Friday, 17 August 2007

UPDATED: On December 19, 2007 Blockbuster notified its customers that it is once again increasing rates for the Total Access service. Click here for more information.

Nothing like BS marketing diversionary explanations for what amounts to a profiteering move. Come on, Blockbuster - we're not stupid... Tell it like it is.

It looks like the great Blockbuster Total Access Premium plan I've been on was a little too good to be true, and Blockbuster is reeling in some line to cut back on the likely massive number of free in-store rentals they've been handing out for free when customers return their online rentals to the brick-and-mortar stores. I know I have enjoyed that service, but I'm not especially enjoying the news I just got in email this evening telling me my account is changing.

In a nutshell, for the price I have been paying all along I will get less. I can still get 3 DVDs at a time, but will only be able to exchange five of the online movies for in-store rentals each month, where before there was no limit. To get what I'm used to, I'll have to pay another $7.00 a month. Looks like I have some decisions to make.

Here's the plan I have today, at least the next week or two...

Your Current Plan: BLOCKBUSTER Total Access Premium 

  • $17.99 / month (plus taxes)
  • 3 at-a-time, unlimited mailings
  • unlimited in-store free movie/discounted game exchanges
  • +2 FREE bonus Movie or Game Rental E-Coupon / Month

And below is the chart from their web site with the new plans. Ouch...


The other thing that really gets me is the lame explanation (my opinion) they provided for why they're pre-determining and limiting the number of in-store rental exchanges they're allowing each month. This is taken from their online FAQ (emphasis mine):

QUESTION: Why is BLOCKBUSTER offering plans with a pre-determined number of monthly in-store movie exchanges?

ANSWER: We are now offering a full range of subscription options so that our customers can more easily find a plan that meets their specific needs, whether that means a basic online-only service without any in-store exchange privileges or a premium plan that includes unlimited in-store exchanges. Our new line-up of plans allow subscribers to get the right number of movies for their needs. Current subscribers are welcome to change their plan at any time by going to My Account.

What?? I already had a plan that met my needs, the very same plan that now costs $24.99, and which used to cost $17.99. Gah.

Why can't they just say it: They want/need to make more money and this makes it possible. Seriously, open and honest explanations about the obvious reasons would be much easier to swallow. In fact, if they told us the reason for the increase is because they didn't anticipate lower margins associated with lots of unlimited exchanges in the store, I might even consider paying the higher price to keep the same level of service. But putting forth what looks like a veiled, lame excuse for a reason doesn't exactly motivate me to do even more business with the company. Hey Blockbuster, just tell us what's really up -- please.

Oh and another thing - If you have one of the accounts with the limited in-store exchanges, apparently the counter for tracking your the in-store exchanges is based on how many you do in a calendar month, not per billing period.

Because I have been with the Total Access program for some time, I have also been getting two e-coupons a month for free in-store movie or game rentals. But I can't tell whether I will still get those after this change takes place. I might have to contact their customer support to find out. I hope they're keeping those in place for their longer-term customers.

Am I just whining here, or do you feel my pain? Are you affected by this change? What do you think?

Add/Read: Comments [32]
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Friday, 17 August 2007 20:33:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Saturday, 18 August 2007 05:12:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Lame to say the least.

I couldn't find where they stated a MAXIMUM of five in-store exchanges per month.

Very vague.

A pox on you, Blockbuster!

It's been interesting to say the least to watch while Blockbuster and Netflix continually duke it out in the marketplace.

They are at each other's throats and one of them is going to drown in a sea of red ink soon.

I'm all for DVD burn-in-demand - coming to a retail outlet (Walgreens, CVS, any retailer) near you.
Bill Kisse
Saturday, 18 August 2007 06:17:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Amazing they would do that at the same time Netflix just LOWERED my monthly charge.
Saturday, 18 August 2007 09:53:52 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
And when I asked exactly how many in-store exchanges are allowed each month I got this "canned" response from their customer service department:

Hello William,

Thank you for contacting BLOCKBUSTER Online Customer Service.

I appreciate the time you have taken to write to us, William.

