Blockbuster Online vs. Competition
Service Shipped Problem Title
Netflix 6/28/2005 Broken Rurouni Kenshin vol. 6
Netflix 6/24/2005 Broken Tenchi Muyo GPX vol. 8
Netflix 4/6/2005 Unplayable Gad Guard vol. 4
Netflix 3/24/2005 Broken Kiddy Grade vol. 4
Blockbuster 11/19/2005 Broken Silent Mobius vol. 1
Blockbuster 9/7/2005 Broken Dragon Drive vol. 9
Blockbuster 8/5/2005 Broken Dragon Drive vol. 8
Blockbuster 6/23/2005 Wrong All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku Dash vol. 3
Blockbuster 5/7/2005 Broken Argentosoma vol. 3
Blockbuster 5/11/2005 Broken Argentosoma vol. 3
Blockbuster 5/2/2005 Wrong Ghost In The Shell
Blockbuster 4/28/2005 Lost Get Backers vol. 3
Blockbuster 3/30/2005 Broken Metal Fighter Miku vol. 2
||1 out of 28
||1 out of 17
||0 out of 77
GreenCine had no problem rentals during this period.
MONTH NETFLIX BLOCKBUSTER GREENCINE
march 19.07 15.89 21.95
april 19.07 15.89 21.95
may 19.07 15.89 21.95
june free* 15.89 21.95
july free* 15.89 21.95
august 19.07 15.89 21.95
september 19.07 15.89 21.95
october 19.07 15.89 21.95
november 19.07 15.89 21.95
Total 133.49 143.01 197.55
*Free after complaint to Better Business Bureau
*From March through November 2005 per each services billing period: Netflix
bills on the 14th , Blockbuster on the 27th, and GreenCine on the 6th of every
month. Two months free Netflix service from Better Business Bureau not
included. Total based on number received during billing periods March -
Throttling (Intentionally Delaying Rental Shipments)
Here are the results I've gathered by having my rental data analyzed by TallRock.net.
- You have rented 114 DVDs over 9 months. (That's an average of 13 DVDs per month).
- On average, 37% of your rentals were delayed (i.e. 'throttled') by Netflix.
- In your most recent month of data (11/2005), your rentals were delayed 33% of the time.
- In processing the input data, the program found no problem rentals and 3 multiple rentals.
- You have rented 116 DVDs over 9 months. (That's an average of 13 DVDs per month).
- On average, 9% of your rentals were delayed (i.e. 'throttled') by
- In your most recent month of data (11/2005), your rentals were delayed 0% of the time.
- In processing the input data, the program found 3 problem rentals and 4 multiple rentals.
- You have rented 77 DVDs over 8 months. (That's an average of 10 DVDs per month).
- On average, none of your rentals were delayed (i.e. 'throttled') by
- In your most recent month of data (10/2005), your rentals were delayed 0% of the time.
- In processing the input data, the program found no problem rentals and no multiple rentals.
Data for comparisons: Netflix,
GreenCine, and complete Blockbuster
history. Note: Blockbuster's data may have been skewed by reporting Ghost
In The Shell: TV vol. 4 shipped 5/2/05 as received 11/18/05. This
rental was returned days after it was shipped and removed from my "Shipped
Movies" long ago. I'm not sure why it wasn't marked received back
Netflix, GreenCine, & Blockbuster Online:
A Comparison of Customer Satisfaction
Originally published October 14, 2005
After renting nearly 1,000 DVDs online, I've experienced the
intricacies, quirks, and pitfalls of online DVD renting. I started
out renting from Netflix 2 years ago then subscribed to Blockbuster
Online and GreenCine a year ago after becoming dissatisfied with Netflix's service.
- Community Friendliness: There is no doubt Netflix has a hostile
search the site with racist terms and you'll be surprised by the
results. Netflix members often chastise
others for renting titles they object to. I've experienced friendly interactions on
GreenCine's message boards. Blockbuster doesn't have an online
community at this time.
- Rentals Per Month: Both Netflix and Blockbuster
provide me approximately 13 rentals per month while GreenCine
provides approximately 9 movies per month. The difference is
due to location. Both Netflix and Blockbuster have
distribution centers 80 miles from my residence while GreenCine's
only distribution center is over 2,000 miles away.
- Price Per Rental: Correlates with the rentals per
month. My Netflix and Blockbuster cost per rental is
approximately $1.39 and $1.22 respectively while GreenCine's cost is
significantly higher at $2.34 per rental.
- Anime Selection: GreenCine has the best anime
selection. In fact, I built my GreenCine queue with anime
Netflix didn't carry. Netflix continues to make improvements
however GreenCine has the edge, especially with older titles.
