Blockbuster Chides You For Losing The Movies In Your Queue

I have been a long time reader of consumerist, and hoped I would never have to send in anything to you guys. Leave it to Blockbuster to force me to do this.

I have been using Blockbuster Online for almost a year now. It has been ups and downs. I have been shipped the wrong movie countless times, but just took the pain of not being able to watch my movie and sent it back. I have received enough “wrong” movies to deserve a few months of free service, but I don’t even complain I just figure “Nature of the Business”.

Now to my issue…. I had rented the classic “Apocalypse Now” and watched Disc One (which by the way Blockbuster online doesn’t tell you it is 2 discs on some of the choices so it is hit or miss.). So I went to my queue to put disc 2 on the list so I can enjoy the end of the movie. To my dismay, I log in to my account to find my queue EMPTY. I had 20-30 movies in the queue…. all gone!

So I email Blockbuster asking what happened to my movies? and can they do anything to recover the list! This is when the Mania ensues…. The respondent from Blockbuster was rude at best. Won’t acknowledge I even have a problem. Basically accuses me of erasing all of my movies (why would someone do that?) or that I gave my password to someone else and they did it. The most scathing part is that in her first response she in so many words “scolds” me for having an empty queue! I am also a big fan of the “Always here to help” signature on the end of the emails….

It is a ridiculous response, and considering their situation they should be doing jumping jacks to keep customers. Instead they respond with nonsense. They sent me two “surveys” after each response which I filled out “Extremely Dissatisfied” on every question.

Here is a copy of the Emails for your reading enjoyment. Hopefully people reading this will choose to not use Blockbuster, or even better someone from Blockbuster will read this and go to the customer service office and rattle some cages of their customer service agents.

My first email:
“All the movies I had in my queue are gone? What happened can I get the list back?”

Blockbusters Response:
“Hello Martin,

Thanks for contacting BLOCKBUSTER Online Customer Care.

I’ve checked that your queue is empty. Unfortunately, we would not be able to recover the list of movies that you have. You may just try to add movies again. Please remember that we use your queue to provide service and ask that you keep 30-40 “Available” movies listed at all times to ensure there are no interruptions.

Always here to help,

Customer Care Associate

My Response:


That isn’t a good answer.

1. What happened to everything I had in there? Where did they go?
2. I don’t like the attitude of your response. You basically scolded me for not having 30-40 movies available. I DID have movies in there, the complete list is GONE.
3. If you can’t recover my list, I want SEVERAL months credit to my account. There was months of picking movies in there. I will never be able to remember all the movies my Wife and I put in there.

Please provide a better response. Your response was sub-par at best.

Blockbuster 2nd Response:

“Hello Marty,

Please note that your queue can only be accessed with your own personal password. We don’t have the ability to modify or manage titles to your queue. You are also solely responsible for all activities that occur on your account or through use of your password by yourself or by other persons. Please make sure that your password is secured so no one can add or delete a movie in your queue without your knowledge. Thanks for your understanding.

Always here to help,

Customer Care Associate

My 3rd Response:


Can you please give this to a manager? You are not even answering my questions!

I did NOT delete anything from my queue, and I am the ONLY person with the password. Why would I delete my movies that a spent months putting the list together.

Please give this to someone who can give me a real answer. Otherwise I will have to cancel and go to Netflix. This is ridiculous that you aren’t taking me seriously. I didn’t delete anything and now after 2 communications from you… I still have not even gotten as little as and APOLOGY.


Marty, why are you complaining to Consumerist when it’s obvious that you deleted the movies in the queue yourself. Oh wait, no. It’s not actually that obvious.

Our advice? Netflix? The local library?



Edit Your Comment

  1. snazz says:

    i love netflix’s no hassle customer service policy now…. it makes the overall experience great!

  2. cashmerewhore says:

    Or just add more movies to your queue?

  3. magus_melchior says:

    Translation of CSR’s replies: “We’re covering for the IT support admins who lost your data without taking any backups.”
    This reeks of a database snafu. Sure, they can’t “modify or manage titles” directly, but that won’t prevent data loss by other means.

  4. kiloman says:

    The author’s initial communication was terse, unprofessional, and contained very little useful information. If you have a problem and want help, you need to clearly and fully explain the whole situation to the best of your ability. And if you really believe that you will never remember some of the movies in your queue, your life won’t be any worse for not having seen them.

  5. Bloberry says:

    May I recommend Netflix? I’ve NEVER had a wrong movie sent to me. That most definitely is not just the “Nature of the Business”. Their customer service has always been great, too.

  6. vex says:

    Netflix customer service is great! I’ve changed my subscription, reported lost DVDs, and even canceled for a while…but their amazing service brought me right back. All online, simple clicks of the mouse, no battles over billing issues. Dump Blockbuster and go to Netflix!

    For the problem, it sounds like they had some kind of database issue and the movies in your queue were erased. It happens! I doubt anyone at Blockbuster can do anything about it even if they wanted to. Best take their advice and add your movies back (though keeping 30-40 movies in the queue seems darn excessive).

