January 5, 2007
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I’ve been a fan of GameFly for years now. I love the Netflix model for games, but I have finally given up on them.  I have had a long-term conversation with their customer service people about the lack of copies of games.

This started about four months back when I noticed of the ten games in my queue, that *all* were marked as “Short Wait” which means…not in stock. Because they couldn’t fulfill my game subscription (I was getting 4 games at a time), I changed my subscription to one game at a time, all the while trying to get a straight answer out of their customer service department.  Today I finally gave up and cancelled my account. I’ve been with them for almost years now (can’t remember, but at least 4) and this was never an issue with XBox games.  Probably growing pains, but I am fed up.

Anyone use other services like this that you would suggest (not Blockbuster, I don’t want to go to a store to pick up games)?

UPDATE: I wrote the CEO of GameFly so he would know what my opinion is about the result and he replied (within 8 hours no less):

"Dear Shawn-  While I am disappointed that your experience with GameFly has been less than great, I do appreciate your taking the time to write me personally.

Over time, we have discovered that ‘short wait’ is not the best way to describe inventory availability, because it suggests that the game is out of stock.   While that may be true at 3 PM when you check your Q, we may receive tens or hundreds of pieces the next morning.  Therefore, those with an open slot and the game in the #1 position would have the game shipped to them.  To make a long story short, we are working on a system that uses our data to give the consumer an accurate read on the probability that he would receive the game the next day.  That being said, we still may not be able to fill all the #1 slots at certain times.  It will take us a few months to develop and test this capability.

To avoid confusion among consumers, our CS department is trained to give consistent responses.  However, I do understand that this could become frustrating over time.  We do monitor cancel reasons closely and respond to thoughtful criticisms like your’s with appropriate changes to our service.  Even under the current system, the number of short waits will decrease over time.

If you do choose to return (and I hope you do), please let me know and we’ll give you the first month free.

Thanks again,


This hasn’t convinced me to return yet, but I am impressed by the response.  I’ll keep this story updated if anything else changes.