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FredFredrickson

Blockbuster execs then lit the rest of their money on fire and jumped out the window- obviously from the lead paint chips they had been eating.

Bulldozza

I wouldn't pay anything. I am a happy Netflix customer and can walk to a redboxdvd if I need something sooner. Since I like to watch a lot of documentaries, I have been using Netflix Watchnow and enjoy that option as well.

gir

I don't envy BlockBuster - differentiating their products and pricing them profitably. At $35, I think they might as well just discontinue unlimited. What's the point of offering a product at a price point where they'll only have 100 or so sales?

In fact, they should consider discontinuing TA altogether and just offer discount in-store rentals to on-line customers. That'd be much simpler.

Hunter McDaniel

The only folks who are going to sign up for TA at $35 per month are the ones who rent so many movies that they are STILL unprofitable for BB.

Dusty T

I have been with BBO for a long time. I went through with the price upgrade. I now only get two movies, but unlimited movies from the store. If the price does go up. I do not know what I will do. Netflix never had the movies I wanted. I got quick returns, but for new releases...it took forever. With BBO I get them asap. Assuming BBO raises the price, any suggestions on what I should do? Should I go back to netflix or should I just give up or try something else?

cyber.diva

Before Total Access started I had never stepped foot in a Blockbuster. We didn't even have a DVD player until a few years ago. We got our discs from the library.

Before the last price raise I would turn in my 3 discs for 3 free ones and usually rent 2 or 3 for the kids at the same time, leaving the store with 5 or 6 discs. Now, I get ONLY the free discs. This last year the store manager at the store I go to wised up and split all the boxed sets into seperate discs. Before I could rent a complete season now I don't even bother, I just queue the series I want up at Netflix.

If they raise the price one more penny at BB I will cancel my online account and probably never step foot in a BB again. I'm simply tired of getting jerked around.

Old Timer Too

It is inevitable that we will see TA increase in price, but I won't make that transition unless they start offering programs that have more than 3 out-at-a-time. I will likely cancel that account or drop it to by mail only.

Last week, I tried something and succeeded. I actually got three turns during the week. They shipped on Monday, received on Tuesday, watched and returned that same day, received next set on Thursday, watched and returned that same day, received on Saturday and dropped in the mail.

With only three films to look at, I can actually watch all three, not just scan them.

The problem, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, was that when I attempted to buy a couple of films I exchanged, they put me off, saying I had to keep them and let my CC be charged when they went past the due date. That makes as much sense as giving me $10 and then letting me keep it forever (and drawing interest on it) while you wait and finally charge my CC thirty days' later...

Idiots!

Keyes needs to overhaul the present system and hopefully, he'll actually make it easier to buy films I rent /exchange and want to keep.

Old Timer Too

One thing to remember for those of you who are seeing delays (and wondering why I have such good results) - don't let your queue sit with wait states (or available, but passed over) titles in the top slots. You can test once in a while with one in the top first or second (I'd test with the second) slot, but don't let them sit there, or it will delay shipping.

hawk5391

Remember all those folks who celebrated Total Access as the Netflix-killer? They sure are quiet now.

Bye-bye Blockbuster, it was nice knowing ya.

OdomZ

Old Timer Too, sounds like you are burning discs. Returning 3 titles to the post office the same day that you recieve them, obviously returning them to the post office before 5:30. Don't mention your dvd pirating to a Blockbuster rep because they will cancel your membership immediately. It happend to a friend of mine. I don't know anyone that uses Blockbuster anymore. They are just too dishonest, slow and expensive.

XVarX

Wow, they only just recently raised subscription prices when they restructured the plans. It was just three months ago they introduced a $7 price increase.

I'm not saying that the initial raise isn't justified or a good deal for some. But, three months and now a big jump in price? Come next November, where will Total Access premium be? At this rate, it will either be $60 a month or gone completely.

