The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Maddening and Wonderful at the Same Time

About 6 weeks ago, I broke down and finally signed up for online movie rentals. I'd tried it before with Netflix back in the day (a one month trial came with my first DVD player) and was not impressed. It took too long to get movies and a couple of them actually showed up broken.

Fast forward to last month when I saw that Blockbuster was offering this new Total Access thing with all their plans. Basically the way it works is that you take your movies that you got in the mail back to a local Blockbuster. Then, you can exchange them for new movies there (that are subject to the local stores rental conditions) and the instant the local Blockbuster scans them in, they're listed as returned and Blockbuster Online mails you out some new one.

This works great for me because I like to rent tons of movies and while I sometimes try to rent quality movies I also like to rent random bad movies from the store. This way I get the best of both worlds and hopefully get to see more movies actually.

And it's working alright so far. Blockbuster seems to be a little slow with the delivery so I am basically guaranteed to only get one set of movies during the week. If I were returning them by mail it would take them over a week to get the new ones sent out to me which would be infuriating.

Anyway, I've been doing this for a little over a month now and thought I'd kind of figured out the system. So this past week I've been working from home. And by home I mean I've been at my girlfriends and my parents (not actually my apartment). So instead of having my movies sent to my apartment I actually changed my address to have them sent to my parents' house.

They mailed out on Monday supposedly and now here it is Friday and I still haven't received them. Maybe they'll still come during the day today (or possibly Saturday) but I don't know. I'm not even sure that they shipped them to the right address (I've got a support email sent in asking them to verify which address they are shipping these movies to). So this is pretty frustrating.

However, just a day ago, they send me an email telling me that in addition to being able to trade in the movies I received in the mail for a new movies, I've also got this online coupon that I can use for movies or a video game. The video game thing is huge. I don't hardly rent video games anymore because I don't like to pay $6-7 to rent a game that if I like, I'd just want to buy (or if I get busy wouldn't have time to play). Now I get to rent a game every month for free. Plus with their grace period I can really keep the game for 2 weeks and not pay anything. It seems sweet.

So it's an interesting service that is giving a lot of cool stuff for free but I still have questions about the reliability/efficiency of the online component. Still, even if that sucks, I only pay $18 a month for 3 movies a week via mail, 3 more from Blockbuster and a video game rental. That seems like a good deal to me.

I actually just got an email from Blockbuster saying that if I updated my account before they shipped that they should have actually shipped to that new address. I'm not convinced.

However, to repay me for my troubles, they sent me two coupons for rentals from Blockbuster. That's pretty sweet. Especially since I just wanted the movies so I could trade them in and try to get Talladega Nights and Miami Vice.

Ok, I received two of the DVD's in the mail and used one of the coupons I got to go up to the Blockbuster by me and rent Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Talladega Nights, and Miami Vice. Pretty sweet.

Plus apparently those two coupons they sent me are valid for game rentals as well. This is sweet!


At 12/22/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger Chuckles said...

Blockbuster should be called Cockbuster.

At 12/22/2006 9:44 AM, Blogger dontEATnachos said...

There are way worse places than Blockbuster. Take your local run of the mill video rental place. Now that's evil.

At 12/22/2006 12:24 PM, Blogger fulsome said...

Too true. The worst thing is the prices. $4 for one night? WTF? I just go buy crappy movies from Blockbuster when they are 4/$20. Suck it!

At 12/22/2006 2:23 PM, Anonymous Pinko Punko said...

WE have this, beware dEN- saying that a movie is in stock doesn't mean you will ever get it. If it is not in a distrib center near you they will send things all the way down your queue. Like 20 movies down.

At 12/22/2006 2:43 PM, Blogger dontEATnachos said...

Yeah, I hear they kind of ignore your queue sometimes ... like just this past time. I had bumped Firefly down to the very end of my queue because it turns out my TiVo recorded the couple episodes I had not seen the exact day the first two DVDs of the series arrived.

So then when I was trying to get other movies for this weekend it ended up sending me those last two firefly discs.

I'm not that mad though because I just wanted to trade them in for other movies this time anyway (which I did).

At 12/22/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger mdhatter said...

In netflix favor, they located a mailing hum about 9 miles from my house. I have dropped one off in the AM at my P.O., and had the next one arrive as early as the following afternoon... maybe 36 hours.

then again, I hold on to my netflix for weeks sometimes... so the model works better for me on that level too.

Have you tried any of the game rental dealio's?

At 12/24/2006 10:34 PM, Anonymous Res Publica said...

Merry Christmas, nerds! Happy holidays! See you in 2007! :)

At 12/26/2006 8:40 AM, Blogger Chuckles said...

There is a Netflix hub about 20 miles from my place. If I drop the movies off before a morning pickup, I receive an email that day and then the movies about 36 hours later. Plus, I can keep them for weeks and they stick to the queueeueueue.

At 2/10/2007 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get up to the minute play free video game online information!!


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