Mar 24, 2009

Blockbuster Succeeds in Keeping People Out of Their Stores

The title of this post may just become reality if Blockbuster keeps going down the road they are going. Flash back a few years ago when they first got into the online, video by mail game to compete with the fast rising Netflix. Back then, Blockbuster would pull out all the stops to retain their dominance in the world of video rentals.

One of the things that Blockbuster was offering was unlimited in store rentals along with your online rentals. All you had to do was take your mailers into the store and trade them in. Bam! Automatically you are now getting twice the videos that Netflix could offer. Also when you turned your mailer into the store, the next videos in your queue would get mailed out, so you would get them faster.

One of the reasons I left Netflix was because I was "renting too fast" so they began sending my videos from a distribution center on the east coast instead of from the L.A. distribution center a few hours away. I was getting a little tired of that, and told Netflix that if they didn't start shipping to me faster again that they would lose a customer... They did!

I gladly left for the welcoming arms of Blockbuster's online program. It was faster, and I could get the free in store videos too. Win win!

That didn't last too long. About a year after they were offering the unlimited in-store rentals, they lessened that number to only 5 per month. I guess there were a lot of people like me that took full advantage of the fast shipping, and the unlimited in store rentals. Still, 5 free per month still gave me 5 more videos than I would have with Netflix.

Well, I just found out tonight that Blockbuster will still give me free in store rentals, now with no due dates, or late fees. What's the catch? Now I won't get any movies from online until I return them to the store... So where is the incentive now? Now I am not getting any more movies than I would with netflix. I might as well not go to the store now.

One of the reasons for using online rentals is for the convenience right? Without the added benefit of the EXTRA in store rentals, why the hell would I waste my precious gas driving to the store?

I foresee many more people like me going exclusively back to the convenience of online. Hell, I may even venture back over to Netflix. I mean, they offer downloads along with the videos you get in the mail (I guess Blockbuster does too though). Who knows?

What do you guys think? Stick with Blockbuster? Go back to Netflix? What would you do?

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