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I am a former (long-time) employee of a Blockbuster B&M. Towards the last few months I was there, I had a few customer not receiving anything for weeks, and at the store level it's tough since we don't know anything about the customer, their queue, or what's been happening. I've had TA off and on for the last year or so. I had it all last summer until the first price hike, and never had any trouble; I canceled though since I couldn't afford it. Now that I no longer get the free rentals, I went back and am in my second week of the 3 at a time 5 in-store for $20. Since the 03/18/08, I've received 6 movies and my 5 in-stores. So 11 movies in 9 days, or almost 1.5 per day. I should have at least 2 more tomorrow and then a 3rd on Friday. I don't think they have ever throttled me; I receive and send them out same day, and usually new titles arrive in the next day, maybe 2. If this ever changes much I'll try Netflix out, but so far, in-store exchanging makes it very worthwhile. Biggest complaint is the site in Firefox. TERRIBLE. The queue just destroys the browser.
I may actually watch these since I've been wanting to see the Sopranos but never remember to rent them (and to really watch them I'd need an online service again so I can go through them quick). But at least it's the first 3 eps and a sixth season one; I was expecting random ones from all over, which would make it stupid to try to watch. But I'd watch 1-3.
nikalseyn - "A sense of betrayal and trickery comes over one at this point. I had Netflix for over a year and even tho I did not think much of their customer service, they were at least quite reliable and didn't try to pull a fast one on customers. Anyone with half an ounce of sense could have told Blockbuster this kind of program would end up costing them big bucks." Why is this a fast one? Why is this a betrayal? Because they wanted to increase customer base and it cost them $82 million, so they changed the plans up a little? As far as other issues, I no longer can afford TA so I haven't had it about a month or so. If you're referring to those changes in actual service you've experienced, then yes that sucks... but you make it seem as if Blockbuster owes it to everyone to stick with a failing business plan. Regardless of how obvious it was that it would cost more than make, it doesn't mean they can't try to do something new. It really irks me that so many people will complain about these price hikes, even in a blog about how much the plans were costing before. There had to be better balance. (For full disclosure, I do work in a Blockbuster B&M - but trust me I don't make nearly enough to back them for that reason. I just really think the service they offer is still pretty great. I do take issue with a multitude of other things they have done, are doing, and will do - and especially in the way they HANDLED the price change. But I still get a little made when people act as though they owe them so much. They are a business, just like Netflix.)
I just liked the IT IS SO ORDERED part at the bottom. I think I'm going to try to work that into everyday conversations, that's awesome.
Dang, my live bookmark cut it off just after 67% ... and I was hoping it was some sort of study about current price changes. Nice to see they are prioritizing here! Now class, who here believes in GHOSTS?!?! Gimme a break.
That sounds cool, until the point where a "place for you to post a link to your outside blog, website, myspace page, etc" may not make it by deadline - seriously? That's like, a couple lines of code, one more field in the database. (Granted I'm not the most sophisticated or educated programmer there is, but I know enough php and mysql to get by - and to me adding this small feature would take me maybe 10 mins - and to a pro I'm guessing much less). Not sure how many other readers are programmers, but am I wrong? Granted, he could written nothing and it wouldn't make a difference, and there is nothing to gain by lying about it, so maybe I'm way off. Perhaps it's a security issue - but then if I can place the link in the personal statement...
This hypersensitivity crap is ridiculous. It's an AD. It's not invading your home, and desensitizing your family. Does she think your family doesn't know what a serial killer is? Or does she think her family will see the ad and suddenly decide that might be cool, killing lots of people. "Well, I saw this ad for some tv show on a netflix envelope and just suddenly snapped; murdered them all." And Dexter was a great show, anyway.
I think that ones a Weinstein company movie, and Blockbuster has a deal with them ( But then Netflix shouldn't have it for rent in that case. So maybe it's not Weinstein.
It's about time they did this. Won't help me any though; since I work there I know what we have for rent (usually) and what I don't, I "check for rental" online. What we don't have, I queue up; what we do, I exchange for. So I'd never be renting a title I recently exchanged for, since everything in my queue is only available online (this is really to me the only reason to have the service). But this is great for other customers!
