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Old February 14th, 2005, 11:47 AM   #1
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The Blockbuster Video Scam

For those of you who don't know, Block Buster's no late fee policy is a bit of a scam. The fact is, if you hold onto to the movies for a certain period of time, you have to buy the entire movie!
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Old February 14th, 2005, 11:50 AM   #2
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It's not a scam, just a business practice. You agree to the terms or you don't. They're not hiding anything from anyone. If you keep the movie longer than a week overdue they charge you for the movie. Seems pretty straight forward to me. Just because it's a business practice you don't like doesn't make it a scam.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 12:22 PM   #3
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Netflix has a true policy of no late fees, Block Buster doesn't. But Block Buster doesn't advertise it that way, that makes it deceptive advertising. With Netflix, you can keep the movie as long as you want, without having to worry about paying any penalties. If what Block Buster is doing is legit, then they wouldn't be investigated by attorney generals.

http://rds.yahoo.com/S=53720272/K=Bl...ockbuster_dc_3
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Old February 14th, 2005, 12:35 PM   #4
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I agree that the advertising is deceptive, but, come on, man... yeah, Blockbuster has decided to do away with the one thing that makes them ANY MONEY AT ALL. Get real. I knew there was a second face to all that campaigning immediately.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 01:44 PM   #5
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I'm no big fan of Blockbuster, but I agree that by now you should know there's no such thing as a free lunch. And it's really comparing apples and oranges when you talk about Netflix, that's a completely different kind of service from rentals at your neighborhood bricks and mortar store. But if that's what you want, Blockbuster is also offering the same sort of thing http://www.blockbuster.com/homepages...onOffer.action

Copying the Netflix business model might not be such a great idea however; in the past year their stock has gone from about $35/share to $11... http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=NFLX...off&z=l&q=l&c=
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Old February 14th, 2005, 02:24 PM   #6
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Well a few months of a stock drop is by no means an indicator of a company's long term success. Netflix is slowly becoming a very recognizable name, and if revenue vs. advertising expenditures doesn't add up in the short term, it definitely doesn't mean it won't add up in the long term.

Plus there are many techniques used by savvy CEOs for artificially driving up and driving down stock prices to coincide with corporate strategy. I wouldn't put too much weight on a stock chart at this stage.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 02:41 PM   #7
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I have never used Netflix as I am too impulsive when it comes to what I want to watch on any giving day; one day I am in the mood for WW2 and the next some Undead films. I'd hate to have them send me that OMEGA MAN DVD when all of sudden I get into the ROAD WARRIOR vibe.

Blockbuster I decided a while ago isn't for me; their selection of films is horrible. I goto Hollywood Video as they have tons of films that BB just does'nt have and I have noticed in comparison to my neighborhood? The employees at HV are much more customer service oriented than the BB crew.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #8
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True Imran, stocks go up and they go down. Hard to tell where this one will settle. Name recognition is great, but not enough in and of itself: case in point is TiVo. A recently article in Barrons suggested that the verb to TiVo might well last longer than TiVo the company ;-)

I'm like you John, can't imagine locking myself into a video rental decision in advance. Are you aware that Blockbuster is currently involved in a hostile takeover bid for Hollywood Video? http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050212/block...llywood_2.html

I think all these rental places are in for some hard times considering that you can purchase a DVD for the cost of two or three rentals. If you keep an eye out for sales you can find a lot of titles for under $10. This is often what I'll do if it's a good film that I know I'll want to watch again someday. The other day I was in WalMart and they had a rack of classic DVD's for $1.00 each. I picked up an old Kirk Douglas film and the quality was surprisingly good.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:15 PM   #9
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The true selling point for me for Netflix is the selection. It's just unparalleled. And I guess they must have expanded recently, because items on the cue come next day now, in the Orlando area.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #10
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Netflix is definately kicking butt, after all, that's the entire reason why Blockbuster thought up this scam in the first place (read: deceptive advertising.)
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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #11
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I personally love what blockbusters doing. No one ever remembers to get the movie back on the right day- this gives you a week of extra time after the original rental period.

If you decide to keep longer than a week after your rental period is due you are charged the entire price for the movie. However if you return the movie within a 30 day period you will be refunded the price and only charged a 1.99 service fee.

I don't rent enough or regularly to justify going to netflix or bb's monthly service - however just like today when I returned napolean dynamite even though I rented it a week and a half ago - I won't get charged.

I give kudos to blockbuster for being a little risky with their business strategy. Be interesting to see what hollywood video, movie gallery, ect do.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 04:19 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Brandon Greenlee : If you decide to keep longer than a week after your rental period is due you are charged the entire price for the movie. However if you return the movie within a 30 day period you will be refunded the price and only charged a 1.99 service fee.-->>>

Still, this is a far cry from "NO" late fees! Which is the scam they are selling. I hate Blockbuster, haven't been to one in many years, have no plans to do so again.
NetFlix on the other hand is a very fine service, as long as they keep expanding. When it was brand new it was terrific, now it's more popular and the movies are arriving more punished and occasionally unreadable but that's not too often, they're just a lot dirtier nowadays. (fingerprints and such, not content, get your mind out of the gutter)

Stock price is a bunch of crap. It doesn't mean anything. The stock market is such a joke these days (and has been since the dot-com boom), you couldn't judge a wet t-shirt contest on the rational of todays stock market much less a companies performance. Hell, someone could fart and send a stock through the roof (or floor)!
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Old February 14th, 2005, 05:09 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : I'm like you John, can't imagine locking myself into a video rental decision in advance. -->>>

Exactly. I used to be real bad about purchashing; I have olmost a hundred DVD's I think; most are of what I really really want (The Godfather I and II, Jaws, Scream, The Road Warrior, The Thing, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, INDY and Star Wars, Galdiator, Braveheart; well, you get the point!)

I have since tapered off on my DVD spending sprees and now put some thought into whether or not I want it but I agree; I can buy for usually $14.99 and watch till my hearts content and then turn it back in at my local 'Gamestop' for $7.00. It's like renting indefinatley for $7.00.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 08:47 PM   #14
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the problem with impulsive rentals is regret. $5/DVD is MAD MAD expensive in a world that offers online rental. for the price of roughly 4 DVDs you rent @blockbuster you can rent 24 DVD titles a month. it's pretty a much a no brainer. it's similar to how people spend money on plasma or LCD displays when they can buy front projector for less than the price of one and have 250"+ screen estate... but some people... will NEVER learn =).

i used to have impulsive rental syndryom (IRS) but we are humans and our behaviors can be corrected. i have 500 movies on que... and i'm stuffed full of films everyday (i have 8 out a time ordeal). you can switch your IRS behavior into selective viewing decipheration (SVD) when you have something like netflix because instead of feeling impulsive you now have to choose which titles to watch FIRST and not worry about WHAT or WHEN to get it.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Yi Fong Yu : the problem with impulsive rentals is regret. $5/DVD is MAD MAD expensive in a world that offers online rental. -->>>


Wow... my local blockbuster rents for 2.99.
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