Blockbuster vs Netflix for DVD/BD rentals - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 56 Old 09-29-2011, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieva View Post

The one you pick in store is yours to keep for unlimited time just as if you got it in the mail. When you are done with the one you picked up in store, you take it back to the store, and when they scan it in as returned, that triggers them to mail you another one.

Thanks for the details. I gather this is how they prevent weird inventory problems with stores, in that any disk you get from a physical store has to go back to that store.

Anyhow, it sounds like you're required to make at least 2 trips to the store then? One to make the initial exchange, and then the movie you get from the store has to be returned back to that store? Do you have the option of repeating this process, i.e. exchanging the "received from store" movie for another movie from the store instead of having the return trigger the next movie mailing? Or is it limited to 1 in-store exchange per pending mail return?

In either case, this isn't quite as nice as I was originally speculating. After watching a by-mail movie, it can be dropped in the mail anywhere (even in the outgoing mail at work), whereas the local Blockbuster isn't necessarily on one's way to work. Yet, you're required to revisit it to resume your normal mail movie processing, since that movie must go back to that store. I suppose that's the price one pays for being able to get a new movie outside of the normal sequence, so it's certainly better than nothing.
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post #32 of 56 Old 09-29-2011, 09:47 AM
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The one you get at the store has to go back to the store then you wait on the mail. For me it's not a big deal because my local BB is at the entrance to my neighborhood.
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post #33 of 56 Old 09-29-2011, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slordak View Post

Thanks for the details. I gather this is how they prevent weird inventory problems with stores, in that any disk you get from a physical store has to go back to that store.

Anyhow, it sounds like you're required to make at least 2 trips to the store then? One to make the initial exchange, and then the movie you get from the store has to be returned back to that store? Do you have the option of repeating this process, i.e. exchanging the "received from store" movie for another movie from the store instead of having the return trigger the next movie mailing? Or is it limited to 1 in-store exchange per pending mail return?

In either case, this isn't quite as nice as I was originally speculating. After watching a by-mail movie, it can be dropped in the mail anywhere (even in the outgoing mail at work), whereas the local Blockbuster isn't necessarily on one's way to work. Yet, you're required to revisit it to resume your normal mail movie processing, since that movie must go back to that store. I suppose that's the price one pays for being able to get a new movie outside of the normal sequence, so it's certainly better than nothing.


If one can make the effort to make a store exchange, it's perfectly resonable to be expected to make the effort to bring the movie back to that store. And it's not like you have to return it the next night.
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post #34 of 56 Old 09-29-2011, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeschmoe007 View Post

Apparently there are 2 distribution centers around here: Queens and Edison, NJ. I opened trial membership and will report how it goes.

I signed up for the free trial 3 weeks ago and am very happy with the service...turnaround time is lightning fast...as an example, I mail the disc in on Monday and they receive it on Tuesday...usually they ship out the new discs that same day...so I receive the new discs on Wednesday

I'm in Manhattan and the distribution center is in Queens...the only issue I had was my first disc was damaged but they sent out a replacement quickly

new titles also don't seem to have as long of a wait as Netflix...I received X-Men: First Class today after just putting it in my queue a week ago
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post #35 of 56 Old 09-29-2011, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slordak View Post

Can anyone explain the in-store exchange option? I assume you take the movie you received in the mail to the store, select a new movie, and then exchange the two at the desk (for free)? And then when you're done watching the new movie, you mail it back to Blockbuster in the original envelope rather than taking it back to the store? One would think that might cause some weird inventory shifting for stores.

As far as doing the exchange, do you have to have a Blockbuster card? Do you have to present a credit card, membership card, or show ID? I ask because the "Total Access" service might be in the name of one person (say, my name), but the person doing the exchange might be someone else (say, my wife). Ideally she would be able to perform the exchange without me having to be present.

I walk up, hand them the sealed mailer and a new movie off the shelf. They scan my BB card (yes, you need a normal account, but that's free...and if you forget your card, they can look you up with your drivers license), scan in the return mailer, and scan the movie, and I walk out.

