Pam and I returned to Blockbuster for the first time since 2002. That’s how long we’ve been doing Netflix. We needed to rent a Playstation game for Cameron, my nephew. Can’t get those with Netflix.
Cameron: I stood in line for 30 minutes! Just to rent a game. Do you appreciate your uncle, or what?
The experience reaffirmed my membership in–and now, I realize, unbridled devotion to–Netflix. For less than $20 a month, we get 3 videos at a time, with a two-day turnaround, which means we could probably watch 30 videos a month, if we really tried. Plus, we can stream scores of other videos directly to our TV or computer.
The experience today reminded me of the insanity that is Blockbuster:
- Drive to the store, several miles away.
- Search for a parking spot in the terribly inadequate lot.
- Browse the shelves, trying to decide what to rent.
- The number of videos available is a tiny fraction of what you can get on Netflix.
- You end up selecting something that’s available, whether or not it’s what you really wanted.
- Stand in line for eons.
- High rental cost.
- Drive back to the store to return the videos within 5 days.
- Late fees (no late fees with Netflix).
Considering the convenience of Netflix, how does Blockbuster even stay in business?