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badass

Blockbuster has finally hit bottem. Their debt is HUGE, their stock is at a record low, their president quit, ....could it get worse for Walbuster......Yes!

Robert P.

Hmm, well I sure don't want Blockbuster to go. They're providing me a great service at a wonderful price.

I'm an econ. major specializing in finance and international macro, and my finance end of me tells me that Blockbuster is actually in great shape financially. Their free cash flow is weak short-term because of heavy investment. However, if you look at their 2003 free cash flow, it was $402.7 million. They were free cash flow negative for HY1 2004 but they have positive free cash flow in Q3 2004. Again, these negative developments are largely from heavy investment.

Thus, once they're done with their heavy investments, all else equal, Blockbuster will be in a very strong financial position. With FCF (not including interest expense), of at least $190 million would be more than enough to maintain a healthy balance sheet (however, $190 million is very pessimistic, and thus they'll likely have a very rosy balance sheet post-completion of their heavy investment).

Mike

I think Im being penalized for being on the 8 out plan for BB. I was on the 3 out plan and everything was fine but now on the 8 out plan, I have 55 movies in queue. 40 tv shows and 15 movies. All the TV shows are avalible but out of the 15 movies, 11 are on wait.

Robert P.

Darn, that's a hell of a lot of movies. You're lucky to be able to watch them all. As for me, a fairly light movie watcher, I like the 3-out plan, albeit I've only been a member since the 26th. Please excuse the poor syntax in my previous posting.

john

Does anyone know if it's true that when you return your movie, BB gets notified from the post office and ships you a new one before they receive it? I get one day service anyways so I haven't really noticed.

vn

No, its' not true that BB receives confirmation from the post office. Walmart claims to do this but my experience with them indicates that this is not so. The cost of doing this is pretty high as your return mail needs to be treated as a business reply mail & the postage is 70+ cents as opposed to the standard 37 cents. I think this claim is simply a device to get around Netflix's patent on the business model should there be a law suit.

Jerry Smitherson

I signed up for the two week trial for online blockbuster. 2/3 movies were scratched badly enough to affect playback and they have charged me for one of the films that didn't make it back through the mail though I had already claimed it lost (ie. they had not received the video after 6 days). It is one thing if you don't send it in on time, but completely another when you send out another video 3 days afterwards and they receive that video and not the other. Be wary of the giant that is BB.

livingintheraw

I, for one, think that Blockbuster is getting what it deserves and will do what I can to see that they have further financial difficulties. Customer service with Block Buster, from my experience, is slim to none. Not to mention their coercive tactics.

I see them loosing even more money on the next quarter. I was a member of their online and in store service for 10 years or more. They sent online customers emails recently telling us that we had no choice but to take services that are inferior to what we were use to or pay more money to get what we're use to. I can get more for my money on NetFlix now. I was paying $17.99/3 movies service. I could take these movies in to a Blockbuster store and trade them for 3 movies. Blockbuster would send the movies back for me and I’d get another 3 within 1 to 2 days. Before they came up with this plan I’d only get 3 movies a week and according to Blockbuster, at that time, this was the fault of the Post office. Now I’ll still get 3 movies for the money but will only get 5 trade in movies where I can get 17 hours of downloads from NetFlix. Most movies aren’t even 2 hours anymore so I’m not even getting 10 hours of movies.

So, I decided I’d let my Blockbuster plan run out and get the movies back to them on my due date. They cut my service off 2 weeks before it was done. My billing date is on the 21st of the month and they stopped my service on the 9th. How I found this out is I called Blockbuster customer service when I did not receive my movies. I usually turn my movies in on a Sunday and then I get new movies in the mail on Tuesday. Well when I didn’t receive them on Tuesday I figure it was possible that there could have been a postal error, but when I didn’t receive them on Wednesday I called customer service. I told them I wanted a refund for the next two weeks or my service to work as it has until my billing/expiration date. They told me they’d give me two free weeks on my next month’s service, but I had to pick a new plan. I told them I wasn’t planning on picking a new plan but wished to have a refund or the service I’ve already paid for. I also pointed out that they weren’t giving me a free two weeks service with their option because I’ve already paid for those two weeks. They are fraudulently holding my money hostage until I pick one of their plans. I explained that this was coercion and I will not be blackmailed or coerced into choosing an inferior plan to one that I can get someplace else. They told me that they don’t give refunds. I asked to speak to their supervisor. She just parroted the same thing.

My next step is to contact all of the local consumer advocates here locally and alert them as to Blockbuster’s tactics. I consider it stealing when someone keeps my money and does not render the services I’ve paid for. I think people who are considering signing up for Blockbuster should be aware of this tactic. What if they should decide to cancel their service if it wasn’t everything they thought it would be? They’d possibly be loosing money too with this policy because canceling online debited services you have to give enough notice so that everyone can contact everyone’s bank otherwise you will be charged again. Since Blockbuster doesn’t give refunds that presents a problem.

This is so aggravating for me because I have had NetFlix before and when I cancelled with them they simply told me to have the movies back before my due date and I did. That’s how you do business. You don’t strong arm people into being a customer. I feel like I’m in the midst of some kind of Mafia maneuver with Blockbuster.

I also want to find a way to unite with any other disgruntled customers such as myself and see if we can’t get a class action suite going. I’m contacting my attorney first thing in the morning. It’s not the money I’m bothered with as much as the intimidation tactics they are using.

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