Like all retail businesses, we must periodically review our pricing structure. In introducing a wider range of subscription plans, we considered a number of factors including the number of in-store exchanges on a given account. We’re giving our most frequent renters like yourself the option of either continuing with unlimited in-store exchanges at a higher price point or moving to a plan where the number of in-store exchanges is fixed if you'd like to continue with the same rate.

We feel we are still delivering a great consumer value and encourage you to continue your membership by selecting one of the new plans we offer. You can find the details of what is available via "My Account" in the "Subscription Plan" area. Please remember that if you do not select one of the new plans we have to offer before your next regular billing date, we will not be automatically renewing your membership. Thank you very much for your inquiry.

Again, thank you very much for writing to us. We take feedbacks and suggestion seriously. Blockbuster is open to all of that to help improve our service and to be able to give a better help to you, our customers.

We will do our best to resolve this matter. For the mean time, please smile and enjoy your day.

Always glad to be of help,

Customer Care Associate
Bill Kisse
Saturday, 18 August 2007 10:00:36 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Uh, wow...

Again, thank you very much for writing to us. We take feedbacks and suggestion seriously. Blockbuster is open to all of that to help improve our service and to be able to give a better help to you, our customers.

We will do our best to resolve this matter. For the mean time, please smile and enjoy your day.

Now I see why companies make their employees use the canned responses...
Monday, 20 August 2007 10:11:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I was very upset by this. I have the same, rent 3 at a time plan, for $17.99 a month.

I was shocked to read the e-mail I received, telling me that the rate would be going up. Mostly because recently, when I exchanged my movies in-store, the past few times they have taken WAY too long to ship. I had been receiving my new movies within 3 days of returning the old ones to the store. This past time, I've been waiting 8 days (not including Sunday), and have yet to receive new movies.

I've written e-mails to customer service about how disappointed I was, by the time that it took for me to receive my movies. Customer service replied with a very generic response. They told me to make sure that I had movies available in my queue, when I had specified in the e-mail that there were 20+ available movies in it.

Blockbuster's customer service is very automated. They don't care about the customers.

Does any one know how to contact someone from the company via phone? I've searched the site for a phone number and was unable to locate one. Perhaps, I overlooked the number or perhaps they don't want it to be found.
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 13:19:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Let me start by saying that i definitely abused the system, by getting movies in the mail with the sole purpose of receiving free in-store rentals. that being said, there is nothing that said you can't do that. Now I was talking to a friend, and she never received notice of said rate increase, and asked the clerk at the local BB, and he said the rates are only effecting people who "abused" the system, and she would have nothing to worry about.
Now i see where BB is coming from, but is this even legal? Now I'll probably stick with my plan, and pay $25/month, and still make out, but I'm really feeling screwed here.
Thursday, 23 August 2007 17:41:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I can't say I abused the system, I simply used it. And apparently depending on how many movies you got in-store for free, they either are or are not letting you stay where you're at. I am in the forced-change camp.

Here is what I got in response from Blockbuster, which confirms this (added emphasis is mine). Some people have received emails saying similarly that some people are forced to change, while others are not. Sounds like Sprint did recently, but they fired their customers. At least Blockbuster's not going that far.

Hello Greg,

Thanks for contacting BLOCKBUSTER Online Customer Care.

I greatly appreciate for bringing this to our attention, Greg. Like all retail businesses, we must periodically review our products and services structure. In introducing a wider range of subscription plans, we considered a number of factors related to online memberships including in-store activity on a given account. We’re giving our most frequent renters like yourself the option of either continuing with limited in-store exchanges at a the same price point or moving to a new plan if you'd like to continue your unlimited exchanges and agree to a higher price point. Unfortunately, eCoupons are no longer available.

We feel we are still delivering a great consumer value and encourage you continue with the new terms or consider one of the new plans we offer. You can find the details of other plans that are available via "My Account" in the "Subscription Plan" area. If you make no changes online or we don't hear from you, please remember that the changes mentioned will take effect on your regular monthly billing date following August 30th, 2007. Thank you very much for your inquiry.


