I sent this letter to the online consumer relations people at Blockbuster. However, since I have my tiny little soapbox here, I thought I’d post it to my website as well.
Blockbuster recently, WITHOUT ANY NOTIFICATION, started taking up space in the “three out” list of my movie queue with the “free instore exchanges”. For the years that I have had this service, the in-store exchanges have never counted against the queue. They were the bonus that made me choose to do business with Blockbuster Online, even though they cost more than Netflix.
In addition, their online FAQ STILL SAYS:
Do in-store exchanges count towards my BLOCKBUSTER Online® membership plan?
Free in-store movie rentals are in addition to the number of DVDs allowed out by your BLOCKBUSTER Online® membership plan.
(that is now a BIG FAT LIE!!!!)
So here’s my letter….
The new switch to the in-store movie exchanges (having them appear as part of the “three out”) has now offically negated any previous advantage that you held over the Netflix service.
Prior to this, when people would ask me why I choose to pay more for the Blockbuster Online service than I would for the Netflix service, I would explain that it was worth more because of the ability to exchange movies for in-store rentals which I could watch while I was waiting for the next movies to come in the mail.
However, with this new switch, my in-store rentals are holding up the next movies in the queue from being delivered.
You appear to have deliberately lowered your value proposition and made yourself LESS competitive against Netflix.
I looked today on the Netflix site, and their “Three out” offer is $16.99 a month – less than I am currently paying for my Total Access Premium service.
I have heretofore been very happy with my Blockbuster Online subscription. However, I am extremely disappointed in this new change to the queue management.
As I know it takes time for consumer feedback to effect changes within an organization, I am not going to immeidately cancel my Blockbuster Online subscription. However, if consumer outrage does not end up causing your organization to switch back to the old method of queue management where in-store rentals do not take up a place in the “Three out” line, you can be sure I will be switching over to Netflix. I do not need to pay more for a service that does not give me any additional value.