Netflix or Blockbuster or Walfart movie rentals?

Discussion in 'Community' started by jeremy.king, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #1
    Anyone have any reviews on the big three with respect to mail based DVD rental service?

    Specifically curious about turnaround time from receipt of return to mailing of next movie and typical mail delay.

    I have used Netflix in the past and since they have a distrubution center in Madison. It worked perfect for me as I am located in the rural suburban Milwaukee area :) I usually had a shipping delay of 1 day - so if the movie was sent on monday, I had it Tues. Netflix also had a quick turnaround, most days if they received a return they would ship the next available movie in my queue the same day. Worked nice as I was able to get anywheres from 15-20 movies a month.

    Anyways, if anyone in Milwaukee or Chicago has some valuable feedback on ANY of these, please do post. I am really considering Blockbuster's new deal for $15/month which includes 2 free in-store rentals as well because of price.

    Thanks all - and Happy Holidays.
     
  2. D0ct0rteeth macrumors 65816

    D0ct0rteeth

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Location:
    Franklin, TN
    #2
    I use netflix and Blockbuster both. Here are my thoughts.

    Netflix

    - Faster Shipping. maybe a day faster than Blockbuster.
    - IMO Better Selection (especially PBS Documentaries and Music concerts)
    - Often have to wait for new releases due to high demand
    - Slow website
    - Discs always seem brand new and never watched. Out of prob 300 rentals.. only had 1 bad disc (was cracked in shipping)

    Blockbuster

    - 2 free in store rentals a month (great for new releases, or if the woman wants to rent a specific movie last minute)
    - New releases are always available.
    - Website seems faster to me
    - A few scratched discs. Have reported disc problems (maybe 3 out of 100)

    I really cant pick just one over the other.. but If you put a gun to my head I would choose netflix as my priorities are selection and shipping speed .. but then I would still prob rent from blockbuster when the woman says "I want to see stepford wives tonight" or some crazy talk like that :)

    - Doc
     
  3. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    Pick up a copy of Consumer Reports. This month (or was it last month? I don't have the issue with me) they compared the big three. They seemed to fine all three of them were OK, and I think Netflix had the largest selection and a slightly higher price.

    If I come across the details (and nobody else has posted them), I'll update my post.
     
  4. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4
    I've had a great experience with Netflix. I haven't tried the others, though I would be loathe to try anything from Walfart.
     
  5. jeremy.king thread starter macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #5
    I'd rather trust fellow mac users.

    According to their respective websites, Blockbuster advertises 30,000 titles while Netflix is 25,000.

    I have sort of a loyalty to Netflix, as I was one of their first set of subscribers, but I can't really say no to a decent alternative for $3 less a month...can I?
     
  6. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #6
    I use Walmart right now... I was using Netflix but Walmart was offering approximately the same price at 4 movies a time instead of 3. I tend to watch TV series so having 4 is easy for me to watch in a weekend. If I wanted to rent movies I'd just go to my local movie place and use their $0.99 deals.

    Anyhow...

    I switched to Walmart instead of Netflix because with Walmart the post office has the ability to scan the return envelope in when you ship it. So you have a little bit less turn around time because the post office tells Walmart you're shipping the DVD back before it gets back. Unfortunately it doesn't happen all the time (I'm not sure the Post Office is required to scan them) but I know it does happen because on occassion they tell me I've returned the DVD the afternoon I've put it in the mailbox.

    I've only been using them for 3 months now and their shipping time is fairly good. They ship from two states away and it usually takes about 2 or 3 days to get here (ship Monday get it Wednesday). It has been taking a tad longer currently but I'm attributing a lot of that to the Christmas season and the USPS being overloaded.

    For the selection of movies I rent Walmart has a plenty adequate selection.
     
  7. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #7
    Tried both. Blockbuster was slower than Netflix. Pretty decent selection from Netflix. Only a few docu titles were on Blockbuster but not on Netflix.
     
  8. mashinhead macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #8
    I used netflix and recently cancelled (because i'm moving). And here are my thoughts.

    When i heard blockbuster had entered Netflix territory i thought i might go with them. But they never took advantages of their advantages over Netflix. Basically offering Video Games, and combining instore and online memberships. Or at least allowing you to return instore, so you can get your movies shipped faster.

