Blockbuster has just cut the price of their movies-by-mail service again. I wouldn't have known, except that they sent me a pleading "come back, we're cheaper now and we'll do better, we swear" e-mail a couple of days ago. Personally, I am hoping with vile schadenfreude that this is an indication of desperation on their part rather than a brilliant business strategy that will actually start putting nails in Netflix's coffin. Judging from the way Blockbuster's stock has been dropping over their price cuts and elimination of late fees, that may in fact be the case.
But just to make sure, I signed up for another two-week Blockbuster trial at my parents' place, and filled the queue with movies we can watch over Christmas, and backup movies that my sister wants to see. She doesn't want any online service associated with her name, so I used her cat's name, and my credit card, so if something goes wrong, I'll be the one who gets billed. I'll be astonished if Blockbuster manages to get us movies before I leave town, but their execs are claiming in the news stories that they've got one-day delivery to 65 percent of their customers, so maybe Chicago's just a bad area for some reason. I'm certainly curious to see what their delivery rate is here.
Meanwhile, I'd brought a couple of Netflix to Maryland to watch with the family. I flew in Monday night, we watched one of them (Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure. Ohhhhh, the badness.), and I put it in the mailbox for pickup on Tuesday. It arrived in Chicago on Wednesday -- or, at least, Netflix registered it as returned on Wednesday. I'm still trying to figure out how that's possible. Maybe someone saw the Netflix envelope and returned it to a local center instead of looking at the address? Or Netflix has quietly adopted Blockbuster's system of "once it's in the mail, it registers as returned"? Dunno. It seems improbable. But I still make out the score to be something like Netflix 27, Blockbuster 1.
I'm-a feelin': vindictive