  7. tinyorangepig says:

    Sounds like a classic version of the rep referring to the FAQs, and not fully understanding the issue. I bet there is a rep FAQ that states – “What if there are no movies in my queue?” and she is giving you that answer. And then the followup FAQ about what happens if someone suspects queue tampering. Regina (a fake name) probably doesn’t care, nor does whoever trained her. Of course, take your money to Netflix, its a better customer experience anyway…and how often do you really return movies to the store?

  8. Bladefist says:

    I actually don’t think blockbuster handled that too badly. I mean is the CS rep going to get into their DB logs and find the transaction taht deleted them all? It happened. And they didnt seem rude, they were just giving you precanned messages to you like everyone does. I used to have netflix and they were the exact same one.

  9. cedarpointfan says:

    I’ll be the next one to share my love for Netflix. :)

  10. goodkitty says:

    That response sounds exactly like every response I’ve ever gotten. I actually believe now (after so many canned and useless responses that don’t address the actual problem) that ALL email replies are actually written by a computer, with no human involvement at all. The oddest thing about is that one month they’ll be great, and the next month it’s as if they shut the company down. Rinse, repeat. Even if you have 40 movies in your queue, only about 5 of them will be ‘available’, and of those, BB will maybe actually bother to send you one or two. Netflix on the other hand… always stellar, always what I paid for and more.

  11. Zerkaboid says:

    Just leave man. I worked at Blockbuster for 9 months as a manager (trust me, I hated it, you don’t need to ask), and the company is just run so horribly. You wouldn’t believe how little employees are told about programs like Total Access, we had to make calls to the online customer service daily because customers had problems that we simply didn’t have answers for. All our district manager ever did was give us unreasonable sales goals and tell us to push the online program no matter what: “Just get them to sign up for the free trial, tell them it’s easy, and they can figure it out when they get home. Don’t waste time once they put in their info, move them along Just keep getting them to that laptop” was his mantra.

    Netflix is by far the superior online rental service. Unless you NEED to get movies at a moments notice (assuming that store actually has it in stock), the best thing to do is stick to Netflix.

    On a related note, not all Blockbuster employees are idiots out to get you. I wasn’t, and two of the people I worked with certainly weren’t (the rest I’m afraid, were).

    By corporate policy we were required to stock a full bay (64 spots) of empty boxes for movies like “Factory Girl” and “School for Scoundrels” (Weinstein exclusives, which if you check out Netflix, is a blatant lie, but a topic for another discussion), while smaller gems like “The Science of Sleep” had 2 cover boxes toward the bottom of the shelf.

  12. lostalaska says:

    I’m a Netflix’er I was tempted by the Blockbuster deals when they first went online, but I’ve had some really bad experiences with my local Block Busters. They had workers stealing DVD’s that were dropped in the return basket and then charging its customers for the “lost” DVD’s even after they said they were aware of the problem and looking into it.

    Rumors have been getting kicked around about Netflix adding video games to their rental list. If they did that Netflix would have no equal.

  13. BillyShears says:

    Fast food, credit cards maxing out, accidentally deleting your Blockbuster Online queue and hoping the “playing dumb” angle works on customer service…

    Is today’s theme “Personal Responsibility Takes a Holiday?” :)

  14. heinzs says:

    I didn’t

    see anything wrong with Blockbuster’s first reply. Also, do you really think that getting $45+ worth of service is reasonable when all that happened was you lost a list of movies that is easily rebuilt? Get real. I’d expect “sorry, that was a computer error, there’s not much we can do.” Maybe they could upgrade you to get an extra disc for the next month or something, that would be much more reasonable.

  15. AlisonAshleigh says:

    Am I the only one a little irritated by this? “Waaaaaah I want my list back!!!”

    Seriously, you can’t just pick new movies? I really don’t see how this is worth MONTHS of service. I’m not really even seeing how this is a mild inconvienence. But I do kind of wish that my biggest problem was something like this, I’d be doing pretty well.

  16. Mike_ says:

    When we had Blockbuster, our returned movies weren’t being credited to our account promptly. We’d inform them that we’d mailed back the movie, and they’d apply a “lost in mail” credit to our account. Eventually, they suggested we were keeping (stealing) the movies. Fed up, we canceled. Shortly thereafter, we started receiving “disc received” notifications for the movies we had returned weeks earlier.

    I have nothing but good things to say about Netflix, and have heard nothing but good things from friends and family who are also members.

  17. Leah says:

    @AlisonAshleigh: I found him annoying too. The poor punctuation and lack of reasoning was irksome.

  18. howie_in_az says:

    I once got a DVD screener in the mail from instead of the actual movie.

    I called the MPAA on them like a good citizen.

  19. ElizabethD says:

    I agree that the initial query was lacking information that might have made Blockbuster’s response more helpful. The follow-ups were little better.

    Communication 101, people. Calmly detail the circumstances and then ask your question. Don’t make the customer rep play guessing games.