    So i went with netflix. I Started at 24.99. And later it was reduced to 17.99. I think i would have cancelled eventually though, despite moving, because its overpriced. My problems with netflixx were only Two. I think the service is too slow for the price. (speed it up or lower the price further). It takes two days to ship a movie, one to two days to watch it, and two days to ship it back and two days to get another one. Basically, if you watch consistantly its 3 movies a week. And you have to be watching them all the time to get your moneys worth. One time one of the discs i ordered did not arrive. They said i had to wait 6 days before i could report it lost. And because techinically i had 3 movies out, i could not order another one. So that was 8 days with no movie, that i was paying for.

    when i cancelled, they asked me a series of questions. one pertaining to putting your account on hold. Great idea, but they want to charge you for it. Bad idea. I think this business model needs a lot of tweaking before its in the right place.

    oh and they never ship you bonus discs. If you order a two disc movie, you should have both.
     
  9. mcarvin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    #9
    I was one of Netflix' early subscribers as well and still get to have 4 movies out at once for $18/mo. They've been good to me in terms of customer support and timeliness of delivery. And Netflix Freak is a really cool little app.

    As far as getting both discs of a multi-disc set, I just look at it as a minor concession at worst, and good in other ways. For example, I have The Critic Complete Series in my queue. I get each disc separate and it feels "fresh" each time. Otherwise, I'd probably watch one then forget about the rest. If I'm really interested in the bonus disc, I'll queue that one up and get it when I get it.

    The other two are more "choice" related.

    Walmart - I'm an adult and if I want my music (or movies) to have foul language, that's for me to decide. And the two Walmarts in my area are filthy disgusting places - nowhere even remotely in the same universe/reality/whatever as they portray in their commercials.

    Blockbuster - Never cared for them because they're the Walmart/Home Depot of movie rentals. Saw a couple of good mom-and-pop stores go down once they moved into the area.
     
  10. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Location:
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    #10
    I've used all three recently... here's a quickie.

    Netflix and Blockbuster here (In Los Angeles) both uses the same POB (Santa Ana, CA)

    Netflix takes 1 day to get to me and back, Blockbuster takes 2 days to get to me and return (sometimes more)

    The selections... are pretty good on both. Netflix has some that aren't available through Blockbuster, and vice versa. Netflix seems to have more of the older movies available. New releases get to me faster from BB, probably because the subscription base is lower. The 2 free rentals, and the extra ones for problems is a plus for BB.

    The BB envelopes are horrible, the last 12 i've gotten were opened, either accidently, or on purpose... i don't know. One had no DVD inside. I don't like BB's website... i really dont like it that I need to log in everytime I want to do anything to my Queue. I DO like that you can give 1/2 stars.

    Walmart... the selection is far inferior to both NF and BB, and 1/4th of the DVD's came damaged... and service was even slower than BB. 2 of the DVD's came with the wrong DVD's in the sleeves. Quality control is bad from my perspective.

    Overall, If you dont have either service, i'd start with Blockbuster, especially if you have one near you. If you have no blockbuster near you or you live in a more rural area, then i'd go with Netflix.


    Incidently.. the code: COOPER will give you an extra 2 weeks (1 full month total) on the free trial with Blockbuster. Not sure how long this will work for.
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #11
    This really depends on where you live verse the shipping center. I live in Herndon Va and the shipping center is in Gaithersburg, a one day shipping based on my experience.
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #12
    Let me add this from my local Blockbuster store. It is supposedly the hope of Blockbuster to ship from the local store for the "Netflix" model. Given that in my area I can take my general membership store to store, this does not sound like a good idea.
     
  13. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #13
    I am reaallllyyyy considering one of these services.

    I was thinking it would be just another bill I didn't want to pay. But when I thought about it - I spend almost that in late fees every month.

    Couple the cost of the rental, the late fees, the movies me and my girlfriend go OUT to see, and we are fast approaching $80 per month territory. Not to mention my cable bill is $100 a month.

    I have a really nice TV/home theather system. I love being in the comfort of my own home. The more I think, one of these services definitely seems like the way to go.

    By the way - you can get games with Blockbuster?
     