By the time I get to my car, I've got an email confirmation from BB saying they've received my return (the one they mailed me is instantly considered "returned" as soon as they scan it in the store). This is key... no waiting at all for them to "receive" the mailed-back disc.

The next day (or whenever... sometimes I even return it later that same evening), I return the movie I had "rented" off the shelf as I normally would. As soon as they scan in the return, the wheels are in motion to send you out the next disc from your queue. Again, I usually have an email confirmation that my in-store exchange return has been received and that the next item in the queue will ship shortly before I make it back to the car. It seems like it does take a day for them to actually ship the disc, however (I get shipping confirmation email the day after I return the disc to BB), and then it takes 2 days in transit for me to receive the new disc in the mail.

If I time things carefully, though, I can usually squeeze in at least 3, and often 4 discs every week... two in the mail, and two exchanges. At 16 movies per month (more like about 14, since I usually don't nail every swap with perfect timing and blowing a weekend worth of shipping sets me back), that makes the $15/mo fee fairly reasonable, to me, particularly since I get the best of both worlds with the deep catalog for by mail discs and the most current up-to-date releases in the shops for the exchanges.
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post #36 of 56 Old 09-29-2011, 10:18 AM
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I just signed up for the BB 30 day trial, with the intention of cancelling Netflix if it works out. My first two discs are supposed to be here tomorrow. I'll report back to this thread in a couple weeks with my findings.

I am in the Mpls/St Paul area. I assume there is a distribution center here so I'll get discs next day. How do I confirm this, is there is a list? Thanks
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post #37 of 56 Old 09-29-2011, 11:25 AM
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Thanks for providing those explanations, guys, it helps to clarify exactly how this part of Blockbuster's service plan works. If you pair this with the $10 Dish Network pricing (for those who are Dish Network customers and have appropriate hardware), it sounds like Blockbuster has some significant advantages over the competition.
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post #38 of 56 Old 09-29-2011, 01:48 PM
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I'm going with a hybrid of BB by mail and Netflix streaming. From what I have seen BB has a deeper Blu ray catalog. For example I really wanted to see the director cuts of Gettysburg and Gods and Generals that came out this summer. BB by mail has it, Netflix doesn't.
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post #39 of 56 Old 09-30-2011, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsantanni View Post

I am in the Mpls/St Paul area. I assume there is a distribution center here so I'll get discs next day. How do I confirm this, is there is a list? Thanks

Look at the return address on the envelope once you receive your movies.
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post #40 of 56 Old 09-30-2011, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsantanni View Post

I just signed up for the BB 30 day trial, with the intention of cancelling Netflix if it works out. My first two discs are supposed to be here tomorrow. I'll report back to this thread in a couple weeks with my findings.

I am in the Mpls/St Paul area. I assume there is a distribution center here so I'll get discs next day. How do I confirm this, is there is a list? Thanks

Google is your friend:

http://dvd-game-rentals.com/shipping...te=blockbuster
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post #41 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 12:20 PM
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I'm bumping this thread to include my 4 month Blockbuster by mail experience. I'm about to cancel due to their slow turn around times (4-5 days.) If I put a movie in the mail Wednesday, they receive/check it in Thursday and don't ship it out until Monday or even Tuesday. The distribution center is only about 30 miles away in Santa Ana, CA which is where my Netflix DC was too. Netflix always had a 3 day turn, Saturday shipping and better availability. I do like Blockbuster's extensive blu ray collection, if it's on blu ray they will have it. I'll use Redbox and just pony up for 2-3 Vudu/Amazon streams a month.
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post #42 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 01:17 PM
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I'm considering dropping my BB account as well, due to slowing turn-around times.

I ALWAYS return my movies at the store, so they are checked in same day, but seems like it still takes a full two days for them to get around to actually shipping the next disc in my queue, and that shipping takes another two days... longer than it should.

I think our discs are received at the Santa Ana shipping location (if you mail it), but I think they're sent out to us from the Texas distribution center, this is one reason why it's so slow.

