Netflix Tech Problem Persists

A technology problem that has seriously disrupted Netflix's ability to mail DVDs to subscribers enters its fourth day Friday.

In its latest update in the Netflix Community Blog, the company said on Thursday afternoon that it was making progress in fixing the issue and that it hoped to fully restore its shipping operations by Friday.

However, at 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Friday, Netflix had provided no further updates and it hadn't modified the problem alert on its home page for subscribers, which warns that DVD shipments have been delayed since Tuesday and that credits will be applied to the accounts of those affected.

Netflix first acknowledged the problem in a blog posting Tuesday, saying a "technology issue" would prevent it from shipping DVDs, crippling the company's core mail-based movie rental delivery operations.

By Wednesday, Netflix managed to ship DVDs from about half of its distribution centers. However, the operations collapsed again, preventing the company from putting movies in the mail on Thursday morning. The company got some distribution centers again up on Thursday afternoon.

"We hope to bring the rest of our facilities back online overnight and be shipping from all of our distribution centers on Friday. But the issues we've faced over the last several days have been significant and there's no guarantee at this point that our shipping operations will be fully restored by tomorrow," the company said in its latest blog posting.

The extended problem is an embarrassment for a company that typically ranks high in customer satisfaction among e-commerce players and that has been lauded for using the Web to disrupt and improve the movie rental business.

Netflix didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. In its blog postings, it hasn't provided details about the technology problem affecting its distribution operations. Whatever the issue is, it hasn't interfered with its public Web site, which has remained online and operating normally, allowing subscribers to access their accounts.

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