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Don’t bother sending back those final Netflix DVD rentals

Netflix final DVD envelope.
Netflix / Netflix

If for some reason you’re still renting DVDs from Netflix and plan to keep doing so until that end of the service goes the way of the dinosaur on September 29, you can hold off on sticking the discs back in the mail. Netflix doesn’t want them.

The “DVD Netflix” account on X (formerly known as Twitter) today clarified that “we are not charging for any unreturned discs after 9/29. Please enjoy your final shipments for as long as you like.” It followed up the statement with a trio of emoji, as serious communications from serious companies tend to do.

If none of that makes sense to you because you were born sometime in the past 20 years, here’s some context: Netflix started as a company that rented DVDs by mail. The former is a little optical disc that is read by a “laser” to produce what in many cases is a superior picture on a screen. The latter is a method of communication and shipping run by the U.S. government that ends up in a little box — often referred to as a “mailbox” — at your place of residence. You’d get a movie, watch it, and send it back. Rinse and repeat, all for a relatively acceptable monthly fee.

A screenshot of the DVDNetflix Twitter account stating that the final discs from the service don't need to be returned.
Screenshot / Netflix

The streaming era then came along and all but killed the DVD service. But, like AOL discs before it (ask your parents, kids), Netflix’s DVD service never quite died off. And on April 18, 2023, Netflix announced that it would end the DVD side of its business after a remarkable 25 years.

“Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members,” Netflix wrote at the time. “But as the DVD business continues to shrink, that’s going to become increasingly hard. So we want to go out on a high, and will be shipping our final DVDs on September 29, 2023.”

That date is now a little more than a month away. No word yet on what Netflix might do with the DVD inventory it has on hand. But here’s a chance to snag something rare, with no penalty if you’re not kind and don’t rewind. (Again, kids, ask your parents. It, too, was once a thing.)

Phil Nickinson
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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