Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Shocker: Blockbuster Also Scum Liars

Some of you may recall that I was having problems with Netflix and decided to try Blockbuster Online. I do like the one free in-store rental per week, but even with Saturday shipping, the non-Clerksville distribution center makes Blockbuster discs arrive no faster than throttled Netflix ones.

All was relatively okay, though, until I came back from a weekend trip and noticed that Blockbuster had received a disc seven days ago but hadn't sent the next one in my queue, despite its being labeled "Available Now." This seemed a little weird, so I shot customer service an email.

The response: BBO will ship the next available disc in your queue only if it will reach you in an estimated 2-3 days. This means that if you want obscure movies like Burden of Dreams and the only available copies are in a far-off city that would take longer than that to ship from, they will just never send the disc. The only break would appear to be if someone in a slightly closer city rented the disc and then returned it to their local distribution center, allowing the flick to hopscotch across the nation until it came within the 2-3 day range. (This is confirmed by other BBO subscribers here.)

Their suggested solution was to add 40 movies to my queue, so they could dig less desirable discs out of the back and at least send me something. Since I hadn't cancelled my Netflix subscription and moved over my 200 movie queue, my BBO queue didn't have enough discs in it to mask the effect of their policy. My suggestion to them is to stop being dirty scum liars. If there's an algorithm based on my location and the location of the discs in my queue that determines whether or not those discs will be shipped to me, why not have the result of that algorithm indicated in the availability column instead of taunting me with discs that are "Available Now" in Hawaii? Jerks.
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