Blockbuster courts Netflix users, asks them to pay more

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Blockbuster is trying to take advantage of the outrage over Netflix’s recent price increase, which has caused a number of Netflix subscribers to announce that they are quitting the service. With a new campaign aimed at courting those users, Blockbuster is offering a 30-day free trial to its own Total Access DVD-by-mail service (with proof of Netflix membership). There’s just one problem: once 30 days are over, those new Blockbuster subscribers will have to pay $2 more than if they had just stayed with Netflix.

That’s because the Blockbuster Total Access plan, which was originally launched years ago as a competitor to Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service, costs $9.99 a month. That’s compared to the $7.99 a month that Netflix is now asking DVD-only users to pay for its service.

To be fair, we’re kind of comparing apples to oranges, as Blockbuster has a few advantages over the current Netflix DVD plan:

So the two offers aren’t exactly the same. Even so, if all the uproar over Netflix’s new plans is due to insensitivity over pricing during a time of economic unease, then actively courting disgruntled users and asking them to pony up even more for a similar service doesn’t exactly seem like a winning strategy. Sorry, Blockbuster.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Andrew Levine.

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