing. The postal service doesn’t care about your letters and packages, it survives on the cost of junk-mail, catalogs, and pennysavers.

  29. Vake Xeacons says:

    Thing is, postal services aren’t the only place with a high stolen-games rate. Through most of major retail, games have the highest walkout rate. That’s why they go through great lengths to make you feel like a criminal, going through a screening process (unlocking the cabinet, escorting you to the register, checking your bags & reciets at the door), just to purchase that latest hit.

    But yes, at the post office, Netflix has it’s own bin behind the counter, next to local, national, stamped, and metered.

  30. DeusPayne says:

    First: A implies B doesn’t mean B implies A. There are definitely postal employees who aren’t ‘functionally retarded’, but way to assume that your dad was one, and then take offense to it.

    Second: When a woman gets mugged, do you tell her "Don’t carry your money in a bag that screams ‘steal me’. Carry it in your pocket like normal people."

  31. Unruly says:

    I resent that. My dad has been a postal worker for close to 30 years now and was a carrier for 15 of them. The only thing that kept him from getting a higher job earlier in his carreer was the fact that he didn’t have any kind of college degree because my grandparents believed in learning a trade rather than going to college. And by no means is he retarded. When he finally did go to college in his 40’s for a liberal arts degree just so he could move up the ladder, he had no problem passing any of his classes.

    You once slammed me for making gross generalizations about homeschooling, but you’re doing the same with the postal service and its employees. I’ll admit, the post office in my hometown did have a lady who was stealing things from the mail a few years back, and it probably happens more frequently in bigger cities as well, but there are always people who steal and always people who will steal from their job/employer. CEOs, doctors, accountants, they all do it too. It has nothing to do with how smart or stupid you are.

    Besides, who’s to say that its all postal employees who are stealing them? When the envelope that they’re shipped to and from in is bright orange with the word Gamefly in bold black letters right down the middle, it just screams "Look at me! I’m a target! Steal me!" to anyone that might see it being put in a mailbox or pass a mailbox that’s been left open (I know that’s what it did for my literally white-trash, on welfare, neighbor. He saw me put 2 games in the box and before I even got 10 feet away he had taken them out.). Instead of blaming it all on postal workers, why not put some of the blame on Gamefly themselves and the fact that they’re shipping a $40+ game in an envelope that’s no more secure than any other and that clearly tells everyone who sees it what its contents are. The same can be said for Netflix, except their envelope is red instead of orange. If they would ship it in a white envelope and use about the same size font for the return address as junk mail credit card offers do, I bet that they would see a significant drop in stolen items.

    But they would never do that, because that’s the smart thing to do and they would rather risk their stuff getting stolen and blame everyone else than take their branding off of it.

  32. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Not always. Part 1 of "The Stolen Turnabout" had Nick defending a thief, despite the fact that once the thief was acquitted, he was tried for murder.


    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  33. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    No. This will not be like "Farewell, My Turnabout" in the slightest.


    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  34. Alex says:

    Don’t you know they only handle murder cases?

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  35. Ganjookie says:

    **Fun Stories**

    I work with the USPS daily, and the owner of my company, went to visit one of the local postamasters once.  During thier talks, my boss was told that the USPS once "lost" a wherehouse of mail, only to be "found" years later.

    I also had a friend who started up an online DVD horror rental site (, and found information that USPS and Netflix do have some sort of deal going on.  His DVDs would take around a week or two to arrive, while NetFlix was categorized seperatly, and shipped faster.

    Trevor Gray

  36. Dragoon1376 says:

    A year ago my grandparents sent me a card.  Now, the drive from where they live to where I live is about 11 hours or so.  The card never made it that far.  In fact, it completely disappeared into an alternate dimension.  When it was finally returned to my grandparents, it had been MIA for over a year.  Go figure.

    First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

  37. hellfire7885 says:

    Hmm, I wonder how many children never got their birthday money thanks to these people.

  38. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Just hope that Phoenix Wright or one of the Ace Attorneys isn’t the one defending the USPS.

    Otherwise, send in Miles Edgeworth or Klavier Gavin on Gamefly’s behalf.


    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  39. foolkiller79 says:

    I had one game not arrive twice.  On the third try it finally showed up and then the second one showed up a week after that.  I have also had various other instances of a game not showing up.  Netflix has never been a problem. 

    From personal experience I would think that Gamefly has a case.

  40. Austin_Lewis says:

    Okay, let me explain something quickly.  Used to be (probably still is) that you had to take a standardized test to get a government job.  The smart people went to important branches and got good paychecks.  The people who were functionally retarded went to the post office.  Do you know why a postal inspector’s starting salary is 100,000 a year? So they’ll stay and put up with the bullshit they get from their retarded employees.

    So its no suprise to me that postal employees, basically the bottom of the barrel, steal things like games.

  41. WarOtter says:

    In my job I deal with the USPS daily and the quality of their work. They are absolutely one of the most reprehensible and lazy organizations you can deal with. Their treatment of mail is horrible, and yet they keep raising postage. I frequently get mail pieces that, due to the post office, have become laden with black mold, burned crispy, or cut in half or otherwise mangled. And this is for mail pieces with nothing of value to other people in them. I can’t imagine what the actual number of dvds and games that are stolen by USPS workers is.


    You see, I believe in the noble, aristocratic art of doing absolutely nothing. And one day, I hope to be in a position to do even less!

  42. Neeneko says:

    Didn’t Netflx pitch in to buy special machines for the USPS to sort out it’s stuff?

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