AfterDawn: Tech news

Netflix files lawsuit against Blockbuster

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Apr 2006 9:04 User comments (87)

Netflix files lawsuit against Blockbuster Netflix, a popular online DVD rental service with over 5 million subscribers, has filed a lawsuit against competitor Blockbuster alleging basically that the rental chain stole its ideas. Netflix has patents protecting the way its service works from how customers use its website to receive movies while paying a monthly subscription to how customers can keep movies for as long as they want without late fees and how they can rejig a "preferred film" list on the site.
Blockbuster is the world's largest video rental chain, but the company launched a Netflix-like service as demand for the store-based business began to decline due to Netflix and other online services becoming more popular. Now Netflix wants Blockbuster's similar service immediately halted and the court to award damages. Netflix was founded in 1999 as one of the first online DVD rental services.

Blockbuster is hoping that this year the number of subscribers to its service will increase to 2 million. Analysts predict that the challenge by Netflix will be complicated as it may be tricky to enforce their patents.

BBC News

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87 user comments

15.4.2006 9:23

More BOGUS patents. The have a PATENT covering "how customers can keep movies for as long as they want without late fees"? WTF? Why does the patent office issue this kind of crap? Total shite. "We provide air for our customers to breath inside all of our retail outlets. We got a patent on it so now all the other stores either have to remove the air from their stores, or pay us royalties."

25.4.2006 9:34

i dont think a patent would exactly cover consumers keeping dvds late and not having to pay extras fees, it would cover an aspect of the servioce that made that possible id assume

35.4.2006 9:37

We in the U.S. need to take a serious look at the patent laws and adjust them to better fit this multimedia world we have created. The sad thing about all of these lawsuits is that the real victim is innovation. Be careful when you build something new and exciting because some big company like M$ or Apple might be sitting on the patent. (not using it, just sitting on it so they can sue if anyone else does) :(

45.4.2006 9:43

lol this is like mcdonald suing burger king because they are the one that first came up with the drive thruough and this is also like Levi's suing all other companies because they're the first one to came up with the jean. This is just over reacting. they should separate common sense/everyday thing from the actually patent.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Apr 2006 @ 9:46

55.4.2006 10:12

I have to say that the Blockbuster service is terrible compared to the Netflix one. They delay shipping all your movies together so you cant get more than 3 a week! At first I thought it was a fluke but then I would send back all my movies in one envelope and they said they got them back at different time!! Then they would stagger my shippments so that discs were spread over the week, With Netflix I got three movies on Monday, shipped them back tuesday, and got three more friday and shipped back saturday and they never missed a shipment! Now they are skipping around in my list and sending things at random even though the site says instock and the movies are not new releases. All in all it is a terrible service, Netflix has been great so Im going back.

65.4.2006 11:52

Competition is the key. Netflix is trying to maintain a monopoly. Their service IS good (I use them). However, watch the efficiency fall when they have no competition. I say let Blockbuster compete. This case should be thrown out of court. We're taliking about policies here, and policies should not be copyrightable

75.4.2006 12:20

Netflix has a lawsuit against them right now because they are delaying the shipment of movies to customers (and they acknowledge this) who send back there movies too quickly. They claim they are losing money yet also advertise "unlimited" rentals.

85.4.2006 12:23

I have to say that the Blockbuster service is terrible compared to the Netflix one. They delay shipping all your movies together so you cant get more than 3 a week! At first I thought it was a fluke but then I would send back all my movies in one envelope and they said they got them back at different time!! Then they would stagger my shippments so that discs were spread over the week, With Netflix I got three movies on Monday, shipped them back tuesday, and got three more friday and shipped back saturday and they never missed a shipment! Now they are skipping around in my list and sending things at random even though the site says instock and the movies are not new releases. All in all it is a terrible service, Netflix has been great so Im going back.
You must have just got Netflix. When I first got it everything was just like you said it was but then they started screwing me by getting my returns on tuesday and they the put movies in the shipping section that say shipping wednesday. They lose money off people who rent too much so they start to make it so you can't. On the other hand, I've had no problems with Blockbuster online, so it really all just have to try each one.

95.4.2006 12:29

I agee with the comment above me, to say Netflix is beter than blockbuster is nuts. if you chack variuos blogs etc, it is clear you get more films per month and more new releases on blockbuster. This is my experience as well. I had both for one year: netflix got worse and worse and blockbuster better and better.

105.4.2006 12:30

HAHAHA!!!! now i wanna sue someone...

115.4.2006 12:39

I'm using Netflix and I think they are awesome! I return a movie and have the new one in 2 days. Not bad by my standards.

125.4.2006 12:41

@ iccee "HAHAHA!!!!" is my saying.... i'll see you in court PAL. 8)

135.4.2006 12:55

I have Blockbuster online currently (I had netflix) I can get up to 9 movies in a week .... If I have a shipment sent out to me on Monday I receive them by Tuesday and send back on Wed and have shipment sent out on Wed (I have my ways) and then I'll receive more on thursday send them back on Friday and have another shipment sent on Friday and receive that by Sat Monday at the latest and start the cycle all over again... Netflix you are lucky if you get 4 or 5 a week.. on a 3 DVD at a time plan...

145.4.2006 19:26

I think that while netflix are making you wait a few days before they decide you to send your next movie they all sit around playing monopoly & it seems to have gone to there head! i have never heard anything so stupid!

lol this is like mcdonald suing burger king because they are the one that first came up with the drive thruough
this is so true & where would it ever end if netflix actually won. could Ford sue GM beacuse they were the first to think of a car showroom? to sum up - this is pathetic! BTW i have used netflix & blockbuster & the "service" with both of them sucks!

155.4.2006 20:07

F*** Netflix, F*** them up there stupid A**. Suing Blockbuster is a bit*h way out to try and get rid of you competitor. I am canceling my Netflix account today and I will never use there service ever again. Netflix may have a better anime selection, but blockbuster provides a far better service. Also Netflix does not know the meaning of "UNLIMITED" rentals.

