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noir

I've tried to move from 3 unlimited to 3 w/5 store exchanges three times. The Blockbuster site refuses to acknowledge this change and insists I'm going to pay them $35 on the 31st.

That's an interesting, if frustrating and inaccurate, response. Anyone else being denied the changes they're trying to make to their accounts?

noir

I've tried to move from 3 unlimited to 3 w/5 store exchanges three times. The Blockbuster site refuses to acknowledge this change and insists I'm going to pay them $35 on the 31st.

That's an interesting, if frustrating and inaccurate, response. Anyone else being denied the changes they're trying to make to their accounts?

udublvr

I quit and went back to Netflix...seemed like the 2nd price increase in a few months. I started BB at $19.99 or something like that and now it is up 34? And they'll raise them again w/in six I'm sure.

Fred

The problem is simple: These prices aren't out of wack with how many movies you actually get. But they should've started their plans with this pricing, so nobody would get this upset and leave.

I was grandfathered in and kept my $17.99 account. Now it's up to $19.99, which is still way better than $35. I want to quit on principal, but It's still a good deal for me.

My mom is at $35 now, though, and she just downgraded her account. Will it affect her usage too much? Actually- probably not. She's bitter though.

Imagine if they had been up front with these prices! People would've understood that 3 out at a time with unlimted exchanges is quite a deal at $35... And it's obvious it's an advantage over netflix, thanks to the instant gratification of picking out a movie when you want it.

But no- they screwed up royally.

Old Timer Too

Drop all the way to mail-only. I seldom use the stores and any films I do want, I purchase when they are released, usually through Amazon.

Ellen

Pricing on Blockbuster has no effect on my movie rental choices. I avoid Blockbuster completely because of their censorship. When I rent movies, I don't want them sanitized or edited. I want to see them as the director intended. If I want to see an unrated film, it's my decision. Netflix allows me to do this; Blockbuster doesn't.

Tanner

I will be cancelling my account. I am currently locked into a 6-month promotion, but as soon as that is over, I am moving back to Netlix, BB is slower to ship movies anyways, netflix can sometimes get me the movies back THE NEXT DAY. Blockbuster usually takes at least 2-3, but with the instant pick-up in the store, it was worth it, now its not.

No way am I paying $15 more for the SAME service I signed up for a year ago.

noe638

Mike,

I'd be curious what your usage is for your blockbuster account (I know you mentioned you have a NF account as well). I figured that the 1 out and 2 out unlimited plans would be the least popular because of the high price.

If you exchange a lot of movies, for $5 more you can get the 3 out unlimited and get ~5 more movies a month in the mail and 5 more exchanges...10 movies for $5. If you want to see more movies overall, you can probably do better with 3 out 5 exchanges for $20.

Seth

Well, as of today, i still have this on my account settings page:
* BLOCKBUSTER Total Access Premium
* $17.99 / month (plus taxes)
3 at-a-time, unlimited mailings
unlimited in-store movie exchanges
+2 FREE bonus Movie or Game Rental E-Coupon / Month

* Next Billing Date:
January 18,2008

If it changes, which i hope it does not... i will let you know. perhaps i am grandfathered in, but for how long?

Old Timer Too

Ellen - BB does NOT censor any titles. They may not carry (as a practice) NC-17, but then, NF does not carry as broad a selection for the same title. I'm not sure where you are coming from in saying that they censor, but copyright law prohibits any company from making those kinds of changes (and a number of independent rental groups have found themselves on the losing side of courts cases).

If the titles are "censored," it is because the studio is providing the "censored" copy and likely the same copy is going to Wal-Mart and other vendors who want "sanitized" discs. But, my experience says that even this is not true - that there is soft-core porn you can get from BB that borders of pure porn.

And, the same "unrated" versions you see on NF are also available on BB. Note: Neither BB or NF carries the Re-edited Sin City version, only the original release.

Getting back to your post - I consider it old news and very much out of date. Help me, here. Provide a title or two of those films you feel BB is "censoring." The public wants to know...

I do NOT work from BB and am just as unhappy over their constant "playing" with accounts. As I indicated earlier, I dropped my account to mail-only. Much more of this and I will leave them, altogether, but it isn't because they have "censored" titles - they don't.

Old Timer Too

Tanner - Delivery times - a lot depends upon where you live - YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Here in the NW suburbs of Chicago, I get the very same service from both companies. Films are shipped to me one day and arrive the next. Films are sent(returned) and are checked in the next.

If you experience slow shipping times, it is your BB queue, not their service. I've posted the secrets to getting around the problem in other blog threads, so it isn't new. Get rid of any "wait" titles, especially in your top two or three slots and if a film is "skipped over," do the same for it, even though it may show "available." Do this several days in advance and every time they make a new shipment to you.

Monday's are the worst day for returns to BB (or NF, for that matter). My experience with accounts in both is that if you can avoid your returns hitting the DCs (both companies) on Monday, you stand a much better chance of having a title you want ship from the local DC and the same day.

