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Blockbuster Online Charging Loyal Customers More than New Customers?



I received a disturbing email from a reader this morning that claims that some loyal Blockbuster Online customers may be locked into a more expensive monthly fee than new customers that sign up. You can read the email below.

Satellite TV Guru,
Below are my email interactions with Blockbuster after talking to several people and finding out that I’m being charged way more than others for a lesser plan…

My first e-mail:
I would like to know why my service charge is rising. My friend who has the same subscription as I do is still only paying the first price of $17.99 for 3 movies at a time and unlimited in store exchanges. I have talked to several people and they didn’t even get the first price raise last year. They also have not had their subscription price raised this year. I don’t think it is fair to raise some peoples subscription and not other peoples. Everyone I have talked to has not had a raise in prices from your company so why am I subjected to the price change and not others twice?

The postage hasn’t risen and your program hasn’t got any better. This is a copy of her subscription price. If you are not going to raise everyone’s subscription price, I don’t see how you can raise some. As you will see, she is still paying the first price of $17.99 for what I am going to be paying $29.99 for and she is still receiving e-coupons which I haven’t received since the last price hike less than six months ago. That’s not good business. I want the price she and everyone else I know is getting. I don’t see paying twice as much for what they pay so little for. BLOCKBUSTER Total Access Premium $17.99 / month (plus taxes) 3 at-a-time, unlimited mailings unlimited in-store movie exchanges +2 FREE bonus Movie or Game Rental E-Coupon / Month Next Billing Date: January 26,2008

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Blockbusters Response
Thank you for contacting Blockbuster Online Customer Care. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concern today. We believe you’ll agree that Total Access Premium provides an enormous value that comes from unlimited rentals and in-store exchanges, and we’re adjusting our pricing accordingly. The price adjustment enables us to bring our online subscription plans more in line with our in-store subscription pricing and strikes the right balance between providing great value to our subscribers and getting a fair return for the company and our shareholders.

Please note that we’re not changing any plan benefits; you’ll continue to get all the same great benefits and value from Total Access. With the variety of rental plans we now have in place, you’ll have a lot of choices available, should you decide you want to move to a different plan type.

Always here to help, John Customer Care Associate

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My 2nd Email
That is the exact same email I received from you last time to a T. I would like a real response on why I am being charged more than others for less services? Could you please read my first email I sent and then respond properly to it? Thank you.

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Blockbusters Final Email To Me
I apologize for any misunderstandings. Our price restructure took into account a number of factors, including plan usage. There are some instances when some existing subscribers may not see the same price change as another in the same plan. We believe you’ll still find your membership to be a great value, and with the variety of rental plans we now have in place, you’ll have a lot of choices available, should you decide you want to move to a different plan. We do offer Mail Only plans at extremely competitive prices. For example, we offer 3 out unlimited for $16.99 per month, 2 out unlimited for $13.99 per month, 1 out unlimited for $8.99 per month, and a recently reduced price of 1 out/2 max per month for only $3.99 per month. We are happy to offer a wide variety of options to meet the needs to every customer.

Always here to help, John Customer Care Associate BLOCKBUSTER Online

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So I’m getting punished for being a faithful customer and using the service I pay for??? My plan is unlimited rentals which apparently doesn’t mean unlimited. When you rent too many then they raise the price. In the TOS it doesn’t say that such a price hike will happen if the plan is overused…

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