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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Friday October 07, 2005
08:50 PM

Cut up my Blockbuster card

[ #27073 ]

It's in four pieces. They are never getting any more of my business.

The last three DVDs we have rented have been scratched beyond recognition. Each time they freeze up and we miss part of our movie, have to flip to the other side repeatedly (widescreen/fullscreen), or, as is the case tonight, just plain cannot view our movie after the first forty minutes.

As I've implied here a few times, I'm not really a very trendy person. I don't know what movies are out in theaters right now; I often don't. When Blockbuster and other video rental stores appeared in the 1980's, the big thing to me was that you could go get old movies you wanted to see again, not that you could rent something that just came out this year.

So when I rent a movie, it often doesn't come from the "guaranteed to have it" outside walls of the store. It comes from the middle. And it's usually something old, something other people don't want to watch, something that's been in the store long enough to get crufty, and something that's really lucky to be there at all.

And, of course, I pay the exact same price as you do for the new releases.

But nowadays you have to rent on DVD most of the time. And, honestly, old DVDs at Blockbuster don't seem near as resilient as old VHS tapes.

So I pay an inflated price for an old movie noone but me wants to see, and it doesn't work because the last person who rented it (three years ago) thought it would be cute to draw a smiley face on the underside of it with a key.

And Blockbuster doesn't issue refunds, or so they've told me before. They'll issue a credit for future rentals, of course.

Thankfully, my credit card company does issue refunds.

For those of you who've used Netflix, do the DVDs ever arrived scratched up?

(I left out here the part about how Hollywood Video will polish scratched DVDs for us to make them work and how I called Blockbuster and they said they can't do that. My wife's pressing me to hurry up and get off the net and stop fuming.)

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  • I have been using Netflix for a while now (I think at least a year). In that time I have had one DVD that was bad, I let Netflix know and I actually had a newer copy before I got the bad into the mailbox a couple days later. Sometimes they are a little slow but I am still not sure that isn't the post office.
  • And Blockbuster doesn't issue refunds, or so they've told me before.

    Portuguese supermarkets don't issue refunds, too... unless you're really stubborn and keep demanding that they do, or if you tell them you'll call the police (no, I've never done this, I've never had the need :-) ).

    The thing is, law forces them to issue a refund, but it's easier (and more profitable) to give you a piece of paper that's worth money in future purchases there. According to the law, they should just give you the money back, but