  20. Ausoleil says:

    Sometimes I think that this site should be renamed “” (it’s available, I just checked) and then all of the Astroturfing comment posters here could open berate consumers for complaining that people they are doing business with are giving them poor customer service. While the poster may have gone a wee bit over the top, at the same time it is reasonable to expect a BB CSR rep to deal with the problem forthrightly and directly. A simply “unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do” with a bit of sympathy would go a long way towards soothing feelings and getting moral high ground here.

  21. Unfortunate glitch, unreasonable request for restitution, piss poor “tone of voice” to write in to Blockbuster with. Flies with honey, man. Sure you are upset, but bitching like that isn’t going to make any friends even if they can do something about it…

  22. flairness says:

    The complainer sucks. She went into this guns loaded and finger on the trigger instead of politely asking for CS’s help in figuring out what went wrong. If you shut down before you even give them a chance, how are they going to solve anything for you?

    Try asking politely next time. Complainer is the reason Customer Suck stories exist.

  23. BillyShears says:

    @Ausoleil: Right. Because anyone pointing out that the customer might actually not be right is obviously an astroturfer.

  24. NardoNardo123 says:

    I’ve been with netflix for almost 4 years and I’ve never had a wrong disc shipped to me…I’ve never had anything but good experiences with them all these years which is why the lower price at never enticed me to leave.

  25. heinzs says:


    Very few people are blaming him for anything. The thing I think is silly is the fact that this is even on the site in the first place as anything other than an example of how _not_ to deal with CSRs. In short, Blockbuster wasn’t being ridiculous, the poster was.

  26. smitty1123 says:

    Sucks that the list is gone, and he probably should get some sort of credit. But, if he cannot remember what movies he had in his queue, he sure must not have cared much about seeing them.

  27. catskyfire says:

    Tell me, any Netflix horror stories, or is it all ‘blockbuster is evil’?

    (Had Netflix send me a wrong movie when I was with them.)

  28. nicoledapostrophe says:

    Dude, just switch to Netflix. While my experience with them has not been entirely perfect (I’ve had them for about 8 months and have gotten a few scratched movies), they have always taken care of the problem immediately AND given me some sort of credit or free movies.

  29. milty45654 says:

    You are an idiot. You were the scathing one. I think they handled it just fine. I found no attitude in those responses. You are an extremely strung up person. Get a grip and a life. Crap happens. “Months” of putting 30 movies in your queue…LOL..PUUUULEASE….you expect anyone to believe you took months to put 30 movies in a queue then want credit for the months of work it took you to click 30 times LOLOL OMFG…thanks for the laugh…looooooooooser

  30. supra606 says:

    @lostalaska: I’ll second the part about Netflix having no equal if they add video games.

  31. He says:

    Greencine is another alternative, but they don’t have warehouses all over the country like netflix.

  32. form3hide says:

    The poster is at fault, in my opinion. They handled it just fine. The initial email to Blockbuster was rude, lacking information, and just plain wrong. The responses, to his emails, were justified and to the point.

    He’s just trying to find something to complain about.

  33. sbcale says:

    One word, Netflix. In the 4+ years I have been using Netflix I have not had one problem! They simply are the best.

  34. nickripley says:

    This isn’t the biggest problem in the world, and at the same time, Blockbuster sure doesn’t need to be rude about it! What to do?

    Do you have a receipt for your queue? Show it!

  35. liquisoft says:

    Marty really got off on the wrong foot and set the tone for the entire communication. I actually think Regina did an okay job, at first, in handling a customer that was overtly accusatory and wanted a ton of free service for a simple database error. The fact of the matter is that Blockbuster did not lose anything of value. It was simply a list. A list that can be repopulated at no expense to the customer. Yes it’s a pain, but it won’t cost any money.

    Marty, you’ve got to handle your CSR communications better if you hope to get free stuff for minor troubles. Those CSR’s are people too, and they’d probably love it if some customer spoke to them in a nice and understanding tone. They might love it so much they’d be willing to actually help you out.

  36. alk509 says:

    @smitty1123: Absolutely. It is easy as pie to keep a running count in your head of which 30-40 movies you want to see next. In fact, they should do away with the whole concept of a queue, it’s so easy…

    Fuck the naysayers, Marty, I feel your pain. The queue is undoubtedly online renting’s killer app. We have over 100 movies in our Netflix queue, and if it got deleted, I’d be PISSED!

  37. Girtych says:

    Several months of compensation for a lost list? While I’ll agree that it’s a pain in the rear to recompile a movie list that extensive, there’s no way in hell the loss of said list deserves MONTHS of compensation. That just sounds like an entitled attitude.

  38. BillyShears says:

    @liquisoft: Word up.

    Treating CSRs like humans, and not approaching them as if they intentionally and maliciously caused the problem goes a long way. Also: reasonable requests. Marty demanded the world for what, truth be told, is a minor inconvenience. Several months credit? For a lost queue? For delays in processing returns, sure; for a parade of scratched discs? Absolutely.