Turn-around times were faster before, I'm not sure why things have slowed so much. But the value doesn't seem as good as it did before, even with in-store exchange helping things out. There are also some odd gaps in their catalog (why are so many movies listed on the website but if you add them to your queue they list as permanently unavailable? Why not simply take them out of the search results entirely if they don't even have the movie?) I might just bite the bullet and pony up to Netflix, even if their price jumps are making my skin crawl these days.
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post #43 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 01:55 PM
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Looks like Dish will be closing more blockbuster locationgs this year.
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post #44 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cygnus2112 View Post

Looks like Dish will be closing more blockbuster locationgs this year.

The one nearest me just closed (lost their lease, else they'd still be open), which is really annoying. There's one 2 miles from home, and now 3 miles from work (instead of less than one mile away), so it's not the end of the world, but it's still annoying.
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post #45 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

I think our discs are received at the Santa Ana shipping location (if you mail it), but I think they're sent out to us from the Texas distribution center, this is one reason why it's so slow.

I can't them setting up distribution centers to receive discs only. They would have to forward all of the discs to Texas before they could be sent back out. I see the Dallas, TX address on the envelope but that must their corporate address or something.
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post #46 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post

I can't them setting up distribution centers to receive discs only. They would have to forward all of the discs to Texas before they could be sent back out. I see the Dallas, TX address on the envelope but that must their corporate address or something.

Perhaps. But that's what the manager at my local BB said, as well... all discs are sent out from Texas.
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post #47 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post

I see the Dallas, TX address on the envelope but that must their corporate address or something.

BB is out of McKinney, TX, which is a Dallas suburb.

Just about every BB store near me has imploded in the last year or so. I used to have one literally on my block (I was on the northeast, they were on the southwest), and when it went down, I was a sad panda.

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post #48 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 05:39 PM
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I actually thought the stores would all be gone by the end of 2011. Looks like I was a bit off.

I'm sure BB has slowed down due the Netflix exodus of 800,000 subsribers (while that's almost a drop in the bucket for NF, even if half of them went to BB, it would have increased their subscriber base by almost 50%, so I'm sure they just can't keep up).

Things might get better for those of you who stick it out (for some reason)...seems many are fed up with BB and are going back to Netflix (or elsewhere), so maybe they'll start to be able to handle the lower subscriber numbers again.

But with the stores mostly closing, I'm not sure how great that is going to be if people can't use the in-store exchanges and they can't get their shipping times under control. 5, 6, 7, 8 day turnarounds aren't going to cut it for most people, I imagine.
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post #49 of 56 Old 01-11-2012, 07:59 PM
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I actually think the DVD kiosks were the nail in the coffin for BB B&M stores. I went from about 3 Redbox kiosks within driving distance to about 12 in the last two years. One thing I've noticed is that Blockbuster stores seem to be shutting down in the higher income neighborhoods and remaining open in the lower income areas.
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post #50 of 56 Old 01-14-2012, 08:27 AM
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My local store is closing so I had them put me on a by mail only 3 out at a time for $16.99 plan.
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post #51 of 56 Old 01-14-2012, 05:39 PM
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The one at the entrance to my neighborhood just closed in the last month as well. So without the in store trades I dropped the service.
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post #52 of 56 Old 01-21-2012, 12:16 PM
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Well, I went to cancel my BB by mail account and they gave me a $5/month for 2 disks option so I chose that. My experience with Vudu/Amazon VOD is that they don't have some independent films so I'll stick with BB by mail for them. I was only getting 3-4 disks a month with my unlimited 1 at-a-time plan anyways for $10/month.
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post #53 of 56 Old 02-04-2013, 01:26 PM
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I thought I would give Block Buster a try after taking off several months from Netflix DVD by mail. Blockbuster does have the in store swap that I thought would make it worthy to try. Well
unless you live with a Blockbuster around the corner from your home (good luck with that since they are an closing up left and right) it's not worth the shipping time delay. Netflix has the shipping down by 3/4 days quicker than Blockbuster. I can mail a DVD to Blockbuster on Tuesday and it be returned the following Wed. 8 days! As for Netflix, Teus. mail and be returned on Sat. Also I noticed that Blockbuster does not work on Sat.,a movie they get on Fri. will not be shipped till the following Mon. for Wed. delivery..
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post #54 of 56 Old 02-04-2013, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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The problem I now have with BB mail order is that a lot of items I want are just not available. Out of 60 discs date is "Unknown" for 8 items, for the rest of them only about a half is available, the other half is Medium/High/Very High demand
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post #55 of 56 Old 02-04-2013, 03:30 PM
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Well, another thread resurrection. Not that it would hurt to re-visit the subject. I've been thinking of canceling my by-mail account for some time now, but haven't gotten around to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe007 View Post

