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Blockbuster Ratings:
   
  Value Four and a half stars
  Design Four and a half stars
  Service Four stars
     
 

Blockbuster DVD Rental

 

.Blockbuster features prompt mailings and the largest stock of new releases in the industry; if we had to choose one site, this would be it.

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Blockbuster DVD Rental Review

Blockbuster DVD Rental Screenshot We believe Blockbuster is the top online DVD rental choice in the UK, and it's not just us who think so; they were ranked top DVD rental company by Webuser magazine after a head-to-head test of the top four services. Blockbuster has one of the best reputations in the business for swift mail turnarounds.

Although Blockbuster's DVD inventory, some 60,000 titles, trails Lovefilm slightly, Blockbuster have more copies of new releases than any other company we've reviewed, decreasing waiting times. The title counts can also be misleading as many other companies count two-disc sets as two "titles," while Blockbuster count them as a single rental. The bricks and mortar giant (with 700+ UK stores) is clearly taking the growing online DVD rental industry very seriously and has re-energized their online effort.

In June 2008, Blockbuster relaunched their site to better allow their customers to find the films they want. For instance, you can now search on a film's theatrical release date instead of the (often more recent) DVD release date. This improves their search engine further, which we judge is the most powerful DVD search engine in the UK; you can search on title, stars, director, synopsis words, certification, genre, language, production year, sound format, even aspect ratio--more than the average viewer will ever need to use, but we're glad the options are there. They've also added a full online store where you can buy plenty of video games, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs at some very competitve prices. There's even an application on Facebook, Movie Clique, which allows members to add movies to their rental queues, make lists of all times films, and share reviews.

The latest improvements follow a host in 2007, when Blockbuster added features such as a swift faulty disc reporting system which goes further than any other UK site. If you notice a disc is scratched, you can report it through the site, and they'll send you another copy (if in stock, otherwise they'll send another new title from your list) immediately, before waiting to receive the scratched disc.) They added a "Seen It" tab by popular demand, so all the films you've rented are listed with your ratings, as well as a function to add films to the list you've seen elsewhere.

We're pleased to see Blockbuster's Blu-Ray high definition disc inventory is expanding rapidly, from around 500 or so in mid 2008 to 1,000 in spring 2009 and 1,500 by 2010--just about neck and neck with Lovefilm. And unlike US DVD rental market leader Netflix, Blockbuster doesn't plan to charge UK customers extra for renting Blu-ray.

The addition of film critic reviews by Marshal Julius of the Sunday Express on key DVD rental titles was an excellent improvement. They also have celebrity picks, inviting people like Martin Clunes and John Barnes to tell visitors about their favourite movies, as well as interviews with the likes of Tom Baker, Brad Pitt, Nicholas Cage, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, and such. They even have celebrity blogs by Bollywood star Kashmera Shah, and have had past blogs by Martin Clunes, Dirk Benedict, and others.

We especially like Blockbuster's DVD rental Film Finder, where you rate using 1-5 stars your personal preferences among their 18 genres, and they generate lists of DVDs you'd probably be interested in renting. Their genre browsing system could be a bit better if they introduced subgenres as some other companies have, but this is a minor point. We believe Blockbuster make up for this with a growing list of imaginative DVD collections (Animal Magic, Essential Horror, Before They Were Famous, etc.) to aid browsing. Another minor but worthwhile addition; when you pick a DVD, the screen doesn't refresh and slow you down, the button simply changes from "Add to List" to "In List."

There are also some extras with Blockbuster you simply don't get with a non-bricks and mortar company; they sometimes issue e-coupons. These are vouchers you print out and can use in any Blockbuster store for free in-store rentals--good for that once in awhile when you simply must immediately have that latest new release.

Despite these many good points, there have been complaints about Blockbuster's customer service--especially in the early days after their May 2004 launch. These mainly concern delays replying to emails (though all DVD rental companies get these complaints in our experience); we suggest anyone with problems go straight to the phone number listed at the right, as the number is not easy to find on their site. Starting in summer 2005, we noticed fewer negative comments, so upped their ratings gradually over the following months until they reached number two in March 2006. Given a continued trend of good customer service reviews, we raised Blockbuster to number one on the charts in January 2007, where it's stayed ever since.

 

Prices: Blockbuster offers a wide range of plans, many of which come with a 1 pound 14-day trial or half-price off the first month.

