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Petri

I started my free trial yesterday and look forward to seeing if the service can compete with Netflix.

bbv_employee

The BBV you went to must be a franchise. The one I work at (corporate-owned) works for any movie in the store.

mikek

BBV,

Yes, I identified it as a franchise in the story. According to the latest numbers, almost a third of all domestic stores are franchises.

- Mike

Petri

Is there a way to tell if the store is a franchise or not?

Rusty Ramrod

I exhanged one BBO disc for An Amercian Haunting last night.

Dusty T

Those movies will stay in your queue until they are check back in at the Distribution Center. Both BB stores I have went to let's you choose any movie. So it must be a franchise.

domc

I went and rented a new release yesterday.
Clerk says I can rent any movie in the store new or old. No games though.

hall

"Is there a way to tell if the store is a franchise or not?"

One unofficial way to tell is if they don't honor the "no late fees" that BB started a while back.

eazyguy52

Well, let's see. I sent my three movies in the mail on Monday. They checked in one on Tuesday and sent one out on Tuesday. This is Friday and I haven't received it yet. The other two that I sent out weren't checked in until yesterday and the replacements weren't shipped until today and not due to arrive until next week, one on Monday and one on Tuesday. So what do I think of Total Access?

Ask me when and if I ever get any films to turn back in. I'll be sticking with Netflix.

BoB

"

"Is there a way to tell if the store is a franchise or not?"

One unofficial way to tell is if they don't honor the "no late fees" that BB started a while back."

Not always true as some franchises do honor the no late fees. Look at your receipt. It should say if it is a franchised store or not.

Rusty Ramrod

I know I sound like a BB fanboy, but I am not, I am just a fanboy of services that deliver what they claim. While neither NF or BB do, this new program is the s**t I tell you.

Two movies came in this morning (Concerts actually) watched them and took them back to the store tonight. Exchanged for 2 new releases for the weekend and my queue now shows 4 other movies on the way (I'm on the 3 out plan, so I have no idea why 4). Rock on!

type-cast

This service will be great, if they can keep enough titles on the shelf. I can't wait to get my next shipment of movies, so I can try this. I returned 3 before the program began. This is like having a Movie Pass at every BB store in the USA. Take a mailer in, get more movies. I'm thinking of quitting Netflix in the next month or so. Blockbuster is jumping ahead in the value department once again.

Snowyowl

I returned a BB Online movie this morning and took out a 2-Day Rental [in the Syracuse area].

I then asked about franchise v. non-franchise store status. The BB employee told me that in New York State virtually all the stores are corporate-owned, including this store.

On another note, the movie I returned to the store two days ago is still in the shipped queue.

zeggman

I checked in 2 discs and got 2 free rentals for any title. It was almost 24 hours before Blockbuster said they were shipping the next titles in my queue, but with the 2 rentals from the store, I wasn't as impatient as I might otherwise have been. I just received 2 more in the mail, which will probably mean I'll be back at Blockbuster tomorrow sometime.

The odd thing with these latest two I received in the mail -- instead of "postpaid" they're sporting stamps, on both the envelope to me and the envelope back to the distribution center. This makes no sense to me -- they're PAYING postage on the individual disk, and then shipping it back in bulk themselves? So they're paying twice. Not to mention which, I'm getting twice the rentals, by getting a DVD in-store and another in the mail.

It almost seems like there's some kind of "Brewster's Millions" thing going on over at Blockbuster, where they're going out of their way to slash profitability. Not that I'm going to question it too hard; I've got some kind of "Magic Christian" thing going on at my house, and if they want to sell champagne at 4 bottles for a nickel, I'll buy as many as I can before the doors close.

zeggman

It occurs to me that the reason they're going with postmarks may be to get information on "when did you mail it back?" of the sort Netflix can't get from me because I never reply to their surveys. If that's the case, I hope the postmarks on their side are less smudged than the postmarks on my side; otherwise, it's going to be a very labor-intensive process to tease a date out of some of them.

