Problems with Netflix AND Blockbuster

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
For all those reading this trying to figure out if you should join Netflix or Blockbuster I'm here to tell you JOIN NETFLIX. I am so mad at Blockbuster. I'm not 100% satisfied with Netflix either, and I hope the DVD price wars will foster some good competition, but at least they didn't piss me off.

So in the end of my comparison between Netflix and Blockbuster I decided to go to Netflix. It wasn't that tough of a choice given the better service and wider selection.

But Blockbuster went and did it. I returned all my movies back to Blockbuster about 3 days after I cancelled my membership. I got emails confirming that they got back 2 of the 3 movies and figured that they didn't send the third as it would close out my account. I was wrong. I get an email from them about 2 weeks later stating they are going to charge me for Underworld, the third movie. They were going to charge $21 to my credit card for a movie I know I returned. Why would I keep this movie? It wasn't even all that great.

I called Customer Service and waited, I'm not exaggerating, 25 minutes for someone to pick up the phone. As soon as they answered I explained to them that I returned the movie and that I can't be held responsible for the USPS losing it. They refunded the money without too much of a problem but I was still fuming over the fact that they charged me in the first place and that I had to wait so long to get it resolved.

Netflix has not been without its problems. They did send me a DVD that was broken at the end of the disk. I had to return it and get a replacement which is kind of silly because I wasted a return to catch the last, and obviously most important, 20 minutes of the movie. Also, the turnaround time has gotten a little slower. Before I would return the DVD and get a replacement in 3 days. 1 day there, process, 1 day back, on the next day DVD arrives at my door. Now it is more like 1 day there, process, 2 days back, on the next day DVD arrives.

None of this is probably their fault as the DVD may have gotten damaged during shipping and they don't control the USPS. However it is there business model and one which I think will definitely rub customers the wrong way going forward.