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Does anyone know if Blockbuster throttles it's customers the way Netflix does? Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:23 AM Miscellaneous | Back to top


Comments on this post: Blockbuster Throttling?

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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Yes they do, in their terms and conditions...

http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2006/mft06021501.htm
Left by Jeff Julian on Feb 28, 2006 7:36 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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Yes the do in reality too. I had a wonderful couple of months and then couldn't get anything for a long time before cancelling. They also never answered my complaints, which included not even showing me the latest movies to try to pick them.
Left by Paul Wilson on Feb 28, 2006 8:10 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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Yes, they do. 7+ days to get movies turned around is definately throttling.
Left by ogman on Apr 09, 2006 9:03 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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They sure do! I compared them to Netflix, and they are 100 times worse! They lie, they cheat the customer. I have mail from Chicago delivered in a heart beat, with Blockbuster it's like the heart stoped beating. It appears they hold your DVD for a few days then report it recieved. Good customer complaint bad, bad service. They also say they have everything, after a few days your list is bombarded with long wait, short wait, not available. Take my advice stay away from Blockbuster! I would only order when you just can't find that movie anywhere else.
Left by Craig Hefele on Jul 22, 2006 9:12 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I agree!!!
Blockbuster started out just fine, after the 4th week it went south (BAD) I have had 6 "Customer Care Reps" hang up on me as soon as I started to get frustrated, as I complained my movies slowed to a halt!!!

Left by MPGAMES on Nov 27, 2006 3:11 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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Total Access Premium is nothing but a Total Scam 'n Fraud perpetrated on consumers across America by Blockbuster's lying Corporate Weasels in their Xtian Bushland state of TexAss. Blockbuster has been throttling, or holding back DVDs returned 'n scanned into the store for a full 6 days now. These TexAss corporate weasels are pulling a massive fraud on consumers by falsely advertising unlimited rentals on their total access BS..

I returned 2 of only 3 of the movies they were supposed to send on the same day to the store that were scanned into the system early Wed. Aug. 15. They finally shipped out 2 new movies 6 days later on Aug. 21st and STILL held back the 3rd movie....

Everything was peachy of course during the 2 week trial, but the very day that was up on Aug 10, they started to throttle usage down. Both blockbuster 'n netflix are falsely advertising unlimited movies as a promotional gimmick that even the 'deregulated' FTA has warned them about. Plus there's a TexAss tax of a $1.38 they collect from members all over the country. I for one refuse to support a corrupt Xtian Bushland state like Texass..

I'm missing the new releases today because of those corporate Blockbuster TexAss scumbags... There should be a a class-action lawsuit pending against these liars for false advertising by using a bogus promotional gimmick...

Off to Hollywood Video's in store membership that's 5 bucks less than Blockbuster for the same thing...

Sign me - A Blockbuster Lost Vegas Customer no longer lost as of Today, August, 21, 2007
Left by Lost Vegas Blockbuster Customer on Aug 21, 2007 3:37 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I disagree that it's a massive "fraud" - and the service IS better than it was before they rolled out "Total Access" (now fondly named "PARTIAL Access").

Wasn't long ago that I'd had to drop the mailers off at the post office AND purchase a Rewards account to get ONE (1) free monthly movie.

However, as we are rolling over to the new "Partial Access" plan, I'm seeing slower turn around times. In fact, I exchanged my 3 mailers on Saturday (which was acknowledged on my online Queue) for 3 2-day discs, turned the store discs in on Sunday evening and Blockbuster has yet to send me any movies (it's Tuesday evening). Soooo...no discs this week and I'm stuck with crappy television shows to watch. GRRRRR!

I'm heading over to Netflix to check out their plans. Our local blockbuster just doesn't have the movie/TV Show selection I'm interested in. It seems the store's selection is mostly B movies and teen thrillers anyway.

Left by Steve on Aug 28, 2007 11:58 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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UPDATE #2
This morning, 2 of the 3 DVDs shipped yesterday arrive in my mailbox. Exactly 7 days after I turned in my 3 mailers to my blockbuster store last week.

M*A*S*H* Season 2 Disc 2 was the first I pulled out of the envelope. Popped it in my DVD player and starting watching. After a few episodes, BAM! started to lock up and popped back to Menu. Pulled out the disc and it appears to have been sprayed with something as it has a foggy, splattery look like WD-40 or cooking spray was sprayed on it. Had to wash the disc several times to get most of it off but it wouldn't come completely off. Tried to replay, same problem. *sigh* The 2nd disc I received this morning played fine tho it was loaded with scratches (I was surprised it even played and secondly, I'm surprised Blockbuster would even send out such a disc).

