Poor Blockbuster. It is getting easier and easier to pick on them with all of their boneheaded moves recently. Can they do anything right anymore?
The latest screw-up from them comes from the recently added game rentals to their Blockbuster By-Mail service. Apparently, this service doesn’t quite stack-up to their promise of instant gratification and no delays on titles through its service.
Austin over at FastCompany has the scoop on this one for us. It appears that Blockbuster is simply recycling its in-store game rentals for the new by-mail service, thus the enormous 105-day delay on renting game titles through this new service.
He did some research, and came up with this:
As one frustrated customer pointed out, though Halo: Reach was released Tuesday and is one of the most anticipated video game titles of the year, it will not be available by mail through Blockbuster until late December–a full 105 days after it’s available through GameFly. Is this an error? A typo? We delved deeper, and discovered a slew of new titles that are unavailable for months, from Madden 2011 (released in August, but not available until late November) to Killzone 3 (launching in February, but not available through Blockbuster until mid-July). GameFly doesn’t have these enormous delays, so why the wait?
Since Blockbuster has not returned our requests for comment, we skipped right to the source: Blockbuster Customer Care. Turns out, Blockbuster has imposed a minimum three-month delay on new titles for its by-mail video game subscriptions–a delay they somehow neglected to mention when launching the service. According to the Customer Care operator, this window enables Blockbuster to keep its subscription prices lower.
What good is a by-mail subscription service if you have to wait more than a hundred days for certain titles? Doesn’t that go against the entire philosophy of Blockbuster and Jim Keyes, who has said that such delays from Netflix “hurt [my] head?”
So, Jim, what is this all about? You want to tout your day-and-date releases and how important they are to your business, and then turn around and try to pull a fast one like this on your customers?
All aboard the bankruptcy bus, Jim. Hopefully you wind up somewhere nice, like Detroit!
What do you think, Insiders? Is this what you expect from Blockbuster, or even worse than you thought?