eh, replace *two* with *too*
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2007 on The NY Times on Movie Piracy at Hacking NetFlix
Was it really record breaking this summer? Seriously? Was there even anything THAT amazing? I guess it's those big action titles everyone thinks will be so much better in a room full of people (Transformers, Pirates 3, Spiderman 3). But wow, record breaking. I thought this summer was rather pathetic. I have a general rule for buying movies: Anything that isn't anything *two* special (IE single disc, average movie), I won't pay more than $5 for. These are titles normally priced $16-$20 on release week. I'll just wait, a few months will pass and it will just be that cheap. Other titles, ones I really think are worth a bit more (cool special editions etc), $10. These are usually priced between $25-$30. The only time this doesn't work are with Criterions and Disney titles, since they know they can sqeeuze me for $25-$50 easy. But at least Criterions are worth it. I really love to buy movies, but I would have a fraction of the titles I do have if I paid what retailers and studios ask for movies. At this point, most DVD's need to be initially priced at $10 and we go from there.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2007 on The NY Times on Movie Piracy at Hacking NetFlix
"I can't believe that no one makes use of the note. How do they check dvds reported broken?" I would guess it's just easier to grab the disc in question from the warehouse and first inspect that it is the same disc as is labeled, and then either toss it (if it's obviously non-repairable) or send it to a refurbishing machine. Electronic notes are much more efficient in all of these scenarios. The only time a note might help is when it's, as someone reported, without label, and I've seen a few discs which are very similar to each other (I think a South Park series disc was without numbers or something?), in which case it gets pretty complicated. But with DVD's it's really not a matter of when and where the issue was, it's a matter of is it repairable with one glance. I mean these things aren't pennies to buy but they aren't all that expensive either in the long run.
Doesn't Netflix haver a way of contacting them about issues directly through the site? Seriously, if most notes are like the ones in the flickr stream, I would just stop reading them after, maybe, a day. It would just slow things down too much.
All I have to say about the manager, if the remarks were made, is WOW. That's crazy. SeaPrincess: Before Blockbuster started the end of late fees program a couple years back (basically making checkin time irrelevant since it's not till close of the seventh day overdue that anything happens to the account), the due time was 12 noon, but there was (and technically still is, I believe), a 3 hour time window to check in the movies. It was really rare for movies to stack up for that three hours to the point where they were checked in late, and in the few times it happened, we just over-rode the fees. Not saying it's impossible for the employees at your store to have missed your movies for 3 hours, just saying that they didn't miss them at noon, since it didn't generate a fee 'till 3 (afaik and can remember, that was a long time ago). Employees do make mistakes, but customers aren't exactly infallible. More often than not if someone is reasonable with me and works with me, it makes things a lot easier to figure out. But I've had countless customers flip out at me and say they turned a movie in, when I can't find it in the store, and then later they DO find it at home. Rarely do I get an apology.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith number 2? I mean, it was decent, and much better than I expected, but I don't think it really should get top ten. But then people are always renting crap I don't agree with, while here at least I think I liked most of these movies. And yes, it's all about hype. When Crash was released, I loved it, and it was overlooked by most renters. When it won an award, it was constantly rented out. Most people can't pick a movie to save their lives though, so it makes sense that it will be at the top; it's word of mouth to mouth to mouth.
Cyber.diva: Does Blockbuster have a streaming video service yet? They just bought Movielink but I wasn't aware that they had done anything with it yet. As far as cleaning up their money problems... I'm still at a loss why people act like because Blockbuster wants to make money they are evil. Netflix wants to make money too. It's capitalism. It sucks when it's taken to extremes, but that's why it's good that Blockbuster and Netflix are both around right now to keep each other in check. Or does everyone figure Netflix would keep prices low if Blockbuster died off?
I agree that the service can use some work, and I know it irks many people that the movies ship out of order. I don't really care myself, since it's an online rental service I sort of just take them as they come. All the movies in my queue are movies I want to watch anyway. But I do wish there was a 'ship in strict order' for those that understand that it might take longer to get movies but are willing to make the compromise. I think it basically comes down to not wanting to deal with a lot of customers complaining that discs take to long, since in online rentals it's all about speed first, price second, selection third. But I know most customers in my store seem most concerned about how fast they can get rentals and how much it will cost. No one seems to care about selection much since most people only want brand new movies anyway (for me, it's selection overall; I only have online since there are so many movies I can't get in store). In response to bassposaune: I honestly don't feel that it's simply greed motivating the price increase. Q2 saw Blockbuster in the red to the tune of 32 million dollars ( With about 3 million subscribers, that's roughly $10 per sub to just break even. Which would explain the roughly $8 increase. As far as canned responses, I think they are just doing a copy paste (obviously), but there isn't much more they can say. We can speculate and write it all out, but the store itself, what can they tell you? We lost buttloads of money and so we had to up the price? That doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Sure, it would be nice to not get cut&paste jobs, but when it comes down to it, they would have had to simply retype in different words what was already laid out, which would take a tremendous amount of time considering they must get asked about the price increase quite a bit right now. Your concerns and points are valid (nobody likes to essentially talk to a machine), but getting straight answers can sometimes be difficult in the world of business since so much else comes into play. Hopefully the link I provided on figures can help set things straight about why plans went up. They didn't, however, address your concerns over the ecoupons. A simple sorry about that might have been nice, but since plans have changed in the way they have, the way it would have been address before (an ecoupon) doesn't really work... I think the ecoupons need to come back, period. Finally, Old Timer Too: I can see where you're situation really has no clear-cut answer. I don't see the downside of offering the 4 at a time; it's a premium plan and would cost more money, so one can't really say that it would be more costly, and I don't know that it would be used so much as to dent the selection any more than any other plan. I'll see if I can't send something to the higher ups (we have a suggestion type of deal at work), but all I can say in the meantime is sorry it was cut out, you sound like a good customer and losing you over something as trivial as this (on Blockbuster's part anyway, since I imagine it's not a big thing to implement or re-implement), well, it's silly. It might be to make it less confusing, but then I there are so many plans now, that extra 4 at a time can't be that big of a deal.