So in 11 days I will have been sent a grand total of 1 dvd on my "unlimited" 3 DVD plan. This is the 1st time in a year that I've ever had this kind of problem with Blockbuster but I can't help wonder if this is all by design to phase me out as a customer...???
Left by Steve on Sep 01, 2007 8:38 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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UPDATE #2
This morning, 2 of the 3 DVDs shipped yesterday arrive in my mailbox. Exactly 7 days after I turned in my 3 mailers to my blockbuster store last week.

M*A*S*H* Season 2 Disc 2 was the first I pulled out of the envelope. Popped it in my DVD player and starting watching. After a few episodes, BAM! started to lock up and popped back to Menu. Pulled out the disc and it appears to have been sprayed with something as it has a foggy, splattery look like WD-40 or cooking spray was sprayed on it. Had to wash the disc several times to get most of it off but it wouldn't come completely off. Tried to replay, same problem. *sigh* The 2nd disc I received this morning played fine tho it was loaded with scratches (I was surprised it even played and secondly, I'm surprised Blockbuster would even send out such a disc).

So in 11 days I will have been sent a grand total of 1 dvd on my "unlimited" 3 DVD plan. This is the 1st time in a year that I've ever had this kind of problem with Blockbuster but I can't help wonder if this is all by design to phase me out as a customer since they're rolling over to these new plans...???
Left by Steve on Sep 01, 2007 8:42 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling? Update #3
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Update #3: Received my 3rd DVD (M*A*S*H Season 2 Disc 3) on Monday, the 3rd. Just like Disc 2, it appeared sprayed and was full of scratches. Cleaned up up with rubbing alcohol so it was playable but halfway thru the disc, it locked up. Dead. So I went on the Online page, reported it unplayable, and returned it that evening at the Blockbuster store.

Today (Saturday the 8th), I received the replacement. It was the same exact Disc 3 I had reported as unplayable. How do I know? I put a tiny inkmark on the obverse just to see if they would re-ship it. And, yes, they did. *sigh*.

However, I also received 2 other dvds off my queue today - and they are like brand new. I am going to do the Netflix trial and see how the two companies compare.



Left by Steve on Sep 08, 2007 11:37 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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Update #4:

Today, Tuesday, September 10th, the 3rd replacement of M*A*S*H Season 2 Disc 3 was shipped. After nearly 2 weeks, I just might get a playable DVD of M*A*S*H.

My queue has 139 titles and today my queue was updated by Blockbuster. Most of all my titles are not available - and these titles aren't popular titles:

- 2nd Season of The Munsters was next on my queue which was available last week now has a "Long Wait".

- 1st season of Quincy ME now has a "Long Wait".

- Ken Burns' "The West" has a "Very Long Wait" - and it's been in my queue for 6 months.

- 5th season of C.S.I. has been a "Short Wait" for over 6 months as well.

- NOVA - The Vikings...yeah that's a hot title..."Very Long Wait".

- History Channel's Crescent & the Cross...another "Short Wait".

- 4th Season of Andy Griffith..."Very Long Wait".

- Celtic Saints? Also "Long Wait".

- How about the hot title, Celtic Legends: Scottish Legends? That too is a "Long Wait".