I don't get enough DVDs from BBO per month to justify Total Access. The DVDs I want are generally not there when I have an envelope ready to trade in. Add to that I've often gone ten days after sending DVDs from San Diego, CA to Santa Ana, CA and not seen anything get sent out, or just had stuff not even make it to me at all.

A five dollar price increase in the Premium TA I would seriously consider. Ten bucks after just three months. Forget it.

XVarX

This is from a couple weeks back. So, I wonder if that is merely testing the waters. Or perhaps the CEO should be taken more literally. "Are we raising prices? No, as of today." Tomorrow, that is a different story altogether.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?type=comktNews&rpc=33&storyid=2007-11-08T160906Z_01_WEN2469_RTRIDST_0_BLOCKBUSTER-PRICES-URGENT.XML

NEW YORK, Nov 8 (Reuters) - No. 1 U.S. movie rental chain Blockbuster Inc. (BBI.N: Quote, Profile , Research) said on Thursday it is not raising prices across the board for customers, but that it is testing pricing for its different rental formats.

Blockbuster Chief Executive Jim Keyes said that while raising prices could give an almost immediate boost to company results, he preferred to take an approach that is mindful of customers.

"Are we raising prices? No, as of today," Keyes told a company analyst day in New York. "What I don't want to do is raise them three or four times." (Reporting by Michele Gershberg and Gina Keating in Los Angeles; Editing by Brian Moss)

Old Timer Too

"Old Timer Too, sounds like you are burning discs. Returning 3 titles to the post office the same day that you receive them, obviously returning them to the post office before 5:30."

Yeah, it sure sounds like it, doesn't it?

I work nights - from 8:00 pm to 8:30 am with a lot of time on my hands while monitoring various computer systems for national accounts. I'm up for a portion of the day and get the mail about noon. Between then and when I leave for work (around 7:00 pm) I can watch three films, easily... if they catch my eye and many don't. I find some surprises once in a while, though, and that's what I'm looking for.

I drop the films at a BB store on my way to work (there are three of them along my route), which is why I can get them back after watching them that afternoon. The next three will ship the next day.

What I'm looking for are movies to add to my collection. My wife gripes at me for all the DVDs I buy from Amazon, and I do purchase them. Sometimes, Deepdiscount has a better deal, but they are local and charge sales tax. Fortunately, she has her habit, too - fabric, fabric, fabric. I don't know which one of us buys the most.

Recent purchases included the entire MacGyver set (from Amazon at under $20/season). I had rented the first season and decided I wanted the whole thing. Obviously, I can price out blanks and burn them for a lot less. However, I also believe in supporting titles (through purchases) that I appreciate.

As to one of the surprises, I rented "Madison" and was very happy I did. I ended up buying it from Blockbuster Online, as they had the best price, despite being charged sales tax and shipping.

When BB dropped from the max 4 at-a-time to 3 at-a-time I had a long talk with one of their executives and letting them know that I was unhappy with them dropping the program. As I said earlier, if they raise the price on total access, I will either drop back to mail-only or drop the program entirely, especially if I can't easily convert an exchanged title at Blockbuster to a purchase.

I have a Netflix 8 at-a-time account and since I have time at night to watch three to four titles, I have plenty of time to watch all 8. I usually get them to the post office for Saturday pickup after getting them on Tuesday, so that another shipment can be on its way to my on Monday. It works well, for my purposes.

As to burning discs? Why should I when I decide I don't want to add a title to my collection?

rjm

Im grandfathered in at $17.99 unlimited total access BUT, I also have netflix and therefore, I really havent been getting my monies worth from either lately.

Im afraid to get too many from BB instore for fear of them cutting me off and they seem like they are throttling too now.

I wont pay a penny more for BB, I would just go up to 4 or 5 at a time with NF (Probably alternating every other month)

But, I can understand BBs wanting to get profitable too.

corey3rd

I quit BBOTA after the rate went up because they shut down my account two weeks early and I figured that if they boosted the rate once, they'd go back to the well extra fast. I feel vindicated by this upcoming increase.

type-cast

gir: "In fact, they should consider discontinuing TA altogether and just offer discount in-store rentals to on-line customers. That'd be much simpler."

