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CJ

Got the e-mail yesterday raising my price from $25 to $35 per month for 3 out unlimited.

Sounds like a fair price to me - they had to be losing money big time at the $25 price.

My only gripe is BB could have given a little more notice than 1 week. A notice at least a month in advance is good business practice and what most other companies do.

DRJ

I have been with bbo since the beginning and I have the 3 out unlimited returns in the store and 2 free game coupons a month, my rate is only being raised to $19.99. I probably return 2 movies a week in store so I dont know if that makes me a heavy user or not.

DJ

Maybe these links will help you understand what the big company is going through.

arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071106-blockbuster-dials-back-on-total-access-after-mail-order-bloodbath.html?rel

arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071220-blockbuster-grinches-total-access-customers-with-price-hike.html

arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070308-users-report-major-problems-with-blockbuster-online.html

www.readwriteweb.com/archives/blockbuster_sees_future.php

Redbox or TNR is looking better and better.
www.redbox.com/

www.thenewrelease.com/

Jeff R.

As much as the rate hike sucks, BB needed to do it in order to be profitable. Those people who are exchanging boatload of movies don't make the company any money. That's why they're in business, to make money. They're not there to provide a service to the consumer. I'm sure that this change will actually help BB, even after so many people quit.

Total subscribers is not the only important number.

DVDRentalForums.com

Wow, that is a ridiculous increase. I'm definitely surprised by this... I think Blockbuster will be losing a lot of subscribers.

Greg Andrew

Why are people surprised? The way this has gone was inevitable. Blockbuster tried to crush Netflix by offering phenomenal deals. Those deals were never ever going to make money for Blockbuster; they only existed in the hope that Blockbuster could build up a huge market share and become the dominant company in the (rent by dvd) business. They've given up on that front, and thus they have raised prices high enough so that these plans will finally be profitable. And you have to remember that Blockbuster has a much different cost structure than Netflix; all those stores cost money to run. And now they've decided to invest more in the stores, so they had to stop losing money on Blockbuster by Mail.

I never signed up for Blockbuster because I knew this was inevitable. Those who did sign up, especially early ones, got a heck of a lot for their money. They should be very happy with their investment. If it's not a good buy anymore, cancel! But there's really nothing to complain about here; Blockbuster is simply trying to survive. They only did the Total Access plans because they though they might be the answer. But it wasn't, and now they are trying something entirely different in an effort to save themselves. That's what businesses do. I can't say I've ever liked Blockbuster very much, but for the past few years they have been flailing around in the hopes that they'll hit upon a good strategy. I can't blame them for that.

Blame them for the short notice; that seems unreasonable. Blame them for bad service if that's been a problem. But don't blame them for raising their prices - this isn't an attempt to rip off their customers, the are just trying to survive. The retail video rental business is steadily shrinking, and Blockbuster needs to make a major shift in their business model if they are going to stay in business. Longterm Blockbuster by Mail customers should be very happy that for a while, Blockbuster was willing to spend tens millions of dollars in order to provide them with so much entertainment.

mbigger

Blockbuster got all of you! They have done that since inception. It is in their gene.

Staying with BBO! You must be kidding. More slaps in the face are coming.

Atleast with Netflix, you get consistency, an incredible long tail search engine and a very valuable community....

And...no rat maze such as the one in front of the cash registers at BB.

:-)

Jason

Jeff: Profitability is key, but you don't attain profitability by kicking customers to the curb because they like your product. Walmart didn't become the business it is for punishing customers who buy a lot of their products.

The end result of this situation is that word will spread of BB's perception of its customers, not just the high volume ones.

BB will not be able to sell their service period, let alone attain profitability.

Netflix just got a huge boost. HUGE!

Edward R Murrow

LOL, the herd mentality ends up penalizing the herd.

If tons of customers switch to NFLX on short notice and all competing for the same number of DVD's, what do people think will happen?

Anyone who's ever been a NFLX customer should be able to guess:
1) New customers get excellent treatment
2) Existing customers get throttled (just read NFLX TOS)

The larger the pool of new NFLX customers getting excellent treatment means a larger pool of NFLX customers getting throttled.

This will be true until NFLX makes an additional investment in DVD's to keep up with all the customers switching from BBO to NFLX.

noe638

I agree that they should have at least given a whole month notice. BBs website still has the unlimited exchange 3-at-a-time plan listed as 24.99...I wonder when they notify you of the price increase or if it is still available for new customers?

