« TV Show Wars Starting: Hulu vs. TV.com vs. Boxee | Main | Instantwatcher: Cool Way to Search Netflix Streaming Titles »

Comments

ggmdata

sux - it's time to jump over to NF

Tim

Great they finally have the plain to kill there business.

bb

This isn't "eliminating due dates". It's eliminating in-store exchanges. What used to be "in addition to" is now "instead of".

Really, exchanges "in addition to" was the only advantage they had.

Pollardito

That's hilarious. They're spinning the lack of due dates as a new feature, and the fact that they're not mailing the next item from your queue as a side effect of that new feature. Since it's a new benefit, I wonder if you can opt out

Jeff from Knowzy

If this were any other company, this news might be shocking.

At the corporate-owned store where I rent, I can keep new releases for 9 days without a late fee. 14 days for oldies.

I hardly call this plan change a benefit.

I wonder how this will affect pricing, particularly on the "Premium" tier. If they keep their current pricing, it will be impossible to save money over the standard plans.

On the standard plans, what is that extra $3/month over Netflix getting you? The privilege of getting five movies from the store instead of by mail? They'd better match Netflix's pricing if they want customers to swallow that as a benefit.

I predict this is going to be wildly unpopular.

Fred

I think I speak for all of us when I say do not want.

Fred

Actually, thinking about this- it's even worse than I thought. It effectively removes the point to using the total access program. The point was getting an in-store exchange while you wait for the movies in the mail. Now you have to return the movie for them to send the next one. What's the point? Doesn't netflix do this?

suzeo99

Unless my account is grandfathered I am back to Netflix. I have a grandfathered 1 at a time with unlimited store returns for $11.99 a month. So - I basically get 2 out at a time for $11.99 With this new plan I only get one out at a time for $11.99. I might as well switch to Netflix's $8.99 plan!

Hunter

Agreed. I'm so glad I switched to NetFlix a few months back.

Brandon

The above users have covered pretty much all of it. They are seriously just trying to spin yet another service cut-back as a new feature. I doubt that many customers are running into a late fee problem, and the whole point of the in-store return was so that you can have a little something extra while your next movie is on the way.

Honestly, the only way that they could spin this such that I would think it a remotely worthwhile idea would be to allow the return of an in-store rental for another in-store rental, but then it is just not much more than the rental club they used to do where you paid $x per month to be able to have a movie constantly rented.

Gettit

It's the "End of Late Fee" all over again. Nice.

BoB

Guess I don't have to worry about this as all three of my BB stores closed a few months ago.

Just another nail in the coffin.

Juan

I don't know why anyone would use Blockbuster in the first place.

Becky

Ha ha.

heebner

I think this will be unpopular with extremely heavy renters, ones that in any case are unprofitable to Blockbuster. We who frequent this blog are an adverse sample, heavy renters trying to maximize rental throughput (hence the name of the blog). The bulk of the population probably doesn't rent more than 1-2 movies a week so this could be a wash in terms of limits/benefits for those folks. If I rent a moderate amount, I may not want to go to the store in 5 days just to return a DVD (I'm not ready to exchange anything yet). If I am a heavy renter and do more exchanges every time I return my previous ones, this is going to slow me down and I'm either going to return DVDs faster to keep the same rental throughput, or I'm probably going to cancel and go squeeze the hell out of a Netflix subscription (then proceed to get throttled). It appears options for free lunches are narrowing.

dAVe

First off for me the only reason I signed up for BBonline back in the first week it started was for the 2 free game rental (or movies) coupons. Later my grandfathered account was up graded to Ultimate Total Access, which sort of doubled the number of movies I could get while still getting 2 coupons. I view the Roku/Instant movie streams from NetFlix in a similar way, a get-more bonus.

Apparently, BB doesn't see the value of having more foot track in their Brick'n'Mortar and certainly the "carrot" of switching out a DVD because a rude neighbor spoiled the movie plot at the mailbox didn't pan out in creating more memberships. And I think it’s accurate to say that the BB onlinemovieplayer was a failure to launch based on the complete lack of buzz. Add to that, dodging a bullet by walking away from the CircuitCity buyout. Too little, too late seems to be their mantra.

