Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blockbuster Express-YES! Redbox-NO!

I’m a little worried. We rent movies exclusively through Blockbuster Express, but with many of Blockbuster’s brick and mortar stores closing and the video giant filing for bankruptcy, who will take over their kiosk rental business? I read somewhere that their kiosk business is the only part of the company making any money, and I can believe that.

Those of you familiar with my blog will remember me writing about my love/hate relationship with the other video rental kiosk company Redbox. Here’s why:

·I hate how I could find the latest movies in stores, but never in Redbox, and when Redbox finally did get the movie, it was usually another two or three weeks before I could rent it. (Everyone and his brother wanted that movie too!)

·I found out that I could reserve a movie online, but the Redbox website is less than ideal. Even with a cable modem, the site continually locks up, and on one occasion I somehow reserved the same movie twice! (I checked to see what the site looks like now, and I can't believe it, but it's even more confusing to use!)

·Redbox kiosks are either down or in "limbo" constantly. A drive back to the same kiosk the next day would be a waste of time because it was out of service. Movies wouldn’t come out of the machines, and that’s at least a 20 minute call to customer service to fix-they used to give promo codes for free movies to make you happy-although they don’t know what it’s like to drive home with your kid screaming in the backseat!

·I hate having to wait in line 15 minutes, often in the rain, just to return a movie, longer when people are having trouble with the machines!

·What about all those promo codes I received? Nobody said you couldn’t use your promo code when you reserve online- I found that out when I went to pick up my "free" movie. What good is a promo-code if the movie you want isn’t in the machine? The only way to check is online…

·And remember I said customer service USED to give promo codes? I think the company realized it was losing money from all the "free" offers, and the last few times I called I was offered nothing.

·Then there are the late fees-don’t miss your 9:00 PM deadline, or that $1 movie rental quickly turns into $3!

·And this might sound petty, but there is only one way to put the movie back into the Redbox kiosk. The last time I returned a movie, I put it in wrong, I saw the guy behind me put his in wrong, and as I was driving away, the woman returning her movie was doing it wrong!

But when things went from bad to worse with old Redbox and me, the blue and gold machine with the familiar logo showed up. I won’t say it was love-at-first-sight-I only tried Redbox because Blockbuster continually raised prices and reduced inventory. But when a fellow blogger suggested I try Blockbuster Express, I gave old blue another chance, and I’m glad I did.

·Blockbuster kiosks are always in working order, and when I did have trouble with the touch screen of the kiosk closest to our home, I was offered a promo code, and the kiosk was fixed within a week-I haven’t had a problem with that machine since.

·Those promo codes can be used online when reserving a movie, and the website is easy to use and navigate. Plus, Blockbuster Express continually offers promo codes throughout the year, at least once a month-I always do a search online for updated promo codes before I reserve my movie.

·Blockbuster Express has all the latest movies almost the same time they are available in stores, and I can usually find the movie I want when I want it.

·Now I don’t know about your town, but there seems to be far more Blockbuster Express kiosks around me then Redbox-while Redbox is with Walgreens, Blockbuter Express is with all the mini-marts all over town.

·If you should forget about the 9:00 PM return time, the late fee is only another buck, and I never put the DVD into the kiosk wrong! (This is a pretty big deal when it’s cold outside!)

So I don’t know what I’m going to do if my night and shining armor (at least of the movie rental world) packs up shop, but I can say one thing for sure-Redbox and me will never get back together… What about you-if you like one movie rental chain over another, do tell…


  1. I use netflix. They have this little machine that runs movies from your computer on your television via wireless web. It's pretty cool but so far they don't offer the latest releases. I like netflix because for three years I have never received a movie late. I have always received them right when they are due at my doorstep. I just like the convenience of having a wish list and getting a movie from the wish list automatically every week.

  2. Maria, I've been curious about Netflix, but never signed up because of Blockbuster Express. Maybe?

    Mama Zen, stay away from the box in red. LOL!

  3. We're not watching many movies these days, but used to use Netflix. Very satisfied with the service and no late fees.

    Thanks for your visit. Feel free to post an mf anytime during the week, if you have time. If not, hope you'll join in again next Monday.

  4. Our local Blockbuster store just shut down and they had a story about the machines taking their place on the news. I haven't tried the vending machines but we had stopped renting some time ago when we started using OnDemand from our cable company. The cost was about the same and we don't have to worry about overdue fees. They don't always have all of the newest releases but all I have to do is pick up my remote to see what's there. Works for me! : )

  5. We just started getting Netflix, but only directly to the FIOS. The choices are not that good. I think they want us to go for the mail order. My husband is not thrilled with that idea. I have found a couple of good historical fiction movies for me.

  6. It is Netflix all the way for me...I get 4 movies a month every month and I can keep them as long as I want without any worries about late fees. They come in the mail and I send them back through the mail. Easy-peasy!


  7. I also use Netflix. I take advantage of both the instant streaming to my television and getting disks in the mail (a little over $10 a month including the tax). It's a quick turn around for the disks and I keep them as long as I want to. I like Netflix so much that I'm canceling our cable. Cable is so expensive and I can get t.v. series on Netflix. Even if I go with the Netflix plan of around $30 a month to get more disks at a time, I'll still be saving $50 a month without cable.

    A company just purchased Blockbuster at auction. You've probably heard about that by the time I'm leaving this comment. Maybe they will keep the kiosks. :)


Please make my day and leave a comment.