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Netflix Fee Calculator

Netflix claims to allow unlimited DVD rentals with no late fees. Unfortunately, both of these claims are contestable. The questions below will help you calculate the price that you pay for each rental, as well as your daily late fee and the maximum number of DVDs that you can rent each month.

Shipping Days per Month

How many days each month does Netflix ship DVDs?
(They ship Monday through Friday.
Excluding holidays, on average there are 21 2/3 shipping days per month.)

20 day
21 days
22 days
23 days
24 days
25 days
26 days
27 days

Membership Program

What Netflix membership program are you subscribed to?

1-at-a-time ($7.99/month)
2-at-a-time ($11.99/month)
3-at-a-time ($15.99/month)

Transit Time

How many mail days does it take for a DVD to travel between you and Netflix?
(Only count days that the USPS delivers mail.)

1 day
2 days
3 days

Turnaround Time

Once Netflix receives a DVD from you, how long does it take them to ship your next DVD?
(Only count days that Netflix ships, i.e. Monday through Friday.)

same day
next day
two days

Summary

Given the answers you provided to the above questions, the following fees have been calculated (assuming that Javascript is enabled):

Rental cost $0.78 per DVD
Daily late fee $0.26 per day
except on Friday and Sunday
Maximum rentals 22 DVDs per month

Analysis

As you are on the 3-at-a-time rental program, and there are 22 shipping days per month, there are a total of 66 DVD rental slots per month (each DVD you can have at a time is given a slot on each shipping day). Because you are paying a flat monthly fee of $16.99, each of these slots cost you $0.26.

Each shipping day that you hold a DVD instead of mailing it back uses up one rental slot. Your late fee is thus $0.26 per shipping day. Netflix doesn't ship on Saturday or Sunday. That means that if you return a DVD on Friday, then you won't get your next DVD any sooner than if you returned the DVD one day later. This effectively waives the late fee on Friday. As neither the USPS nor Netflix process mail on Sunday, it is not considered a shipping day and the late fee is also waived.

Whenever you send back a DVD in order to obtain a new one, you lose 1 rental slot(s) while the old DVD is in transit to Netflix, plus 0 rental slot(s) waiting for Netflix to send your next DVD, plus 1 rental slot(s) while your next DVD is in transit to you. Assuming that you watch DVDs in the evening (or at least that you can't mail back a DVD before 5:00 PM on the same day that you received it), you wil hold each DVD at least 1 additional day (in other words, you watch each DVD on the day that you receive it, and you mail it back the next day). Each DVD rental thus costs you $0.84 as it consumes 3 rental slots. Non-shipping days are not included in the round-trip time calculation

Finally, there is a limit on the number of DVDs that you can rent each month. With 66 DVD rental slots per month, and 3 slots being consumed by each rental, you can rent no more than 22 DVDs each month.