For full disclosure, I work at a Blockbuster B&M, so bias may be natural (but trust me, I wasn't happy when I heard of the price hikes either)but... I still don't understand why every blog about Blockbuster has so many people saying such negative things? So, apparently the 5 extra rentals you get for $1 more than Netflix is worse than Netflix? I understand it's worse than what it used to be for TA, and that it sucks that it changed, but I'm still not clear as to why Blockbuster is worse than Netflix price wise because of this. Of course, there are other issues, but none of them are deal breakers for me. I never, ever felt movie rentals were worth spending money on (especially getting them for free from the store), but online sold me. If someone can tell me why, price-wise, a netflix plan plus 5 rentals for $1 more is worse, I'd like to know (and online downloads from NF won't cut it for me, I'd never end up using them).
I think a good move now would be to make each returned rental add a movie download to your queue, or possibly give you "points" or something towards a download.
While I prefer email to anything else, I doubt that's the norm. For some reason I think most people like complaining in person, or at least on the phone. I'm guessing that they just received a lot more phone calls than emails, so they simply moved email support over to phone support. Actually would make good sense from a management point of view... if they really received so few emails. I don't have NF, I have Total Access; I've had to email them a couple times, and was really surprised that they advertise about 4 hours for reply - that was really fast I thought.
My plan reads: BLOCKBUSTER Total Access Premium $17.99 / month (plus taxes) 3 at-a-time, unlimited unlimited in-store movie exchanges +1 FREE bonus Movie or Game Rental E-Coupon / Month Next Billing Date: August 23,2007 I haven't received an email, but I would venture to say if yours says Premium then you are grandfathered in and good. Of course, it could be that I am 'premium' from last billing cycle, and it will change at next cycle... AFAIK, the thing to look for in the next few weeks (why so long is my main concern?) is a letter offering a choice of sticking with 3 at a time limited ($18) or unlimited ($25).
Holy cow, I didn't know Canadian Bacon was Michael Moore.
I work at blockbuster, and when asking people about trying total access, I often hear the excuse that they like coming in to rent the movies. Either they really don't get that you can return the online rentals in-store, or they are just making up excuses. Personally, I dislike going there to rent movies, but it's become very mundane since I work there. The excitement of getting a movie in the mail is new to me. I think total access gets it right, giving the best of both.
People probably don't realize it's a cam recording until they buy it, I would guess.
Whenever I go into a retail store, I always make sure I have plenty of time for anything. I'll admit that having four people around a register is bad business, but I work in a Blockbuster myself and can tell you I, and everyone else there, wants to get people out as fast as possible when there is a line. Of course, some customers want tons of attention or ask lots of questions, don't understand something, etc. So even when there is one customer in the store, it can get a little bad. Especially when the other employee working is on a break/meal, and suddenly someone wants to fill out an app to rent. Of course, one could argue that a third employee would then be able to step in while someone is on break. But the problem comes when the third employee isn't needed anymore than those 10-30 minutes. When you have three people standing around with nothing to do. Anyway, in regards to the article, I agree with most everything. I wouldn't really like a kids area, since kids are just annoying, but I can see how it would help parents come in/stay in. I definitely think they need to be a bit more gimmicky, having free hot popcorn and the photo booth idea sounds great. One thing not mentioned is the simple appearance. I think they need to remake themselves. I feel like Blockbuster was born in the 80's and then never grew up. They need to be more hip.