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Blockbuster’s recent bankruptcy announcement presents its kiosk partner NCR with an awkward dilemma. How do you reassure your customers, the vast majority of which don’t know that you’re just licensing the BB name, that even though “Blockbuster” is going down in flames, “Blockbuster Express” is doing just fine?

NCR’s solution, at least so far, has been to send an email to its customers from VP and GM Justin Hotard. In the email, Hotard attempts to distance NCR from foundering Blockbuster and assure his customers that Blockbuster Express is doing fine, thank you. From the email:

“You may have heard today that the company, Blockbuster, has announced plans to enter into bankruptcy protection to restructure their finances. We wish them great success in that process . . . You should know, however, that the Blockbuster Express business is 100% owned and operated by NCR Corp., a rock-solid public company that has pioneered breakthrough consumer experiences for more than 125 years. We look forward to serving up those great experiences for another 125 years and more.”

Have any of you received this email, Insiders? Will NCR successfully distance itself from BB, or will few people be able to understand the difference between Blockbuster and Blockbuster Express? What kind of impact would this have on NCR’s kiosk business?

(via Home Media Magazine)

13 Responses to “NCR Attempts to Remain Unsullied by Blockbuster Bankruptcy”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    justme [visitor]

    Yes, I received that email. They also gave a code for a rent 2 get the 3rd one free this past weekend.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    I got the email… I figured with their crappy service and lack of good titles that they were actually blockbuster. I’m guessing the “NCR” kiosks will suffer the same fate as “Blockbuster” stores.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Jim [visitor]

      I agree Tinybrat, Blockbuster Express use to carry those three Studio titles in thier Kiosk’s, saying since they have ties with blockbuster those 28 day imposes does not hold to them. As time went on after they ‘The Kisoks’ became more advliable at multiple locations. Good Movie Titles are becoming less and less. Most of thier titles are old titles, and titles like Iron Man two thier are not alot of coppies in the kiosk. That is a shame that Redbox has all these rules, and stipulations with 28 day window period is surpassing Blockbuster express.

      I also agree that BlockBuster Express Name or not will go under because of the blockbuster name. As A customer when I think of blockbuster, I think of High Prices, Un-Friendly customer service, Thier employees are not willing to take care of thier customers. And thier mail service was good at one point of time with 3 at a time, and unlimted trade for $22 + Tax, Once they stated they had to stop the inlimted in-store trade and raise the price, that was one factor that added additional doom to blockbuster. Netflix and Family Video Franchise are holding strong, so good luck to them. Block Buster Stinks thats for sure!

  3. Member [Join Now]
    Shemp Howard [shemp-howard]

    Still no NCR/BBE vending machines within *15 miles* of my zip code.

    The following message, after searching @ BBE’s website for kiosk locations, resulted:

    “So close but yet so far… We’re sorry, but we do not have a DVD machine within your selected distance, so we’ve displayed the 20 closest kiosks. Please contact us if you’d like to see us come to your neighborhood.”

    How can I voice an opinion other than…

    Get off the decaf and build out NCR!

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Farva [visitor]

    Its going to take more than an executive email to alter people’s opinion. Like mentioned above most people believe the BBE kiosks are owned and operated by Blockbuster.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jake [visitor]

    No, I don’t recall seeing this email. But other than in the anti-Blockbuster blog (AKA “Inside Redbox”), does anybody really care? If I walk up to a kiosk and it gives me the DVD I want, do I really care about the financial outlook of the company who’s name is on it? It’s not like I’m trying to invest in the company, I’m just trading $1 of my money for a one night rental of a movie.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jim [visitor]

    Blockbuster Express use to carry those three Studio titles in thier Kiosk’s, saying since they have ties with blockbuster those 28 day imposes does not hold to them. As time went on after they ‘The Kisoks’ became more advliable at multiple locations. Good Movie Titles are becoming less and less. Most of thier titles are old titles, and titles like Iron Man two thier are not alot of coppies in the kiosk. That is a shame that Redbox has all these rules, and stipulations with 28 day window period is surpassing Blockbuster express.

