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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.
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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.
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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?

[via FastCompany]

8 Responses to “Really Jim? Blockbuster Has 3-Month Delay On Game Rental Service”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    I’m curious about the redbox areas that have games, do they get theirs on release day, is there a 3 month wait with them also?

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Matt Falcon [visitor]

    I’m still holding onto Blockbuster Online ’til their dying breath… I hopped on board the game rental service as well. I don’t even own a modern console and I love the fact that they stock old Xbox (original) titles as well. I filled up my queue with several titles I’d love to play (as I don’t play games much), and was quite surprised at the selection the site offered.

    … But then I went to my queue and was shocked: “Unavailable” for many titles, and most of the popular ones. Huh? What do you mean “Unavailable”? I looked it up: no stock available in circulation anywhere. *scratches head* So… why the hell is it available in the system?

    I don’t care to see or rent *anything* the day it’s released, except for the really-good-ones (maybe once a year). Everything else, I rent whatever’s there because I think it’d be cool to see (or play). Especially in the case of the old Xbox, no new games are released, so what’s there is there. The question is, why the hell are so many old games “unavailable”?

    Speaking of which, I really should send that first one back already, I’ve had it for like 2 weeks, d’oh.

  3. Member [Join Now]

    What idiots. Can’t they just die already?

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Marc [visitor]

    I recently signed up for the Blockbuster online service. It is actually a great service. When your online movie is taken back and scanned in the store, right away another title from your queue is sent to your house, while they let you get another rental right there as well from the store for free. They give you 2 weeks of this service for free which I basically got 4 free rentals out of, but continued with the service since i like going to BB, just not paying their prices to rent movies 1 at a time.

  5. Member [Join Now]

    Even worse.

    You can’t take anything back to the store here; all the stores closed after Christmas.

  6. Member [Join Now]

    Marc, I am also a BB By Mail subscriber…if you subscribe by mail only, until further notice they have a promotion going on through the end of the year that allows you 3 free in-store exchanges per month no matter what plan you’re on. I have taken advantage of this with the embargoed titles mainly. I like BB By Mail, however, the turnaround isn’t as quick as Netflix though, but the in-store exchanges do make up for it somewhat.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    Thats okay, if you can find a blockbuster still open. we don’t have any now. Next week they are supposed to file bankruptcy, and from what I hear, close another 900 stores.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    smartguy316 [visitor]

    Probably BB is doing the same thing they do with the “previously viewed titles”. They sell them for cheap. Well, after they are done getting as much money as they can from a new game release, then the overstock(if any) of the used games, they put them up for the online rental. Or… something like that.