Customer Care Associate

So some people, apparently those who took a few less movies out for free exchange, are being told nothing will change automaticaly, but those of us who crossed some unknown threshold(s) are being automatically converted. Or so it seems.

The thing that bothers me more than the fact that I will end up paying more is that the ecoupons, which I was receiving as a result of being a customer for so long, will be going away, according to the email. So much for valuing customer longevity. Oh well. Time to check out what NetFlix is doing these days and then make a decision, I guess. Too bad I feel like I need to do that, though.
Friday, 24 August 2007 17:48:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
It's so interesting to read these comments....
I was recently hired as a supervisor for Blockbuster Online Customer Service...and I have to say that I regret every minute of it...the only reason I'm still there is because I live in a small town and there's nowhere else to go but I am currently looking for another job. We had started with 100 operators and are now left with just above 50. The reason for this is the BS we're fed to feed our customers.
I cringe every time one of the representatives asks me to take a supervisor call from a customer who is complaining about the price changes, shipping time, not getting movies at the top of the Queue etc. and many of those customer are so irate with BB and believe me I DO understand why and it gets VERY frustrating when I'm not able to provide them with the answers they're looking for.
Corporate makes all of the decisions and lays low while they leave us to deal with the issue...and that's fine if they provide us with information...which they don't...what you guys got off of the website under the FAQs is the same verbage they told us to use...well actually they hadn't provided information on who got grandfathered and who didn't and how they got grandfathered...and we found out on the same day as those emails went out with the price changes...we never have prior notice when things happen and when they do we're stuck taking the heat while the big guys at the top are on their boats smoking cigars and counting their money...
They don't even provide us with a corporate phone number to call them incase of an emergency...basically we have to deal with whatever issue arises...and customers don't believe us when we tell them that we don't have a phone number all we have is an address that you can write to and we know where those letters go...
So for those of you who call us and get a BS answer, please try to understand that we feel your pain...and we would like to help if we could...but they really don't provide us with the tools to do so...and let me tell you...all of the supervisors have just about had it...a few of us have chosen to rent movies from a different company after working for BB because we just can't stand to see the sight of the stores anymore...which is another issue that I won't go into too much detail about but the stores have no idea how online works...they try to come up with answers on their own and about 99% of the time it's wrong....I'll save that story for another time...on why the store was pushing Total Access so much and the things that went wrong there...
Thursday, 30 August 2007 10:49:15 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I just called Blockbuster Corporate offices and tried to reach one of the head honchos. I left my name and telephone number, but have not heard back. The number is 214-854-3000. I guess I too am one of those customers that have abused the system, but honestly did not intend to do so. I was just following the rules that they set up. It penalizes people who are retired. Obviously we have more time to watch movies than someone who is working. This has to be illegal, especially if it is based on the usage of their service, which is also a factor of your age.

I didn't answer the alert and they summarily cancelled me, leaving me paying for over 10 days of rentals that I have paid for but didn't receive. I have returned my movies to them on Monday, and they have received all the movies back, but NO new movies have been mailed out to me.

Customer Service: What customer service??? My main complaint was that the people who responded to the emails, never bothered to read the email. Their response was not even relevant to the complaint. It was so frustrating that I stopped sending emails and called the customer care. BIG MISTAKE.

What I am most incensed about is all the time that I used up, rating their movies. When it came to recommendations, they only recommended movies I had already seen.
Friday, 31 August 2007 20:28:59 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
The last few months have been a great deal for BB online subscribers since the addition of the in-store exchanges. Anyone living near a BB store the deal was just too good not to enjoy regardless of the typical BB screw-ups.

BB was trying to run NetFlix out of business . . . plain & simple. They have done similar undercutting to drive independent video stores and a number of chains out of business over the years. And now they had NetFlix in their sights. Problem was how long could BB go without profits to crush this well established competitor. Now we know - - not long enough! NetFlix, though far from perfect, runs a more comprehensive and efficient online rental business and kept more of its customer base than BB thought.

For most areas, NetFlix's mail time is less than BB and their FREE instant movie downloads offset to some degree the BB in-store exchange advantage. So, if you lived near a BB store they had the best deal and if you were not near a store, NetFlix had the obvious best deal.