    But this is just self-entitlement at its worst.

  39. smitty1123 says:

    @catskyfire: I’ve had Netflix for a couple of years, and no real horror stories. I get a broken disc about once every 3 months, but they ship out a replacement very quickly after you report it. I get throttled on newer movies, but I average about 5 movies a week, so it isn’t that big of a deal for me. Also, sometimes there are shipping delays on obscure movies, but that isn’t unexpected.

    Honestly, I’m super happy with them. I would only want two changes. Renting games, and their vod player to work natively in Firefox (without having to use IE tabs).

  40. Nytmare says:

    Shouldn’t these types of errors be investigated in case there is a larger problem that affects multiple customers? Yeah I know they don’t. I still think they should.

  41. SaveMeJeebus says:

    BB is awful about using scripted replies. I had all three movies at my house at one time and I received emails stating that all three had been returned and new ones were on their way. I thought this was weird until I had six movies at my house even though I was on the three-at-a-time plan. I just got some canned reply stating if I have not received the movies by a certain date to report it. Absolutely useless response.

  42. anonymouscoworker says:


    Agreed. I have over 480 movies in my Netflix queue, and if it got deleted I’d be cheesed, but wouldn’t expect several months worth of renumeration from Netflix. I’d just spend an hour plugging them all back in again, as best I could, from memory.

    40 movies lost? Cry me a freakin’ river.

  43. lalahsghost says:

    I think Marty has gone hype over this incident. Some memory or cached data was lost, and a queue of movies he would have like to of seen is gone. BOO HOO. That is like me losing my grocery list before going to the store. It’s annoying, but 80% of the stuff on the list can be re-queue’d in five minutes, and I might even find a few other items I really enjoy in the process~

  44. VeryPlainJane says:

    I have had netflix for 2 years and love them. They have never sent me a wrong movie. Only one movie as been lost in the mail and they were quick to fix it, I wasn’t charged. The only time I have gotten broken or unplayable DVDs (they have been children’s movies and only a couple of times) they sent replacements the very next day.

  45. smitty1123 says:

    @alk509: If I lost my queue, I’d be aggravated, but I could reconstruct the top 25-30 slots pretty easily. The 100+ after that would be a different story, but I’d have plenty of time to repopulate it. Granted, it’s just my queue, so it would be much harder if it was a family queue.

    I still think the guy should get either a temporary upgrade in service or some sort of account credit.

  46. noorct says:

    Dude – you need to relax. Your queue was lost, for whatever reason. These things happen. Your whiny tone and demand for service credit of months makes you the kind of customer any company would be happy to lose, even Blockbuster.

    Also, can you really claim putting together a queue takes months??? Really?? Suck it up, pick some new moves out from blockbuster or netflix, and take your blood pressure medication.

  47. dmartinez says:

    Reading Blockbusters response they seem to be replying professionally and in this case it appears the consumer has the attitude. I am sure there is some sorta hickup in the system that caused her list to get wiped out but this is a list of movies YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE!! and they mail them to you as they can. To ask for free credit is a little bit ridiculous!

    IMO Blockbuster handled this professionally.

  48. matdevdug says:

    I agree with a lot of other people here. He is crying over something that doesn’t really matter. I once lost part of my queue from Netflix’s when they first opened. It happens.

    In other news, Blockbuster really recommends you have 30-40 movies in your queue? That seems excessive.

  49. horatio80 says:

    I too love netflix, but have recently switched to using redbox. I get free rentals every week from them for signing up for their newsletter. An there are tons of locations all over town so I can pick up a movie easy.

  50. synergy says:

    @kiloman and @tinyorangepig: agreed. They guy asking for several months of free service right off the bat?! Maybe if they refused to go to a previous copy of his queue from backup, but several months? And what movies were these that they’re so valuable that he can’t remember what any of them are?

    Of course the CSR didn’t help by giving the canned answers she’s probably reading somewhere with the same key words as his email.

  51. virginiabelle says:

    Definitely go with Netflix. Their customer service is great and instantaneous, I have never been sent the wrong movie, and they automatically add all the discs of a movie to my queue when there is more than one.

  52. Freedomboy says:

    Best service in the world. Cheap. Simple. No attitude.

    I have used it thorugh about 130 titles so far and love it.

    Plus if you want it, keep it, you bought it.

  53. bohemian says:

    Most email customer service places use a set of template responses. This is supposed to speed up the CSR’s numbers (how many they process per hour). Your stats go up if you cut and paste a related response and don’t provide any actual thought or response of your own to it.

    Blockbuster is wrong. They refused to address the issue or have someone check to see why the list might be gone.
    The probability of lost data is pretty high so the idea of it being a glitch on BB’s end is reasonable to think.

    I am really tired of lame lies from CSRs simply because they don’t give a rip and want to move to the next call or email.

