Monday, December 31, 2007

Spend more $ at Blockbuster

If you have Blockbuster's DVD-by-mail service, you may have noticed an increase in your bill.

Last month, the company -- which has been losing money on online movie orders -- raised prices for new customers and some existing ones.

Highest price hikes? Up to 40 percent. The hikes were from $2 to $10and leaves Blockbuster offering plans ranging from $3.99 to $34.99 monthly. Some of the more expensive plans also allow customers to pick up movies in stores.

Blockbuster declined to comment when asked by the Associated Press as to how many of its 3.1 million online subscribers are facing rate increases.

Blockbuster lost half a million online customers in the July-September quarter. Chief Executive James W. Keyes said last month that many of those subscribers were costing his company more than they were worth.

As Blockbuster shed customers, rival Netflix cut costs and added more than a quarter million new subscribers, giving it more than seven million total.

Netflix pioneered the online ordering and mail delivery of rental movies in 1999. Blockbuster followed in 2004, and cut into Netflix's lead during late 2006 and early 2007.

Blockbuster offers several plans for subscribers who order movies online and receive them in the mail. The most popular plan lets customers keep three DVDs at any time and exchange up to five DVDs per month at a local Blockbuster store for a free rental.

That plan rose from $17.99 to $19.99 per month for new customers and some existing ones on Dec. 27, the AP reported.

The top-of-the-line plan, in which customers can keep three DVDs out and get unlimited free in-store exchanges, went from $24.99 to $34.99 per month, a 40 percent increase.

A basic plan that lets subscribers keep one DVD but doesn't entitle them to free in-store exchanges will drop from $4.99 to $3.99 per month.

Netflix plans range from $4.99 to $23.99 per month.


JAT said...

There is no reason I can discern for the in-store feature. Nuke that option for a lower price. But BB does seem to lead the field in Blu-Ray options -- which is important for those of us on the PS3 side of the fence.


PaulB said...

Blockbuster? They suck.

I've started going to Redbox. They're $1 for a DVD and can be returned to any location.

Not going to Blockbuster ever again.