Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vocabulary Lesson

blockbuster Pictures, Images and Photos
I love words and I generally like learning new ones, but this week, I learned a new phrase that I wish I hadn't. It's called account throttling and it applies to my Blockbuster Online account. I already knew both words, but never realized that you could combine them together to equal the shitty service that Blockbuster has been providing. I'd like to thank Google for giving me a name to an experience that I thought I left behind with Netflix many years ago.

We early Netflix subscribers. My husband and I both love movies. G likes action and thrillers. I call them man movies and don't mind being sexist in the least about that. I prefer strange foreign films and independent movies. He calls them sick and weird most of the time, so I guess we're even. We always get the 3 movies at a time plan and depending on football season it will be 2 movies to me and 1 to him or vice versa. Luckily, it's football season, so I can get all the sick movies I enjoy. Actually, I've become a little bit obsessed with watching all the Big Love episodes they have right now. I really enjoy Wife #2, Nicky. I feel like I relate to her in many fun ways. Unfortunately, account throttling is coming in between me and the Hendricksons. It's like a Netflix flashback.

If you are unfamiliar with account throttling, it's basically when online movie sites hold back movies from frequent renters to give them to infrequent renters. They have different ways of doing this; they can send from the furthest shipping center from your home, not clear a movie from your queue, or simply not send any out for days. With Netflix, we experienced them not clearing movies from our queue and shipping them from far off places. I didn't know what account throttling was back then, I just assumed they flagged our account as being frequent users and put us on a slow down list. We maybe got 3 movies a week, but I guess it was too much for them. They are in business to make money, why send them out so quickly, right? After a month of frustration, we switched to Blockbuster and were very happy with them for the last 4 years.

Unfortunately this month, Blockbuster decided to throttle us. They only are sending out two movies at a time and taking about 4 days to send it. I've emailed them and got the standard "you have to have so many movies available" response. They are all available! No one wants my bizzarre movies or Big Love, there are plenty to go around! After telling them that I "know all about your throttling", I was told that they are doing system updates and that is why I am only getting two movies at a time, sent out 4 days after they receive them. I was emailed a coupon for a free rental to ease my pain. I'm going to use it, I need my next fix of Juniper Creek. It still doesn't ease anything.

I suppose there's always Redbox. I don't think they can throttle you, but technically you could throttle the machine if it gives you trouble like Roman Grant would do.


Buggys said...

Thanks for that info, I learned something new today. Maybe it's time to go back whence you came and rejoin Netflix. Kind of like car insurance and cell phones, you need to juggle around every few years.

Greg said...

Thanks for the post..I have Netflix and they have done this to me as well...The problem with switching is they also base how much customer service you get by how much you actually spend and utilize the company..

Big corporations and Big government have deprived the citizens of this country many of the individual rights that our forefathers fought so hard to get...

I know that's taking the Blockbuster and Netflix thing a little far but..It fits

Anonymous said...

Interesting, I never knew about this. We have Netflix and awhile back movies were taking forever b/c they were sent from across the country. Hmmm...Na

Jessica said...

Buggys, I'm considering Netflix again, but I like that with Blockbuster, you get 5 instore exchanges a month. We live only a mile away from Blockbuster.

Greg, I think you are very right, it can certainly apply to online rental services.

Na, it is terrible to live on one side of the country and get things shipped from the other. We only have a shipment center an hour away! I'm sorry you were throttled for awhile too.