A 2008 Netflix Community complaint about broken DVDs didn't attract much sympathy. The respondents claimed Netflix was blameless, and any problems were the fault of the USPS and the recipient.
I don't buy it. About 15% of our child-audience DVDs are cracked or unplayable, but we rarely see problems with adult DVDs (admittedly a much smaller sample, most of our rentals are for younger children).
If it were the USPS the damage rate would be similar, and we don't handle the disks differently.
I suspect Netflix is skimping on their testing and quality control -- a sure way to save money.
This is a problem. Sure Netflix will reissue a replacement, but that's worthless for us. We just return the broken ones.
So now we're looking for alternatives. I'm not sure there are any when it comes to children's material, but we'll take a second look at Amazon and Apple. We could look at Netflix's streaming offerings, but then we'd be rewarding bad services. Humans are programmed to punish cheaters ...