I did get some useful information on my end, though. One of the DVDs BBO said they shipped on 10/27 wasn't postmarked until 10/31 (the same day I reported that I hadn't received it, and asked them to re-ship it). The replacement was postmarked yesterday, November 3rd; Blockbuster's email said it was shipped 11/2 in the early afternoon, so that's a bit closer. I will put the original and the replacement in the same envelope when I redeem them at the store -- don't want to be double-dipping here -- but I thought it was an interesting data point.

BBQChicken

I went to Blockbuster today at around 6:00 PM. I got two free rentals from returning two online DVDs and one from my two monthly coupons (I signed up a while back). They allowed me to rent any movies in the store. However, I checked my Q as soon as I was home and the two movies were still in there. Seeing that it's late, it would be understandable if the new movies weren't shipped out in time but I thought the old two would be immediately removed from my Q.

Rusty Ramrod

As pointed out somewhat inelegantly to me in a different thread the BB FAQ states it may take some time for the store scanned ones to clear your queue, but they claim it opens up a queue spot right then none the less. It remains to be seen if that is the case, yet I'm on the 3 out plan and there are 4 movies in my shipped queue, so perhaps it is true.

Of course, since they don’t immediately clear the queue these questions come to mind:

- What happens if the disc is "lost" after you drop it off and it is scanned in? Lost could be actually lost somehow, pilfered by an employee, misplaced by the USPS, etc.

- One of the options at BB is to report a disc as "I returned the DVD but it has not cleared my queue." So the question is, can member consistently report a disc that is dropped off and scanned in with this tool?
The disc *has* been returned and it has *not* cleared the queue?

Tonight I returned a disc and got another. I took my queue list this time and found one off it, then came home and manually removed it from my queue. It’s too bad they can’t tie together the accounts and when a disc was rented at the store it would automatically take it out of your online queue.


darkbros

I returned two discs to my local BB store I frequent, and they are not a franchise store
(44th and Shields, OKC, Ok), on Thrusday.
They scanned them in, and I checked the que on the laptop they had in store.
Didn't clear.
I told the clerk I would give it 24 hours, no big deal.

I checked Friday afternoon, still didn't clear.
I emailed Customer Service about the issue, gave them the store ID, and the movie titles.
Saturday I got an email back, they were cleared and the next two were set to ship out
Sat. They said it was a bug in the rollout,
and should be fixed over the course of " a couple of weeks". They also remined me to have at least 30 movies in my que ( I usually keep about 15 or so, as I juggle currently between NF and BB) to insure something will ship, as short wait and long wait movies will
delay anything getting sent out.

Edward R Murrow

Since this is the 'Hacking Netflix' site, how can I get my Netflix ratings into some sort of TEXT, XML file so that I can import my 2,000+ Netflix ratings into BBO ratings?

I know that Netflix makes it easy to cancel so that we will come back (they hope), but how about an 'Export queue/ratings' button to some sort of file that I can then send to BBO to import into my account?

Or maybe BBO and Netflix should both support an EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) initiative for us?

John

1.) We use stamps in stores, distribution center uses pre-paid. This, I'm guessing, prevents envelope abuse (mailing things elsewhere using BB Online mailers). We tally all stamps used and keep inventory on them, along with the lists of movies we send out. I can assure you we don't research where things are mailed from... all envelopes hit the trash bin after we (stores who ship BB Online rentals) check them in on the Online Connection terminal.

3.) Corporate stores let you use the envelopes on EVERY movie in the store. I don't know why franchise stores are screwing their customers like that.

2.) The movie might not visibly clear your queue when you return it to the store, but your next rental will ship immediately (or at least the next business day). This is why some people have more than 3 rentals. Once DC receives the DVD it officially clears your queue. I was working this past week and returned some online rentals in the AM and within the hour my next rental was shipped.

John

I just realized that my numbering is out of order.

Rusty Ramrod

"I was working this past week and returned some online rentals in the AM and within the hour my next rental was shipped."

Nice, thanks for the "straight from the horses mouth" info. Nice to know what really happens on the front lines.