  54. csdiego says:

    Yeah, mistakes happen, but “Regina” screwed up when she added that snarky last sentence chewing him out for not having the movies in his queue instead of apologizing for BB’s mistake. It sounds like this was the last straw in an escalating series of insults and poor service.

  55. trevormckee says:

    I’ve had blockbuster online for quite sometime and have never had any major problems. The only minor complaint I might have is that sometimes a movie sits in “long wait” status for far too longer, which just means they need more copies of a particular title.

    As far as this person’s problem, I really have no sympathy. 1. It’s just a list of movies…they didn’t lose important documents or your grandmother’s dentures. 2. They weren’t being rude, the author was…the blockbuster person was being polite and proffesional. 3. I’m sure if blockbuster could restore your list, they would. They connot, move on.
    4. If you’re that concerned about this issue, do like I do and just keep an external list of all the movies you want to see. I do this because I might discover a movie I haven’t seen before from a friend or other resource, and I just add it to a “Want to See” list in my google docs. Once I see them I put a strikeout on the item. That way I don’t forget about movies I wanted to see in the theater when they come out on dvd.

    Bottom line: Find something more important to worry about. And given your defensive attitude, I don’t doubt you did somehow accidentally delete them yourself.

  56. Buran says:

    @ElizabethD: That, however, does not excuse their not actually looking into the problem or actually answering the questions that were asked.

  57. Buran says:

    @bohemian: They are, however, paid to answer customer questions. It’s not our problem if they cut corners to do it and we can and will complain.

  58. phantomoftheopry says:

    In my experience, Netflix customer service is great. So I think Marty should follow up on his threat and ditch Blockbuster.

  59. realjen01 says:

    sh*t happens. stop whining and re-add the movies to your queue or switch your service to netflix. as much as i hate blockbuster, this really isn’t that big of a deal. what a whiney baby…

  60. boandmichele says:

    @howie_in_az: actually, calling the MPAA makes you a crappy citizen, imo.

  61. Tallanvor says:

    I use Lovefilm over in the UK and I’ve never received the wrong disc. I’ve only received a couple that were damaged as well, and I usually go through about 12 discs a month.

  62. @csdiego: I agree. Marty was really asking for several months credit because of constant aggravation, not this one instance.

    The list being lost may not be a big deal but this was still poor customer service.

  63. BigBoat says:

    Multiple months of free service for this incident is sketchy at best. If this is a culmination request than you don’t embed it in a current-issue letter. Clearly Regina’s response was sub-par, but so was the author’s. I’d recommend keeping a log of all your issues and putting them forward in a new letter, to the right personnel. Try to work on the grammar while you’re there.

    P.S. on the process of keeping this log of poor customer experience, keep your movie queue backed up too. I hear Blockbuster is unreliable with those these days.

  64. Xkeeper says:

    @milty45654: Thanks for giving the flag button more use. I hope one day Consumerist starts outting useless crap like this.

    Beyond that, I find the original complaint and followups rather stupid (‘several months credit’ for a lost list of movies? Uh.), but I don’t think it deserves an obviously canned, useless reply, either.

    I think both parties in this incident are morons.

  65. Smackdown says:

    This is a classic situation where the guy who was complaining clearly has had no experience ever dealing with customer service or has any idea what he can reasonably expect. Who knows what Blockbuster’s policy is on this? Even if she could have gotten with the DB guys (which in a huge corporation, who knows), who’s to say they could have pulled the information, or is it something they don’t do because of the intensity of the request?

    Screw Blockbuster, but in this instance, Marty is being a whiny little bitch. Shit happens, guy, suck it up.

  66. Zelle999 says:

    As a former customer service rep for the call center several years ago, I can tell you that (at least for that company) the CSRs who handled emails were timed just like those who want you off the phone in 1 minute, 30 seconds. There is a database with canned responses in there that you “tweak” to fit the situation and to which you can add more information to fit the question you got.

    That said, many CSRs ONLY used the canned responses for everything so they could make their reponse time better. If the customer email came in with a password question, the CSR might send off the first password related response they found even if it made no sense.

    Supervisors spot checked outgoing emails (Think: This call is being recorded for training purposes), but I can almost guarantee that if you keep emailing this person, you will never, ever speak to a supervisor.

  67. LAGirl says:

    switch to Netflix! they have AMAZING customer service. i had a problem with a movie at the top of my queue. it showed as ‘shipped’, but i never received it. i called them, and they just re-shipped it. no questions asked, no penalty.

    also, i had a movie at the top of my queue that i had already seen, but i forgot to remove it. i didn’t really care for it + didnt’t want to see it again. i called to see if they could cancel shipment, but it was too late. they said just to ship it back when i received it, and offered a ‘bonus’ rental for my troubles!

    every time i’ve called their customer service, i’ve had a really positive experience. very friendly, knowledgable. they’ve even made movie recommendations, and asked me about movies i’d just watched.

