I Hate Blockbuster Online

So, this is going to be quite a rant. Consider yourself warned.

I absolutely hate Blockbuster. Hate Hate Hate. I am a forgiving person. Perfection is a process, and so I expect some growing pains in the process. To that end, when it comes to companies, I have a 3 strike rule. I will give a company 3 chances. If they blow it, not only will I never interact with that company again, but I make it my mission in life to warn others about the negatives of the company, and to vociferously express my displeasure.

My first negative interaction with Blockbuster was in late 2007. I had been signed up for the Blockbuster online service for a few months, when all of a sudden the price increased. Then, just a month or two later, it increased again. What to me had been a great deal was suddenly a waste of money. I cancelled. Strike 1.

Strike 2 took place not long after. I had realized while using Blockbuster online that there was a more efficient way to distribute their videos. If my calculations were right, the suggestions I had could save Blockbuster $5-$10 million dollars per year, maybe more. I wrote  a letter to the CEO explaining that I had noticed a flaw in the system, and would be willing to sell them the solution. I gave some details, and some numbers to back it up. I never heard back. Strike 2.

September of last year, we decided to give Blockbuster Online another try. We are avid movie buffs, and over the last 6 months, between videos shipped from online and in-store exchanges, we rented a total of 180 movies, averaging out to about $1/per movie, on par with RedBox. Just today, I got online to check what movies were coming next, and noticed that yet another change had been made to Blockbuster Online.

It now appears that when you exchange an online movie in-store, Blockbuster Online no longer ships your next online movie until the in-store movie has been returned. The whole reason we chose the in-store exchange option was to have something to watch while we waited for our next online videos to arrive. Strike 3.

What a freakin ripoff!  I will never use Blockbuster again, not online, not in-store. I will use Netflix and RedBox exclusively, and I strongly encourage everyone else to do the same. In my opinion, Blockbuster is a greedy company that is more concerned with showing their investors a profit than taking care of their customers.

If a company treats me well, I will do everything in my power to build up that company, to spread their name and service to my friends an colleagues. I am an Internet marketer by trade, and I have helped small companies that treated me right to grow significantly.

The flip side is also true. If I feel mistreated by a company, I will go to the ends of the earth to bring that company crashing down. I HATE companies that treat customers as objects, as a means to an end. Customers are the lifeblood of a company, and if you ostracize a customer, you may just seal your fate.


UPDATE: So, I talked to the owner of the local Blockbuster yesterday, and he told me some interesting information. He said that Blockbuster corportate offices had sent out a letter prior to making the latest change (not sending the next online videos until the in-store exchanges were returned.) They told the franchise owners and store managers that there would be a lot of pissed off people, and that a lot of people would likely be quitting the Blockbuster Online service.

I guess the problem was that people were using the in-store exchanges on lots of new releases, and then keeping them out for weeks, causing the stores a lot of lost revenue. Still, I think this is a load of crap. Instead of doing something fair, like imposing a 2-4 day due date on in-store exchanges, they just took away the one thing that made Blockbuster Online better than Netflix.

9 thoughts on “I Hate Blockbuster Online”

  1. Your reasons are the exact same reason why I am quitting online Blockbuster. The latest change is what broke the camels back. Having to wait until the in store movie is returned before shipping out a new movie was the ultimate deal breaker. I also will do whatever I can NOT to use Blockbuster again. They are a greedy company.

  2. I have to say I agree. Blockbuster thinks of every way possible to cheat it customers. All this came about when a CEO wanted to better customer service reports so earnings would climb. The pressure was pushed down from above so instead of improving customer service they put more controls for online rentals so customers could not report an issue against a rental. This way they mask their issues. Then they dump millions on bonus payouts end of year 08 while remaining 700m of unsecured debt Lets penalize the consumer, I hate blockbuster !!!!! Go Red! Oh and after the bonuses they stopped paying their bills so they have a crap library now!

  3. I found this site by googling “i hate blockbuster” – I knew there had to be others out there. I completely agree with those above, but a couple other things you guys didn’t mention:

    #1 Their website absolutely sucks, and it’s almost impossible to find a list of recently released movies somewhat equivalent of what you might see on their new releases wall in the store…like, how hard would it be to make a list like that?

    #2 Their policy about managing your “queue” is completely ridiculous. A few months back I contacted them because they didn’t send out a new movie to me right away, and I couldn’t figure out why. Even though there were ‘available’ movies in my queue, they said that not all ‘available’ movies are actually available from all distribution centers, and that sending it from another center might take an extra day or two. So instead of sending it from another center and making me wait that extra day or two, they just didn’t send the movie at all…uhhh – are you kidding???

    I just recently contacted them because once again I noticed they hadn’t shipped me a movie when they should have. This time they said that since the movies near the top of my queue were either not available, or had short or long wait times, that they were waiting a couple days to see if one of those became available – even though I have other movies on my queue that are currently available!!! Their suggestion was to move the ones with wait times down on my list and put the available ones near the top…the only thing that ensures is that I’ll never get the movies that I really want when they are available since they’ll no longer be at the top of my list. How completely stupid are these people???

  4. I also totally agree and have recently cancelled my membership. The reasoning was a little different from the others, I rented and returned my two movies, and were awaiting the next two from the queue. While not getting the movies, I went onto the site only to find that the Post Office received and scanned the movie but somehow forgot to deliver it back to Blockbuster. So they chose to freeze my rentals until the Post Office finds it in their hearts to deliver it back!!!. I contacted customer service, received some of the worst excuses, but still refused to clear my queue, again, all while the Post Office has the movie! They intended to clear it up by sending my coupons! For what? It is a bad experience visiting a brick and mortar store. (My neighborhood store has the nastiest people working there and I refuse to deal with them…) So, I am now with Netflix and quite happy. They will never see my business again. No wonder they are losing money..


    THIS IS MY REPLY – “I went online and canceled my account a while ago and now I got a movie in the mail and saw a charge on my credit card. I DO NOT want an account with blockbuster. I have returned the movies – unviewed – and want a refund of my money. I looked at the website and your cancelation process is VERY misleading. I see how the ‘on hold’ trick got me. I WANT MY MONEY BACK RIGHT FU*(&(*ING NOW OR I AM GOING TO BLOG ALL WEEKEND ABOUT YOUR BULLSHIT COMPANY. Please have someone email me when the money is returned to my account!!!!!!!! I am NEVER doing business with you again. ”


  6. I work for them and I hate them.

    Everytime a customer comes in frustrated and fed up threatening to go with RedBox, I tell them to go for Netflix instead – if you watch a lot of movies, they’re less expensive overall. 🙂

    1. Amen to that. I use RedBox for new releases, and NetFlix for the older and more obscure stuff, tv seasons, etc. Sorry you work for Blockbuster 🙁

  7. i’ve fixed all your problems with any movie renting company……. GO READ A BOOK! oh and when it’s a friday night, you STILL go to blockbuster because netflix doesn’t have a store for you to way into and redbox only has 10 copies of each new movie. so please just go find a boarders near you because blockbuster doesn’t care and doesn’t want your business. ass.

    1. Actually, I have a personal book library in excess of 5,000 books, quite a few from Borders 🙂 You, sir, are the ass, and should refrain from making comments if you have nothing constructive or intelligent to add to the conversation!

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