165.4.2006 21:03

Granting a patent confers a "negative right" upon a patent owner, because he or she may legally exclude competitors from using or exploiting the invention, even if the competitor has independently developed the same invention. IMO Netfix doesnt have a LEG to stand on. You cant patent the internet and/or a service that had already pre-existed before your company. (Just not the online portion) If thats the case BB could patent the first Video rental store... but we know they cant. That and NETFLIX is terrible, Blockbuster FTW!

175.4.2006 22:32

Netfilx is the worst severice i ever used coolbrz,wait a couple months bet your story will change ,its called "throttling" this happens after about he third month heres a thread i started several months ago about the poor service of netflix ,same thing happeded to about everyone that posted (throttling")

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Apr 2006 @ 22:33

185.4.2006 22:35

heres a good link also

196.4.2006 3:47

I have to agree with what gjl2002 said. Why are we creating soo much red tape about something that will be a new way of borrowing DVD's in the future. Not every1 lives near Video shops soo i reckon this is a good new idea. Keep up the good work either company. If someone doesnt like a certain company it is a free world soo change it. its as simple as that. :)

206.4.2006 4:08

Actually renting online just sucks period,but there is one good thing about BlockBuster that is better than Netflix.They give you a free in-store rental a week,which is a hell of alot better than what Netflix offers.I honestly would have to say give up on online renting and just find a close rental store or you can do both if you have the money ;).I would suggest just renting at a close rental store though instead of either one of the online rental sites.You can rent,return it,and then rent some more all in the same day.

...........................:SiG cReAtEd By Phantom69:............................

216.4.2006 5:19

Here's some facts and figures. We started Blockbuster after WalMart shut thier operation down. We moved our "2 at a time unlimited monthly" deal over to BB because Wallyworld made it easy... (a couple of mouse clicks and Viola'.) We joined BB on 6-09-05 and as of 4-08-06 we've received 90 movies. That's 9 movies a month. We live in Northern Maine USA and the movies always go back the next day. I suspect that Netflix would be just as good but no better. We are going to give them a shot and see.

226.4.2006 5:34

L-Burna, I'll tell you why it's better to rent online. Just for the simple fact that there are alot more selections to choose from. I mean, I see music DVD's and T.V. DVD's that you would not find in a Blockbuster store. At least not in ther one by me. Thousands of choices will probebly keep me renting online.

236.4.2006 6:24

Uummm how can you panent a bissness model? WTF is worng with these ass hats I have Netflix BTW I get my vids in a DAY if thier in and soemthing on mylist is always in.

246.4.2006 8:52

Well, I had Netflix for about 6 months and no problems what so ever. Im glad everyone on this site seems to be an F'n expert, just my opionion J-holes. I think it sucks you cant find what you want when you want at a rental store, in my humble opionin. Damn, Im sick of having to dumb down what I think so people on this site dont get bent out of shape. Here is an idea, if you dont like my posts when you see my name skip them. Netlix for me= zero problems Blockbuster= 90% problems Blow Me

256.4.2006 10:34

Funny shit, Toast!! :)

266.4.2006 10:43

Yeah I did Netflix before coolbrz and it was the worst rental service I used.It took a week for me to even get anything,and sending it back to get more was the same thing.I have a BlockBuster about 30 mins away,and could always use the free in-store rental coupon every week though.Your right about the selection,there are more to choose from online.I don't see the point in paying full price though for something that is half ass.If you are looking for rare hard to find stuff,then online is good for you.I never got anything from Netflix in 3 days it was always a week wait for recieving the rentals,and another week for them to recieve the rentals back.All together the most movies/games I could rent in a month from Netflix was like 6 cause the limit was only 3 at a time.If you don't care about rare hard stuff to find then just rent by store.I get all the latest movies/games from my movie store without any problems,and don't have to wait like two weeks to get something better.Like I mentioned earlier you could always do both,but I wouldn't just use an online rental service by itself the wait time is horrible.

...........................:SiG cReAtEd By Phantom69:............................

276.4.2006 12:21

Well, I'll tell you what, the day I have to start waiting 4,5,6,7 days to get a DVD, is the day I say fuck off!! But so far, it's been fine. Just 2 days from the day I send it back till the day I get the new one. Thanks for the info though. If that's Netflix way of only showing good service at first then declining, I will be the first to go!!

286.4.2006 14:12

About 9 months ago I used Netflix and Blockbuster at the same time. Netflix was far superior. I quit Blockbuster and used only Netflix. About 4 months ago I tried Blockbuster again and they had improved but still not as good as Netflix. I quit Blockbuster again. Now Netflix has really slowed down and I was lucky to get 12 movies a month. I tried Blockbuster again and Blockbuster is sending out movies much faster and I am getting about 20 a month. So for the time being I am sticking with Blockbuster. Also you get 4 walk-in movies at the Blockbuster store.

296.4.2006 18:37

Darn funny Toast. :) I like a person who uses ALL their freedom of speech. aabbccdd thanks for that site. I just learned more about dvd rental than any one person needs to know. Whew! Everyone should check out that site.

306.4.2006 18:37

As far as Netflix having better service. They were recently slapped with a class action suite for doing the exact same thing. I am glad to here they have gotten better. Both used to keep you to 3 disks per week or less. I know they get my mail the next morning becaue I live in there town and drop the disk at their post office. It will take them days to say the got it then days after they "say" the shipped it before I get it. BB has much less selection but the surface quality is much better at BB. Netflix never like to grind them down. Netflix will have a diffucult time with patent infringement. The patent office will sell you a patent but that does not make it worth much. To be inforcable you need to prove your concept is completely new and not adding some wrinkles to SOPs. Netfixs idea is not all that new. Companies have been selling DVDs on the internet for some time. All they did was allow you to send them back. It was a good idea and the guy that thought of it must be rich. They would do better by improving service; stating that they will process a disk in a day. They were asked to do that but they prefered to give us a free month which they have never given me mine. They are just as rotten as BB.