  68. ediebeale says:

    I agree with a lot of the people that think Marty was a bit whiny and didn’t use the greatest tone. However, the queue is the cornerstone of both Blockbuster and Netflix! It’s one of the big draws of both services, and I know if I lost my Netflix queue I would be ticked off and it would be, if not a major inconvenience, then something that might lose me money reposting all the movies I can remember. I would probably ask for a free month of service. And Netflix would probly give it to me because they’re awesome. Let go of the Blockbuster teat! It’s not 1997! We have better options!

  69. thalia says:

    Dude, she totally answered your question. Twice. YOU’RE the one with the “attitude”. Stop bitching. I mean, come on…”OMG it took me months to compile that list! I demand months of free service! WAAAAA!”

    Personally, I think you really need to switch to Netflix. I’ve never had a single issue with those guys.

  70. erratapage says:

    Our customer here did NOT request free months. He said that he deserved free months for all the mismailed and damaged movies he’s received.

    A perfectly good response from Blockbuster would have been, “We cannot reconstruct the error that caused your queue to be erased. I have forwarded your concern to our IT Department to document your error. If this happens again, please reference #________, so that we may properly escalate your concern. Please accept our apologies for your inconvenience.”

    I don’t think the guy was entitled to compensation. He was entitled to a real response.

  71. linedpaper says:

    I’ve had so many problems like this with Blockbuster. I get incorrect movies or cracked discs on a regular basis. In addition it takes 2-3 days for me to get the movies after they have “shipped” and it again takes Blockbuster 2-3 days to “receive” movies after I put them back in the mail. With Netflix the turn around time is usually 1-2 days. I am currently on my free trial with Netflix and plan to cancel Blockbuster as soon as I reach the end of my billing cycle, as if I cancel now I get no refund and the service ends right away!

  72. eblack says:

    Ugh…I get customers like this sometimes. Sure you might have a valid technical problem, but most likely you did it yourself by accident. PEBCAK is the most likely answer to 98% of tech support problems.

  73. tinyorangepig says:

    @erratapage: Agreed. More than likely, if it was a system glitch. If so, I bet it affected more than 1 user. She should have been able to notify IT or the development team, and then followup. It should be the CSRs job to help this customer, but also help the greater good of all customers, by alerting her internal group to the issue, and hopefully fixing the situation. Sorry’s go along way…or you can stuff your sorry’s in a sack mister! jugdish.

  74. BigNutty says:

    Wow, What a response for Netflix! I thought I heard that Blockbuster was getting out of this business. Anyway, look at the difference between the two companies as far as customer service is concerned.

    It gives you hope that customer service is not quite dead yet, just in the hospital.

  75. niccernicus says:

    I had to chuckle, as I was reminded of a buddy’s comment regarding DVR content. If you have so many movies on there that you cannot possibly recreate the list, chances are you didn’t need to see them in the first place.

  76. jesirose says:

    “I had rented the classic “Apocalypse Now” and watched Disc One (which by the way Blockbuster online doesn’t tell you it is 2 discs on some of the choices so it is hit or miss.). So I went to my queue to put disc 2 on the list”

    IF you couldn’t tell there was a second disc in the first place, how are you going to find the second one to add it?

  77. jesirose says:

    @erratapage: Yes, he did request several months. Read point 3 of his response.

  78. Buran says:

    @boandmichele: So doing the right thing and reporting abuse makes you a crappy citizen?

    Are you the type to do 80 in a 60? Do you zip right up to the cones when a lane is closing and shove your way in front of other people who have had the politeness and patience to wait their turn?

    And then do you turn around and blame those who obey the laws for your inconvenience?

  79. nick_r says:

    My queue vanished one day on Netflix. I called customer service, a human being answered after about a minute, he logged in to my account (which of COURSE they have the ability to do) and politely told me that he showed the queue being full. Asked me to log out and log back in, which I did, and the problem was fixed.

    In this crazy world, Netflix and DirecTV are about the only home entertainment companies you can trust anymore.

  80. Kbomb says:

    Posts like these are a waste of time. A consumer gets unjustifiably mad over a minor inconvienence, acts like a jackass to a CSA without good cause, and when he doesn’t get his way cries to consumerist.

    Stuff like this legitimizes true costomer service horror stories.

  81. Kbomb says:

    Oops, i meant to say “delegitimizes” true customer service horror stories!

  82. neithernor says:

    @N1ckels: so I should just quit Netflix because I haven’t memorized my queue? This isn’t about NEED, it’s about having a reliable place to store your to-watch list. If Netflix randomly wiped my queue and couldn’t even toss me a “sorry,” or anything resembling a coherent answer to the question, I’d be as peeved as Marty.

  83. faust1200 says:

    Blockbuster is begging you to switch to Netflix. Don’t dissapoint.

  84. Tigerman_McCool says:

    I hate Blockbuster so bad it’s not funny. At several different store locations, I received numerous late fees on movies I was quite sure were back in time. One time I took a movie back 15 minutes before it was due back. I actually went in the store and handed it to the clerk to avoid a late fee just in case they already emptied the outside bin. The next time I go in, guess what, late fee.

