Blockbuster is in full steam “carpe diem” mode, reaching out to Netflix customers who are up in arms about the price hike with Blockbuster Total Access, a time-limited nationwide promotion for Netflix customers who jump ship.
AT&T, meanwhile, has fired back at Netflix for blaming bandwidth capacity as a factor in its pricier plans. The saga is worth of a Hollywood movie; but not, if Netflix has its way, on DVD.
Blockbuster, the now Dish Network-owned DVD renter, is making hay on its Twitter and Facebook feeds of a quick-response free 30-day trial, followed by a choice of two access plans: continue to receive Total Access for $9.99 per month for “1 Disc” at a time, or $14.99 per month for “2 Discs” at a time.
Starting today, benefits include: availability of many new releases 28 days before Netflix; unlimited in-store exchanges; games for XBOX 360, Playstation3, and Nintendo Wii, and no additional charge for Blu-ray movies.
The reaction against Netflix’s recent price hike has been vociferous, with more than 60,000 comments on its Facebook post announcing the news:
The Twittersphere also lit up, with tweets saying “Goodbye Netflix, Hello Blockbuster!” and this:
Blockbuster is also in outrage mode, to its advantage of course.
“We find it shocking that anyone would raise rates as high as 60 percent,” said Blockbuster president Michael Kelly in a press release. “Blockbuster Total Access is Netflix ‘without the wait.’ The combination of DVDs by mail and unlimited in-store exchanges provides more than 100 million people living near Blockbuster stores immediate convenience and unparalleled choice.”
The special offer for Netflix customers is available through Sept. 15, 2011, in-store and online.
According to an "unscientific" USA Today online poll yesterday following the news of Netflix's rate hike, 74% of nearly 6,000 respondents said they plan to quit Netflix.
It must be sweet revenge to be a blockbuster again – at least for now — while Netflix is forging ahead with its digital push, launching today on the Nintendo 3DS systems (Engadget's review: "the waits aren't too painful") and promises 3D film rentals "soon."