Maybe you’re looking to trim your movie watching expenses and are thinking of using Blockbuster Online. Here’s my review of the service: Last month, while my wife was out of town a few days, I gave Blockbuster Online a try.
While we have a regular rental account, we don’t end up renting that much; maybe once a month. So, I never thought the Total Access package was worth it for us. I knew there were free trials available, so I thought, “what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. It won’t cost me anything!”
I scoured the Internet for online coupon codes and stumbled upon a nice deal. It gave me two free weeks in the program (at the top level…three movies at a time), plus a $10 coupon for my next papajohns.com order. Nice. I love Papa John’s…I love movies…I love them both even better when they’re FREE! Win, win, win!
What I Didn’t Care For So Much with Blockbuster Online
Waiting for the New Releases. Whenever I tried to rent popular new releases through the online service, there was always a wait (i.e. they couldn’t ship immediately). I honestly thought this was going to be the biggest plus of the service. But the wait seemed about the same as going to the store. Nothing more frustrating than going to the store to get a particular movie, only to find it fully rented out. Maybe they’ve remedied this since I was trying it out, but this was the killer for me.
Website GUI. The website design and function just plain stinks in my opinion. It’s very clunky (slow) and awkward. It’s hard locating “the Queue” on your first visit. Just not enjoyable.
Queue/Store Return Bug. [I believe this bug is now fixed.] The online queue will send you your next online selection when you return a movie to the store. This causes a problem when the next movie in your online queue is the same movie you trade for in the store – you will soon have two copies of the same movie. Be sure that you only have movies in your queue that you will not want to trade for in the store. Ideally, the online queue should be alerted when you trade for the same movie so that it can remove the movie for you.
What I Liked About Blockbuster Online
The Comfort. It’s nice selecting titles from the comfort of your own home. I had the luxury of knowing when my wife was leaving and placed my orders early. By the time she had left for her trip, I had movies in my mailbox, ready to go.
The Return Option. The service gives you the option of mailing the movies back or returning them to the store. This was great, and gives Blockbuster a huge competitive advantage over Netflix, in my opinion. Hint: If you return the movies to the store, the store will let you trade your movie for an additional movie. At the same time, your online queue will send you the next title you have selected online. Using the return to store method, it’s possible to have a total of 6 movies at a time.
Overall, I’d say go for the service if you watch a lot of movies. You can’t beat the price and the convenience of returning my mail or to the store. I ended up canceling the service because I just will not watch enough movies to justify it. If you do decide to use the service, please give it a try first. There are plenty of online coupons that you can use to decide for yourself if the service is worth it.