    I also agree that BlockBuster Express Name or not will go under because of the blockbuster name. As A customer when I think of blockbuster, I think of High Prices, Un-Friendly customer service, Thier employees are not willing to take care of thier customers. And thier mail service was good at one point of time with 3 at a time, and unlimted trade for $22 + Tax, Once they stated they had to stop the inlimted in-store trade and raise the price, that was one factor that added additional doom to blockbuster. Netflix and Family Video Franchise are holding strong, so good luck to them. Block Buster Stinks thats for sure!

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Marc [visitor]

    Its annoying how people are basically happy with the fall of Blockbuster. I personally like going to a store to rent movies. It’s fun. I also still buy movies and CDs because I don’t want to live my whole life sitting at my computer desk. So even though BB HAS had bad customer service and prices in the past, I still want them to succeed and come back with better prices and better service.

    They need to do a big restructure of their services and at this point they need to be better than the competition to really make any kind of comeback with the consumers. The ONE thing they have going for them that Redbox & Netflix don’t is their 3000 stores (which is actually a lot). They need to definitely use that to their advantage ASAP. Their business is only going to go downhill with this news if they keep things the same. I LOVE the Total Access program its the best of both worlds but it needs improvement

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Red Rover [visitor]

      Right on Marc! I miss the Mom & Pops and browsing tons of old titles. Now they drop a lot of the old dvd’s from the store entirely and equally bad they stack them flat making it impossible to eyeball them.

      Ahhh, mourning the good old days of VHS when the titles were plenty, the story was on the box, and the art work great. Just like album covers!

  8. Member [Join Now]
    s142424

    I like going to a store and browsing as well – but that doesn’t mean that Blockbuster doesn’t suck. Prices – bad. customer service – bad. selection – bad (outside of big hit of the month).

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jimbo [visitor]

    BB Express is just as bad as BB. I decided to give them a try when they finally showed up locally. They did have a few titles before RedBox but they have a nasty habit of overcharging their customers. Even if you return the DVD before 9PM local time it’s past 9PM in some time zone and “the glitch” that they acknowledge exists charges you for another night. When I called customer service I was assured that it was only an authorization. 3 days later it went through as a charge. After calling customer service again I was told that the time zone must be wrong on the kiosk and they’d fix it soon. I finally received a credit and I won’t be back. The website crashes a lot and the kiosks are slow and clunky. BB Express isn’t working very hard to create a better reputation than BB had!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Matt [visitor]

      BB Express is making every attempt to improve their service.

      I have sent them an email about their system slow response time and problem with their email rental acknowledgment. I received a personal note from them and the issues are fixed by the weekend.

      Do not let Redbox monopolize the business, let’s be patient with BB Express and give them a chance.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    Matt [visitor]

    I want to see BB Express flourish and so should you!! Having one company(Redbox) to monopolize a business is bad and unhealthy.

    At first I cheer on Redbox, then I have stopped renting from them since June, 2010. I have three big reasons to stop giving Redbox any business, and the reasons are:
    1. Their Customer Service (sounds like from India) is awful, for these people do not know the meaning of customer service. I placed an online rental, and the kiosk’s credit card reader did not work, and I had tried all three brand of credit cards. Since I made a special trip for the PU, the customer service only offer the refund and no free rentals to compensate my inconvenience. He even argued with me issuing the refund IS the action to compensate my inconvenience.
    2. They promised a ‘Rent 3 in xxxx and we will give you one free’. This is the second time they had this promotion and do not follow the promise to send me a free code. First time I did contact them for a free code, the 2nd time I have to do it? Forget it.
    3. They only give Free Rental Monday code to people with cellphone texting. I contacted them about not having a cell phone and asked them to continue to send me the free code via email. The email respond told me how to get back on the list via their website, which is non-existence. I guess they only interested in targeting people with cellphone texting. So if they do not feel other groups of people are important, why should I spend my money with them?!!

    Redbox no longer care about Customer Service. Their goal is to be claimed the biggest movie kiosk rental company, by expanding their business.