I guess I'm not understanding how these titles are in so much demand...? Anyone care to guess??? Or is Blockbuster subtely trying to tell me they don't want my family's business anymore???
Left by Steve on Sep 11, 2007 9:01 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I have noticed many DVD's go from 'very long wait" to "coming soon" or "unavailable" I believe what is going on here is that Blockbuster really does not have these titles. I had the first season of Numbers as number one in my Q for 3 months listed as "short wait" It was followed by season 2 of Medium which was listed as "available" blockbuster has been skipping past those tiles and down somewhere into the 20's and 30's and randomly sending whatever they want in no particular order. I routinely (about every 2 weeks) have to reem them out by email and demand coupons to make up for the slow turn around. I get the most ridiculous answers imaginable, all looking very much like copy and paste replies that rarely even come close to the issue reported. I get BS excuses like "we try to send what is available at the closest distribution center"... Well, the closest one in Connecticut and thats a one day mail to my place.
Don't any Lawyers subscribe to this service?? A class action suit is in order, but I'm a psychologist, not a lawyer. I can only attest to the fact that this business practice is on par with the psychopathic behavior of a con artist.
Left by beamer on Dec 19, 2007 7:02 AM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I use to be able to get 6 a week with mail exchange and now can only get 3 a week with store exchange, this is not counting the ones picked up in store.
I am on their best program of three at a time and unlimited store exchange.
A month ago I went two weeks without a movie and there were 32 available movies in the que and 20 not available. Their excuse was I needed to add movies to my que because there are not enough available. What?!
Next billing date I will quit.
Left by Lary Molan on May 06, 2008 4:42 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I have always been a big movie buff and like best watching them in the comfort of my own home. I have been with Blockbuster for I would quess 20+ years. When they first started their Rewards Programs, I was immediately issued a Gold Card with a letter stating that I never had to pay the fees because of the number of movies I rented. When they went to the first mail program I was on the 8 movie plan (their largest). I was going to try Netflix mainly because every e-mail I sent about something went unanswered except for some form of punishment which I won't go into here. I was a big supporter of their new systems and they became very responsive to suggestions and instituted all my suggestions. Now they have changed back. First they started with changing the subscriptions and I am now up to 37.53 a month, which I would not mind if they did what they were suppose to. I supposidly have unlimited rentals. I have written them a number of times on the matter. After there is an accumulation of 6 movies in my shipped queue, even though they are all returned to the store as indicated on the shipped queue, I will not get any new movies for up to two weeks. At first I thought maybe my store was not returning them on a timely basis or their was a problem checking them in at the hub. I even thought that to save postage they wait one or two weeks by policy to return them from the store. Blockbuster will not confirm or deny, they write back saying nothing. I am sorry, and instructions on how to watch my queue as if I did not already know that. That is what I keep writing about. So all in all I decided to look on the Internet for others who are having this problem and read that it is called throttling. They should not say unlimited, if it isn't. They should just give a number of maximums per plan so you don't have to sit there and have to figure it out yourself and then write to no avail. Now that I have complained so many times, even with a clear shipped queue, I have only received two movies over the last two weeks. I am wondering if they punish you hoping you will quit or trying to teach you a lesson for complaining. Oh yes and I have over 70 movies at any one time with about 98% available, so there is no excuse there.
Left by Lana Sutherland on May 19, 2008 6:10 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I have sent them many emails for the issues noted above.
Delays in shipment
Long and very long waits
Movies listed as available until you tried to add them to queue

I did get a bad disc, reported it, and got a usable one about a week later.

I feel that their disc catalog is spurious and that many titles are simply left overs from their old video collection. I have also seen movies that were available for sale but not rental !!!

I never received a reply until I titled a message - "I will be canceling my membership"

They say that you have to have 15 "available movies" at the top of your queue to avoid delays.

They do not say how you can ever get the less available titles if your top movies are always available.

I placed movies at the top and guess what, movies that were listed as available when I opened the queue came back as short or even long wait when I moved them - do they actually check availability when you open your queue?


Left by bap on Oct 15, 2008 11:29 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I have had several instances where movies were returned to the local store and it took up to three business days to see anything ship out. There were always available titles in my queue. Their latest response went like this:

"As per checking your records, I also checked your queue and noticed that the titles at the top of your queue are on "wait" status. Once a DVD is labeled as very/long/short wait or coming soon, automatically we try to look on other distribution centers of their availability, which is why it takes three or more days for the shipping to take place. This is being done to ensure that we are always shipping the titles you want most as indicated in your priority.

What I may suggest is for you to drag down these titles that are on long wait/short wait or coming soon status so that it will not cause delay of shipments. For more convenience, We highly recommend that you maintain 15 or more "Available" titles at the top of your queue at all times to keep DVDs on coming."

The point is I did have available titles in slots 9-14 so this was a totally BS excuse. I don't put titles in the queue unless I want to watch them. They advertise unlimited in my case three at a time movies but they are not living up to the contract.

I have 69 movies in my queue and 46 are currently available. Two business days have gone by since returning the three movies I had to the local store.

Currently at the top of my queue it states:
"To have movies shipped, just make sure you have added movies to your queue that are Available Now.There's nothing else to do. We will ship your next available DVDs within 1 business day."

In a FAQ regarding how many DVD's can be rented in a month:

"You can rent as many DVDs as you like, depending on your membership plan. Most BLOCKBUSTER Online subscription plans do not limit the number of online DVDs you can rent each month. You can have 1, 2, or 3 out at-a-time, depending on your online subscription plan. Just return a movie as soon as you are finished watching it, and we will send another title from your Queue, in most cases by the end of the next business day provided you have enough "Available" titles at the top of your Queue."

