Blockbuster is dumb.

Several friends have told me to get on with NetFlix instead. And, even BetterHalf wants to do it. The recommendations for NetFlix have all been favorable. But, I have put it off, to this point, because of mere prioritization. For one thing, most movie DVD watching here involves something animated. And, secondly, I’m not watching as many movies as I used to watch. I used to stop at Blockbuster every weekend. But, with blogging and pictures, the time available for movie watching has decreased. As such I still haven’t seen Crash or Brokeback Mountain or The Aviator…and several other apparent good ones.

For this holiday weekend, however, we decided to go to Blockbuster and rent a few. After selecting several, we went to the front to check out. I provided my ID and readied myself to pay. At this point the fellow behind the counter asked me if I had a membership. Surprised, I informed him that I did and that I had been a very frequent renter. He asked me if I had instead been to a different store. I responded that my renting had always been at that location. Then, he asked me if it had been awhile since I had last been into the store. I told him that while it had been awhile, I should surely be in the system. At this point he informed me that after 90 days of inactivity a membership is deleted from the system. And, he told me there is no way to reinstate an inactive membership.

90 days? 90 days of inactivity gets a person deleted? 90 days?

How dumb is that?

90 days is nothing. 90 days is still recent. The time between visits to the dentist or doctor for most people is more than 90 days. I could understand getting deleted after a year or two. But, not 90 days…

I nearly walked out I was so annoyed. But, I stopped after looking down into the eyes of the LilOnes. They wanted to get their movies. They didn’t understand what the hassle was about. The fellow behind the counter, seeing I was fuming, assured me he would quickly process my New Membership Application. So, I filled it out…mumbling the whole time…and lost five minutes of my life in the process.

The whole thing is just dumb. How difficult is it to maintain a file in a computer?

Sure, five minutes is nothing. But, the implication I got from the incident is that Blockbuster does not care about customer retention. They don’t understand customer service. They don’t want to take care of existing patrons. A few months of inactivity and they assume a customer has moved on…which is dumb.

P.S. – BTW, I find it ironic that “Ice Age 2 – The Meltdown” is right next to “An Inconvenient Truth” on the shelf. There’s an implied message there somewhere, I think…