They already do that, don't they? One of the clerks told me a while back that I could get movies for half price over the limit ($2 per disc). You just need an envelope to trade.

Dusty T: "Assuming BBO raises the price, any suggestions on what I should do? Should I go back to netflix or should I just give up or try something else?"

Try Blockbuster Movie Pass if they are still offering it. You get unlimited in-store DVDs for $25 or 30 a month, 2 or 3 out at a time. If you're mainly interested in new releases, that's a much better deal than Total Access.

type-cast

"Old Timer Too, sounds like you are burning discs. Returning 3 titles to the post office the same day that you recieve them, obviously returning them to the post office before 5:30."

The main post office picks up until 7:00 PM. They used to pick up even later. Plus, maybe Old Timer gets short movies or he has a post office box, which delivers at like 7 AM. I'm getting my mail before 10:00 AM usually. Say you work at home or are retired/disabled. It would be easy to watch even 3 full movies if you got mail by noon and returned at 7.

Edward R Murrow

I want a 6 out/10 trade-in TA program and will gladly pay more. My 3 out/5 trade-in TA program isn't enough.

BTW, what I would like Netflix to change: no more throttling. Rip out the code that is clearly in the system whereby heavy renters are penalized, light renters are rewarded and new customers receive preferential treatment.

leonardodicrapio

"...heavy renters are penalized, light renters are rewarded..."

Waa! Waa! Waa!

Ed, you spend so much time posting on this board, I don't know how you could possibly be a heavy renter.

Seriously, you think a heavy renter paying approximatly $1.25 per rental should be treated exactly the same as a light renter who pays approximately $3.00 per rental?

Obviously the only reason you think this is more fair is because you are a heavy renter and have reason to gain (by getting even more movies to watch with your Comcast On Demand).

don't feed the trolls.

gir

Well said.

Edward R Murrow

So help me understand how my wish to have all Netflix customers treated as equals is trolling.

Seems like a reasonable request.

OdomZ

It is very very simple Edward. There is a limited supply of videos (especially new releases). Who should have priority? Easy: the people that pay more per rental. The people that abuse the system, still get rentals but might have to wait a week or two for the newest release. It is a very fair system.

Old Timer Too

Leonardo is trolling - if you read this blog very long, you quickly find him and Ed going at each other on a regular basis.

Ed has a point - and that is BB's 3-out/5 exchange is not enough. The problem for me is still the 3-out part. I really don't care that much about TA, though I will use it from time to time. Most of the time, I just drop off the titles on my way into work. But I find it very irritating to take forever to work my way through even a hundred titles in a queue, much less my 700-title queue. Any delays in getting shipments adds to the frustration.

Leonardo should note that Ed said he'd be willing to pay more for a better program, so his personal attack was really uncalled for. Mike might want to consider giving Leonardo a break - perhaps even permanently, if he can't lay off the personal attacks on Ed. (Not that I have clean hands, either, but enough is enough.)

And I agree with Ed on NF's throttling, but my proposal is not to drop it, but to add a premium, no-limits of any kind, category. That would include automatic shipments to make up for any shortfall or delays caused by the system. For instance, my local NF DC didn't process all the mail received from over the long weekend - I know because I mailed back seven on Friday and one on Saturday. The Saturday shipment was processed, but not the Friday shipment. I don't consider it throttling because this weekend had to be a heavy return weekend and when they picked up from the PO, I doubt they knew which bag came when. Unfortunately, my proposed premium plan would not cover the delay I see happening today.

For those of you wondering, the three swaps two weeks ago on the BB account was a test with what I knew would be trash films. I didn't spend much time with any of them, but wanted to see just how quickly I could turn around films. Last week, I made only one turn (received on Monday and sent back on Friday).