I don't think NF needs to raise their prices...they will do well just going along the current path and letting BB shoot themselves in the foot.

Merry Christmas BB Customers!

Gabriel

I have the 3-out DVD plan, with unlimited in-store exchanges, and 1 coupon for a free game or movie a month for $17.99 and it was just increased to $19.99. I'm not exactly sure why mine is so low, or why I have this coupon for a free game or movie when most of my friends don't. Anyways, I'm not too upset about my rate hike, but it seems the majority of everyone got screwed bigtime. Its complete crap and I recommend everyone leave Blockbuster. For $35 a month, I'd rather get the full Movie package from my Verizon FiOS and just not bother with mailing and rentals at all.

~jenn~

My sis-in-law still has the 3/out plan and she just got an email that they are raising her price to only $19.99 a month. I guess she doesn't use the service much. That tells me that they are raising prices based on how much you use the service. That is also what Blockbuster told me when I complained a couple of months ago. Back then they told me that they weren't going to change my plan price and low and behold a couple of months later they changed it on my without any notification!
Here's my story
http://cantbewrong.multiply.com/journal/item/94/Please_excuse_my_language.......

mbigger

What if NF reduces price across the board to inflict mortal pain on BB? Would that work?

mbigger

LOS ANGELES, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Blockbuster Inc (BBI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday it will raise prices for its Total Access subscription plans and lower prices for two DVD By Mail plans in an effort to pare losses and boost subscribers.

They must kidding right? Boost suscribers????The only boost I see is the KY Jelly boosts up your....

Edward R Murrow

By all means, NFLX should cut prices.

Firstlawofnature

"LOL, the herd mentality ends up penalizing the herd.

If tons of customers switch to NFLX on short notice and all competing for the same number of DVD's, what do people think will happen?

Anyone who's ever been a NFLX customer should be able to guess:
1) New customers get excellent treatment
2) Existing customers get throttled (just read NFLX TOS)

The larger the pool of new NFLX customers getting excellent treatment means a larger pool of NFLX customers getting throttled.

This will be true until NFLX makes an additional investment in DVD's to keep up with all the customers switching from BBO to NFLX"

What a fool you are. Unlike BBI these guys are not flying by the seat of their pants on business strategy. Netflix will be able to handle whatever comes their way.

ToddH

If my billing date is the 24th, and the new prices go into effect on the 27th, does that mean I get basically one more month at the lower price? or?

For anyone who lives very near a local BB like we do, this is a sad day -- it was an incredible deal while it lasted!

BBsucks

I think this pretty much sums up their company and its history.

"Blockbuster lost half a million online customers in the July-September quarter. Chief Executive James W. Keyes said last month that many of those subscribers were costing his company more than they were worth."

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/071220/blockbuster_prices.html?.v=5

Andy

Wow...Blockbuster is really making some bad business decisions. Most respected companies never increase prices on customers more than once a year. Two increases in less than 6 months is over the top. Top it off with the humongous increase of $10 for the most "heavy" plan and there you have it. This is bad business definetely. Netflix should be laughing now and expecting many people to return back.

Anyway....this increase is not usage based per say. If you read carefully, the prices increases for other plans would range frlom just 2 dollars all the way up to 10. It depends on what plan you have. Some 1 at a time plan I think will only have $2 increase.

Anyway, and also the prices will be updated on the website on the 24th I believe. So, that is why you have not seen new prices reflected on the website yet.

Anyway..as I said really bad business decision which might hurt BB in the long run.

Old Timer Too

"If my billing date is the 24th, and the new prices go into effect on the 27th, does that mean I get basically one more month at the lower price? or?"

Or not. Actually, the way I read the message was that on the next billing date after the increase, you would see the new price. Therefore, on the 24th of January... yada yada yada...

I think I mentioned before that this was going to happen. I'm still irked by the loss of the higher number of titles out at one time going away. In my opinion, the max plan at three out is way too low.

As to the new prices, I will drop to mail-only before my next billing date comes around. At this point, I'm doing almost no in-store exchanges and turning titles at about one a week (the three a week test was only a test, as I've said before). I don't have to use the stores, but can drop films off at the P.O. before 5:00 pm and still have them delivered at the BB DC the next day.

