Blog: Blockbuster Sucks

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Blockbuster Sucks - Sunday, August 20, 2006
Recently I found a link for a free month trial to Blockbuster Online. I'm not a fan of Blockbuster, but I figured that getting more free movies can't hurt.

One thing I don't appreciate about Blockbuster is the looooong mail turnaround time compared to Netflix. With Netflix, I would send in all my movies one day, they'd be received and processed the next day, and I'd get a new batch in my mailbox the day following- for a nice turnaround of 2 days.

At the beginning, Blockbuster waited 3 days to acknowledge receiving one of my mailed-back movies. Yet two other movies found themselves at HQ in just 1 day. The funny thing was that I mailed all three together. And they've been getting slower ever since.

I've read about this practice, called throttling, where the company willfully delays processing for "heavy users" so that they can mail less per month and save that much/little money. I've read that Netflix does it too, but not nearly as much as Blockbuster.

I suppose finishing three movies in 2 days could be considered "heavy use." But why are they throttling me during my free trial? And at the beginning, at that? Isn't this period supposed to be when they try to make my experience most favorable? I'd hate to see what happens if I were to become a regular member.