Sunday, January 28, 2007

Blockbuster nastygram

I think I should just face up to the fact that I enjoy it when businesses treat me poorly so that I can write nastygrams full of righteous indignation. This one isn't as well put together as I would like, but I wrote it in one go and didn't go back to edit.

"I reported this issue earlier this week, and unfortunately, it has come up again. I requested the movie "Charly" over a week ago, but when I received it, the wrong DVD was in the sleeve. The DVD was also called "Charly," but it is a completely different movie. So I returned it to Blockbuster, reported the issue through the website, and waited for a replacement copy.

The replacement copy took a week to arrive, and when I put it in the DVD player, having geared myself up for a second time to watch it, I realized that again, it was the wrong DVD. In fact, I think it is the exact same wrong copy I received a week ago. This, despite my reporting the issue and specifically stating that while the movie was also called "Charly," it was a totally different film from the one I requested.

When my concerns were addressed by a representative, he suggested multiple times that I simply trade in the envelope for the DVD I wanted. I am not so dense as to not have realized this myself. But the DVD I have requested twice now is not available at any of my area Blockbuster stores. That is why I cannot simply trade in the envelope for this elusive DVD.

This issue aside, I have been very disappointed with my free trial, and will certainly be canceling it at the end of the trial period. The DVD turnaround time is simply atrocious. There are movies sitting in my Queue, marked as "Shipped," that I sent back to blockbuster as much as five days ago. Also, I was under the impression that when I took in an envelope to a Blockbuster store and traded it for a DVD, the envelope was immediately scanned as "returned." I was told this directly by a Blockbuster employee. However, according to the records kept on My Queue, this is not the case. Again, movies I traded in at a Blockbuster location have yet to be scanned in to My Queue as being returned.

Finally, there is the matter of your clunky website and faulty recommendations. I find your website difficult to navigate and aesthetically unattractive. Rating movies using your five-star system takes forever. The Featured Recommendations often remain on the home screen for days at a time, even if by some miracle they actually fit my tastes and have been added to My Queue. I don't know what kind of program you use to generate the recommendations, but my imagination is not fertile enough to conceive of a universe in which the unrated version of "Beerfest" would be a movie I am interested in.

Please, please send me the correct DVD of "Charly." That movie is most of the reason I signed up for this free trial - it is unavailable anywhere in my area. And when this free trial is over and I'm ready for a different DVD rental service, I will run, not walk to You just lost yourselves a customer."

The thing is, the stupid movie, "Charly," is most likely not worth any of this hassle. But I can't resist renting it since I feel like I'm the only one on earth who hasn't seen it. At this point, there is no way it can live up to my expectations. But after going through all of this, I'm determined to see it, no matter what!

ps - the phrase "my imagination is not fertile enough" was borrowed from Eric D. Snider, who borrowed it from Tom Lehrer, whoever that is.

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