What I Don't Like About Blockbuster So Far

Tuesday, September 20, 2005
OK here is a quick list about things I don't like about Blockbuster's online rental system:

1. The Website is flaky to say the least. Often times it pops up a window telling me there is an error.

2. They have a problem with their security. I get messages about "domain name mismatch" all the time that the certificate it is sending me is from someone else. In fact it is from Blockbuster but comes from a different server than their www server. This has to happen to everyone because it happens with every browser I use and everywhere I use it. You would think this would annoy enough people and Blockbuster would do something about it.

3. I can't use my 2 free in-store rentals on games. This is a big blow. I actually kind of signed up for this. I may have to rethink this.

4. For some reason their mail is slower than Netflix. With Netflix, I got pretty consistent 3 day turnarounds (when I wasn't being throttled). Day 1 - Mail DVD, Day 2 - Netflix receives DVD and mails new one, Day 3 - I receive new DVD. This is definitely not the case with Blockbuster where the turnaround is closer to 4 or 5 days.

5. Their queue software is horrible. It moves my movies around randomly and I can't seem to line up the movies I want in the right order sometimes without multiple tries.

6. Related to awful queue software, they often send the movies out in strange order. A movie at the top of my queue will say "Available Now" but they will in fact ship a movie from somewhere else in my queue.

To be fair I thought one cool think Blockbuster did do was send me a 4th DVD. There was no explanation why they did this but I think it was to compensate for the slower than expected service. I never complained to Blockbuster about this so maybe they just did it because they know their service can be spotty.

Is it worse than Netflix? Probably. Netflix doesn't have the above problems so Blockbuster has a ways to go. I will probably stay with Blockbuster for now for the simple reason that they don't seem to throttle the users, their service is just bad for all. But I just feel Netflix's practices are a little deceitful and I prefer to do business with companies that are upfront with their policies.


Jenny said...

My brother signed me up for Netflix for three months. So far I like it, but it does put a little strain on me having to make time to watch movies during schoolwork. I think the thing that stresses me out is thinking I have to watch my movies super fast so that I can send out for another (to get good ROI, even though it wasn't my I), but I guess their policy is that I don't have to worry about watching them quickly. Weird.

Kat said...

i think on #4, in the last sentence, you meant blockbuster.

i love netflix. i make it a point to tell blockbuster employees that i have netflix. mwahahahaha.

:: jozjozjoz :: said...

Out of curiousity, why do you think Netflix is deceitful?

susan said...

I don't have any of the problems you mentioned except sometimes the queue issue. I also get 4 and once even 5 at time without any extra charge. And the turnaround has been pretty good and often excellent since they opened a distribution spot in LV.

susan said...

Your coupons aren't good for games? I just read my last coupons and they both say good for a movie or game rental. I've never tried to rent a game with them so it wouldn't bother me if they don't work. But your coupons don't read the same way?

T said...

I think Netflix is decitful because they advertise "Unlimited" rentals but it isn't. They think Unlimited ends at 12. After 12, they begin to throttle you. If you read the fine print, they say they have a right to deterimine who gets priority and they will exercise that right. I don't like companies that rely on fine print to screw their customers over. Now, my service was probably better overall with Netflix than Blockbuster but at least its bad for everyone else too and Blockbuster isn't trying to screw the customers (at least not yet) who cost them more money but are probably their loudest proponents/critic.

T said...

Susan, no I can't rent games. My coupons don't read that way. I'm surprised yours do. I actually sent an e-mail to Blockbuster to see if I could and they replied that it was costing them too much money and so they stopped.

As for turnaround time, I don't know what's going on there. The center is in Santa Ana, just like it is for Netflix, and so I have no idea why they receive my movies late and I don't get them back in a timely manner. It kind of annoys me somewhat so I will have to see if it stays this way.

susan said...

T- If possible try different places to mail. I notice mine get counted as back much faster from our main postoffice that is on my way to work. I think they actually scan them at the post office.

Interesting on the games. My new coupons are due this week and I'll see if the games are gone now.

T said...

No, my coupons are definitely not good for games. Let me know if yours are the next time you get them.

As for where I return them. I've retruned them directly to the post office itself with no better service. Maybe try a completely different post office? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

something is awry

just used my september coupons for games yesterday. that's odd. I do have queue issues with them alot

dude, they sent me some movie from the 30s called "Orphan" and there were like three others from 1937 in my queue that i never put on there.

(not Susan)