Red Envelope Madness!

Monday, October 11, 2004

How Blockbuster Snared Me

How Blockbuster Snared Me Motley Fool contributer Nathan Slaughter gets caught by Blockbuster online:

This morning, my inbox was full of inviting offers: everything from rock-bottom prices for Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE - News) Viagra to a promotional code for 10% off any order at (NYSE: TGT - News). There was also an unusual notice -- not junk, but a congratulatory welcome message from Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI - News). That's right, I am now a proud member of Blockbuster's online movie rental service (on a free trial basis, anyway).
However, HackingNetflix has this to say:
I am a paying member of both services and believe that Netflix is superior in many ways (see my prior posts about movie availability and distribution centers). The fact that Nathan picked Blockbuster because of the 2 free rental coupons worries me -- Netflix has no counter to this offer at this time (next year they could offer 2 free movie downloads).

My experience with the coupons is less than satisfactory. The first time I used one it took them at least 15 minutes to sign me up (they can't pull up my old membership and I didn't have my card with me). The fine print on the coupon limits you to only one coupon per visit, so that means multiple trips to the video store, and multiple attempts for the store personnel to try to tempt you with carbohydrates like candy or popcorn. I joined Netflix to avoid the hassle of going to the video store, and I always forget to return movies. I know that I will wind up paying a late fee on the "free" movies.

Don't get Blockbuster, unless you really need to go to the store twice per month.


  • At 10/15/2004 6:56 PM, Blogger said…

    oh my god , netflix stock is down 40% today. i literally lost hundreds of dollars.

    i wonder why netflix slashed its prices only upon hearing rumors that would enter the online rental business? this was a really sudden move, especially after *raising prices* not too long ago.

    ... my head is swimming now; i just don't know what's going on.

  • At 10/17/2004 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hundreds.....ha.....I lost thousands upon thousands.......but actually we didn't lose it yet unless you sold your stock? I still have faith in Netflix as I have loved this company for years. If Blockbuster and Walmart squeeze netflix out I will never have faith in another "cool" company again. Those corporate whores Block. and Wal. suck so bad....I hate me! I hope they fail and Netflix remains the market leader.....doubtfull though? I still have faith that Netflix will find the solution and capitalize yet, this battle is only halfway over.

  • At 10/17/2004 2:47 AM, Blogger said…

    yep, i held on to my stock... just because it's done amazing things in the past and i think maybe it still could. i'm really interested to see how this netflix/tivo partnership ends up.

    i didn't realize is so scary to competitors. if dvd rental online is a 'break even' business , as some are suggesting, it's odd that so many companies are interested in getting involved.

    ... that suggests to me that there are profits here to be found, somewhere...


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