Thursday, March 08, 2007

 

More trouble for Blockbuster

After spending a small mint so far this year pushing awareness and sign-ups for its Blockbuster Total Access service, it appears that marketing success may be overtaking operational capacity.

The Hacking Netflix blog reports that "thousands" of Blockbuster Total Access customers are no longer receiving their DVDs, even though they returned their previous rentals days, and sometimes weeks, ago.

What's worse, the response from Blockbuster customer service first leaves inquiring customers on hold for 25 minutes, then says they have no ETA for a solution.

My experience with both Blockbuster Total Access and Netflix (I'm still a subscriber to both services) has proven that Netflix has a far better distribution network and operational capacity, in that nearly every DVD (no matter how obscure) is available from their Tacoma distribution center, meaning I receive my next disc the next day.

This is a double-punch for Blockbuster. Products sometimes break, sometimes don't work, and sometimes Web sites are down. Most consumers now assume that's a part of doing business. But it gets significantly worse when the company in question does not adequately or quickly address the issue with customers, or at a minimum validate the pain customers are feeling.

Said another way, if the issue isn't fixed quickly, this could be the best thing to happen to Netflix all year.

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