316.4.2006 18:49

Netflix needs the competition. Netflix started "throttling" me also. I am on the 3 per time limit, but they will wait and space their return delivery over several days. At first I decided that the Contract "Mail person" was opening and "borrowing" disks. I have resorted to securely taping shut the return envelopes. It did speed up the least for the first 4 months. Then I noticed that I would send in 3 disks at the same time, and they would acknowledge them one at a time over three days, which meant that new disks were sent at odd times spaced over the next week. The on line rental has a major problem in obtaining a "hit" movie. Madagascar took over 3 months before it was shipped. Probably because some kid kept it for a month, and there were only a few disks for circulation. My disk was back in the mail the next day. (Yes, I watch my movies when I want to. I have my ways too.) I like Anime, so Netflix has a good selection. But I really wish that Regular movies, especially the old B type with sequals were made availble. Netflix only carries Trancers 1 and Trancers 6. I never got to see all of them. It is sorta like when I was a kid and missed chapter 5 of the Saturday Serial at the movies. It was lost forever. Should never happen in this electronic age. Keep the competition, it will encourage improvement. Also, I hope Netflix reads some of these replys and tries to improve. dont hold your breath.

326.4.2006 19:05

C'Mon Netflix like renting stuff online is a novel idea. Kudos for being a pioneer, but you can't hold the monopoly. I use blockbuster and personally I have been pretty happy with them. I like the one free instore rental per week thing. It lets me get a new release that may be held up due to demand. I have had a couple periods where the movies come slower, but mostly I get 6 - 9 movies a week. I barely watch TV anymore.

336.4.2006 20:04

I wonder if they're going to go international and sue companies in other countries for copying their idea. In Australia, I know of three (and there's prob more) companies that do this type of rental : homescreen, quickflix, and bigpond. In the olden days - if someone had an idea and someone else saw that idea and did that same, the first person just gritted their teeth and tried to do it better. These days, if someone copies your idea, you sue them. Sheesh!!

346.4.2006 20:49

I have to agree wit everyone Netflix or "SUCKFLIX" (like I like to call them), really stink. Just this past week i switched to blockbuster and so far i have received six movies in week with the 3 at a time program only in my dreams i could get this response from Netflix... I also enjoyed the fact that i was able to get two in store free rentals instead of one. If anyone is interested in signing up with Blockbuster i suggest you do it thru the site as you will get an extra in store rental. I've been using the website for all my online shopping and it really has worked perfect for me.

356.4.2006 21:31

There are other differences between Netflix and Blockbuster Online that I've noticed. I have both and have noticed that if you want to rent TV shows Blockbuster is the one to use. The shows that are on double sided disks are issued one side at a time from Netflix while Blockbuster sends the double sided disk cutting in half the time it takes to get through a whole season of shows. Also, when there are movies with the special features on a separate disk or bonus disks those disks are not available for rental from Netflix. Blockbuster sends the second disk as a separate selection if you want it but at least you have the option.

366.4.2006 21:51

BB is def. more straight up with you where netsucks isnt .throttling is netflix middle name

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Apr 2006 @ 22:33

377.4.2006 1:15

Odd, I never had a problem with NetFlix for 2 years. Only reason I switched to BlockBuster was cause I get the extra coupons, course you always have to wait for something to be like a month old to get it in store, provided it was even slightly popular. But it helps suppliment "downtime". Never had the long wait, lost dvd, cracked/scratched dvd problems at all. Never had to wait more than 3 days for a dvd and I live in a small town in a low population state. Sucks you all had that experience, but when you service millions of people, there are bound to be some problems. Last i heard there were 3.5 million subscribers, even if 35,000 subscribers had a bad experience that's one percent, a 98% positive service record is considered outstanding in retail(no idea about rental, though with the state local video stores are in these days I'd say it's exemplary). Anyway, that's my two cents...

Setup: A bunch of Silicon, Plastic and Wires stuffed into a box.

387.4.2006 3:19

My own opinion - I have had netflix for over 3 years. I keep track of my rentals and in the last 6 months (Oct - Mar) I have received 122 rentals. That is an average of just over 20 per month (3 at a time rental). Even with tax that is around 95 cents per rental. Blockbuster may be different (I am sure that there are horror stories about both places) but I really can't complain about not having to go out to the rental store and go back to return. Netflix has a HUGE selection (yes, sometimes you have to wait for new or popular releases) but all this for 95 cents a disk is not bad.

397.4.2006 5:22

Person above me said: "That is an average of just over 20 per month (3 at a time rental)." bullcrap. Check any of the rental blogs. the limit on netflix "three at a time" is 12 per month. some months you might get 14, but next you would get ten. The limit on blockbuster is about 15, PLUS two films or games or four fims in-store. Average if you turn films around fast is 17 to 19. Plus with Blockbuster you have amuch beter chance of getting new releases instead of the 25 minute yoga disks netlfix uses to beef up tehir total dvds. I had both for a long time and Netflix got worse and worse andworse and blockbuster better and better. it is way better than netflix at the moment. That is why Netflix is obviously SCARED and suing to maintain a monoploy. Netflix is doing ten times more to give itself a black eye among consumers, and much quicekr, than blockbuster ever did. They know their time is limited becasue of changes in technology and are probably going crazy that blockbusters entry and competition stopped them from going to $25 amonth for a limit of of 10. They were not even the first with dvd rental by mail, they just patented a process used by several small players who probably never thought to patent it. Screw netflix, its service has gone down the tubes and its attitude blows.

