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Monday Shipping Is Elusive at Blockbuster Online

A Blockbuster Underground test account began revealing some unusual activity in late 2007, and the problem has consistently persisted throughout early 2008. The problem is with the shipment of new DVDs on Mondays. Blockbuster used to almost always ship DVDs on Mondays. Now, however, it appears Blockbuster almost never ships out DVDs to at least some online accounts on Mondays.

The Blockbuster Underground test account commonly has multiple empty queue slots throughout most of each weekend and Monday. It has become standard that the earliest shipment of DVDs does not occur until Tuesday afternoon each week. This means that a queue slot may open on a Friday afternoon, and the replacement DVD will not arrive until Wednesday, Thursday, or later. This is a substantial delay. The absence of Monday shipping causes a significant decrease in the number of DVDs a customer can receive in a week. This delay must be very profitable for Blockbuster, but it is a substantial blow to the customer’s subscription benefits.

Are you experiencing similar problems with Monday shipping from Blockbuster Online? If so, please report it here. If this shipping trend is consistent, we may be on the verge of discovering a way that Blockbuster has managed to limit (or throttle) the flow of DVDs to some or all of its online customers.


Anonymous said...

It drives me completely nuts. I have movies and open cue slots available on a Monday. They ship on Tuesday, I get them on Thursday, bring them to a store early Friday, they're marked "Returned to Store" right away, yet the next round of movies doesn't ship until the following Tuesday.

Very, very weak.

Anonymous said...

I never see movies shipped on Mondays anymore. I guess this is the new policy after no more free rental coupons, limiting in-store exchanges, and raising the prices. I wondered what they would change this month. Any idea what will be next month?

Anonymous said...

Yup, since late summer 2007 I've had open Blockbuster slots on Monday filled less than 50% of the time. I've written in to report this three times - either their service people are trained to evade answering this one or they're just that incompetent. Just one more reason most of my rentals are through Netflix.

Anonymous said...

I am also experiencing this! I just recently signed up so I need more time to tell. But if they continuously don't send movies on Monday, I will be complaining or canceling!

Anonymous said...

Seems I get my DVDs my Thursdays no matter what Blockbuster said. Said It shipped Mon I get them on Thurs. Said shipped on Tues, I get on Thurs.

Now I know why. Very deceptive business.

Anonymous said...

I seem to experience the same issue.

Anonymous said...

Whats funny is that I got two new releases(came out on new Tuesday) shipped on Monday. It is now Friday and haven't received them yet, however I had Twister shipped out on Tuesday and I got it Wednesday. Only thing I can think off is they ship new movies from one central location and takes longer to get to me. Never had this problem with netflix, new releases would arrive on the released date of Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they definitely throttle now. I maximize my online DVDs by always returning mailed DVDs the same day I get them, so my account is the perfect test case.

As of Nov 2007 they stopped shipping me DVDs on mondays, claining in emails that even though they claim M-F shipping, mondays are 'limited' (bad wording I believe since my UNLIMITED account at $38/mo hasn't received even ONE on a monday since last November. It can't be random since EVERY weekend I've had returns to the store and every monday I am SKIPPED OVER and get the DVDs sent tuesday or wednesday.
When I started 22 months ago, shipping was M-Sa, 6 days. Then they changed it to M-F, 5 days. Then with this 'limited' monday
shipping (I can only guess it is the UNLIMITED FOLKS like me that get LIMITED), I only get shipped Tu-Fr, 4 days. So from 6 days to 4 days means I used to have 50% more days where they would ship me movies.