Getting to Leonardo's point - at three swaps a week, and given the 4.3 week average per month, that's 13 swaps and on a three-out plan, a person could see up to 39 discs without trades. Adding trades on an unlimited TA program, that's an incredible 78 discs in one month! Even if BB raises the 3-out/unlimited TA to $35/month, the mad renter is getting his films for 50 cents per disc! So, BB is still losing money and the mad renter doesn't have a life...

mmd

"It is very very simple Edward. There is a limited supply of videos (especially new releases). Who should have priority? Easy: the people that pay more per rental."

Except, guess what? Netflix (still) doesn't specify any kind of limitations on the number of rentals per month. Therefore, I have the right to expect that my returns will be processed the same way as everyone else's, regardless of how many returns I've made in a given timeframe.

Also, Netflix says I get 17 hours of "Instant Watching Time" - but I'm a Mac user and can't use it. Where's my compensation for that?

leonardodicrapio

"Leonardo should note that Ed said he'd be willing to pay more for a better program, so his personal attack was really uncalled for."

Personal attack? That's pretty weak. I called Ed a crybaby (which I guess you think is a personal attack) because he said "heavy renters [at Netflix] are penalized, light renters are rewarded." I am a light renter, and I take offense to his statements. I pay more for each disc than he does, and I get First Class Service. And that's why a lot of people like Netflix -- because they get First Class Service.

"And I agree with Ed on NF's throttling, but my proposal is not to drop it, but to add a premium, no-limits of any kind, category."

Ed's obviously a heavy renter, and Netflix isn't going to institute a no-throttling program just because he says they should. And Ed was talking about paying more for a 6-Out Total Access program -- although he may have said in the past he would pay more for No Throttling from Netflix but this is obviously not a business model Netflix wants to pursue.

I would think that Netflix would rather provide great satisfaction to its customers that pay $3.00 per disc rather than give Ed great satisfaction by charging him $1.50 per disc (rather than approximately $1.25 per disc he probably pays now). I doubt Ed would want to pay more than a buck or two per month for the No Throttling plan that he thinks Netflix should be offering him. For Ed to pay an extra quarter per disc in the above example would cost him about $3.50 more per month (probably above his threshold).

And of course Ed watches a Comcast Digital Package with HBO and OnDemand which probably costs about $85 per month, which is a great value according to him. But Ed probably wouldn't want to pay an extra $6 per month for an extra disc. I guess the value in his Netflix membership is not as much his cable bill.

Of course a few negative detractors come here in force. And people seem to be more likely to post about their negative experiences (i.e. throttling) than their positive ones.

"Therefore, I have the right to expect that my returns will be processed the same way as everyone else's, regardless of how many returns I've made in a given timeframe."

C'mon the throttling/smoothing Netflix employs is all spelled out in Netflix's terms of service. When the distribution center can't send everybody's disc on a given day or there are not enough New Release discs to fulfill everybody's first choice, preference is given to lighter renters as per Netflix's TOS.

leonardodicrapio

"$1.50 per disc (rather than approximately $1.25 per disc he probably pays now). I doubt Ed would want to pay more than a buck or two per month for the No Throttling plan that he thinks Netflix should be offering him. For Ed to pay an extra quarter per disc in the above example would cost him about $3.50 more per month (probably above his threshold)."

Actually if Ed paid an extra $3.50 per month and got an extra 2-3 DVD's per month his cost per disc would remain about the same ($1.25 per disc) which means that Ed would get preferential treatment (Ed would be getting more cracks at the New Releases than the $3.00 per disc Light Renter) for the same price per disc.

Edward R Murrow

I'm on the 3 out program and watch 3 movies per week which is usually 12 movies per month. I guess that makes me a 'heavy' renter and prevents me from getting New Releases.

Leo, how can you possibly remember that I'm on Comcast with HBO? I'm not sure which it is:
1) you're stalking me
2) my life is so much more interesting than yours that you live vicariously through me

Before you flame me, it's just a goof bro.

leonardodicrapio

Ed, I hate Comcast. I have NFL Network in HD for no additional fee from Verizon (FiOS TV).

leonardodicrapio

"I'm on the 3 out program and watch 3 movies per week which is usually 12 movies per month. I guess that makes me a 'heavy' renter and prevents me from getting New Releases."