407.4.2006 5:28

Rocky999 your point is well taken. Although both may not deliver what they promise which is very aggravating, they still provide a good service for a good price. BB unlimited, 3 per week, is about 12 discs for $15. I find I average only about 10 even though I normally have a superfast turn-around, my kids miss place discs. That is still good and the selection is better than any store. I really suspect BB did not make real in-roads into Netflix until they had the extra one coupon per week. That brings my in-store coupons to 7 a month. After a few months of that I am running out of new releases that I have not seen. I usually get any release I am interested in on opening day. I know of plenty of other Netflix folks that switched because of the coupons. I think it is the coupon polacy, a new concept that is the driving force in the law suit.

417.4.2006 8:22

MrToast, Well spoken. I have also had Netflix for a few years now and can't make a single complaint about their service. If there was a problem with a lost or broken disc (only happened less than 3 times over 2 + years) it was taken care of immediately. I never felt anything but a helpful and friendly attitude from Netflix. I will also say I did the free trial from blockbuster because it had 2 discs i couldnt get on Netflix. Their service was far slower and inferior. Thier site has problems and the wait was somehow much longer than Netflix. The ONLY good part about blockbuster was the free instore coupons. However, I dont know where you guys live, but every blockbuster i have went into only employed Aholes who are of no help at all. Going in the store was a pain and a nuissance. I am glad to be rid of that place finally. I have turned at least 5 of my friends onto Netflix and they all love it and have given up going to blockbuster for good. Netflix knows what they are doing, the have a better experience about online rentals than blockbuster ever will. Suing them seems a little insecure, yet its about time someone knocked Blockbuster down a few pegs. I mean 8 bucks for an f-ing game is out of control. I have had nothing but problems from Blockbuster. Screw them. My Blockbuster boycott continues.... Long Live Netflix

427.4.2006 8:47

S2K - "bullcrap"? So now you are going to tell me how many netflix envelopes I get a month? I don't really care what the blogs say. Of course you are going to hear from people who are not happy in the blogs, not the ones who are good with the service. You can think its bull if you want, but I know what I am getting and what I am paying for it. I love the so-called experts here who think they know what is going on with other people.

437.4.2006 10:29

Rocky the blogs are comprised of mostly fans of netflix. Look at hacking netflix. no one gets more than 12 disks per month from netflix after the first few months of service. Blockbuster is 17 to 19 and has more new releases, Netflix is limited to 12.

447.4.2006 13:09

You are saying that they actually have a policy of limiting people to 12 a month? If that is the case, then I guess I am the only person on Netflix getting more than 12 a month. I would be more than happy to email my rental activity to you or post it here.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Apr 2006 @ 13:10

457.4.2006 13:24

I've had both. Both have a similar selection. Blockbuster ships quicker. Netflix uses the infamous "fairness algorithm" that deceives new users into thinking the service is good, when actually they slow down frequent renters in favor of allowing n00bs first selection of new movies. Netflix is NOT superior to Blockbuster Online. If anything they are virtually identical - but I would have to say Blockbuster is slightly better because they don't throttle customers like Netflix does, and you get free in-store rentals that include games. Two free games pays for the monthly fee by itself. A no brainer. Netflix got nothin.

467.4.2006 13:44

I live in the UK and I must admit Blockbuster does offer a crap service. I to had many problems with them, as my friend did. I contacted them about my problem, which was they said I did not have enough disc on my list (only 90 of them) and that's why they could not send me the amount that my package claimed to offer. They then told me that I would need to add more disc, I simply cancelled and went to a new service on Sainsbury's where I have had no problems what's so ever. It's interesting that Blockbuster sucks across the pond also. Banmrk

477.4.2006 13:53

None of you people seem to understand that where you live is a huge factor for the quality of service you receive. For example, I'm in Binghamton, NY. The nearest Netflix center is in Syracuse, and the nearest Blockbuster center for me is in Rochester. For me, Netflix is MUCH faster than Blockbuster, since it takes only a day to received a dvd, compared to at least 2-3 days from Blockbuster. Sometimes, I've lucked out and gotten something within 1 business day from BB, and sometimes it's taken 4. Also, what you want may not always come from the nearest shipping center. I watch a lot of anime. So some discs I've asked for can come from other parts of the country. I've even gotten a disc from Honolulu! I believe that Blockbuster has the same problem, only that discs go to the nearest distribution center first and then come to you, which takes slightly longer. It really depends on where you live and what you watch. Blockbuster does have a significantly greater variety than Netflix (Netflix usually has a lot of vanilla versions of films whereas BB will usually have more special editions and such), but the service takes longer for me. The in-store coupons are a moot point, as the nearest BB store is 50 miles away. I strongly prefer Netflix since it's faster for me, but it's obviously a different for people who live in say, Rochester or Buffalo. And what is with people arguing like mad over which company is better? Do they pay your salaries? Sheesh!

487.4.2006 14:06

"I live in the UK and I must admit Blockbuster does offer a crap service. I to had many problems with them, as my friend did. I contacted them about my problem, which was they said I did not have enough disc on my list (only 90 of them) and that's why they could not send me the amount that my package claimed to offer. They then told me that I would need to add more disc, I simply cancelled and went to a new service on Sainsbury's where I have had no problems what's so ever." I've been waiting a while for BB to send me a movie that's listed as being available at the very top of my queue. For some reason, they just won't send it to me. BB can be difficult when it comes to getting stuff at the top of your queue, but Netflix has given me the same problem, only to a lesser degree. What really drives me nuts about BB is that they've twice put the wrong discs in their movie sleeves. I kept getting the newer edition of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" when I was looking for the BBC version. Plus, they gave me the newer version of "Dark Water" when I was looking for the Japanese original. Netflix does bring their own set of problems though. I've had a few more damaged discs come from them compared to BB (but then, I rent a lot more discs from Netflix than from BB. Plus, a few times it's taken ridiculously long for them to receive a DVD I sent back to them. They make you wait a certain number of days before reporting it missing, whereas BB lets you report a missing disc faster. Someone said that Netflix tries to slow down their service for people who return theird discs quickly. Personally, I think both services do that. For me, BB has done it to a greater degree than Netflix, since I'm lucky if I get 10 discs a month from them now. I've used them for six months and they are getting much worse. Netflix has shown a drop-off in service too after three months, but not as significant as BB showed after my first three months with them. But the fact that I'm further away from BB's local center could have something to do with it.