Now with these changes, since it rarely takes more than 1 day for the post office to me, I went from 3 DVDs shipped Monday, 3 received and returned tuesday, 3 more shipped wednesday, 3 received and returned thursday, 3 more shipped friday, 3 received and returned saturday, AND REPEAT. Even though this was optimum and didn't happen all that often, I did sometimes get 3X3 DVDs that I returned to store for 3X3 more (9+9=18) per week. For the first year I averaged 50 DVDs per month, still really good.
Now they have a new twist they implemented the last week of August 2008. Part of it caused my QUEUE with 950+ DVDs to not be accessible. They fixed the problem and I can access it again now (they took 2 weeks to fix), but what also happened is they started sending ONE DVD on wednesday and the other TWO DVDs on friday! After the first week of this, and complaints, the BB guy on the phone admitted that they finally told THEM what they had done... and I had to call back because it sounded like BS.
1) They allocate DVDs from the TOP of your queue, and ONLY THE AVAILABLE TITLEs, so if you have a WAIT or UNAVAILABLE they STOP LOOKING and they WAIT a FEW DAYS and then they will look further down the QUEUE for AVAILABLE DVDs,
depending on how many UNAVAILBLE or WAIT DVDs you have they will go further down the QUEUE a few days later again.
2) For me, I like a lot of others, know that the only way to get a WAIT DVD, accourding to their own HELP files, is to have it at a place that it can be selected (top of queue) or you will never get it
(reality is obvious that their 70,000+ DVDs advertised means that they bought ONE COPY of 40,000 rare DVDs (they could have even used Netflix and kept and paid for
them that way ;) so getting WAIT DVDs almost never happens. So I put 30 AVAILABLE at TOP of my queue and I'll give up on WAIT titles.
BUT last week they STILL sent ONE DVD wednesday and the remainder friday (*wednesday's came thursday and I returned it to the store wed and they shipped it's replacement friday with the other two. Upshot,
I return 3 on weekend, THREEE BUISINESS days later they send one DVD and FIVE BUSINESS DAYS LATER they send the other 2. Oddly the mid-week DVD on wednesday did not seem to be DELAYED like the others.
Maybe their new plan is to send weekend returns only on wednesday and friday? I might try holding onto the weekend returns until tuesday to see if they ship all three on wednesday...
In any case, complain, complain, complain, they are treating high users with the unlimited plans to a different standard and are not willing to admit that they are not fulfilling their contract. If they admit what they are doing it'd be OK with me and I'd just switch to Netflix so I can get the odd DVDs that BB doen't ever send.
Complain and resend the complaint, and alway ask for coupons. I got 20 coupons in the last three weeks and a FREE MONTH! Not worth the hassle of having to complain constantly, but I won't let them BS me and not get compensated. I just give the coupons away anyways!
It's the principle.
So as of today I now get 4mailed + 4store DVDs per week (8 DVDs). Per month it would be about 35, or about $1.10 per movie. This is nearly 3 times what I originally signed up for (15.99/mo 3-unlimited).
So, yes they are throttling, and yes they are limiting JUST their high usage customers!

Anonymous said...

Here's the NEW HELP file Blockbuster added recently to justify DELAYING DVD shipments.

It's BS since the chance of a title going AVAILABLE within the 5 days they DELAY would almost never happen. They simply WASTE several days of my PAID ACCOUNT and end up sending AVAILABLE titles further down anyways, just several days later than the "same of next business day" that I paid for.

NEW Bloickbuster HELP:
Why must I keep at least 15 "Available" movies in my Queue?

We suggest you try to have 15 or more "Available" movies at the top of your Queue
to ensure there are no delays in shipments. Availability of movies can change from
day to day and we do not want you to have any disruption in service.
We want to send you the movies that are most important to you as reflected by the
priority you've set in your queue. If your top selections do not show an "Available"
status and you have fewer than 15 "Available" movies in Queue, we may wait an extra
day or two before we send something out so that we're always shipping the titles you
want most.

Anonymous said...

This problem has bothered me for years. Just got off the phone with Blockbuster and got some very interesting information.
According to the representative I talked with, the only people who get movies sent out on Mondays are those who returned their movies on Thursday or Friday. Those who returned their movies over the weekend will have their movies shipped out on Tuesday.

Just to confirm - this is correct: "1) They allocate DVDs from the TOP of your queue, and ONLY THE AVAILABLE TITLEs, so if you have a WAIT or UNAVAILABLE they STOP LOOKING and they WAIT a FEW DAYS and then they will look further down the QUEUE for AVAILABLE DVDs, depending on how many UNAVAILBLE or WAIT DVDs you have they will go further down the QUEUE a few days later again." They said I had to keep the top 10 in my queue as available. I don't understand how you have a search that just GIVES UP after not finding anything at the very top - it's clearly designed to not find movies to send out.

"They simply WASTE several days of my PAID ACCOUNT and end up sending AVAILABLE titles further down anyways, just several days later than the "same of next business day" that I paid for." EXACTLY.

2 more ways to throttle customers from Blockbuster.

Anonymous said...

Same thing on the throttling. Been a customer for two months. During the free period they sent movies instantly. Then over the past two months they have found more and more opportunities to delay. I will cancel my membership. By the way, their customer service personnel are virtually useless. I suggest you use the telephone to complain instead of or in addition to the web form. That will get better results for you. If you do use the webform, be sure to put in several complaints at the same time. They don't seem to notice that and it increases the odds you will get free instore rental coupons. Sometimes several at once!

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