Friday, January 19, 2007

Blockbuster Online

Last Saturday, 6 days ago, I signed up for Blockbusters Online service. Here's the way it's described. Half the price of normal library package of $30. A huge selection. Uses the postal service like Netflix where you get to have 3 movies out all the time but with two bonuses:

  1. Faster turn around. You get to return them to the local blockbuster for an immediate credit. You don't have to wait for the wharehouse to receive it from the postal system and then inventory it. As soon as the local store gets it they are suppose to ship the next movie on your queue.
  2. You are allowed to pick up another movie for free from the local store while waiting for the postal system to deliver your next dvd.
They sold it to me as it would only take a day or two for each one to arrive. Well it doesn't. I ordered 3 on saturday night. The first two arrived Tuesday which I promptly watched and turned back in. The third arrived on Thursday. These were all movies that were in stock and would supposedly be immediately shipped.
So to add insult to injury tonight, Friday night, I get an email from them saying they received the first two movies and are now shipping my 4th and 5th out. That was suppose to have been done last Tueday when I turned them in to the local blockbuster! What's going on here?
I went online and double checked the wording to make sure it was how I was told. It is. So I tried to contact them but they have no real contact information on the contact page. It should be renamed from "Contact Us" to "FAQ". Contrast this to Netflix which has the wharehouse hours and phone numbers prominently displayed on the home page.
Do they ship on Saturday? No where do they say anything about shipping on Saturday.

I originally assumed on average I'd get a movie every three business days. Figuring it would take on average two days to arrive and one day to watch. Now it's looking like 3 days to arrive, 1 day to watch, and 3 days to send back. So a little less than 1 movie per week.

Figure in the other 2 movies and the 3 exchange movies then you are getting about 6 movies a week for a totaly of 24 a month at $18 or 75 cents per movie. Compared to 61 movies a month at $27 for 46 cents per movie and limited to the local blockbusters inventory. Can't say I'm happy but this is much much better than Netflix.

Now Netflix is suppose to be doing something new with downloads but won't be available until June:

With Watch Now Netflix subscribers will be given a number of free viewing hours that is dependent on their respective subscription plans. Customers subscribing to the tune of $5.99 per month are given six hours of Watch Now content, while the $17.99 per month guy or gal will be hooked up with 18 hours of Watch Now content.

Using this service requires users to download and install a browser application to use the service. At this time this application only works on Windows PCs, not Macs, which leaves the author, a devoted Mac user and Netflix subscriber, out in the cold!

I have a hard time believing that they will sell anything at that price. The cost comes out to about $2 per movie. Blah! Time will tell.

Since then I've found there contact information:

Telephone Support is also available Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Central at 1-866-692-2789

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