497.4.2006 16:21

SK2 made a good point. Both companies give you better service in the beginning. I got 20-30 disks the first few month from both companies. I usually got 2 turn arounds a week and I was holding on to them longer. The big complaint is not that there are relays when the disks come from far away. I live in a town where both companies have very large offices. I usually drop off the disks in their post office after watching the movie. I know it is in their post office box the next morning. They usually takes several days for them to state they got my disk. Then it takes days after the claim they sent it before I get it. Because I am local, it does not go to a center, it is picked up by my postman. It should only take a day. They purposly slow the process way down for a person that shares the same post office with them. So there really is no advantage being so close. In fact I often put two disks into the same envelope usually I will get notification that they got one fairly promptly. The other disk always take a few days longer for them to state they got it.

508.4.2006 3:40

Netflix sucks! Yes, they limit you to 12 movies/month. It's in their policy now. They call it giving priority to users who rent less, but actually it's just a way to limit how much they spend in shipping and return fees. It's underhanded. Also,if a disc is missing, Netflix makes you wait a week before you can report it...another way they limit you. You can report it right away with Blockbuster and they'll send a new one. I'll never give another cent to Netflix. Also try to ask why you rentals are slowing down and you'll get no response. If you haven't experienced this you are either too new a customer or don't rent over 12/month.'ll see. Blockbuster in general is sometimes slower, but at least you can get new releases. Netflix makes you wait months if you are an old customer.

518.4.2006 3:56

"Yes, they limit you to 12 movies/month. It's in their policy now". Where do you people come up with this stuff? I read through the entire policy on their sight and it does NOT say that they limit you to 12 a month. If you would please, copy that section and paste it here because I can't find it. Please back up your statements with fact.

528.4.2006 7:03

I have used Netflix off and on for 2 years gettign soemthing new always took time but hell even the local block busters didnt have them in always so its par for the corse,Netflix could use soem competion I see it starting to stagnate in some things and we have plenty stinky monoplys to deal with in life....Blockbusters whole mail order setup could use imp[roveing as well as add games to it and they could easily fight netflix and mabye make a headway into game rentals but they lack the foresight to do it.

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

Check out my crappy creations

538.4.2006 7:37

"It's in their policy now. They call it giving priority to users who rent less, but actually it's just a way to limit how much they spend in shipping and return fees. It's underhanded." No, they don't specifically say 12..they never will. I said it's *called* "priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs." It's funny though how since the low renters get priority there is never ever a time when the high renters get more than 12 discs a month!? Geez, they must be short-staffed, yet they are seeking more users. This limiting of movies is certainly not "unlimited" as they claimed when I joined...and by the way they lost a lawsuit over it. Look, I joined Netflix about 2-3 years ago and I thought it was the greatest thing. It was a day turn around for me. Then after a few months everything started slowing down. They wouldn't receive a movies for 2-3 days and shipping took 2-3 days to where I was only getting 3 movies a week ..12 a month. I know it well. There was never one response to emails questioning why this was happening. Everyone who complains about Netflix says the same thing..they get 1 turn week for every "# at a time" they pay for and that's all. Four of my friends have experienced the exact same thing. You can read some other complaints and defenses her if you scroll down. Rocky999: Maybe you are not a heavy renter. Maybe you have not been a member long enough. I hope you continue to get *great* service. What Netflix is doing is wrong. If I pay the same money as everyone else why shouldn't I get their best service. It's not my fault if others don't rent as much. If others decide to rent more they should get the same service. I want predictable and fair service and not be denied access to new releases because I have been a member for a long time. Long-time customers should be rewarded for loyalty, not punished. I finally quit Netflix about 6 months ago and went back to Blockbuster. They are just about as fast as Netflix overall...12 a month and sometimes a couple more.

548.4.2006 10:28

leia176 , good info i saved thoses links they pretty much admit what there doing but on the other hand dont want to appear that way to a new coustomer, so you have to read there agreement plans BEFORE you join. i canceled several months ago when i was knocked down to 12 a month. i wonder if anyone has tryed to rejoin and if the same thing happens when they do the "throttling"

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Apr 2006 @ 10:57

558.4.2006 19:39

I also have used Netflix 3-at-a-time for nearly three years have never received less than 20 in a month. I don't care if you don't believe me.

569.4.2006 1:02

I rented "Dreamer" and I received it from Louisville, Ky now that all well and fine if you live close to LV, Ky right? Well I happen to live in Oregon!! Now I wouldn't think to much of this if this was the only time that it had happened but it's not. Received one last week from Columbus, Ga.!! I use to get 3 a week but as of lately I haven't!! I about ready to go to Blockbuster!!

