The only thing that I can say negative about the new Blockbuster “Total Access” program (besides, what took you so long) is that the “New Releases” section seems to have a bug in it. I would think that a movie like “Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Mans Chest” would appear in the New Releases, however it does not, instead you have to search for it. I would include “Jackass 2”, “The Davinci Code” and “World Trade Center” on that list as well. All available but you need to search for them, they don’t appear in the “New Releases” section which seems odd. Since this was the worst thing I could find so far (and it’s not really that bad) I figured I would get it out of the way. Now on to the goodies:
With both services, you have the ability to sign up for a plan (I chose the 2 movies out at a time for 14.99 a month). I order the movies, receive them in 2 business days (1 for processing and 1 for the actual mailing) which is the same as NetFlix (Currently NetFlix offers a wider selection of plans):
|Plan||Rentals/month||Price/month*||Free Trial Length|
|4 DVDs at-a-time||Unlimited!||$23.99||2 week
|3 DVDs at-a-time
|2 DVDs at-a-time||Unlimited!||$14.99||2 week
|1 DVD at-a-time||Unlimited!||$9.99||2 week
|1 DVD at-a-time||Limit 2 per
3 DVD’s at a time == $17.99
2 DVD’s at a time == $14.99
1 DVD at a time == $ 9.99
The prices are comparable (exactly the same) except NetFlix offers the super plan (4 DVD’s) and the weak plan (1 DVD a month – 2 total DVD’s in a 30 day period). Both services offer you fast delivery (I am sure that Blockbuster does the same type of priority switching that NetFlix has been accused of). Both offer you free shipping and an online queue management system. While NetFlix offers 5K more movies (70K vs. 65K) I think that Blockbuster’s offer is better and heres why:
Blockbuster has one thing that NetFlix doesn’t have – 1000’s of stores with 1000’s of movies on the shelves. During NetFlix’s launch to stardom, many said that this is what separated NetFlix from Blockbuster – and they were right. Only now I think it makes Blockbusters approach better.
With the Total Access plan, you can return your DVD’s at the store. When you drop off your DVD (in the mailing package) at the store, you can pick up another DVD. In addition, Blockbuster will return your movie for you and the Online portion of Blockbuster will send you your next movie in the queue. Genius! So what this really turns out to is two key features (that I have been quietly waiting for):
1.) The ability to get a movie quickly for those times you have unexpected guests (We have 2 boys who have sleepovers and visitors and getting a video quickly is a necessity).
2.) You can have more than 2 videos out at a time. With Total Access, I can return my 2 DVD’s to the store, get 2 new DVD’s, and then in two days I have 2 more.
And you also receive a free in store Movie or Video Game rental a month. One thing that NetFlix doesn’t offer is video game rentals. This is a kicker. So, if you have a bit of gamer in you (or you just have to see what the fuss is about) you can rent a game a month and have it out for a week.
To be honest, I have just started using my service so this is a bit new, but I think that my relationship with Blockbuster has just gotten a whole lot better.