Blockbuster's cheapest deal is the two disc total in the month tariff for £4.99 two-disc out, and they also have a four maximum in the month package at £7.99. But the better value is definitely their unlimited plans; a single, unlimited DVD rental package is 9.99, two-discs out for £12.99, three disc package is 15.49, and a five disc package is £27.99. There are several other plans which include instore rentals as well, which is useful if you live next to a store. Again, we believe that when you consider that bonus discs count as one rental, swift mailings, and high stocks of new releases, this is excellent value for money.

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Blockbuster DVD Rental Customer Comments
Featured Blockbuster Customer Review

Steve, December 9, 2007

I've been with Blockbuster since they launched their DVD rental service in May 2004 and while there have been a few ups and downs, over the past few months things have really improved.

£14.99 a month is not too much to pay for unlimited DVD rentals and I tend to get pretty much everything from my top 10. Blockbuster's new site design is easy to navigate - I especially like the added value features such as competitions and full length reviews and editorials. The Film Finder is fantastic - it was a pain to set up (I'm an impatient person) but now I can just click on Film Finder and all my DVD preferences are saved. It would be good if they could build this into the rest of their site.

Blockbuster's turnaround is much better than all the other DVD rental services that I have tried - Screenselect, Lovefilm and Q Flicks. Usually when I send a title back, they receive it the next day and post the disc out that night. People have criticized Blockbuster on their DVD range however I did a bit of research myself and found (from Redmuze), that there are only approx 36,000 titles available in the UK so Blockbuster's title count is more accurate. Plus the major bonus for me is not having the Special Features DVDs come as separate rentals - it's all counted as one title at Blockbuster while everyone else counts them as two - presumably to reduce postage costs and increase their "title count".

Also, one thing to consider is the fact that in addition to counting double discs as 2 rentals - Screenselect and Lovefilm list literally hundreds of titles that aren't available on DVD... meaning you will add them to your rental list and never get them. Blockbuster doesn't do this.

The only thing that really lets them down is their customer services - I've seen some bad comments, however I've only had to contact them twice and once I spoke to a manager, things were sorted quickly.

So finally - yeah, I'd recommend Blockbuster as the best (and most honest) DVD rental service overall. I'm sure their site will continue to improve, it's already come on so much it appears they are listening to their customers.

Value: Five stars .Design: Four stars .Service: Three stars

 

Most Recent Blockbuster Customer Reviews

Chris from London, February 12, 2010

Excellent service which keeps me in dvds for cheap, only two complaints: Blockbuster please start doing game rentals and stock more new releases so we can get them quicker.

Value: Value Rating .Design: Design Rating .Service: Service Rating

 

Rich, November 29, 2009

Blocky is not as good as it used to be in my opinion, seems like deliveries have slowed from their heyday. Another minor point, but the 3 disc package costs 50p more than it used to. Never thought I'd go back to Lovefilm, but I'm giving them another go.

Value: Value Rating .Design: Design Rating .Service: Service Rating

 

Sanjay, June 3, 2009

Good alternative to Lovefilm, stop them having a monopoly and its cheaper to boot!

Value: Value Rating .Design: Design Rating .Service: Service Rating

 

Rob from Northamptonshire, January 13, 2009

I was new to this whole on line DVD rental thing, but saw one of the Lovefilm ads on TV and thought I should do some reasearch. I had long done the odd rental at Blockbusters, and they were cheaper, so I went with them in the end. I have to say now I can't believe how much money I was wasting on the high street, when I could have films through my letterbox for I figure, half as much. This is welcome, especially in these poor economic times.

Even in a small village, I can get the films back within maybe three days after posting them, which makes for great value. I can't help but wonder if Blockbuster isn't shooting themselves in the foot though, once more people figure this out, why would anyone pay so much more at the store when they can get the convenience of getting them at home at about half the price?

Value: Value Rating .Design: Design Rating .Service: Service Rating

 

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Key Facts


Blockbuster DVD Rental Logo

1 disc: £4.99 (2 discs total limit/month)
2 discs:
£7.99 (4 discs total limit/month)
1 disc:
£9.99
2 discs:
£12.99
1 disc:
£9.99
2 discs:
£11.99
3 discs:
£15.49
5 discs:
£27.99

Free Trial: £1 for 2 Weeks (or half of the first month free on some tariffs)

Titles: 60,000+
Blu-Ray:
1,500+
Game Rentals:
no
Adult Films:
yes, 1,800 (if you set parental controls to allow)
Phone Contact: yes, 0845 60 60 383
(best write this down if you subscribe, as it's not obvious on the site)

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