    Vowed never to give another cent to blockbuster. Been on netflix 4 years plus. Maybe 1-2 wrong movies the whole time. That’s not the nature of the business. It’s because blockbuster sucks.

  85. EricBrian says:

    Yeah, I had an issue with BB too and their communications were subpar. Needless to say, I cancelled my account and switched to Netflix. Haven’t had a problem with them.

    So, drop BlockBuster and go with Netflix.

  86. wesa says:

    You basically scolded me for not having 30-40 movies available.

    I don’t see this at all.

  87. Kichigai01 says:

    Guess what??? All your responses from Blockbuster are form letters that are answered by someone on the other side of the world. How do I know?? I trained the trainer for the “CSR”s on the other side of the world.

    Oh and one other thing, I helped write parts of the form letters you received 3 years ago.

  88. EndangeredGoose says:

    This is like calling tech support, and saying “help my computer doesn’t work!!” and then demanding a 110% refund in cash for your trouble. This is a really weak complaint, Consumerist.

  89. XTC46 says:

    This customer is being a bitch. The person responding is not being rude and is obviously sending canned responses. The lady is pissed because he queue got emptied, and she is being over dramatic about being “scolded”.

    Working in tech for years, these are the two scenarios of what happened.

    1) Customer either hit a clear list button (if one exists, I don’t use the service so I don’t know)

    2) a database error occurred and deleted her list (its rare but happens)

    she is acting as if Blockbuster maliciously went in and deleted everything in her queue. If I were the tech, my next email would be 1) the confirmation she is canceling and 2) a link to netflix sign up.

  90. leshrac55 says:

    I suddenly lost my free in-store movie/game coupon from my account. I informed them about it a few months ago and said that they were having “technical issues” and sent me a free coupon to replace it. A month passed and I still didn’t have a coupon to print out from my account, so I e-mailed them again and got another coupon, and they said they were still working on it. I’m still missing it, and if another month goes by (around the 21st) and it’s still not fixed, I’ll be e-mailing them once again. I’ll continue to do so every month to get my free coupon if I need to, but it’s definitely a little ridiculous.


  91. Ben Popken says:

    Blockbuster bot is obviously just sending predesigned responses from a drop-down menu. Also, Blockbuster sucks and Netflix rules.

  92. thalia says:

    @wesa: I completely agree. The guy basically bitched her out, saying that she was unhelpful and that she was ‘scolding’ him when he didn’t even provide adequate information in the first place. I mean, come on….

    “All the movies I had in my queue are gone? What happened can I get the list back?”

    I’ve seen second graders who have better grammar/punctuation than this guy!

  93. meneye says:

    I don’t like blockbuster at all, but I don’t see how they were rude here.

  94. brennie says:

    agree or disagree with this guy, I think that, as one poster stated, this might be a red flag for a fundamental flaw in BB data management system. They should be storing data snapshots once or twice a day somewhere so the worst that could happen is you recover data that’s 12 hours old max. Not make CSR’s cover for an IT department scrambling to work without the right tools in a crisis situtation. It’s fundamental. Expensive, but if you give a crap about continuity, indispensible. If they aren’t doing that, where else are they cutting corners? Security? Information management? Who knows?

  95. JAYEONE says:

    woo HOO TEAM NETFLIX! I love my Netflix!

    blockbuster, blockbuster, go back to the woods!
    your company stinks and your service is no good!

    (ok, I’ll sit down now.)

  96. Joe_Bagadonuts says:

    Netflix rules. Occasionally get the broken/scratched/cracked disc, but replacements are fast. Shipping time for me has gotten extremely fast lately – return a disc in Monday morning’s mail, next in queue in hand by Wednesday night!

  97. LucyTuzy says: are dicks. They charged me a “restocking fee” of $7.95 for all three DVD’s I rented when I canceled my account. Correction, first they charged me for all three DVD’s at $25 a pop and then refunded the funds but kept the “restocking fee”. Assholes! I’ve never been so glad to cancel an account.

  98. HOP says:

    gee, all of you should get a life….must spend half of it watching movies….anyone still read a book???????talk to people??????

  99. guymandude says:

    Hey guys, If Netflix is so damn great how come they won’t support movies on Linux machines? Ok… DRM. Why not Macs? So to me it sounds like the same old story replayed 10^21 times… it’s great if you do windoze; if not…. well then f**k you. Call/write netflix and tell them you want LINUX!

  100. Raignn says:

    I’ve been with Netflix for several years now, and we’ve been very happy. Their customer service is wonderful and their list of movies you can watching immediately on your computer is growing. Go Netflix!

  101. Dude, she totally answered your question.

    @nursethalia: No, she totally didn’t. He asked “what happened” and the CSR ignored that part completely in the first e-mail and then blamed it on him in the second.

    Yes, he should have explained the problem better but should blaming the customer be the first and only response?