The problem I now have with BB mail order is that a lot of items I want are just not available. Out of 60 discs date is "Unknown" for 8 items, for the rest of them only about a half is available, the other half is Medium/High/Very High demand

Yeah. Currently I have about 20 in my queue, all marked high or very high demand. Haven't had one ship for almost two weeks now. And I'm not talking about rare titles either: Tombstone, Gladiator, Leon the Professional, Seabiscuit, etc. I'd add more titles to my queue, but nothing much interests me in their current listings.

But wait, there's more. I had "The World's Fastest Indian" at the top of my queue for *TWO* years and never got it. It was always "very long wait" (before they changed their terminology). I'll say. A local BB store manager suggested I delete it and re-add it, but that made no difference. I even emailed them asking what gives, do you have it or not? I got the most imbecilic, irrelevant, boilerplate reply ever, which is saying something. Didn't do me the courtesy of answering my direct question. So I finally broke down and just bought the BD from Amazon. That's just the most egregious example I can think of. I've given up waiting on quite a few titles and bought them.

When I first signed up, it was an okay deal. Now all their stores near me (there were several) are gone, and turnaround has gotten worse. I get the impression they're just running the business down and buying fewer discs, in expectation of closing it down eventually. Even new releases can be hard to get, in which case I delete it from my queue and get it from Redbox instead.

Too bad. I'm just not interested in streaming, and the couple cable movie channels I have compress the crap out of movies. On Demand is the same. It looks like my only recourse is to buy Blu-Rays, then resell the majority I don't want to keep.
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post #56 of 56 Old 02-04-2013, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post

Well, another thread resurrection. Not that it would hurt to re-visit the subject. I've been thinking of canceling my by-mail account for some time now, but haven't gotten around to it.
Yeah. Currently I have about 20 in my queue, all marked high or very high demand. Haven't had one ship for almost two weeks now. And I'm not talking about rare titles either: Tombstone, Gladiator, Leon the Professional, Seabiscuit, etc. I'd add more titles to my queue, but nothing much interests me in their current listings.

But wait, there's more. I had "The World's Fastest Indian" at the top of my queue for *TWO* years and never got it. It was always "very long wait" (before they changed their terminology). I'll say. A local BB store manager suggested I delete it and re-add it, but that made no difference. I even emailed them asking what gives, do you have it or not? I got the most imbecilic, irrelevant, boilerplate reply ever, which is saying something. Didn't do me the courtesy of answering my direct question. So I finally broke down and just bought the BD from Amazon. That's just the most egregious example I can think of. I've given up waiting on quite a few titles and bought them.

When I first signed up, it was an okay deal. Now all their stores near me (there were several) are gone, and turnaround has gotten worse. I get the impression they're just running the business down and buying fewer discs, in expectation of closing it down eventually. Even new releases can be hard to get, in which case I delete it from my queue and get it from Redbox instead.

Too bad. I'm just not interested in streaming, and the couple cable movie channels I have compress the crap out of movies. On Demand is the same. It looks like my only recourse is to buy Blu-Rays, then resell the majority I don't want to keep.



Available for rent or streaming on Netflix:


http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/70043295?strkid=395783818_0_0&trkid=222336&movieid=70043295


Time to pull the plug on BB!





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