I use (and love) Netflix, but I’ve been following this whole hoopla about the changes that Blockbuster is doing with their Netflix competitor, Total Access. I’ve also been trying to persuade my office-mate to ditch Blockbuster in favor of Netflix. I think I may have found the solution…
Knowzy.com put up an article that outlines the Total Access changes. Reading it, I can’t help but think of a lot of infamous New York City based camera stores. Read the next paragraph if you don’t know about the NYC camera store racket, otherwise, skip the paragraph.
You see, when you search online for cameras, you will find many of them at unbelievably cheap prices. You go to order your camera, which claims to be in stock, and all is well. Then, a few hours later, you get a call from the camera store, and they try to sell you accessories: "Well, you’ll need a memory card. You’ll need an additional battery. How about a tripod?" If you don’t buy these accessories (which typically have higher margins for the company in question), they’ll suddenly tell you that your camera went out of stock. (People, seriously, do a store search on resellerratings.com before you buy a digital camera or computer parts) This scam is pretty well known, especially for camera "stores" in Brooklyn. I use the term "store" loosely, as people have taken photos of them and found them to be nothing but abandoned storefronts often times. Just do a search for Brooklyn Camera Stores and you’ll see what I mean.
(side note: B&H Photo is a glaring exception to this NYC camera store hate that I have. They rock. Seriously. You may spend more money with B&H than you would elsewhere, but you’ll be happier in the end.)
So, anyway, back to Blockbuster. It seems that they’ve confirmed that they’re basically singling out customers that exchange movies from the store most recently (which drives up their costs) and/or never buy anything at the store. This is a racket, plain and simple. You don’t buy our high-margin stuff, and we won’t let you have access to our low-margin stuff.
Nice business sense, Blockbuster. This is downright slimeball behavior.