Thursday, April 19, 2007

Open letter to Blockbuster Video

Dear Blockbuster Video,

I recently rented a DVD, which I was very much looking forward to watching. I brought it home, had dinner, got into my pyjamas, fixed a snack and a drink and settled down to watch.

The movie was fine until the video quality went downhill. I tried to ignore it, until it became unplayable. It would not fast forward past the problem area, and it would not play on either my DVD player or computer.

So late at night, in the dark, and in the snow, I got dressed again and drove the 3 kilometers to your store, where the customer service rep. was kind enough to exchange the video. Then I drove home again, got back into my pyjamas and housecoat, and attempted to resume the movie where I had left off.

Then the second disc froze. At the exact same place. After examining the disc, I found that yes, it appears to have a very similar scratch around 1/4 inches from the edge. After much frustration I was able to pass that section of the disc, and continue with the film.

As a reasonable and intelligent human being, I understand you have little to no control over issues such as these. I understand that once the DVD leaves your store, you cannot affect how it is treated. I know that you rent hundreds of thousands or millions of movies from a store yearly, and there is no feasible way to verify that they are undamaged when they are returned to you.

As an average consumer, I don't care. What I care about is that I need to interrupt my evening to return a defective product to your store. It was not only a defective product, it was a defective experience. I went from completely absorbed by the story I was watching to complete abject frustration, in around 20 seconds. And over the past year, 2/3rds of the movies I have rented from you had issues.

I am a young male who is technology focused. I enjoy movies and electronic entertainment. I am one of your key target demographics. I am not willing to put up with this level of frustration from a company. I have alternatives. I am not alone.


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