Seems sort of confusing for the customer though. Our visible queue should show the movie gone right away when scanned in and maybe make some cool sound like:

http://simpsoncrazy.com/burns/media/sounds/excellent.wav

or perhaps

http://www.reelwavs.com/movies/sounds/happy_gilmore/happy23.wav

Then some backend non-visible queue could clear after the disc actually gets there. Which still begs the question, what if something happens to the DVD between the time the BB store checks it in and it gets checked in at the distro?

Since you work at BB, what has been the general customer reaction to the program thus far?

Snowyowl

Got my first "Blockbuster has received... thanks for returning..." email from BB Online and the movie has been removed from my 'Shipped Movies.' This was for a movie I returned to a store last Thursday morning: there's a weekend in there, so that's about two biz days.

In addition, I checked 'My Account' and they still have free weekly rental coupons there... you just have to go hunt them down. I printed one out for this week!

Just over the eCoupon space, they're emphasizing the 'Now use your envelope as a coupon at your local BLOCKBUSTER store' in a red box, but the coupons look like they'll be there for at least two more weeks [in gray, like before].

corey3rd

I signed up for the BB deal on Saturday. On Monday, they shipped just 1 of my three titles and it won't arrive till Weds. So far I'm really unimpressed. You think they'd at least start throttling me after I've paid instead of during the 30 free days.

XVarX

I can't say I've truly experienced Total Access just yet. During week one, Blockbuster did send out three movies on Tuesday, received them by Friday.

Saturday afternoon, I returned them to a Blockbuster store, got three rentals, though the in-store selection is sparse, I doubt I'll take much advantage of the free in-store rentals ever.

I have yet to see anything else shipped out today, so if they opened up spots on my queue, I have yet to see any indication. Frankly, had I just sent them back in the mail Saturday afternoon, BB would have received the DVDs and sent out three more. At least under the old system.

Perhaps they utilize less labor, fewer hours, for the distribution centers. Or maybe there has been such a huge push for new subscriptions, they current staff can't keep up with the old pace.

Or maybe when you return DVDs to the store on a weekend, it doesn't open up a spot on the queue like it does weekdays when returned on weekdays.

Old Timer Too

Several comments here:

For people new to BB, they always show two days for shipping. If they ship on Monday, they say I'll receive the disk on Wednesday. If it is shipped from a local center, it comes in on Tuesday. Give the system a chance.

Returns vs. queue. I've now returned six discs via the queue, starting late Friday (2), Saturday (2), and today (2 about 11:00am) - I'm on an 8-out plan. Only the first two are now gone from my queue, suggesting that they were mailed out on Saturday (normal return is one day). Since today is the first business day following the return of six films, I'll see how many ship. My guess is that I may see as many as six ship or as few as two. All I know is that I don't expect everything to work perfectly the first time or for a week or two afterwards. That's normal for any new system.

As to having seen all the older titles, I am amazed if not totally baffled. I worked in a video store for better than two years and didn't see all the titles (and it had about 3,000 on hand). To the fellow who was complaining about the lack of selection - rent those you haven't seen before -- you just might find yourself pleasantly surprised by getting a sleeper (a great movie that had no publicity).

Personally, I've had fewer problems with BB, gotten better service, feel good about sending them feedback on the new site, and the discs almost always are very playable - I think I've had about 1 percent (or less) come in broken and they're always right on in shipping replacements. When I had problems with a "wrong disc" three times in a row, they apologized and sent me an addtional e-coupon.

Compared to NF (which I had for almost three years), BB disc condition rates a 9 while NF rates about a 4.

The real telling issue on this will be the coming four weeks. Then we'll know how well the system works.

XVarX

Just out of curiosity, did anyone turn in a Blockbuster Online envelope to a store Monday morning and come home to find another movie sent out in its spot on the queue by evening?

Rusty Ramrod

"Just out of curiosity, did anyone turn in a Blockbuster Online envelope to a store Monday morning and come home to find another movie sent out in its spot on the queue by evening?"

I've done several exchanges now and no, they have never cleared the same day.

However, I see there are now 6 "shipped" movies in my queue now so it looks like they must open up a ship spot. I'm on the 3 out plan.

I'll tell ya, this program is fantastic. I see I have another E-coupon (2 for this month so far)

It says on it "If you've got a mailer, you've got a movie E-Coupon. And if you don't you still get at least one movie E-Coupon each month, just in case."