Now, they’re going to effectively roll back the value added Total Access Plan. If anything I take this news as a serious indicator that BBInc. might be on its deathbed and it’s not a pretty picture. Where I live 33% of the BBstores have closed. Hurray to Reed Hastings, he may have killed the giant mega corp that once pissed him (and so many others) off at the cash register. Hopefully this won't become "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Gir

Regarding light users, I think they will notice the difference.
Going from
'store-rentals in hand and more on the way'
to
'store-rentals in hand and none shipping till I return them'
is a big change. People will notice and I think they'll be pissed.

ZeroCorpse

Blockbuster's customer service and poor selection (censored movies instead of full versions, fewer cult films, no NC-17 films, etc.) makes them a lousy choice for anyone who actually likes movies.

They'd have to drop their price to 1/4 the current price of Netflix for the same features for me to consider them an option. They really, really suck.

Bart

What's Blockbuster? ;)

Edward R Murrow

This would suck. Blockbuster still offers the advantage of being able to get your choice of a New Release off the shelf.

You have better odds of hitting the f*'ing lottery than getting a New Release from Netflix.

In terms of what this will do to the two companies:
1) Lower costs for Blockbuster.
2) Drive high usage/low profit margin customers to Netflix.
3) More high usage customers on Netflix means longer wait times for hot New Releases.

Walter Cronkite

@Murrow

> You have better odds of hitting the f*'ing lottery than getting a New Release from Netflix.

Dammit, I should have bought some lottery tickets this week. I could have won twice!

rjm

This has not started for me yet...I dont think.

But, it would KILL any advantage they have.

As for the poster above complaining about Netflix new releases, Ive had pretty good luck keeping them at the TOP of my Q before they come out and returning discs on saturday so they get them and ship more on Monday.

If you are talking throttling, you might try switching accounts every month so you "fool" them into thinking you are not a heavy user.

Rich B

The people at the top of Blockbuster, must be the biggest idiots in the world. There turn around is so poor as it is now. I had been getting notices of movies being sent, then the next day they were listed as returned. I guess they thought they were cutting out the middle man by me not even getting the movie!

Tester

@Becky

"Ha ha."

While the others are stating what they like or don't like you come up with such a comment like that. You must be a Rhodes Scholar.

Tester

Just to clarify, to everyone, my last comment directed at Becky.

I have been reading and or responding to comments here for a few years. In all of that time whenever Becky's posts have to do with what either Netflix or Blockbuster are doing, or not doing, they fall into the same catigory.

When it comes to Netflix, the gist of Becky's posts are; "What wonder things Netflix does for us. We should all thank God for such a magnanimous company." I believe that if Netflix decided to triple prices and cut in half the number of DVD's we get, Becky would be praising them for doing it.

When it comes to Blockbuster the reverse is true. The gist of what Becky posts about them are; "What an awful thing they are doing." Here I believe that if Blockbuster found a way to feed all of the starving people in the world Becky would find fault with it.

I am not saying that all of Becky's posts are of the "Hate Blockbuster" or "Love Netflix" type. When she talks about things in general, I have found them interesting. The kissy or bashing type posts however have gotten to be very boring. Becky, please give them a rest.

Finally I want to add that I use both Blockbuster and Netflix. Each of them have faults as well as virtues.

I am not happy about what Blockbuster might do with the Total Access program but I am going to wait and see how it turns out.

I was not happy when Netflix announced, some months ago, that they were going to remove some things from their web site. I took the same wait and see attitude and everything turned out fine.

Donuts

Its surprising how different Netflix and BB renters are. BB renters seem to constantly compute their price-per-disc without ever taking into account the time they spend going to the store.

Netflix users generally don't want to spend their time in a car driving to BB in order to wait in a line and drive home again.

BB should realize this, and try to take advantage of their stores as much as possible, if they can eliminate the cost of mailing DVDs by having the customers spend their own time/money to come and get the DVDs, they ought to be able to offer a cheaper plan than Netflix. But they don't.

lolzypoo

@ Tester

I worked for Customer Service for just about a year, left right after the profile debacle. Everytime Netflix would do something stupid all the employees would jump on here and try to defend it. The opposite goes for blockbuster.

Becky probably works for Netflix.

Tester

@ lolzypoo;

It is very possible she either works for Netflix, knows a friend or relative who does or, she owns stock in Netflix.