Now, the BB pencil pushers have prevailed and the BB giveaway is over. There will probably be some lawsuits over what appears to be customer cherry picking. Keeping the low rental turnover ones while actually canceling the active renters. Of course, they can re-subscribe at higher costs or less benefits.

I'm just glad BB didn't achieve the market monopoly they sought online that they have achieved with their brick-and-motor stores over the years. Their special arrangements with the distributors have made it almost impossible to compete with their stores.

So, the “new” BB on-line rental plans are still a good deal (still better than last year) but the way they have handled this change has been so horrendous that I’m sure they will lose many more customers than they expect. Like so many big corporations they focused on what looks good on paper and dismissed the people factor.

So, even a longtime BB customer (since 1985) such as myself will not re-subscribe to one of BB’s “new” plans and will continue with NetFlix instead.

Monday, 03 September 2007 07:58:02 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I have to agree with all of you. This treatment of customers is beyond abysmal. Neither service cares much about their customers and the rules and policies they make at any whim just further alienate you...but what can you do? They are the big boys and have what we want. Both are snakes. If it's not throttling on Netflix it's changing the Total Access policies on BB. I really wish there were more players in the game to step in and do something that makes the other 2 work.

I mean you offer a better deal in hopes I cancel Netflix and then when I do you raise the rates and lower your offering? That is bait and switch if I ever heard of it.

Nice move, BB, cancelling me since I didn't choose a new package and then not sending me any movies for the last week of my subscription. Who does that? Who just lets someone's account expire due to inaction? I really wish the free credit report people or the fitness club people subscribed to that philosophy.

Can't wait for the class action suits to follow this one...gonna be 1st in line to be a plaintiff. I recommend each of you write a complaint to your state's attorney general about their business practices. Offering an all-you-can-eat pricing structure and then ensuring that every time you went back to the buffet there were no clean plates - which are required - is surely illegal. Throttling sure be illegal as should bait and switch. Don't compete in the space if you can't offer what you promise.

Here is a link to find your attorney general:

Tuesday, 04 September 2007 18:31:59 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I too got dropped simply because I used the service. I am trying not to be mad, but to get even by renting at our local library and picking up a musical instrument instead.

The best part of the unlimited exchange was that I got a good walk going to the store. The store personnnel were very friendly where I went. As such, I rarely kept the movies past the due date.

I too got clipped for the last week or so with no new movies.

I always thought the idea was to get us customers into the store, so we would buy other stuff. Unfortunatley, my store had primarily only candy and microwave popcorn for sale. It was the failure to be able to offer us customers any useful products or services once we were in the store that made in store exchange a money losing proposition.

By By Blockhead Online

Mr. Dropped
Monday, 10 September 2007 16:44:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I was also cancelled before my paid service contract was up. I was given 2 weeks of additional "cancelled service" to compensate for the early termination - that's right, 2 more weeks of nothing.

From the limited law classes I have taken, this appears to be a clear case of "breach of contract".

Where do we start with the class action suit, I'm ready.

Sunday, 16 September 2007 08:08:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
For those who feel guilty of abusing BB for using what they offered, I don't feel your pain. LOL. Look up bait and switch. They screwed up and now they want us to pay for it and cop to platitudes in explanation. I kind of feel sorry for the folks on the front lines in the stores. My guess is that there will be some injunctions and class action suit when the AG's of several states get wind of this latest scam.

What would be kinda fun is if ya'll are really going for the gold is to picket the stores. If it's just internet psychobabble, post all over the place. By picketing,ya'll may even get your name and picture in the movies.
Friday, 21 September 2007 15:50:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I just have to say that I am not going to let Blockbuster keep a refund of $89.98 due to me. Long story short. Submitted cancellation and for 5 months still got billed $17.99 per month. BB sais they never received cancellation. So that makes it my problem. I have started giving out this information.

Viacom Owns Blockbuster. Blockbuster is a rip off. I think we all need to call Viacom instead of BB Customer Service since they are no help what so ever. Maybe Viacom will help. It is worth a try.