In the case of NF, they evidently maintain two DCs in the Chicago area. My closest DC is Carol Stream, but I see titles coming from a Chicago PO box, too. Sometimes, there is no delay shipping from that location and sometime, they will ship from that DC the next day. A lot depends upon what day of the week it is.

Both companies appear to ship about them same - Mondays are almost always a chance situation. The rest of the week doesn't seem to matter.

Old Timer Too

Hm. In rereading my post, by "get rid of" I mean, move the title down past slot ten or even further. When it drifts back up, it may be available locally and then you'll get it.

When I talked with a BB exec, he indicated that BB is constantly moving titles between centers (I suspect NF does the same - and, if memory serves, someone even mentioned that). Therefore, what may not be readily available today, may be there later in the week or several weeks down the trade lane.

There also seems to be some weird programming (at least for BB). I've had titles sit at or near the top of my queue and then I move them down because they aren't shipping. Then, several weeks later, that title will ship, despite the fact that it is way down the list. I haven't seen the same thing for NF - they attempt to clean the top of the queue on a regular basis.

I've mentioned my rental patterns in the past and generally (but not always) turn one title per slot per week (I have run tests where I turned titles as often as three times in one week, but that was only a test). During the holidays, that is dropping way off, since we are not home as much and I don't want the titles piling up in my mailbox. Oh, and I've added a number of titles to my permanent collection. And I kick myself for buying Spider-Man 3. What a horrid, draggy, poorly-acted film and story!

Gowan

I was going to cancel my BB account and up my NF to 5- or 6-out, but then BB offered me 3-out/unlimited for $24.99. I thought this was a good compromise from my 3-out/5 exchange for $19.99. However, now they don't seem to want to honor that offer. I've been offered it three different ways, but then BB customer support sent me an email saying they were going to go right ahead and cancel my account unless I wanted to go to any of the "new" plans. No mention of why I was offered those retention prices. Ah well. I enjoyed the instant gratification of going to the stores on Tuesdays, but I can wait for new releases if I have to over at NF for half the price.

Sophie

I'm going back to Netflix too.

Adam

This is clearly a way for blockbuster to drive away the customers they have, so eventually they'll just shut down there in store exchange plans all together. It worked for me and immediatly cancelled my membership and went to netflix.

Bob Yahoo

I struggled with Blockbuster the past two weeks on this price increase. First, I cancelled and was told they would ship until my next billing date. Then they stopped shipping, yet I complained, and they promised that they would ship again. When they did not ship again, I complained again, and they told me that when you cancel they stop shipping ten days before your billing date. Since I was twice told different, they gave me a refund for one week of service. Then they asked me, for the third time, "Why are you cancelling?" This time, today, I said, "Poor customer service" instead of price increase. They gave me one month unlimited free to stay on! So I learned about the ten day rule, and to wait just before the billing date to cancel. I learned to complain about the customer service. And finally, always call, never complain by e-mail.

Jungle Girl

Thanks to Bob on the heads up for the ten day dealie with Blockbuster. For what I'm paying Blockbuster for 2 at a time/3 exchanges/mo I can get 3 at a time/unlimited PC time so that's what we're doing. I'm sick of Blockbuster's teasing. I would have already done it but I was notified on Christmas day and my billing cycle ended two days later, not nearly enough time to weigh my option, etc. I told them today at the local store I was unhappy, they said the store prices also were raised ($.20) and they were not notified of the change, they just started ringing higher. Not a good way to run a business. Blockbuster is dead to me.

Byron

I signed up for Blockbuster on their 3 out/Unlimited exchanges in April. In August they notified us of the price hike but guaranteed that I would be "grandfathered" in. In October they changed their mind and forced me to pay $24.99. Now they want $34.99???

From 17.99 to $34.99 in 8 months while throttling my movies and taking away the coupons?

I am canceling in a few days. Screw Blockbuster. I'll go to Netflix.

Tim

I cancled blockbuster within 2 days and switched to Netflix(since it's cheaper now). Since then I have gotten movies on average a day faster.

JT

I had been very happy with BB until their in-store limit lunacy and their crazy price increases. I am cancelling my account tomorrow (day before my billing date) and signing up with Netflix in a few weeks. January is a surprisingly slow month for good new releases.

Brian

1st - The default plan is the TotalAccess with 5 movies in-store. I had this at $9.99/month and was bounced up to $19.99/month after the trial.

2nd - The limited in-store prices aren't what dramatically changed, only the unlimited in-store plans changed dramatically.

3rd - The unlimited at $34.99 is an exceptional deal, if you are a heavy user and know how to work it. Your movies come to you Monday and you watch them that night, take them back on Tuesday morning for three more movies. You watch those three that night, while Blockbuster ships three more. You get the point. In theory, you could be watching 15-20 movies per week -- up to 80 per month. Unrealistic, but this is how they are pricing this.

4th - I think BB will offer Movielink service to the $34.99 customers, to match up with Netflix in the VOD sector.

5th - The limited in-store returns and BB By Mail plans still allow you to return in-store for a $1.99 movie. That's a nice savings.

IMHO, Netflix should do something with Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery, offering a similiar in-store service. Given the problems at HV/MG -- that might be a saving grace.

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