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It's always tough to be second-best, but Blockbuster Online's struggle to fill these shoes is evident. This TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winning online DVD rental provider seems a bit forced in comparison to our top-ranked service, Netflix.
All of the information provided for each movie is a feature to be appreciated. Like Netflix, the movie information includes cast members, directors, genre and rating. But, unlike Netflix, Blockbuster Online allows the awesome bonus of viewing a trailer of the movie in its DVD Spotlight section. We also enjoyed the fact that, when hovering over a movie or television shows, little icons appear and tell you the viewing options available such as "DVD available to rent by mail," "DVD available to buy online" and "Buy download available."
Blockbuster also has the added bonus of not only having the option of choosing from 95,000 movie and television shows, but also the option to rent more than 3,000 video games.
Blockbuster Online allows a 30-day trial period for its services: movies, games, and unlimited in-store exchanges.
$9.99 per month = one disc at a time
$14.99 per month = two discs at a time
$19.99 per month = three discs at a time
There are no due dates or late fees with Blockbuster Online, just like Netflix. Unlike Netflix, however, Blockbuster Online provides movies in Blu-ray format for no additional cost.
All chosen movies are added to your queue and sent to you via mail for free and can be returned for free. Blockbuster Online sends DVDs Monday through Friday (compared to Netflix, which sends DVDs Monday through Saturday).
If you are not satisfied with the services provided by Blockbuster Online, there are no obligations or contracts and you can cancel at any time. We like the idea that Blockbuster is confident in its service and offers this protection for its customers.
Blockbuster Online provides more information about the movies it has to offer than any other online DVD rental service. It gives you a brief description and summary of the most important information at the top. If you go down lower on the page, you can see a complete synopsis, running time, cast list and other people who worked on the movie. On the right-hand side of the page, you will find hundreds of customer reviews that will tell you everything you need to know about the movie from the perspective of those with the same tastes as yourself— a fabulous feature for those of us who are indecisive.
When researching just how accessible Blockbuster Online was, we found it to be quite contrived. The How On Demand Works tab goes into detail about what you need to get started, activation codes, how to configure your devices, etc. Unlike the "watch instantly" option Netflix provides, this on-demand service by Blockbuster seems like more trouble than it's worth.
But, if you are able to maneuver your way through the technical jargon and get everything connected, you are able to watch DVDs from your television and Blu-ray players, as well as your laptop wherever Wi-Fi is available. We were disappointed in Blockbuster's lack of accessibility when it came to handheld devices like the iPad and iPod Touch.
Blockbuster Online has a few holes in its list of genres, but it still finds a way to offer users a good selection. We found that we could find most of the genres that people would want to get movies from. Unfortunately, Blockbuster Online has done a lot to consolidate its genre list, which makes some movies appear in genres you wouldn’t expect. If it expanded its genre list to include all the various niches in film, it would find that customers would be a lot more satisfied with the selection.
As mentioned previously, Blockbuster Online misses the mark on a few features, including information on how to set up devices to be on-demand accessible, and the ability to find movies or television shows according to the genres Blockbuster has established. But, thankfully, Blockbuster has one of the most advanced sets of help and support options of any online DVD rental service. It has a good frequently asked questions section and knowledgebase in addition to helpful telephone, live chat and email support options. This wide array of customer service features gives users of this online DVD rental service an option to choose the help feature that works best for them. While the other services in this category pigeonhole customers into the help and support options they want them to use, Blockbuster Online lets customers keep their options open.
Blockbuster Online is a good option for an online DVD provider; we were just very disappointed in the lack of accessibility Blockbuster provides their customers. In spite of this shortcoming, we would still recommend Blockbuster Online because of its in-store exchange option for customers, diverse payment structure and the ability to cancel at any time.