579.4.2006 1:39

All companys try underhanded shit from tiem to time,I'll need to test it I have no dout they will limit it somehow I just wonder what my resualts will be heheheeh :0

589.4.2006 4:15

To all those who say they are not throttled and rent many more movies a month than 12 on the 3-at-a-time plan: Congrats. I believe you, but I know what happened to me and four friends..and all of these other people wouldn't be wasting their time complaining if they weren't turned bitter. First you think it's high you let it go. Then you think it was a fluke, so you let it go. Then you email and get no response. Then you are counting on a movie coming by a certain day and then you get pissed when it doesn't come. Then you see that "shipping tomorrow" and you's only 10am. Why the f&@k don't they ship now, or go to the next movie if it's not on-hand? Then you mail back on a Wednesday so there is no way they can't say they didn't get it by Friday and they still don't receive it. If they do they delay your next shipment until Monday anyway. They love to push everything to the weekend so you can be delayed even more..especially if there is a holiday. Then, it's funny how when you first join you mail 3 movies together and they receive them together the next day. Later it's takes 2-3 days and they receive 1 a day over 3 days. Boy that postal service sucks doesn't it? Even if you still think it is worth it to get 12/movies a month how can you support a company that uses these tactics to screw their customers? I think if there is a limit just *tell* me the limit. Don't delay my shipments. When I hit the magic number of 12 then that is all I rent for the month. Better to be upfront. We need more competition! Blockbuster may not be perfect, but I get fast response from customer service, shipping on Saturday, free in-store rental coupons, double-sided discs (not specially made ones from netflix to make them single-sided so you have to rent twice as many, and ability to report a missing disc immediately. that's all I can think of for now. Also here's a site that will see if you've been throttled and one on how Netflix throttles you. This one is about a guy, a statistician I guess, who got so pissed off he opened another account in his wifes name and compared the accounts. Pretty interesting. And more complaints and arguments:

599.4.2006 7:36

Anyone want to TRY Blockbuster online? Promo Code: bbstore for a free month of Blockbuster Online...

609.4.2006 7:44

Your best bet for renting Movies is if you don't mind going to the video store.. Going to Blockbuster and getting one of their IN STORE Passes and rent as many movies for a month for one fee.. if you want to rent a movie and return it 2 or 3 hrs later you can...

619.4.2006 16:33

Rocky999 Netflix was successfully sued because their real polacy 12 a month was not their advertised polacy. It sould like they need to be sued again! BlockBuster is no better in that respect. They need to be sued as well. At 12/month they can really hold you to maybe 10 because you sometimes slip. Still 10 for $15 is not all that bad. I did Netflix for over 2 years and BB for over a year. I also did a few in-store deals where you rent a disk or two for the month and you can switch them out several in a day. That is the cheepest way to rent if all you want to do is do movies. Now I am content to get my 10 and get 7 coupons for a BB store. That breaks down to 6 new releases and 11 oldies per month. They dont release 6 good movies a month.

6210.4.2006 10:24

Yes, in-store rentals may be the cheapest way to rent movies, however the selection is not there.

6310.4.2006 10:45

Maybe they may trying to behave since they have been sued. Not sure exactly why, but I have always done well by them. I am a VERY heavy user. I have been using netflix since Oct 03 and have never gotten less than 16 titles in 1 month with several months getting 23. Just this last Saturday (april 8th) I dropped off 3 envelopes at the PO in the morning. Today (Monday) my que shows that they recieved all three and they are sending out 2 titles today and one on tuesday. Now granted, I don't always get my top picks right away but I keep my que full (currently at 151)so who cares. I live in North Central NJ and there is a netflix depot in New Brunswick (NJ) which is about 40 miles away. Maybe that's the reason but I have been very happy with them. If I ever get to the point of getting 12 or less a month, then I will drop them. Simple as that. But right now, I really can't complain at all. Maybe it really depends if you live in a "heavy" user area?

6410.4.2006 11:20

I've used both Netflix and Blockbuster and still do. Between the two you can usually find an old movie that you're looking for. If one doesn't have it the other usually does. I've had problems with both as well. With Blockbuster I've had to report and send back a lot of broken disks. One movie it took 3 times before I got an unbroken disk. I've had queue problems with Blockbuster as well. I've had a movie sitting at the top of my queue for 6 months and most of the time it was listed as available now but was passed over. Apparently if the movie isn't available from one of the nearest distribution centers because they no longer have a copy, there is no effort to ship it from elsewhere. So I take that to mean that this particular movie is available... but not to me. I'm going to leave it there at the top of my list and see how long it takes, if ever, to get it. With Netflix I've experienced the "throttling". I get no more than 12 movies a month. Add to that the fact that they send out "rental versions" of TV series disks which were originally issued as 2 sided disks but if you rent them from Netflix you get each side on a separate disk. I think it's kind of a toss up between the two. Netflix sends out the movies as soon as they say they've gotten the returns and I get them the next day... but it seems to take longer for them to log them in as having been received. Blockbuster adds the time on the other end. They're quick to respond that they've received a returned disk but slower at sending the next one out. I rent using the 3 at a time program from both. Blockbuster has also changed its policy about the use of the monthly coupons for new subscribers. Only those with subscriptions at the time of the policy change will still be able to use the coupons to rent games. New subscribers will only be able to use the coupons to rent movies.

6510.4.2006 15:13

How the hell do you tell 2 double sided discs apart? 0-o they realy should count every 2 or 4 discs to a show as "1" going by stright dvd count is fudgeing with the numbers I think >>

6610.4.2006 18:44

"leia176 (Newbie) 10 April 2006 14:24 Send private message to this user Yes, in-store rentals may be the cheapest way to rent movies, however the selection is not there." Wrong. For new releases in store is the best. Over at hacking netflix Netflix users report average wait for new releases is 2 to 4 weeks. 40 year old virging took most netfilx users over a month to get. blockbuster users reported gettting it in two weeks online BUT constsant store availabilty. same thing for other new releases such as brothers grimm, king kong, geisha, jarhead etc. very long waits on netflix, shorter waits on blockbuster online -- constant availabity in stores. so those store blockbuster store coupons are in fact a better seletion of on demand movies than netflix! Of course if you want to rent 20 minute yoga disks that sell for $4 to purchase netflix does have a good slection!

6711.4.2006 2:17

Just tried BB for this month after using Netflix for over 2 years. Mail is slow (took 7 days to for mail to reach me from the time the website said it sent it), customer service sucked, and the only great thing was the in-store coupons for new movies. I think it would help BB if one could drop off a viewed DVD and the clerk could log it into the computer right away so the next DVD can be sent. However theres only 1 guy in the entire store thats worth his salt anyway. Going back to Netflix!

