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10/22/2009

Speed or Order: Choose How You Want Blockbuster to Throttle You

Blockbuster has added a new feature that allows you to apply new settings to your queue. On the My Account page, under Manage Account Settings, you can designate Shipping Preferences for your queue. You may choose either Speed or Order. If you select Speed, Blockbuster should ship DVDs to you according to which titles in your queue will ship the fastest with less regard to their rank in your queue. If you select Order, Blockbuster should ship DVDs to you according to their rank in your queue with less regard to speed. Furthermore, if you select Order, you will need to select how many extra days you are prepared to wait for the highest ranking titles in your queue. You may choose to wait one to five extra days.

Choose from these queue options carefully, because Blockbuster can use these preferences to their advantage. If you select Speed, you will be inviting Blockbuster to send DVDs that might be low in your queue but abundant in Blockbuster's inventory. If you select Order, you will be inviting Blockbuster to slow down your shipments with no guarantee you will actually receive your most desired titles. Either way, Blockbuster could use these settings to your disadvantage. Either you could get less desirable titles more quickly or more desirable titles more slowly.

At this point, it is unclear how these settings will affect which distribution center will be shipping your DVDs. When Blockbuster ships from distant shipping centers, days may be added to transit times. In recent months, Blockbuster has displayed a strong tendency to slow down the flow of DVDs to some subscribers by shipping from more distant centers. Blockbuster has not yet specified whether or how transit times will be factored based on a subscriber's Speed/Order queue shipping preference.

Here is the safe way to play this new Speed/Order queue feature. Set your preference to Speed, and do not have any titles in your queue that you would not be happy to receive. Keep your most desired titles at the top of your queue, and hope for the best. Blockbuster is still probably going to throttle you, but if you have your preference set for Speed and you have plenty of desired titles in your queue, Blockbuster will not have any legitimate excuses. Yes, Blockbuster will still probably throttle you, but they will have a hard time convincingly pinning the blame for the delays on you.

4 comments:

SD said...

Blockbuster still recommends more than 15 available titles in your queue.

Anonymous said...

Usually BB has been pretty good at shipping everything out on time, but recently they've targeted me pretty hard... I'm very pissed atm. It's been a full week since they started this. They refused to ship out a 3rd title out to me all week even though I received to shipments during the week 2 x 2. They finally sent the 3rd out on Friday...thx for nothing. Now it's Monday and I'm waiting for 2 new titles to ship out..no go so far. Oh they'll know how angry I am come 4pm and my queue is still lacking.

非凡 said...

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Anonymous said...

I have experienced similar issues since late October. I e-mail their customer service everytime a movie clears my queue and the next one is not shipped. They keep telling me its due to upgrades in process at their distribution centers.

Disc returned, next disc not shipped.
Day 1 e-mail: Reminder to ship my next disc from queue.
Day 2 e-mail: Demand another disc be shipped AND a free in-store rental for my inconvenience. Normally, a disc will be shipped.
Day 3 phone call: If not shipped yet, I call customer service. Since they tell it's due to upgrades, I demand more free in-store rental coupons.

Interestingly, my mother, who's on the same plan but doesn't return discs quite as often, hasn't had any issues getting her next disc from her queue.

Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. If I'm going to get throttled, I may as well go back to Netflix.

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