It is also possible that she has some inane reason for having such an unhealthy, deep-seated grudge against Blockbuster.

I doubt that she will "come clean" here. Even if she tried to I do not think I could believe her. As far as I am concerned her credibility is extremely poor because of her highly biased posts against Blockbuster.

Angry

This sucks! I chose Blockbuster over Netflix because I could under one plan always have unviewed DVDs on hand--getting DVDs from the Store while waiting for the next delivery to arrive. By the time the new delivery arrived, i'll be done with the Store DVDs and ready to return them.

Now they've taken that away. I'm seriously considering quitting Blockbuster!

jakeneff

This news infuriates me and I hope it backfires on Blockbuster. Don't they realize that Netflix has been the hands-down favorite rental-by-mail service and they need to GAIN customers?

I have been a satisfied Total Access customer for some time now, but this changes everything, and suddenly I'm seriously considering switching to Netflix. I'm not an extremely heavy user and I don't care about getting new releases the day, week or even month they are released. I just appreciated being able to pick up a free rental from the store while I waited for my next disc(s) to be shipped.

Derf

This is pure crap on a silver platter. They have some nerve trying to make this out to be some sort of benefit!!

I've had it with Blockbuster once and for all. Now they gave me a perfect reason to move to Netflix and watch movies on my 360.

Screw you BB, go cry to the Gov. for a stimulus package!

Deckard

For me this eliminates the benefit of total access over the mail-only plan. With the Store having such a limited selection of blu-ray, there is no point in renting from the store if it delays the next movie from shipping. I'm switching to Netflix next month anyway so I can watch Lost on blu-ray since Blockbuster doesn't have it, but if or when I come back to blockbuster, it will be mail only.

bb

Looks like this is coming very shortly.

BB now has a banner up "No more due dates for BB Total Access Exchanges".

Click on it and you get the same BS message that this is a good thing.

Bart

@Tester

Who is "Rhodes Scholar"? ;)

bb

Just came back from my local BB store and was told this will effect ALL users beginning Monday.

Michelle

I just finished talking to a customer representative from Blockbuster. She suggested that if I knew of anyone else that was not happy with this change then I should encourage them to call in so that their concerns would be passed on to Corporate. So, my suggestion-Bombard their call lines with complaints...although the cynic in me doubts they give a damn. Also, FYI..there are plans in place to change the fee that you get charged for keeping in store movie rentals (obviously not the movie you used a free in-store exchange on) past their official due dates. It was $1.25 restocking fee as long as you turned it in no more than 30 days after the original due date. Apparently now, they will be charging a daily fee.

Scammed_By_Blockbuster

This is just the latest ploy by Blockbuster to stick it to the customer. Blockbuster can put whatever spin on it they want to the bottom line is they took away the “free” exchanges from Total Access accounts. I am converting to a Blockbuster By Mail account. The current terms mean Blockbuster By Mail gives me the same value as my existing Total Access account for a lower monthly fee.

Blockbuster is a slimy company. Since I joined Blockbuster Online, Blockbuster almost doubled the price if I wanted to keep the same deal I signed up for. Then the raised my monthly fee anyway. Customer Service has tried to tell me numerous times the next business day after Saturday is Tuesday. Now Blockbuster has again degraded the value my account by a huge amount. No wonder Netflix is doing better.

A Blockbuster store employee told me the “end of late fees” feature will be going away next. Even Blockbuster employees are telling customers “Total Access” is not TOTAL ACCESS anymore. Blockbusters amateurish attempt to disguise the elimination of the “free” exchanges would be laughable if it were not so pathetic.

Sherry

I will definitely be canceling.

It has started for everyone, no one will be grandfathered.

The way it was didn't seem profitable to them, so I can understand the change, but, it was the only reason to use the service.

rayleen

I just saw these changes on my Blockbuster account.

Basically I am getting half the movies at the same upgraded price.

As a long term subscriber (3 years plus?), I'm pissed. I can only take so much crap from these people!

TRE

"Everytime Netflix would do something stupid all the employees would jump on here and try to defend it. The opposite goes for blockbuster.
Becky probably works for Netflix."


Third party PR agency more likely.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sponsors

Third-Party Netflix Sites