Comic: “Blockbuster Video Games by Mail”

April 11, 2010
Comic:  “Blockbuster Video Games by Mail”

About this comic

You guys hear about this? Late fees at the mailbox, that’s what we want!

23 Responses to Comic: “Blockbuster Video Games by Mail”

  1. The_Julian says:

    I long ago abandoned Blockbuster, but I do know that late fees don’t really exist with them any more.

  2. sandchigger says:

    Actually, The_Julian, they stopped that “no more late fees” program after a while. I know, I was on it and remember when they stopped it. I’ve not been back since.

  3. The_Julian says:

    Wow, seriously? I guess they really are a relic of the past now.

  4. Ed says:

    Oh, I knew when they started that whole no late fees thing it wouldn’t last. Late fees are such a big part of the business. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but honestly how many days does a person need to watch a movie. Though, I’ve seen that having an early return incentive plan helps to avoid late fees even happening, and it gets product back on the shelf so it can be rented again, enabling rental chains to be able to purchase smaller quantities and lower overhead. Little things like that can help fight the current bankruptcy trend amongst brick and mortar video stores. Sorry. I feel a tad strongly on that one, pay me no mind.

  5. Eric says:

    As the article says, Netflix seems to think people dont want their movies and games from the same location. Oh how wrong they are. If I could pay an extra $5 a month and get a single game at a time in addition to my movies I would be in heaven. As the father of two kids both under 14 months old I cant afford to buy all these amazing new titles coming out.

    C’mon Netflix! PLEEEEASE?

    PS – I do know about Gamefly but they are pricey for what you get, imho.

  6. Curious, Blockbuster does late fees for mail rentals? I haven’t paid them any mind since 2005 when I enrolled with Netflix. They have it right: the late fee is just an increased profit margin if you’re slow about watching and returning the discs. There’s no pressure, and you just know that’s how it works.

    I think they’re wrong about videogames. The line between games and movies keeps blurring, and while the latest titles are nice, I’ll still play Star Raiders from 1979 occasionally. If only PC games could be done on a rental basis… maybe implemented on Steam somehow?

  7. tnfreak says:

    yeah i would love it if netflix bought out gamefly, that way it would be even more awsome, havent really looked at gamefly’s prices though

  8. FlownOver says:

    I used to love GameFly until I realized that their queue worked NOTHING like NetFlix’s as far as delivering the highest available game – that you might in fact get your 10th ranked item if it’s unpopular. I got burned three times in a month with GameFly and have gone back to doing the GamePass from Blockbuster. It’s more expensive, but there is immediate gratification (no waiting for the mail to arrive) and their selection has been decent.

    If NetFlix bought GameFly and fixed the queuing algorith, I’d switch to that in a heartbeat. I worked for Blockbuster for two years while I was in college in the early 90’s and I have seen first hand some really dumb decisions that company has made – no love lost.

  9. JoyfulAnn says:

    The whole “no late fees” Blockbuster thing was stupid anyway, in my opinion, because instead of charging you a late fee they would automatically charge your credit card (that they have access to because you use it to sign up for an account) for the purchase price of the movie. Which was really annoying, because to get the money refunded you had to go into the store and fill out paperwork and then eventually you’d get the money credited back to your account. I had that happen once after I forgot to return a movie, and never used Blockbuster again.

    Now I use the Redbox, just a dollar a day for movies and I can pick them up and return them at my local grocery store. Sure, a lot of them are older releases, but I don’t mind. I would use netflix, but can’t afford the extra expense (I know it’s cheap, but I’m seriously short on cash at the moment).

  10. NeuroMan42 says:

    Blockbuster needs to die.

  11. William says:

    The best part of Netflix is the video streaming. Even with their cheapest subscription you can stream as many movies as you want. The selection is nice and getting better all the time and you can stream in HD even if you don’t have a blueray player. (I have a 360).

