Thursday, June 22, 2006

Blockbuster Online vs. Netflix

A pal has challenged me to persuade her to adopt Netflix into her life. I am a former Blockbuster Online user, and current Netflix user. Here is my report:

1. (Disclaimer): R and I used Blockbuster Online from last September until about 2 weeks ago. Since September we've used one free trial of Netflix (in February). So I'm much more familiar with Blockbuster Online than with Netflix.

2. What is the SAME for both Blockbuster Online and Netflix:
--if you want the deal where you can have 3 movies out at once and have an unlimited number of movies to rent per month, the cost is almost exactly the same for both services: $19 and some change (after taxes)
--they both use a queue where you save names of movies and put them in priority order
--they both have very large selections of movies
--they both ship movies fairly quickly, usually in 2 days
--they both allow you to pay online and view your payment history very easily
--they both allow you to change your address very easily, and the changes are effective immediately
--they both charge month to month and allow cancellation at any time

3. What I LIKED about Blockbuster Online:
--they gave you 2 e-coupons every month to use at a Blockbuster store nearby for one free rental each
--if you got a wrong movie/damaged movie in the mail, you could notify them and get a replacement disc/next movie sent the very same day (you didn't have to wait until you returned the wrong/damaged movie)
--their website was very user friendly and visually pleasing (to me)

4. What I DISLIKED about Blockbuster Online:
--their website, while nice looking, didn't function that well, especially in my queue; there were several times where I wanted to receive a DVD set in order and it would arrive out of order; also, sometimes the movie in position #1 would be skipped for no reason and you would get #2 or #3...frustrating!
--the availability of DVDs was sometimes bad and you'd have to wait until more copies became available (one time it took 2 weeks)

5. What I LIKE about Netflix:
--the availability of every DVD I've put in my queue so far has been "available now" and ships immediately
--the shipping is more consistent than Blockbuster; i've always received DVDs on the day they are supposed to arrive, never later
--they recommend movies to you as you add them to your queue and as you rate them looking around the site; i've come across a few already that seem like good recommendations
--i've had no trouble with the website functioning; my queue hasn't made a mistake so far, even with DVD sets in order

6. What I DISLIKE about Netflix:
--if you have a damaged disc and DON'T want the same disc sent again you can't get the next movie in your queue until the damaged disc is returned
--if you DO want another copy of the disc sent, it doesn't ship until the next day from when it's reported
--no e-coupons, since they only do online renting
--I've already had to report 3 discs damaged and ask for replacements; i'm hoping this is a fluke, since they were all from the Twin Peaks Season 1 collection

In conclusion: I think that I like Netflix a little better, mostly due to the non-messing-up they manage with my queue order. It's nice to get what I actually want. I also prefer getting the movies a little quicker than with Blockbuster, and also having the better availability with the movies i choose. I'll probably stick with them at least for another month or so.


Claire said...

Oh how timely you should post this, Kendahl. I have been thinking about doing the one-at-a-time deal from Netflix. I think it's $10 a month. We don't watch movies that often, maybe 2 a month, but I am sick of late fees and movies not being there. But since you like Netflix best I think I will go with that. Thanks for the tip!

Melissa said...

Interesting. I am particularly drawn to the instant gratification part and the part where you get things in the mail. Thank you for your thoroughness.