Blockbuster's anime selection is not as comprehensive which makes it
difficult utilizing their service. Personally, I believe
Blockbuster should hold off raising their subscription price until
their online service improves in order to compete on equal footing.
- Foreign Film Selection: I've recently compared
all three's foreign film selection and all did poorly although
Blockbuster did slightly better than the others.
- Adding Volumes To Queue: If you're watching a serial
(i.e. Cheers), Netflix and GreenCine make it easy to add additional
volumes to your queue. Just click the volume in your queue and
additional volume information will be displayed. Blockbuster
makes you type a search to add additional titles. However,
all three allow you to add the entire series to your queue--this
doesn't always work well as rentals often end up in your mailbox out
- Envelope Quality: Blockbuster should redesign their
envelopes as they often come apart during shipping. One
Blockbuster rental was lost
in the mail as the envelope came apart and the DVD fell out. Unlike
Blockbuster and Netflix , GreenCine pads their envelopes to protect
- Playable Rentals: My pet peeve! If I had to
choose one reason for disliking Netflix it would be the number of
cracked rentals they've sent me. Over the past 2 years Netflix
has sent me 2 dozen cracked rentals, 1 scratched rental that would not play and 4 rentals which I did not order.
Blockbuster has also sent an alarming number of broken rentals--this
is the result of mailing fragile DVDs without any type of
protection. Occasionally, all three services ship rentals that
have minor playback difficulty due to scratches. None of the
116 rentals I've received from GreenCine have been broken or
- Ethical Business Practice: Netflix is the only
company that I've had concerns over honesty. Last
year, I noticed a significant decrease in my rentals per month and I
complained online. The Netflix community ridiculed my
complaint and accused me of being paranoid. Finally, the
company admitted providing customers service on 2
tiers--more profitable customers received
better service. Furthermore, Netflix has been using spyware
on the public to steal customers from Blockbuster, GreenCine, and others.
Also, Netflix insulted consumers' intelligence by promoting a
customer satisfaction survey
which remarkably omitted Netflix customers.
- Rental Recommendations: 98% of the titles I rent are
anime yet Blockbuster and Netflix consistently recommend other
genres. GreenCine recommends
anime--I'm not that hard to please.
- Title Availability: Here's another area Blockbuster
can improve on before raising their prices. Too many
times I have moved titles from my Blockbuster queue to Netflix or
GreenCine due to seemingly indefinite
"coming soon" or long waits.
- Free In-Store Rentals: Blockbuster provides a
solution for those occasions when mail isn't delivered or when rentals
didn't arrive in the mail. Currently, Blockbuster also offers
free used DVDs on selected titles.
- Rating Individual Volumes: This is a feature that
Netflix had at one time but chose to discontinue. It's useful
to know a volume's rating. Depending on the rating you may choose whether or not to rent a particular volume.
- Volume Information: Netflix usually provides
information on each volume except GreenCine is more in-depth.
In this example,
GreenCine provides volume information on the anime Lost Universe.
Not only does GreenCine provide volume number, they include the
volume title as well--Netflix does not. GreenCine and
Blockbuster also provide the DVD cover for each volume as well as a
separate page with information on each volume. Netflix
omitting this information is a minor inconvenience. Granted
Blockbuster Online is still organizing their web site, however they occasionally
omit basic information like the volume number which sends me to
GreenCine looking for information. Both GreenCine and Netflix are
more reliable for basic information such as volume number.
- Search Engine Results: I have no particular opinion
on Blockbuster's or Netflix's search engine. I will say
GreenCine was able to find the anime Seven of Seven
while Netflix could not. Netflix lists this title as
"Nana Seven of Seven" probably as this title in Japanese
is Shichinin No Nana (Seven people of Seven).
In order to provide a meaningful review of the 3 companies, I created
a 15-item questionnaire utilizing a
5-point Likert scale. The questionnaire's objective is to measure
Netflix, GreenCine, and Blockbuster customer satisfaction.
After administering the questionnaire to myself I determined that
GreenCine provided the best customer satisfaction:
|Netflix = 2.7
|Blockbuster Online = 2.7
|GreenCine = 3.5
Blockbuster's service is still new and constantly improving.
Making a few much needed improvements should put them ahead of Netflix
in customer satisfaction. You're more than welcome to compare your
results with mine.
Written by M. Villanueva
December 3, 2005
Price/Rental Calculator & Turnaround Time | Broken Rental Ratio & Percent | My Opinion of Netflix | My Netflix Journal |