Tom

BBO is lowering the price of their 3-out online only to $15.99 for "new" subscribers. However, this is temporary.
I recently went into one of BB's stores and the place was busy with ppl exchanging videos. Most videos were rented even blu-ray. The info board above the counter says that unlimited (2 out) in store rentals are $24.99. So ppl were really benefiting from the total access $24.99 plan -- getting both unlimited online and in store for the same price. For those that do online only $16.99 (3) is still a good deal.
Perhaps with all those leaving BB will shorten the wait times for the remaining subscribers. They must have underestimated how many would do in store exchanges.
In the end, BB will have to do what it can to become profitable -- even if it means losing heavy (unprofitable) users. Dont forget with the increase in postage their costs have increased --as has Netflix (who has said this week they are reviewing their pricing structure).

B Kelly

I got this email today - I was originally on the 17.99/ 3 at time/ unlimited plan, and decided to allow the bump up to 24.99 so I could keep the unlimited exchange in store. But even that was a stretch...

This new pricing plan - $34.99 - is a complete and utter ripoff! I sent them a letter chastising their bait-and-switch tactics - I know more ethical CRACK DEALERS than BlockBuster Online!

I always felt like a turncoat for leaving Netflix for Blockbuster, but it was too good of a deal to pass up at $17.99 - but now that the price has DOUBLED I am RUNNING back to Netflix.

I will be encouraging all of my friends to make the switch - I hope Blockbuster feels the sting of our mass exodus ;)

hebby

RJM - What type of discunt and where can we get this at?

Thanks - Hebby

Tad Sketchy

My guess is Blockbuster's doing this because the individual stores are having trouble managing their inventory. They haven't figured out how to predict whether a TA customer who gets their movies mailed to them (and thus isn't considered part of the local store's customer base) will drop in to a store and do an exchange, thus increasing the demand on the inventory of that local store. So suddenly the "regular" customer who wants something popular can't get it because a TA customer has taken it.

They could solve this with on-demand burning of DVDs at each store, but they're deathly afraid their employees will start burning everything and ripping them off. (And they should be, given that your average employee is making $7.50/hour: burn two movies and sell them for $5 each and you made more than shelving product for an hour.)

Derek

I think Blockbuster has just realized that they're getting hosed with their unlimited plans. I could sometimes get 12 movies a WEEK with the in-store exchanges. For example, on Monday, I'd receive my 3 in the mail, then take them back on Tuesday to the store (on new-release day) and get three more. By Thursday, I'd usually have my next three in the mail. Take those to Blockbuster on Friday, exchange them for 3 more, and start all over the next week.

But still, that's not worth $35 a month to me. Switching to Netflix the day before my next billing cycle.

Richard

I had 3 at a time unlimited for 17.99 and when they raised rates, I went down to 2 at a time with 3 in store exchanges for 14.99 (now 16.99) I plan on cancelling as well. I probably won't go back to NetFix due to throttling and my last experience with them, I received sooo many movies that were cracked, broken or scratched so badly, they wouldn't play.

RedBox, here I come, if the line isn't too long, since I feel that a lot of old BBers will be there as well.

Tom

For those switching to Netflix --- what plan will you use? Their 3-out is $16.99 same as BB. Their 6-out is $35.99 more than BB's TA $34.99

Edward R Murrow

"What a fool you are"

Hey now. I'm not just anybody's fool, I'm everybody's fool. Firstlaw, you take this stuff so seriously. I'm sure that your NFLX employee stock options will be ok.

Brit

I don't understand the rhetoric towards BB here. TA was cool for a few months, now its crap. I would guess half of the comments about leaving BB to go to NFLX are from people who were already NFLX subscribers and never used TA.

joe user

Obviously the exchange-in-store scheme was an unsustainable business plan designed to lure customers away from Netflix and nothing else. What BB has just admitted is that their key advantage, having retail outlets, IS WORTHLESS.

That's a big deal.

live4life

I ordered at http://www.shoptions.net/netflix and must say Netflix blows away Blockbuster. Blockbuster is going to abandon the movie rental scene soon, the price increase is to increase Blockbuster's ROI

Brit

"Blockbuster is going to abandon the movie rental scene soon"

I give up. You people are insane.

B Kelly

Tom - Not sure what plan I will use with Netflx. I guess the 3/for 16.99 plan... Not sure what they offer these days. Don't they have streaming videos online as well now?

What about Walmart? How do they work? Value? all I know is I'm leaving Blockbuster cause I feel like its a HUGE rip now. I'm open to suggestions on where to go from here...