Yes, Ed, you actually watch about twice what the average Netflix user does.

Netflix has approximately 22 business days per month and ships 1.6 million DVD's per business day. That is 35.2 million DVD's shipped per month. Spread out over 7 million customers that is 5 movies per month on average.

1-Out and 2-Out plans probably bring the average down a little, so a good guesstimate of how many DVD's Netflix's average 3-Out customer rents per month would be around 6 or 7, I think.

WTF you guys both need to get a life... Complaning about your services on a damn blog. The light renter guess what. Go to the store its the same price. The heavy renter, your getting a deal quite complaining.

Anvil

I just got a Blockbuster email message today telling me my rate was increasing from $24.99 to $34.99 and, oh, by the way -- isn't our service great?

I canceled immediately. It's back to Netflix for me.

infernox

I got the same $34.99 email from Blockbuster. WTF? $10 increase? When this thing got started it was $16.99 then it went to $24.99 and now they want $34.99. The hell with them. Back to Netflix for me.

geoff

I agree with Ed about netflix throttling. They don't come out and tell you that throttling is part of the deal - at least not before I left. Instead they offer charge you a set price for a month's worth of service. You can't tell me that because you don't take full advantage of what is offered that you deserve better treatment than someone else. That's like paying for cable, and expecting free premium channels because you only watch tv 2 days a week. Netflix needs to stop throttling, or at least be more transparent if they want any chance of winning me back as a customer.

Joost Schuur

Just got the rate increase email too and switched back to Netflix.

I hope they did their math and are getting more in increased rates than they're losing out by people leaving.

maryann

as far as I am concerned, BB has dug their own grave. With this new, heavy increase, people will drop their membership like a rock. I know I am, I am tired of being dicked around by these greedy sons of bitches. Bye Bye, BB, and good riddens! I am checking out Netflix.

maryann

nobody is granfathered in to a certain price plan. I have had BB total access plan for at least two years when it started at $17.99 a month. These people have been just fortunate enough where they have not gotten the dreaded news of the price increase yet. You just wait, BB will screw you over to, it's just a matter of time. I hope we all jump on the bandwagon and cancel, I know I did this morning. I want to see BB sink like a rock!

Slim

Last month, they took my in-store coupon away and when I inquired about it, they gave me some fluff answer. Then today, I get the email indicating that my now $17.99 plan will go up to $19.99. I am in a bit of a quandry because I never feel throttled by BB. If I take my DVD's in earlier in the day, the next day, they are either in my mailbox or on the way. It bugs me but for $2 more, I don't know that it is worth the move, or I can bump down to the 2 at a time plan. Netflix throttled us something horrible, so I don't think I can go back to them. I'll probably end up staying.

Sean

I opened up my email today and saw that my $17.99 plan is now $19.99. $2 isn't a big deal....the problem for me is that they just changed the program 2 months ago from unlimited in-store to 5 per month. I did the math....for the amount of videos I watch each month (10-12), the $16.99 3-at-a-time Netflix is cheaper by 25 cents per movie. You'd have to be a complete moron to keep Blockbuster Total Access at this point. I've had the program for 8 months and this is the 2nd change to the program (2nd in 2 months, really). When will they change it again? Sorry BB. You just lost a long time customer for life. I've officially signed up with Netflix. Congrats on the great business decision!

andrew

i have been a total access memeber since about the time it first came out. (i used to work at blockbuster) and i first i loved it ... much better than netflix i had the 5 at a time and the normally came real quick and id get the free ones at the store. i watch alot of movies because i can at my job and i was getting about 20 movies a week though total access.
now even with the 3 at a time total access theyve gotten extremly slow and it cost more so i only get about 4 movies a week and it is completly not worth it i am now a die hard netflix fan

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