The number is 212-258-6000 ask for public relations. Viacom is located in NY.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007 10:06:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
After being with Netflix for a couple of years I switched to BB when they advertised the "unlimited store exchanges". Since I live within a proximity of one I thought it was a good deal for same price I paid for Netflix. In August I get an email saying the terms of my agreement with BB were changing. Now, for the same price as before I no longer get a monthly coupon and my exchanges are limited to only 2 a month. Can't say I abused the plan, however, it was great to have had the ability to drop by at BB store and exchange the mailed movie for the latest releases. I also noticed that latest releases were always designated as a "short wait" or a "long wait" and thus, counting on getting them soon was too optimistic. I contacted BB customer service and after speaking to a representative was transferred to a supervisor. She was VERY RUDE and kept saying that if I did not like the change to cancel the subscription. I asked her if I could talk to someone else or to their headquarters. She said NO and that she was the "final authority in this matter".
I will be writing to the Attorney General to seek his actions in this matter. It is a clear case of "bait and switch" and BB should NOT get away with this.
Dan Konigsberg
Wednesday, 03 October 2007 19:05:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)

Remember in '05 when 47 States Settle With Blockbuster over its advertising "No Late Fees" program. I guess that they didn't learn their lesson. Like most of you my wife and I recently found out the same shocking news of the change. Customer service for blockbuster was useless. I would hope that anyone effected would contact the Attorney General for their respective state to complain

If you don't know or don't remember about the issue I referred to here is some referrence material from the Florida AG's website.

March 29, 2005
Media Contact: Sandi Copes
Phone: (850) 245-0150

For the state of Florida here is some Attorney General contact information:

Fraud Hotline

(850) 487-2564

Citizen Services
(850) 414-3990
Sunday, 21 October 2007 04:56:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I just realized the "bait and switch"....I had been told I reached the "limit" end of September, and was surprised, I had never had a limit before, but the last month, I had discovered the series "House" and was using the exchange policy like crazy, then catching up on the series "weeds" , and I guess I went from a "good" customer to a "bad" I am on the restricted access...hit that five movie in-store exchange rate pretty fast...
Then I hit it again...the limit...that is when I did a web search and found this blog....yeppers...they hit their limit...netfli x held on...and, funny thing, I have been recommending BB over NF to everyone...and now the limits...things have changed...the brick and mortar store is a little out of the way for me, so it is a toss up between the two, now.
and, come to think of it...the big push to sell candy and other merchandize has abated somewhat. The change must be working. I wonder if I would have stayed on the "good" list if I would have made in-store purchases??? Business is business, I suppose, but I was caught off guard. I will try the "premium" for a month to test return times, but , I am was nice to move through the series and catch up on
Sunday, 28 October 2007 08:37:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
It's no wonder I can't find a phone number or address where I can send a letter of complaint on Blockbuster's Web site. My sister works for this chain and I she's getting more and more disgusted lately. The customers, she says, are so angry all the time and I can totally see why. She told me I wasn't supposed to lose my e-coupons when they changed their rates, but maybe that's as much as BB told her.

For the past few months, I have had to email customer service for my e-coupons. Like all the rest of their correspondence, I got a canned response. Last time whoever (or whatever) launched the message couldn't decide whether his/her/its name was Paul or Marianne.

