Posted December 26th, 2006 @ 11:49am by Erik J. Barzeski
An article on TechCrunch has me re-evaluating my NetFlix subscription.
I've never switched to Blockbuster's online delivery service because, frankly, we've never had reason to. We're happy with NetFlix. Still, the quest for a better bargain has forced us to at least ask the question from time to time.
Carey and I pay $17.99/month (which comes out to less than $20 after taxes, etc.) for three-at-a-time rentals. We average about 10 movies per month (roughly half our optimal rate of 19 or so). We each have our own queue - Carey is allowed one movie out at a time and I two - and we maintain them with NetFlix Freak and online, both of which present enjoyable experiences.
Though the nearest Blockbuster is only 3.1 miles away, it takes approximately 100x longer to get there and back than it does to make a trip to the mailbox and back, so "free" "extra" movies don't interest us much, particularly when they require two such trips, and the added negative of a "due date" I'd prefer not to have to remember. Additionally, I'd much rather browse for a movie online - where I can check IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and other resources - than in a retail location. All of this makes the "free" "extra" movies a perk I'm unlikely to use with any regularity.
NetFlix has never noticeably stalled a movie in my queue and they seem to have a much larger library. I appreciate adding in-theater movies to my queue so that I receive them shortly after their DVD release. The nearest NetFlix distribution center is in Pittsburgh, so if I return a movie on Monday, I have its replacement on Friday. As someone who recently burned through five seasons of 24, each of which consists of six discs, I have no complaints about NetFlix's speed. I've only ever had one "lost movie" (and it was on return) and NetFlix handled the notice quickly and sent the next movie in my queue, then notified me a month later when the USPS delivered it.
Carey and I see a fair number of movies (the ones we want to see, anyway) at the local dollar theater, and we're not "we need a movie TONIGHT" type people.
In other words, there's absolutely no reason for me to switch to Blockbuster now. However, I'm interested in hearing the thoughts of others. Which service do you use and why?
P.S. I don't rent games and Carey and I used the "turn in your NetFlix covers for a free rental" to the tune of about six free rentals, one of which we still need to return.