  12. I forgot about the streaming! Yeah, a huge plus. I like instantly watching an anime title instead of sending $30+ for a VHS tape without knowing if it’s going to be good, on top of being intimidated by a series that would cost me hundreds in the end if I were to continue. We’ve come so far.

    (Just streamed Dead Snow, or rather “Død snø,” last month. Norwegian movie with fast Nazi zombies? We’re definitely living in the best time in human history!)

  13. BryanDavidWilliams says:

    For some reason I hate to see blockbuster go even after being ripped off so much. I have a nostalgic feeling for the place. My step dad used to take us there to get some video games and candy after he got home from work on Friday. If they would not have gotten so greedy they could have competed with netflix. It’s ridiculous that I have to put down a credit card to rent a video game. Me and my wife are very anti credit card so we can’t even rent games. Oh well NETFLIX is AWESOME so I guess it makes up for what nostalgia I lose from BlockBuster leaving.

  14. Crossphase says:

    Blockbuster always sucked. The privately owned store where I live blew them away completely. They are still in business, but Shlockbuster is done. Of course with Netflix even the local place has got to be floundering by now.

    • Ed says:

      Well, the best thing to do there is to shop local. It may cost a little bit more, but you’re helping to preserve a tiny shred of the individuality in this country. Redbox is part of the problem.

  15. Rezlow says:

    Are you sure this isn’t an extension of their $30.00/month-one-game-at-a-time program, like Game-fly? It would make more sense. I used to use that program when I was an achievement whore and would burn through a game in 2-4 days, then need a new one. No time for that now though.

    • tnfreak says:

      30 bucks a month? i might as well buy the game

      • Rezlow says:

        Yeah, but when I used the service I was playing though 6 or more games a month. If I snagged one that I actually thought had lasting appeal (and my tastes are… odd) I would buy it, but most were good for the couple of days. It was a subscription fee where you would just take the game back and take out a different one; as many times as you liked.

        Only worth it if you’ve got the time to game though.

  16. smikwily says:

    We have been with Blockbuster by Mail since they started up and with the exception of a few issues, we’ve been happy with it. We considered and tried out Netflix, but unless you are using it for streaming, I don’t see much of a need to move. We just put our Netflix account on the 3 month hold this week.

    I can get 3 rentals out at a time with unlimited in store exchanges, plus 2 free in store rentals of either a movie or game for $19. If I want a 3 movie package with BluRay with Netflix, it comes out to about the same. And with the big movie companies pushing Netflix to delay their new releases 28-30 days, I don’t see anything pushing back to Netflix unless something really goes south at Blockbuster.

    I may be the exception, but as it stands now, Blockbuster offers the value for the price. Granted, I was grandfathered in on most of it, but still, for me it works.

  17. Lucas Wolfe says:

    And that’s why I use gamefly.

  18. Prometheus says:

    Blockbuster does not charge anything additional for a product held for an extended period via the ‘Total Access’ program, whether it’s movies or games. If you are paying anything monthly to Blockbuster, the items you rent through that service never have due dates as long as you continue the service.

    If you order a movie or game from a store to be mailed to you (as in a one time thing, no plan to sign up for), you will get the item sold to you if you have it for a really long time, which is about 20 days after it’s due.

    Also, if you are in Washington at least, you can rent games through the mail already.

    It’s pretty apparent the comic writer here has not been anywhere near a Blockbuster in several years.

    But one thing to keep in mind for everyone: if you are renting something, but don’t return it, why on earth would you expect to not get dinged for it? I mean, if you borrow someone’s car, even not ‘renting’ it, and never return it….would you expect them to just gift it away? Or to have the cops on your doorstep?

  19. the556lineman says:

    What purpose does Blockbuster serve again? They blew it when they started to suck 20 years ago. I can’t for the life of me figure why anyone would chose them over Netflix or Redbox. Maybe someday these services will suck too, but they haven’t yet.

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