Netflix Help?
April 27, 2015 5:19 AM   Subscribe

I obviously need a little help with Netflix. Am I doing something wrong? Missing titles in My List, etc. Extended Details included....

Ok...full disclosure, I am probably one of the last people to sign up for Netflix. I did for the first time last week (probably 5 days into it right now) and I am loving it thus far. However, even though the user interface is about as basic as you can get, I am obviously missing something or doing something wrong that has made my experience not 100% satisfying to date. Hopefully, not to sound like a complete idiot, I think I might need some basic guidance (so please, be easy on me). A couple of points:

- I signed up on Wednesday (April 22)
- I live in Canada, so I have a Canada Netflix subscription (I know there is different content than users in the US and UK, etc),
- I am not using a VPN or anything like that - just a regular Canadian subscription
- I am the only one using my account or access to my profile.
- I have a laptop permanently connected to my tv, so I will be using Netflix through that (I don't use a PS3 or anything ). I also have the Netflix app installed on my iPhone and iPad, but haven't watched any content on that as of yet - I just logged in to set up my profile

Ok, that being said, I signed up for Netflix, went through the initial set up procedure, selected a few movie titles that I have liked, it gave me a few recommendations and we were off to the races. I was looking for a "Netflix Queue", which I have had heard about for years, but couldn't find it. A quick Google search allowed me to see that "My List" had replaced the Queue; no problem there. I selected a couple of movies and tv shows that I think I would like to watch, added them to "My List" and we were in business. I sat down, watched my first Netflix movie, and I was one happy customer. Then I noticed a couple of things that I can't figure out:

1. My List - I added two tv shows that I want to watch to My List: Downton Abby and House of Lies. I had heard about these shows and have wanted to watch them for sometime and was glad they were available. I accidentally clicked on both of the titles to read more about them, but it actually started playing Episode 1, Season 1 for both (I didn't mean to do that), so now they are in my "Continue Watching" list, even though I haven't watched them, nor am I ready watch them. I wish these could be 'reset' somehow as I didn't actually watch them; just so they could show up in My List?? Anyway, here is one issue I had: these were available to watch for me - I added them to My List - I accidentally started to watch both of them when I clicked on the title - and they were in my Continue to Watch list. I turned on my computer on Friday, and noticed that both House of Lies and Downtown Abby were no longer in My List OR My Continue to Watch queue. I did a Search for House of Lies and found out that it was now only available for rental on DVD. That was disappointing, but no huge deal. I figured a licensing agreement must have expired or something. Anyway, last night I logged on, and they were back in My List again!?! What is going on??

2. Continue Watching - So there are two movies that I watched since I have had Netflix (End of Watch and Flight). I enjoyed both movies and watched them until the very end of the movie and let then run entirely through the credits (as I didn't know what happened when you watched a Netflix movie to the end - would it start again? would it go back to the main menu?) Anyway, I rated both movies and went back to my main menu. However, both of those movies continue to show up in my Continue To Watch list, even though I have watched both of then in their entirety. Is there a way to get them out of this?

3. My List - this is the thing that upsets me the most. On Friday night, I did some searching on Google for a list of Netflix movies that I wanted to watch. I searched for a bunch of documentary's, had a list of about 15, searched for them on Netflix and added them to My List. No worries there. On Sunday morning, I did a complete reboot of my computer, opened up Netflix (I have never logged out), and much to my surprise (and disappointment), all of the titles that were in My List from the night before, are no longer there!! But the original ones from a couple of days back (including House of Lies - which was only available for rental on DVD and Downton Abby) were back! But all of these docs that I searched for and added, are no longer there (and I have no idea of all of their titles again). And one that I know I added to my list (The Iron Shiek doc) isn't even available when I search for it. WTF.

I have NO idea what is going on. And its making me nervous. Why is My List losing titles? I am afraid to add things to it now, as I think they will be gone in a few days. Its to the point where I am keeping a manual list on a piece of paper now. I am sure I am doing something wrong but I don't know what it is.

Can someone help?

Again, I am the only one with access to my subscription. So no one went into my account and removed titles etc. And I know for a fact that I didn't do it.
posted by dbirchum to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The queue is something from the DVD side of Netflix, which determines the order you would (most likely) get them. It doesn't exist in the streaming side, that'd just be silly.

Continue watching is just a list of everything you've started to load the video for, even if that was to the end. It makes more sense when you think about TV shows. I also sometimes use it because I fell asleep...

I don't know what the deal is with your list, however. Sometimes I've had items disappear because of rights issues, but not that many in one day.
posted by Trifling at 6:16 AM on April 27, 2015

Actually, do you know your IP address is static? Maybe they sometimes think you're in the USA, sometimes in Canada. That would explain the disappearing items neatly.
posted by Trifling at 6:19 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

It's worth noting that Continue Watching will gradually refresh as you watch more things. It's not "permanent" like My List. So, those things you're seeing now will be kicked off eventually as you watch other things, and then you won't have to worry about them. (But yeah, it's handy for movies you stop part-way through or TV shows... not so much otherwise.)

Trifling might really be onto something there with regards to the other issues you're having, though. Note also that My List will only show things that are currently available for streaming. If they become available for streaming again after being unavailable, they'll reappear in My List without you having to do anything special. That can be a bit confusing when you're just starting out, but I think it's preferable to clicking on a title to watch it and having Netflix say, "Nope, sorry, you can't watch this here anymore."
posted by cellar door at 6:49 AM on April 27, 2015

My List (formerly the Queue) still exists in Watch Instantly. And it isn't "silly"—it enables people to see when the things they would like to watch some time in the future are no longer going to be available for watching, and thus lights a fire under your butt to watch them or have to wait until they get relicensed. It may be somewhat ridiculous, but I consistently maintain a queue of near-500 shows and films I plan to watch.

As far as "Continue Watching"--this is a fairly new feature. It will show anything you've watched recently, even if it's for two seconds. No biggie--when you click it again, it should ask if you want to Resume Watching or Start at the Beginning. (If it doesn't, it will start where you left off, usually. Though sometimes if you watch on more than one device this can malfunction.)

As I live in the US and can't access Downton Abbey yet on Watch Instantly, I don't know if it's disappeared due to licensing issues in Canada or what. But I would imagine that's what's happened. Your My List should not delete things randomly unless they have been temporarily lost due to need for relicensing.
posted by RedEmma at 9:01 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think you've got some good advice already about your specific problems. I just wanted to generally mention that Netflix, much as I love it, has a terrible interface that often seems to be built around concealing the high crap to good content ratio rather than actually helping you sort or discover stuff you want to watch. There are workarounds to help with this if you're interested. It's also possible that you're just encountering some weird glitch and haven't done anything wrong. Netflix can be glitchy. It's not you, it's them!

Netflix does let you set up different profiles for multiple users on one account, and they can have different "My List" lists and so on. Is it possible you accidentally have created two user profiles? The place to select a profile or switch between them varies depending on which device you're using to access netflix but I think on PCs it's in the upper right corner of the screen last I checked? (At work so can't check now.)
posted by Wretch729 at 9:03 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

One thing, since you're on the laptop. Hover over the movie play button, then the title will pop up with a description and a place where you can add it to your list right there. Click the title and that send you to the movie page with info and reviews without paying the movie, where you can also add it to your list. This will solve the issue where you're clicking and just playing the movie or show (which is an annoying feature.)
posted by Crystalinne at 2:17 PM on April 28, 2015

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