Maybe I should send them canned messages each month. I'm going to look into my email account and see if there is a way to automatically send the same message periodically each month asking for my e-coupon. So far, they have been sending me links to the e-coupons. I hate to spend more time on this than they apparently do to get what they promised me. Take that Blockbuster!!
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 20:32:12 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I am with all of you - please let me join the class action - this is poor business practices. I will NEVER even step foot in a blockbuster again!
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 23:07:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
They did it again - 4 months after the last increase - my 2 discs unlimited instore return went up $ 8!! I will not - absolutely will not stand for it - but I have learned from reading this blog - I must wait close to my billing cycle or I will get canceled with no movies - paying for a month where I do not get a thing - so I will set my work calendar to call them close to the time. I dropped Netflix for extreme throttling. Now I am going to possibly go back to Netflix - hey they are not stupid - they are to give me $ 20 in credit and if that does not work out - then I will start at the Library with rented DVD's or try the kiosks at Wally world - aren't those like a $ 1?? For my $ 30 plus tax at BB, I could see a movie every single freakin day at my local supermarket - at this rate, we might as well buy the discs themselves from the bargain bin. It is truly hideous how they treat us.
Thursday, 20 December 2007 07:10:20 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
866 692 2789 is supposedly the online customer service number, and when they pick up it says all account accessing information is currently down. Blockbuster is a ripoff and doesn't want to deal with it.
Monday, 31 December 2007 11:47:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
For those of you who would like to know, the Above referenced phone number of 866-692-2789 is a correct number and now works. I will tell you this though, it is not easy to find this nunber!
If you have or had a Blockbuster account the "contact us" link only provides a channel for written contact and no phone numbers. I also recieved a generic response in regards to my e-mail that I send to Blockbuster asking them why they had raised my rates twice in 2 months!!! They did not privde me with a phone contact and only stated that the "Terms and Conditions" stated that my monthly charges are subject to change at their discretion. Rediculous, I know! After speaking at lenth with the semi rude and uncaring Customer Service Professional on the phone number listed above I was told that there was nothing they could do other than raise my rates in accordance with the new ones. I stated that have have switched to Netflix and the lady told me that Blockbuster's plans were better! HA! what a joke! Why doesn't Netflix open a store, now there would be some good competition, or how about Hollywood Video? Why not?
As someone in a previoius post said, I truly agree. I WILL NEVER SET FOOT IN THE COPORATE MISHAP KNOWN AS BLOCKBUSTER EVER AGAIN!!!!!! The term Customer Service has fallen by the wayside with the rest of the things we used to know and love 20 years (or more) ago. It is sad to see that Compamies don't care about the people that keep them in business. I am calling for an all out strike of Blockbuster and its ludicrous policies. And yes, it is Hideous how they treat us.
Sunday, 06 January 2008 05:21:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I don't see how anyone is abusing Blockbuster by using the membership they are paying for. Members would be foolish not to take benefit from what Blockbuster is offering us when we subscribe to a plan. WE ARE NOT STEALING OR ABUSING the system. The problem with Blockbuster starts at the top, and you know what they say about the direction sh_t travels! BLOCKBUSTER NEEDS TO CLEAN HOUSE!! STARTING AT THE TOP!! That's where the prolems start!
Sunday, 06 January 2008 05:23:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Just in case anyone is looking for a # for blockbuster near Phila,Pa 1866-692-2789
Monday, 07 January 2008 10:12:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
NO, your not complaining one bit,,,I just found out about all of this when I accidentally got to the plans. I then noticed the changes in my plan. I too did not get any notification of the changes. I too emailed the company and received the same answer of plans need to change,blah, blah,blah. But here is the thing, when you go to the FREQUENT QUESTIONS, there is one that says"why is my freinds plan getting more movies than I",,,,answer, it depends on the plan that person signed up for at that time.???????????????????? This is just getting out of hand and the money is getting out of MY hands for the changes.
Monday, 07 January 2008 15:09:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I was on the in-store plan for a while - 3 at a time, no monthly limit, no late fees at about $27 a month. When I first switched to the $17 Total Access Plan it sounded too good to be true - from the advertisements it sounded like my current plan plus online rentals for $10 a month less.

HAH, what fool I was!

The first thing I found out was what they meant my "No Late Fees." Yeah, instead of a late fee you have to buy the movie. Then I had problems getting sets in order. Season 2 Episode 3 arrived before Episode 1 or 2. Then it took a month to get Episode 1. All the time I'm paying for nothing.

Then the bait and switch, and then the rates going up AGAIN, and now I've been waiting for Season 8 of SG1 since December 17. I checked Netflix and it is available NOW. So I signed up for Netflix and tried to cancel my Blockbuster membership. But NOW the Blockbuster site is down completely and custmer support can't do anything!

