Blockbuster Online Movie Rentals – User Experience/Review


Blockbuster ran a one-month total access promotion that allowed consumers to rent out three DVDs at a time for an entire month (actually four weeks) in 2008. The standard promotion offered by most online movie rental places at the time was for just two weeks although Netflix was the first one to offer a longer promotion.

We signed up with Blockbuster a month ago and here is a summary of our experience:
  • Sign-up was a breeze and the entire process took less that 15 minutes. One can add movies to their queue without having to sign up which is handy as it allows pre-viewing their collection. Selection is light on the foreign language front, but overall the selection is remarkable although a little shy of Netflix’s 90000 and odd collection.
  • Blockbuster offered a unique in-store exchange feature which allowed exchange of their online DVD at their local Blockbuster store for another movie as well as the ability to return the movie at your local store. Both these options are time savers as it cuts down on the 2-4 day turnaround when mailing in. We did not use this feature and hence cannot comment on its practicality.
  • Shipments were from their San Jose facility and made it to our home within a day for the most part – on a couple of occasions it took two days. Shipments back consistently made it in a day.
  • We experienced a few glitches with the service but none can be deemed deal breakers by any stretch of imagination:
  • They shipped the wrong DVD once – reported it immediately through their web link for reporting problems, and it was immediately taken out of our mailed queue,
  • One of the DVDs we received was damaged – sent it back immediately, reported the problem and got a replacement DVD the very next day, and
  • We ordered the Pearl Harbor DVD which is a 2-disc version and they shipped it separately. On receiving them back, they were counted as two DVDs with the result that they shipped a total of four DVDs at one time although the program allows only three DVDs out at one time. The glitch was automatically corrected the next time around.
  • Canceling the service before the end of the trial period was also a breeze – just had to ensure there was enough time to ship back the last DVD’s for them to receive it before the 4-week trial period ran out.
Overall, the service was excellent and reactivated the account several times as free-time allowed.

Last Updated: 05/2010.

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