So they are leaving the door open to give you more than one.

It may be a desperation move, but this program is killer for anyone with a BB store nearby.

I have gotten almost as many DVD's in a week as I did in a month with NF.

type-cast

"the BB FAQ states it may take some time for the store scanned ones to clear your queue, but they claim it opens up a queue spot right then none the less."

I can confirm this. I returned discs Friday and Sunday. They sent 2 on Monday, although only 1 had cleared my queue. You get a free rental, plus the next movie from your queue sent in one business day. Who could ask for anything more?

"Our visible queue should show the movie gone right away when scanned in"

That's not possible, because they don't know what's in the envelope. Total Access is like USPS scanning. They just know you returned a movie. They don't know what it is. The store employees don't open the envelopes, and they have no guarantee you will put each movie in the original envelope. It's better than USPS scanning ever was. You can probably get same day replacement if you return before noon.

Rusty Ramrod

"They just know you returned a movie. They don't know what it is."

Good point

Petri

I returned by first Total Access movie to my local Blockbuster store Sunday night about 9pm (btw all Houston Blockbusters are corporate!, last night I got an email confirmation that my next movie was mailed even though the one I returned had not yet cleared my queue.

Old Timer Too

As a followup (from my earlier posting) and what is probably an answer to a question most of you ask:

1. I ended up with six discs being shipped on Monday, including two for the mailers I turned in that morning.

2. Here's the caveat - If I return discs after noon, I won't see movies shipped until the next day. If I return them early - before 11:00 am, I see movies shipped the same day.

Timing makes all the difference in the world. Get them back early and you get them shipped the same day. Later, and it will be the next day.

3. I have seen no problems with films clearing the queue... given the normal time for the discs to reach their destination. It doesn't matter if I mail them or exchange them for in-store rentals.

4. Finally, I asked and was told that the store gets credit for every e-coupon they process. They expect to see the same deal with the mailers.

XVarX

I'm finding a difference in the time it takes for my movie to clear my queue when I bring them back to a Blockbuster store. The closest distribution center to me is Los Angeles; I live in San Diego. Generally, movies get back to them next day or within two days, since I usually put them in the mail mid-day to early afternoon, on a lunch break.

I returned mine Saturday night, so I expect they would not have been put in the mail by the Blockbuster store until Monday, at the earliest. This is Wednesday, and they have yet to receive them. Had I waited until Monday to put them in the mail, they'd have been there Tuesday, or at least by today. If I had put them in the mail on Saturday afternoon, which is what I usually do with those I receive on Thursday or Friday, they'd have received them by Monday or Tuesday.

A friend of mine, lives just a couple miles from me, uses Blockbuster online as well. But he returns his DVDs to a different store location. His have already cleared his queue, and he returned his to his nearest BB store just before closing on Saturday night.

While BB Online did mail out my next three movies Tuesday morning, since returning them to the store did open up the next spots on the queue, I now have six DVDs recorded as being sent out on my account.

I returned a bit before noon today, though I don't see anything else having been sent out. Perhaps tomorrow. Or perhaps BB Online will not send out anything more until DVDs start clearing my queue.

I wonder if they'll allow more than six titles to sit in your shipped list on the three at a time plan.

I think the one failing of this Total Access plan may be the integration of the stores.

The failure though, would be more operational on their end. Let's say these stores decide they will only ship back these DVDs once a week, maybe twice at most. This could delay the time in which they actually get these titles back in stock online. This could significantly reduce the number of titles they have in their distribution centers at any time due to stores sitting on these mailers for 3 to 5 days, rather than sending them right back.

Obviously, some stores are being diligent about sending mailers right back to the distributions centers. But, I don't expect all of them to exercise that same efficiency.

I've had nothing but problems when I've had movies sent FROM stores that filled in rentals through BB Online. One example, I had rented the original Pink Panther movie. BB Online indicated it had been sent. After three weeks, I finally received it. The post mark showed that the mailer hadn't been processed by the USPS until the week I actually got it.

