Customer Service Showdown: Blockbuster vs. Netflix

On Friday night, I received an email from my Blockbuster rewards account informing me that my subscription plan would be ending at the end of the month and I would have to choose a new one. The email then states that the most similar plan to the one that I had is $7.00 more per month and I would not be able to exchange mailed movies in-store in an unlimited capacity. After I did some digging, I found this to be a mistake and the $25.00 subscription is for unlimited in-store rentals but I was pissed nonetheless because I had to look…

My issue is that Blockbuster’s online service is terrible (although I will say that the in store staff in Glassboro is excellent and friendly – consistently). A returned movie may get back to the processing hub within 24 hours, but it takes several days to ship new movies to you, their online queue robot is buggy and gets confused if the movie you want is in waiting status (it doesn’t skip to the next one). In store movie selection usually sucks: old movies are quite limited, and the newest movies are always out (it takes about three weeks to snag them). In the last month, their online queue has been getting backed up for movies that you would never guess would have a wait (Karate Kid, North by Northwest). Blockbuster’s direct competitor Netflix online service is much better although they don’t have a store to go in a get movies, but you can watch movies on demand online as part of your subscription process. Netflix recently reduced their subscriptions by $1.

Bottom line: I am going to let my remaining 44 movies in my Blockbuster queue ship and then I am canceling the service and going back to Netflix unless I see a massive improvement with their online service.

I just dropped off movies at blockbuster and wasted 40 minutes due to their crap selection in store. When I got in line, I heard the gentleman in front of me asked the staff (who is newer) about the change in the program. The manager made it seem like nothing is different and I open my mouth and say that they are taking away the unlimited in store movies for the current price ($18) he was paying or you get to pay an addition $7.00 per month for the same service.

The man wasn’t happy and the store manager proceeds to tell us both that Blockbuster was doing us a favor before by giving us the service at that price. I THEN find out that they are doing away with the free monthly gaming coupon as well. The manager asks me if I am really unhappy with the change. I replied to him with “you are charging me 25% more and giving me less services, what do you think?” The guy says you can always cancel.

What an asshole.

The website makes it seem that the $25.00 plan allows you to rent unlimited games, but the guy in the store said that isn’t the case. I must verify.

Update to follow

Not getting free game coupons anymore. You get a “discount” which as of yet seems undefined (probably $3.00 off the $6.00 game rental).

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