  14. evoluzione macrumors 68020

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #14
    netflix all the way.

    blockbuster sucks...i joined them a while back, and it's easier to get into the country without a visa than it is to join blockbuster, or rent from a different store that isn't "your" joined one.


    blockbuster are just trying to cash in on the success of netflix, they're like the pc of the rental world if you ask me, netflix bing the mac...

    of course, i've been a member since i had my wallstreet 6 years ago, so i also have that loyalty going on
     
  15. jeremy.king thread starter macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #15
    This is interesting given they started out in 1999. I think I may go back.
     
  16. starcrossed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio,TX
    #16
    From my personal experience I am really enjoying the Blockbuster service over Netflix. WalMart is out of the question because of the censored selection. Now Blockbuster has the $14.99 guaranteed to 2006 over Netflix's $17.99, which I'm pretty sure will go down in spite of the announcement. In comparing both, shipping was pretty similar, no one took longer than the other. Availability of titles has been similar, but I think the big plus for me is that Blockbuster gives 2 free in-store rentals every month with the 3 at-a-time unlimited online. It's nice when there's a spur of the moment get together, and you would like to have a movie for that night, without waiting.

    But I strongly encourage anyone to give both services a try, because it's FREE! Also for your information, when trying out Netflix if you cancel right before the end of the 2-week trial you will get another 2-weeks to try it out free, giving you a month to try Netflix. When signing up for the Blockbuster 2-week trial, enter the word "Cooper" in the promotional code section, and will get 4 whole weeks instead to try out the service. So go for it and try both services for a month, for free, and see what suits you better. That's how I made my decision.
     
  17. TBR macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Blackpool - England
    #17
    Well I've just started to use Amazons new Dvd rental and so far it works like a dream with amazon usual fast delivery times. Singed up on the Thursday Night and got my first two DVD's on saturday morning.
     
  18. evoluzione macrumors 68020

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #18
    ok, so 5 years and 9 months or however long it has been :rolleyes:
     
  19. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #19
    You know how some are on details here. I know that Netflix has been around for long enough to prove themselves.
     
  20. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #20
    Netflix for me! Way better selection, especially if you are into foreign and independent movies. If you are a mainstream guy, blockbuster would do and is cheaper
     
  21. jeremy.king thread starter macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #21
    I'm surprised (well not really) at the anti-blockbuster tones of this thread. So many of you feel that they have no right to enter the online rental biz when they have been in the movie biz for much longer than netflix. I especially enjoy the fact that many of you haven't ever tried blockbuster, yet bash their service based on a retail experience.

    Competition is what drives these services to become better and cheaper. I see no harm and if a mom-and-pop shop went out of business, I see no fault of a large retailer. Heck why doesn't Netflix establish retail sites and try to steal some biz from blockbuster??? I wouldn't put it past them, as they would have every right to do so - although an acquisition would make more sense. Given the partnership with Tivo, it could really get interesting in the future.

    starcrossed, I think I may just try out the 4 week deal after I return from vacation. Let's hope the code still works and if it doesn't work out, I will rejoin netflix for the 3rd time. Can't say I agree with Walmart's selection, so I am down to the big two players and happen to enjoy the price battles to come.
     
  22. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #22
    I will admit that I am not a big fan of Blockbuster. Prior to their entry in the "rent all you want" they have not been very friendly. Arguing over late fees. The limitation to as the store you could rent from.

    I went to Netflix only after my local DVD renter decided to retire. He did not care what some small minded people thought about a film, if there was an interest he rented it. Same with Netflix and the "new" Blockbuster. Now if Blockbuster would allow rentals from other stores, then they might see my $.
     
  23. jeremy.king thread starter macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #23
    :confused: I rent from different blockbuster stores all the time - never had an issue (besides the cost). In fact I know I have rented from at least 5 different stores during the past 2 years all with the same membership card.
     
  24. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #24
    At least from the store I rented from, I was limited to that store only.
     
  25. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #25
    i believe each blockbuster is a seperate franchise, they don't share stock / inventory which is why you can't return them to different locations .... If they had that a person would send their employee to rent ten movies, now what if these ten movies were the same as your copies except your's have scratches, so you switch them out and boom you got ten new discs and they got 10 scratched discs.

    I just started a netflix account last night, question when you order a full tv series on DVD thats multi disc, do they ship one disc at a time and if so how has your experience been?
     

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