I've had it. The Blockbuster store is only 1 block from my house, but despite the convenience, I'd rather wait for a movie from Netflix. I've already watched two movies online.
Jim Henley
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 07:48:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
It's all a friggin scam I called and cancelled, they are most definately doing a bait and switch. My rates like everyone elses went up from 17$ mo to like 32$ w/o them even telling me, they need to be investigated and fined by the FEDS!!!!! For the principal of it I switched to Netflix
Thursday, 17 January 2008 15:35:33 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I got screwed too! In addition to the rapid price increases, the actual online service has really been horrible (especially compared to Netflix, even with the throttling). Like a previous poster mentioned, it was not unusual to get series discs completely out of order, or have 1 disc in a series completely unavailable. The ship times were 4 to 5 days compared to NetFlix's 1-2 days. Worst of all, I had 2 incidents where children's movies I ordered were sent with semi-pronographic movies inside! The first was when I ordered "Fairy Tale" (the story of two children who find real-life faeries, and instead got, "Fairy Tales: An Erotic Fantasy!" Just this week, I ordered "Birdman and the Galaxy Trio," a childhood cartoon I wanted to share with my sons, and in the sleeve I received "The L Word Season 4 Disc4." When I called to complain, the customer service representatives chuckled about the incidents as if to say, "haha that is funny that your children got soft-core pornography." Unbelievable.
Friday, 07 March 2008 17:30:48 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I am looking for as many ways as possible to complain online about Blockbuster's bait-and-switch tactics with their Total Access program. I figure it's Buyer Beware, so we have to help each other beware.

I even emailed Blockbuster to give them a chance to try to make things right, asking how they expected me to stay with them after they had decided BOTH to give me LESS and to charge me MORE within 3 months of each other.

I even mentioned that, to make matters worse, all of the Blockbuster stores around me are closing, thus making the in-store exchanges even more difficult.

For anyone interested, here is the horseshit they fed me on my way out the door back to Netflix:

Thanks for contacting BLOCKBUSTER Online Customer Care.

"I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused. We previously sent out an e-mail communication informing you of the recent changes to our subscription plans. Perhaps this e-mail was automatically routed to a SPAM/Junk folder or possibly overlooked.

We've reviewed our pricing structure and found that to get a better balance of providing great value for Total Access subscribers while still making it affordable for us, as of December 27, 2007, we have restructured the prices of our Total Access subscription plans.

The vast majority of our Total Access customers will only have a $2 increase in their plans. We believe that even with this price change, we’re offering an excellent value for customers who prefer the convenience of in-store or on-line Total Access, while striking the right balance between providing great value to our subscribers and getting a fair return for the company and our shareholders. Plus, the price adjustment enables us to bring our online subscription plans more in line with our in-store subscription pricing.

You'll still continue to get the same great benefits and value from Total Access such as free in-store movie exchanges valid on DVD rentals, including HD-DVD, Blu-ray, and even $4.99 game rental discounts with an online envelope."
Wednesday, 19 March 2008 14:49:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
This is about Netflix.

Netflix's recent move to provide "unlimited" would have been the coolest thing ever---if it weren't a lie and a rip off.

That's right. After you watch your 17 hours of seamless streaming movies, it starts crashing your browser for you. So some folks are not actually GETTING the unlimited hours. Officially, they're on unlimited, technically however, Netflix prevents it.

This is a classic bait and switch. I have tracked this since the unlimited thing BEGAN.

Consistently, and every month, after 17 hrs of watching seamlessly... it won't allow any more watching and crashes browsers to prevent users from the promised "Unlimited".

People should be outraged. Netflix was fine before this, after this, I can't trust them anymore.
Monday, 30 March 2009 06:10:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Here is something to watch...

If you keep your movies at home for a couple of days and then return them to Blockbuster, they usually process your queue quickly and ship your new movies the same day.

If you return your movies the day after you receive them, Blockbuster will not process them for several days and it will usually be two to three days before your queue gets updated.

As a network engineer and software developer, I’ve noticed these scenarios and the results are the same each time.

I have contacted Blockbuster several times by e-mail concerning this practice and I get generic replies back about not having enough available movies in my queue. Because I have over 300 movies in my queue, I find this hard to believe.
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