While the occasional mailing snafu could explain that, it wasn't the first time I had that issue arise when having DVDs mailed from stores rather than distribution centers.

Of course, this is a new system, so there are many kinks to be worked out along the way. But I have the feeling that I may just end up returning my DVDs through the mail, rather than wonder what's going on if it becomes common for my returned DVDs to sit on my queue for more than a week at a time.

ira

I just signed up for BB (having BF for over a year)and so far, I am pleased. I figured that I could drop from the 3 out on NF to 1 out on BB, what with the return mailers, and the assortment of BB coupons I accumulate.

I was in the store yesterday (Wednesday) about 3:30 and returned an envelope. It was scanned and placed right into the outgoing mail tray. About15 seconds later, the mailman walked in, and was handed all of the mailers. At 5 PM today (Thursday) I received an email telling me the next movie was being shipped. I just dropped off the movie I picked up yesterday to my local BB. I might move up to the 2 out, save a few $$ and get a ton more movies than NF. So far so good.

jcw778

Blockbusters recent change to their Total Access program is awesome!! I shyed away from Online because of the wait times discussed below, but now that they allow you to exchange you online rentals in the store for instant satisfaction(at no charge) I signed up. I received my first movies a couple days later, watched them, went to my local store and got three new releases without paying a dime. Plus they gave me a free rental coupon to use as well for the month!!! NETFLIX CAN"T COMPETE!! The store said that anyone can try it for free like I did (2 weeks, plus the coupon). Just go their website at blockbuster.com, and you can you their code 39570B Your crazy if you don't atleast try it!!

Dave

Here's my experience, for what it's worth.

I returned an online movie to a BB store for the first time last Saturday evening, the 4th. There was no sign of this on my online queue until Monday the 6th; The next title from my queue was shipped that day and I received it on Tuesday. Nice!

The movie I had returned on Saturday continued to display in my queue until the Tuesday or Wednesday, but that doesn't bother me as long as it doesn't delay my next movie, which it didn't.

I returned my second online movie around 11:30 a.m. yesterday morning (Saturday the 11th). Since it was relatively early, I had kind of hoped to see my next movie ship the same day, but no such luck.

Still, the "bonus" in-store movie tides me over until Monday.

Bottom line, I'm happy with the service so far.

DD

Hello Everyone,

Well as the Christmas season approaches us, I have been given the opportunity to give an early Christmas gift to my family and friends. Below you will find a promotion code for the new "Total Access Program" for Blockbuster On-line. Here is how is works:

1) Log into this web link: www.blockbuster.com/bbfamily

2) Please enter this Promo code: 1670ta (This promo code is for 4 FREE weeks of Blockbuster on-line)

3) Select your movies to your Que. The first movie will ship out that day, unless it's after like 2ish pm.

4) I encourage everyone to share this code with there friends and family. Try out our new program for 4 weeks free and tell me your thoughts.


TOTAL ACCESS PROGRAM

SELECT MOVIES
Make your list on-line from over 60,000 titles.

RECEIVE BY MAIL
Free shipping. Keep your movies as long as you want.

MAIL BACK OR EXCHANGE IN-STORE
Return by mail OR exchange in-store. Either way, we ship your next movie. If you exchange in-store you will receive a free DVD on the spot and your next movie in your que is sent out.

NEXT DVDS ON THE WAY
Never be without a movie.

Tim

Well, I think the program sucks. All three blockbuster stores within 5 miles of my house do not participate.

Neither do they honor the no late fee deal.

The main reason I went with BB was because of the local store connection. With fewer coupons, lack of Total Access participation and poor fulfillment times, I am inclined to go back to NetFlix.

bikes4u

Hello--I recently signed up for BB online. Received 2 movies Monday returned one to store on Tues. and rented my free movie. As of Friday my account does not show the movie I returned to the store as being turned in.

As it reads on BB website---a movie turned into the store will generate a new movie from que sent out the next business day. This didnt happen.

Im still waiting for the next movie to be sent from my que.

Called customer service and I get the idea they really dont know how everything works. They said my next movie would be sent out today but thats 3 days after I turned it into the store! Anybody have the same experience? Thanks

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