Blockbuster courts Netflix users, asks them to pay more

7 Comments

Blockbuster (s DISH) is trying to take advantage of the outrage over Netflix’s (s NFLX) 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.

7 Comments

Jeff

So for 14.99 I can get 2 Blu-ray discs at a time with with either Netflix or Blockbuster? That sounds like the same, not more. Which one offers games and newer movies, and which one has been screwing over their loyal customers every chance they get? After 6 years I’ve dropped Netflix and signed up for Blockbuster.

The Lone Wulf

The $9.99/month, to me, is considerably more acceptable as a per-disc plan because I can get GAMES! I’m a long-time gamer and that’s just more important to me that “thousands” of movies that I’ve never heard of and will most likely never watch!

PoopyJoe

You’ll be paying $11.99 on Blockbuster for 1 DVD at a time. The $9.99 is for a limited time only. $4 a month more than Netflix isn’t going to win Blockbuster many new subscribers.

Lacy Underall

That is incorrect according to Blockbuster’s comments on their Facebook page. The pricing will stay the same.

pjfan

Does the $9.99/month expire after some amount of time? It’s $11.99 if you just go to blockbuster.com and sign up rather than going through the link in the article.

Ryan Lawler

Just to clarify: the $9.99 Blockbuster offer for former Netflix is available for a limited time, through September 15. Anyone that signs up after that, or without using the special sign-in page, will pay the usual $11.99 fee. But once they’re signed up, the $9.99 price is their rate for life. Or at least, until they cancel.

Lacy Underall

Blockbuster posted this offer on their Facebook page today and I’ve been following the comments. They said the pricing will NOT increase after the trial period and for those who are current Total Access customers, they can call their customer care to get the new pricing. They also said they’re working on something for people who are not Netflix customers.

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