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Availability Is Becoming a Liability for Blockbuster Online

One of the biggest problems with Blockbuster Online right now is the issue of poor availability. Many, many titles are simply just not available in sufficient quantities to satisfy subscriber demand. The problem is not just with new releases but with older titles as well.

Add any ten titles to your queue at random, and--depending on your tastes--you are likely to find one or two have a status of Short Wait, one or two have a status of Long Wait, and one or two have a status of Very Long Wait. Even worse, there may be a couple of titles that have a status of On Order or the worst and most dreaded status of all: Unavailable. With all of the availability problems, you will be lucky if half of the titles in your queue have the status of Available.

This situation would not be so bad if it appeared Blockbuster was attempting to correct the problem by beefing up its inventory with more copies of the most wanted titles, but that does not seem to be the case. Titles with wait statuses may sit near the top of your queue for months on end. In some cases, they may never ship.

The silly thing about this is that everyone knows how easy it is to acquire used DVDs. Even somewhat obscure titles are fairly easy to locate on the Internet. Commonly, used copies of most DVDs are readily available for only a few dollars.

Why does Blockbuster not have a buyer who trolls the Internet looking for cheap used copies of DVDs that are in low-supply at the Blockbuster shipping centers? Why does Blockbuster not work out bulk purchasing deals with a few of the larger used DVD dealers who are selling DVDs all over the Internet? Why does Blockbuster not invite its customers to exchange their unwanted DVDs for account credit?

Used DVDs are so easy and cheap to acquire. Why does Blockbuster not want to spend a little money and fix its inventory problems? The issue of poor title availability has got to be irritating a huge portion of Blockbuster Online's subscriber base. What's the point in paying for a Blockbuster subscription when half of the titles you want to see are nearly impossible to get?


Tina Michelle said...

I am getting fed up with their long waits and unavailable movies. It just sucks. At least Netflix had all the movies you wanted.

Joe Woods said...

Glad to hear someone else is having that issue. We used to exchange movies in-store, but they closed all of the stores by us. I'm really getting tired of this and we are thinking about canceling our subscription.

Tim Lewis said...

Yep, about to leave them too. I was a Netflix (sux) customer for a few years, and they throttled my account because I cycled through too many movies (nevermind the "unlimited").

Seems that Blockbuster is having a case of the Netlfix flu (which they were sued over, and lost BTW). BB better fix it soon, or the doors will be swinging as the customers leave.

Stanky said...

I've been pretty satisfied with BB online over the years, but lately I'm experiencing the same prob. I only order new Bluray releases and I have 17 titles in my queue (some of which have been there for months). It's become apparent that they have cut back on inventory to the point that they couldn't even send me one title this week. When I'm paying for 2 at a time, and there is no longer a BB store close enough to me to pick up a movie, the value associated with subscribing to this service is worthless. I will be cancelling my subscription and looking at alternatives, if they don't straighten this situation out SOON.

Hiroshi Mishima said...

I have been using Blockbuster since the franchise came to California, and been using Blockbuster By Mail since I was offered it about 3 years ago. It used to be really good and I got a fair bit of mileage out of it finding old Doctor Who DVDs and games and such.

Now almost everything has wait, and about half are Unavailable, even stuff which is less than a year old. I don't spontaneously add new releases to my queue, and I never have a very big queue to begin with, so there HAVE been a few months where nothing comes at all and it is THAT which has been becoming increasingly frustrating.

I hate to say it, but I'm getting to the point where I stop renting movies altogether and find "alternate" sources for my viewing pleasure, because this is just ridiculous. I've heard a lot of the same complaints about Netflix, although I do hear they have a wider selection. Maybe I'll give them a go, but money is so hard to come by and if it's not worth it, I won't stay there long.

Anonymous said...

My funniest "unavailable" dvd was Fantasia 2000. I put this movie in my queue several years ago, stating it was available, last year it went from available to unavailable. Yet Disney re-released the movie on DVD recently and it still says unavailable. Or movies that are very long wait but our local store has one on the shelf. I don't understand why they would even have certain movies in their system if they don't have copies of them for rent, ah more money, duh! 350 in queue and nothing to watch

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