What constitutes "top of your queue"? Why bother having a queue if Blockbuster is only going to look at the top? Because the "top" is not defined, how are you going to know if you have enough available titles there?

Not shipping available titles constitutes a breach of contract because a guideline to define what the "top of the queue" is has not been defined.

I'd love to jump on board a class action suit if only just to keep Blockbuster honest.

Left by Housewrap on Feb 10, 2009 8:23 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I went over 2 weeks with no movies showing up, so I finally called them... and they said they hadn't shipped any because the "top 3" movies in my queue were not Available.... despite tons of other movies right under them that were Available.

When I mentioned that I had plenty of other movies that WERE available.... "Since the top 3 aren't available, we figure that you want them the most so we didn't ship anything else in case they become available."

What a load of crap... and all I got out of it was 1 free rental coupon.

I've stuck with Blockbuster because I like to return the mailers to the store and I like the free in store rentals... but lately... It's hardly seemed worth it, and returned to store mailers are now taking up to 4 or 5 days just to clear my queue.

Also they very recently added yet another thing to slow down the mailings.. Now in store rentals must be returned before more movies will ship from your queue....

Netflix is looking better and better.....
Left by Pumpkin on Mar 28, 2009 8:14 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I too have been having problems with Blockbuster DVD shipments. When I first signed up, movies received online could be returned at the local store and shipments would be sent out the same day as the mailer was received by the local store. Then they said the next DVD would be shipped the next business day. Then they said the next business day does not include Monday when they have "limited shipments". Then they said the movies for which I had exchanged online DVDs had to be returned before the next shipment would occur. Within the past 7 days I have returned 3 DVDs which I had obtained by exchanging mailers last weekend and it's now Thursday and no movies shipped Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or today. I'm told they are having "distribution problems" with their Pittsburgh center...an excuse they have been using for two month!!!!! Can we say "Throttling"? That's when they limit shipments - much like Netflix did until they were taken to court. Sounds like Blockbuster needs a court day also!!!!
Left by Blockhead on Aug 06, 2009 11:10 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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Yes, they do definitely throttle and they are not very smart at hiding that. Until recently it worked like that: 1) I'd sent movies back sometime mid-day (day 0) 2) next day BB would show movies clear my queue and I'd receive e-mail shortly, then shortly they will send new movies. 3) some time next day (day 0+2) i'd get movies. So turnaround was 2 or seldom 3 days and it was possible to get 5 or 6 movies per week.
BTW they promise to ship movies in 1-2 business days.
Here how it works last 3 weeks. 1) I'd sent movies (day 0); 2) they will clear my queue some time on day+2 or day+3; 3) BB will ship next movies on +1 day after receiving them; 4) they'll ship movies from remote warehouse, so it'll take +2 days to get them. Total turnaround time 5 or 6 days which produces 3 movies per week on 3 at a time plan at best - providing the disks are not broken and watchable.
Last time 2 movies cleared my queue on Friday or Saturday, but I didn't get e-mail until late Monday that BB received movies and they didn't ship movies even on Tuesday which violates their 1-2 business days promise. I've called them, but CS representative only sees "e-mail" date, not the actual date they've received the movies back.
With about 50% of movies in my queue in "wait" status, this slow turnaround and no incentive to return to the store - what is keeping their customers? I'm canceling before my next billing date.

Left by Viip on Aug 18, 2009 4:19 PM

# re: Blockbuster Throttling?
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I recently got throttled by BBO's games service. I've had the Sly Cooper Collection at #1 on my queue for a month. It has been listed as "availible" since 1/14/11. I had 2 games out (Darksiders and Alpha Protocol) and returned Darksiders on 1/15/11. BBO got it on 1/17/11. Even though Sly was #1 and availble, BBO sent me the 5th game on ny queue! So then I "fixed" my list so that it would be Sly at #1 followed by "short wait" and "long wait" games. I sent back Alpha Protocol on 1/18/11 and BBO got it 1/19/11. Despite Sly still being the only availible game on my queue, they sent me the 4th game on my list, which had a "long wait". WTF? I called BB to complain, gut the lady just gave me a scripted BS response. Now I changed my queue so that Sly is the only game on there. If I send a game back and BBO doesn't send me Sly (still availible as of 1/20/11), i'm switching to GameFly.
Left by FuryOfFirestorm on Jan 19, 2011 6:07 PM

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