6811.4.2006 5:40

s2k..not necessarily wrong on the in-store selection. Does the store carry 50,000 titles?? Yes, definitely for new releases. It depends on what you rent. I like science and nature shows, documentaries, television series and old movies along with newer stuff so I'm perfectly happy not to go to the store.

6911.4.2006 8:01

I just got my first damaged disc from Netflix. Cracked!

7011.4.2006 10:05

I've read all the bitches about Netflix, and I have some advice for you. First of all, make sure the bar code on the envelope shows through the opening in the mailer. I often have to rap the mailer on edge to make sure it shows. That way when Netflix gets your return they run it through a sanner and voila! You are credited! The same applies to sending two in a mailer. The second one won't show, and so it must wait until some warm body gets to it and opens the mailer. How long does this take? Your guess is as good as mine as computerization is taking over from warm bodies who usually can't read or make chane anyway. A good many of you writing to this newsletter can't spell worth jack anyway! Second, yes Netflix got sued. By a law firm in San Francisco who found someone who thought he'd been "misled." They filed a Class Acton suit wherein they can get astronomical fees regardless of what the "class members" get. The result? Netflix settled, the lawyers got their "fees" and the guy who complained got jack. And Netflix, having learneed their lesson, changed their rules and started making sure that new subscribers got preference. You can read the policy on their web site. The moral of this story? 1- Quitcherbellyaching and be glad that someone buys all those DVDs and rents them under reasonable conditions; and 2- Don't get the lawyers involved! I know. I'm a retired lawyer! Oh yes, I like anime and those are the DVDs that are broken and scratched because they are rented by juvenile delinquents who aren't careful and don't consider others who may rent the same disk. Speaking of Anime, I also like Hentai and if you want to get jerked around, sign up with one of those on-line rental sites.

7111.4.2006 13:50

Oh My! Isn't brasscap sensitive. Spelling and everything. This is still America and we have a right to express our opinions. It isn't Mexico yet? Go Netflix, Blockbuster and all the others. Just do the best that you can. Chill out Dude....................

7211.4.2006 20:04

Zippy, it's not a matter of telling 2 double sided disks apart. I rented The Dukes of Hazzard from Blockbuster which sends out 2 sided disks. One side of one of them was damaged so I checked out Netflix to try to rent the same disk from them. That's when I found out that Blockbuster sends out double sided disks and Netflix has what they call rental versions. The disks are numbered and there are twice as many of them. They are labeled one sided disks and if you make the comparison you see that each disk represents one side of the double sided disk you get when you rent from Blockbuster. Hope that clarifies things for you. lol

7314.4.2006 18:57

I have to agree with ALL persons decimating netflix. I have been a member of netflix for 3 months. For the first 2, they sent me the desired DVD's accoring to my "contract" (2 at a time, NO LIMIT), and they were (I state WERE) reliable. HOWEVER, once the third month rolled around, they started "throttling" my account, ie. would acknowledge receipt of the two returned, but would only ship one. and then after a two day wait would state that the next one would ship. When I complained, I just got more of their BULL S@^t stating that certain DVD's are on a "on call waiting status". What a bunch of CRAP. I even made complaints of "Bad" dvd's and they delayed the shipment of those also. Now, I get the crap of (remember they acknowledged receipt of my last two dvd on 4/11/06) they stated that the next dvd's would be shipped on 4/13/06. One of them and the other was supposedly shipped on 4/12/06 with a arrival date of 4/15/06. NOW, just what do you suppose is happening??? Obviously they are delibertaly throttling anyone that wants to watch over 12 dvd's a month. So much for their "within 1 business day" crap. Additionally, they have the gall to send me an advertisement asking me to upgrade to 4 at a time, for 23.95 (US) plus taxes, 5 at a time for 43.95 (US) a month, and 6 at a time for 53.95 (US) a month. Just what do you think would happen if I tried those others?????? Thanks but to NETFLIX, I say F$%K you. I am changing to a different DVD on-line service. As a disabled vet. I find that this is especially discriminatory, but to ALL others, it is also discrimation BIG TIME!!

7414.4.2006 19:16

Oh My Brasscrap is realy "a lawyer". The moral of this story? 1- Quitcherbellyaching and be glad that someone buys all those DVDs and rents them under reasonable conditions; and 2- Don't get the lawyers involved! I know. I'm a retired lawyer! He/She seems to be oblivious to the stated "terms of agreement/contract" that people sign when subscribing to NETFLIX. Or for that matter any other DVD service. What NETFLIX has done is change conditions "without" notification. AND they have changed the rules of "unlimited".. Well maybe Brasscrap needs a "real" reality check.

7514.4.2006 23:46

I believe you have it right "Tashacat" You can still air your differences and always seems people like "Brasscap" has to tell everybody else how stupid you sound!! Now him/her should no all to well if they were really a lawyer that there is still that freedom of speech in the good old USA. Now I would like to quote "Brasscap" on degrading other people and there writing & spelling skills!! "How long does this take? Your guess is as good as mine as computerization is taking over from warm bodies who usually can't read or make chane anyway. A good many of you writing to this newsletter can't spell worth jack anyway!" Now as you can see if you read what he wrote he misspelled the word "Change"!! Now being a ex-lawyer he probably didn't have his para-legal sec. write it for him!! So before you judge others you better judge yourself. If this thread on Netflix isn't for airing our complaints most of us wouldn't be here, I know i'm not looking for legal help I'm just wondering if others have had the same problems as I have with the service of Netflix nothing more nothing less.