  102. soundengineer says:

    i think in this case Marty overreacted quite a bit. If there’s nothing that she can do about it, what else is there to discuss? I don’t really get how that was bad service…

  103. LucyInTheSky says:

    I have been with netflix for some time now, and for a while i did a test drive on blockbuster. netflix is far, far superior. i highly reccomend it.

  104. milty45654 says:

    In the future, please do not give people like this a voice

  105. bunnymen says:

    a) It took months to compile a queue of 20-30 movies? I think it took me hours when I first signed up with Netflix.

    b) I have never received an incorrect title with Netflix. In the 2.5 years I’ve been with them I think I’ve only gotten three broken discs and two otherwise unplayable ones, but that’s it problem-wise. Not bad!

  106. listeningwell says:

    Are you kidding me? Do you really think this guy is rational? Seriously…I also doubt that a queue just disappears. I’ve never had this happen. Even so, the comment about “do you think the agent has access to the database transactions to see what happened” was fair and stated with COMMON sense. If the agents could see database transactions, I doubt they would be customer service reps. They were just offering suggestions to keep more movies so you get shipments. Man, people take this stuff too seriously. Give more credit to those who are handling your concern and hearing the SAME THING over and over and over.

  107. DanGarion says:

    I love how the guy demands several months of credit for what, his movie queue being lost? Come on guy, it’s not that hard to figure out some movies that you want to watch. Especially since he said it was only 20-30, now if he had like hundreds listed I could understand that being a lot of work and time to figure out, but not 20-30 movies. I could set up that many in about 10 minutes.

  108. vladthepaler says:

    Blockbuster’s responses read like formletters, but I don’t think they’re rude, and as form letters go they’re fairly responsive.

    Guymandude -Netflix doesn’t support movies, it rents them. If your computer isn’t capable of playing a standard DVD, that’s not Netflix’s fault. And FYI, DVDs do play on Macs.

  109. dansinch says:

    This is a lame complaint. I’m not a fan of Blockbuster but I don’t think the response you got was unreasonable. Especially considering the fact that you complain like a spoiled 12 year old.

    @ediebeale: How does someone losemoney just by having to reconstruct their queue? Just because you can’t remember a particular movie you wanted 2 months ago doesn’t mean you’re somehow losing money.

  110. MystiMel says:

    I like being able to exchange my blockbuster movies in-store. I can’t do that with netflix.

  111. faust1200 says:

    @HOP: Haah..books…people…good one!!!!

  112. j3s says:

    >>I had rented the classic “Apocalypse Now”…

    Charlie don’t surf.

    >>All the movies I had in my queue are gone? What happened can I get the list back?

    Marty can’t write.

    >>So I email Blockbuster asking what happened to my movies? and can they do anything to recover the list!

    You should have also asked them to add this video to your queue.

    >>This is when the Mania ensues…

    We regret to inform you that the included exchange does not meet the legal requirements for mania.

    >>The respondent from Blockbuster was rude at best.

    >>The most scathing part is that in her first response she in so many words “scolds” me for having an empty queue!

    No, she wasn’t, and, no, she didn’t. Granted, her response wasn’t the greatest, didn’t include an apology, and failed to mention the potential for any technical (i.e. database) issues on their end (something, as a CSR, she is not likely informed of during training), but I do not personally believe it qualifies as rude. If you were truly “scathed” by the CSR’s suggestion that, since she would not be able to recover your queue, you rebuild it in order to avoid any interruption in service, then you are an even bigger, whinging idiot than this never-should-have-been-posted story makes you out to be.

    >>If you can’t recover my list, I want SEVERAL months credit to my account.

    Overly dramatic much? Here’s a simple answer for you:


    While it is wise to state the actions you would like a company to take in order to retain you as a customer when writing a complaint letter, it is also a good idea to keep your demands reasonable. Unless, of course, you don’t mind not being taken seriously and looking like one of those inane morons who is always threatening gate and ticket agents with lawsuits against airlines when flights are delayed or cancelled.

    I am also having a hard time understanding your logic and reasoning in never complaining, requesting credit, or cancelling service after being upon receiving the wrong movies “countless times”, but then demanding “SEVERAL” months of free service when your beloved queue of the complete Ernest collection goes missing. Is there any particular reason as to why? Further, just to satisfy my own curiosity, were you genuinely “pained” when these erroneous shipments were sent to you. I mean, when it happens, rather than watching the movie and then requesting the correct one be sent, thus netting two rentals for the price of one, do you really sit there and go, “OOOHHHH, WOE IS ME! MY MEAGER REQUEST WAS ONLY FOR AMERICAN NINJA 6 AND RECEIVED IRON EAGLE 4 I HAVE!!1 WILL MY SUFFERING NEVER END? CURSE THEE BLOCKBUSTER!!!1! WHY DO YOU MOCK ME SO?!”

    >>Your response was sub-par at best.

    Not as much as your attempt at effective communication was.

    Pro-tip: Stop watching movies and start reading books, preferably those of the educational variety. And if you’re still considering signing up for that Netflix membership, do yourself a favour and get a library card instead.