BK

No More blockbuster!

In case anyone is wondering about the differential pricing. I think the explanation is in the LONG comment area on this page http://www.bspcn.com/2007/07/26/the-top-ten-lies-blockbuster-video-tells-their-customers/
Basically, they claim that during the Sept 2007 price increase, SOME people were allowed to be grandfathered (pay old price, get unlimited service as before). The theory is that if you actually exchanged often, you did NOT get grandfathered, but people who exchanged infrequently were grandfathered. As someone who exchanged frequently, I'm steamed to find out that there was different treatment of different customers! They act as though it was an illegal act, when in fact, I was using the plan, as outlined! Not only that, my billing date is the 11th. I expected to get "unlimited" service until the 10th of the next month since I had "prepaid" that month of service (from the 11th to the 10th of the next month). No...I was limited as of the first of that month (despite the fact that the email says that you can continue on the old plan until the 1st of the month after the switchover). So I lost some rentals there. Then, I was denied rentals claiming that I took my 5 for that month, when I know I hadn't and there were no records to show which movies constituted my 5! I got a customer service coupon that they didn't want to honor because it was "used yesterday" but the effective date was that day (it wasn't even effective "yesterday" or even in my email box "yesterday")...yet I was accused of being dishonest. I don't even want to go into the store because I don't know if I'll be accused of trying to scam a free rental! Now another price increase with no notice (and during the holidays when many don't even read email!?)...this is just too much and gives me the little kick to switch to Netflix.

Kandis

My subscription is being raised in price by $2 a month which I don't like but I can deal with. I would not switch back to Netflix over $2, mostly due to the fact that they made me very angry by lying/throttling movies. Ten dollars would definitely make me consider switching though. Over the years I have been very fickle and just go back and forth between whoever is offering the better deal in this price war. I really prefer Blockbuster though because I have never really experienced throttling with them before. I have had some movies take longer than it seems like they should, but with Netflix I knew with 100% certainty they were throttling.

B Kelly

Kandis - Wasn't there a class action lawsuit brought against Netflix for throttling? Are they still doing it? They definitely were when I was a member...

I've also never had problems with Blockbuster deliveries but the new price jump is unforgivable.

Netflix seems like the lesser evil here... Honestly, I wish there were more options other than these two and Walmart.

Tom

Kelly- Walmart ended their rental program. Sold it to Netflix I believe.
Other choice is redbox. Or your local library.
With the postage increase I am surprised netflix hasnt raised their prices.

whatever

Kandis, get over yourself. How in the hell did Netflix throttle you? Just because they choose to be fair and include those who actually do not rent as much, you call that throttling. Just for your info, I have been with them for over a year, and not ONCE have I had a delayed disc, I have had all new releases that I wanted, and I am on the 6 at a time plan. Really, is that throttling Kandis? First of all, you can't prove that Netflix throttled you. Second, it's first come first serve basis. Just like in Blockbuster. If you come in the store when all the discs have been rented out, what will you say?? "Are you throttling me?" I don't think so, so really, get over yourself.

whoa man, whoa

dude they were throttling - there was a HUGE lawsuit... it's not like kandis called your mom a name or something, settle down buddy...

Paul

I have never been more furious at any business than I am at BBO. Their tacktics are 100% deceptive.

I am a very heavy user and have been on the $17.99 plan since it was 3 out and unlimited in-store. One of my neighbors is on the same plan but his usage is very minimal. We both are xbox360 gamers so, it was great when the extra free movie per month could be used for a free game. Saves me $8 bucks and lets me preview games.

Well probably 5 months ago, I got the dreaded email that the unlimited in-store was being downgraded to 5. What the email didn't explain is that the free movie/game was axed at the same time. I only found that out the next time I went to print my coupon only to realize it wasn't there any longer. I was pissed and thought about cancelling then...

5 months later and my neighbor still hasn't gotten the downgrade email and is enjoying his free movie/game coupon and the unlimited in-store exchange plan. I am convinced this is because his usage hasn't flagged him as "costing" BBO too much, so they just haven't given him the bad news.

VERY SHADDY BUSINESS TACTICS!!!!!

Now these new price increases are just outrageous. I am really trapped and feel that we are really getting the shaft. I really want the unlimited in-store exchange but am not going to pay that outrageous amount.

I guess I am headed to Netflix. Forget you BBO!!

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