7616.4.2006 9:34

Just a worst case example of what "they" do. I do not differentate between them. They have the same tactics except BB does keep the scratches down much better than Netflix. Anyway, last Saturday I put an envelope with 2 disks into the mailbox at the postoffice that has their PO box. This means they got it Saturday or Monday morning at the latest. They claimed they got the one on Wed. but have not claimed they have gotten the other after a week. If anyone can say this is anything but way wrong speak up. Mind you I will keep the service because mail order is still the best value. What I am saying is they purposely ignore their own contract. Any business that will actually give you unlimited DVDs for 15 USD/month would really take business away from the two giants. Of course, the giants would be forced to do better or lose everything.

7718.4.2006 6:37

My latest update - so far for April, Netflix has sent me 14 discs, including Hostel, which just came out. It's only the 18th of the month so I expect to hit around 17 to 20 disks this month.

7818.4.2006 14:16

Well, Rocky999, you are just special, I guess. Hope it stays that way for you.

7919.4.2006 2:45

Thanks Lei176, I hope so too!

8020.4.2006 23:33

My 2 Cents! In defense of Netflix . . . (my #1 contributer off & on for the past couple of years), has been both good and bad to me. More Good though. As for Blockbuster . . . I use the In-Store Movie Pass. I'm on the 3-at-a-time unlimited. When I first started, I was there more than most of their employees! They know me too well, and every Tuesday, they hold the new releases for me (of my choice). $38/mo. after taxes, for me, is worth it. I get ALL the New Releases every Month. My minimum is 12 NR's + some per month - not to mention pretty smiles and club invites every so often! :) Let's calculate for a sec. . . (NR's at WalMart $16 each! x 2 + tax is just a couple of dollars less than I pay now . . . Over 4k in my collection now, not bragging, it's hard work, and lot's invested My advise . . . become a NEW online member every so often if you really think the "throttling" is affecting you. (totally new name ofcourse, or you'll get the "Welcome Back, John!" I remember when you could do the 2 free weeks, upgrade to 8-at-a-time the day you were billed, then 5 more were sent out the next day, and cancelled before the 8 dvd's billing cycle. . . and start all over again (John Doe). over 60 a month I averaged for about 6 months . . . then I had to go back to work. I guess somebody let the cat out of the bag recently, because that no longer works. Boo-Hoo! :( My Final Note . . . The US Post Office and the Netflix/Blockbuster distribters in your area, route, etc. play a large factor in all of this, so don't be too distraught with delays. Cancel if you are unhappy . . . but be sure to complain aboout it. Okay, I'm off my soap box now. I got to get back to figuring out my problem with HOSTEL.


8121.4.2006 3:08

Great advice Zero! I have used the instore pass but after 6 months I was able to exhaust 2 stores of anything my family wanted to see. Now I just use the weekly coupon and the in store power buyer or rewards system. How you change your identity with BB? I tried to do that and was foiled. Actually, now that I think of it that was not on line that was the store card which they want a drivers license. Anyway, how you you store your disks? I just use the paper sleeves. Anything more gets too bulky. All my disks go into the paper sleeves even the non back up disks. The boxes are too bulky. I have a few hundred of those as well. I prefer the foil disks if I can get them for a bargain ($10 or less depending on the movie). The foil disks last forever and I do not mind paying a reasonable price for a good movie. I used to keep them in old 5.25 floppy disk boxes that would hold about 25 disks. Now I just stack them in no order. I have kids who disrupt any of my ordering systems and my wife will not let me beat them so I have given up.

8221.4.2006 4:36

I think Zero's comment about post office, etc. are very true. I've been working overtime lately so as I pass a Post Office on the way to work, I always drop off my disks in the box outside the PO before the 6:30 am. pickup and Netflix always checks them in the next day. I also took some other advice I saw in this thread and now I make sure that the bar code shows through the opening in the back of the envelope.

8321.4.2006 20:56

well i just got done reading everyone's three cents is Netflix is better for me due to the fact their center is in OKC where I reside. BB is in dallas. I get 16 a week no problems for last 5 months. OK my three cents are over....good night, good luck

8421.4.2006 21:01

16 a week??? dont you mean 16 a month ,that would be 64 a month and i was getting no more than 12 from the idiots at netflix (my account being tagged as to high of a turnover rate)

8525.4.2006 11:55

It's really crap that they can advertise unlimited rentals and then tag someone for using too many. How is that okay? They're advertising unlimited, but as soon as you use a lot; they limit you. I found a little trick to use BB online for free. (One of the perks of working for an evil corporation for some years) But I would never suggest either service in reality for most people. Bottom line, find a good rental place near your home, and stick to that. Immediate service, no limits. Not the greatest selection, but if you really want some odd stuff; just list all of it, and do a trial just for those; that should satisfy your needs, unless you're a big anime freak like me. And online services SUCKED for that. BB sent me disc 2-4 of burst angel before sending me disc 1 which was bad. I sent it back, and they refused to send a replacement because now my subscription was up; and they wouldn't send a replacement even though; it was ordered, received, sent back and recieved while still under subscription. They had it a full two days before my subscription ended, and refused to send replacement. I worked for them, but this was just ridiculous. Due to the nature of those services; I can see how that happens, and I doubt it's exclusive to BBonline. I still say store passes are better; you get instant gratification, you talk with REAL people, and you get to browse for what you want THAT minute. It's perfect.

8612.5.2011 23:58
Unverified new user

Ya know, I only have netflix, but I know a way that I can as many movies as I want with only the 1 dvd at a time subscription, quite simple actually as long as you can figure out how to work the system. I'm not sure if you can do the same with BB, but I like the automated send system NF has, makes working the system so much easier.

8713.5.2011 4:30

netflix stream or rent movies sending dvds to the house. with blockbuster you can stream but that's a different plan because if you did the dvd plan then you only get that but you don't get to stream movies online as well. Same goes with store plan.

Stupid, I used to have unlimited dvd plan 2 dvd at a time but can't stream with that plan, No wonder it's called 2 dvd at a time.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 May 2011 @ 4:32

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