Sorry, Blockbuster Is Not Available

Reader Amy is wondering if anyone knows why Blockbuster Online is, well, not online.

Any idea on what’s going on at
Tried to log on this AM and it says “Sorry, BLOCKBUSTER Online is temporarily unavailable while we make some changes to the site. We’re working hard to bring you an ever better BLOCKBUSTER Online experience. Check back soon!”
Nice, since I am a Blockbuster Online member and now have zero access to my queue or know what’s coming to me next.

Haven’t the foggiest, Amy.

Anyone have any ideas?



Edit Your Comment

  1. wring says:

    server is down?

  2. Bladefist says:

    …waiting for all the complaints about higher fees and worse service

  3. tvh2k says:

    Maybe they’re making some changes to their site?

  4. CaptainSemantics says:

    Looks like they’re updating the website. That’s why it says “Sneak Peek” in the title bar.

    Granted, they picked the wrong time. I would have done it at 2 a.m. or something.

  5. jwillys1 says:

    I am having the same problem. Probably a site re design or something. I am sure this will cost us $2 more month!

  6. CaptainSemantics says:

    @CaptainSemantics: Well, that, and the fact that it says “we’re making some changes to the website.” (takes off “Obvious Hat”)

  7. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Aside from them being overpriced and relatively unfriendly when making in-store exchanges, the site will probably be back shortly. I highly doubt lives will be thrown into total disarray because they can’t see their queue.

  8. rsg2003 says:

    um, weren’t they going to “not focus” on their online business? I remember reading about this on Gizmodo.


    Maybe their online front is in the midst of the throws of death.

  9. dreamcatcher2 says:

    Oh noes, a website is taken offline briefly on Monday morning for maintenance, how will we survive without our up-to-the-minute details of our movie rentals?

    Let’s give Blockbuster a little time to sort things out before we jump all over them, yah? Even freeways have to be taken down for maintenance sometimes.

  10. Jasmo says:

    what is this “blockbuster”? some kind of karate move?

  11. wesa says:

    I agree with Dreamcatcher2. There’s no reason to bother Consumerist with this sort of problem.

  12. CaptainSemantics says:

    @dreamcatcher2: But how will I know when I can expect my copy of “National Treasure?” The trailer made it look so good!

  13. rmz says:

    Yawn. When a site is undergoing maintenance, that’s a consumerist issue all of a sudden?

  14. vliam says:

    They could at least provide a link to Netflix.

  15. Buran says:

    @CaptainSemantics: I’ve seen Apple take their store down for over an hour at a time from time to time. Usually when I need to order something.

  16. rewinditback says:

    Cry some more and go back to work… sorry you cant access your queue for 15 minutes.

  17. snoop-blog says:

    hmmm, i’m no rocket science, but my guess is……*deep thought look*…….just maybe, they are “making some changes to the site”? just taking a wild stab in the dark on this one though, not that i quoted any type of source.

  18. PinkBox says:

    I’m not sure why this story is even worth posting.

  19. Mary says:

    Um, well, sometimes websites are down for maintenance or improvements.

    Even Amazon is not ALWAYS up and running.

  20. Balisong says:

    Yup, this is what I go to this site for – cutting edge news that effects my daily life.

    (Is a Blockbuster customer. Does not care that the website is currently down. Has a life.)

  21. silvanx says:

    They took it offline and sent it to Elbonia for maintenance.

  22. AceKicker says:

    Somewhere out there is a poor IT tech getting reamed out by management about how much money they’re losing every second. Of course this would take place before they have a chance to fix it, ironically prolonging the downtime.

    Standard procedure. And from my brief experience from Blockbuster Online, not surprising in the least.

  23. B says:

    Well, it’s been down for about an hour and a half, that’s more than just routine maintenance. Probably something went wrong with the upgrade.

  24. beyondthetech says:

    Actually, I believe they took it offline to decommission about 90% of the servers that aren’t going to be used anymore, now that most of their subscribing members have canceled their membership. I believe it’s now running off of an Palm Pilot with an AOL dial-up connection, which should be good for the 4 remaining users.

  25. vondruska says:

    And why is the copyright date from 2006? I would think someone would remember its 2008 now….

  26. KogeLiz says:

    what a waste of a post

  27. homerjay says:

    @KogeLiz: Its not a waste. Meg gets to bang outta there a half our earlier now that she’s that much closer to reaching her daily quota. :)

  28. kimsama says:

    Oh my god but what about my movie emergency!?

    Wait, there’s no such thing? Oh, ok.

  29. Dancing Milkcarton says:

    Is this what we’ve come to? Firing off a letter to the Consumerist when your preferred video rental shop upgrades their web site / servers?

    Oh the humanity.

  30. krom says:

    This doesn’t happen to Netflix. Of course, Netflix is a technology company, as opposed to a B&M video rental chain trying to play technology. BB FTL.

  31. Maude Buttons says:

    @Balisong: Begs to differ.

  32. Buran says:

    To all the people whining about why this post is here:

    Why are you wasting time commenting?

  33. Balisong says:

    @Maude Buttons: (Is being unproductive at work ;p )

  34. themoralorderdotcom says:

    I sent off my movies in the middle of last week – and I got the notification that the movies were checked in on Friday. They usually ship out movies same day – but I haven’t received my notifications that new movies are on the way…. maybe something bigger than site down?

  35. commenter101 says:

    They have now changed the look of their site unavailable webpage. It looks even worse than the one copied and pasted above in this post. This one has x’d out jpegs. Strange, indeed….

  36. Saboth says:

    overloaded with cancellations perhaps? I know I was one of the first people in my area to get BB online, and after the price went up two times last year, the service provided was cut two times, I cancelled back in December and signed up for Netflix. I was always a staunch supported of BB online, but a man’s got his limits.

  37. MikeB says:

    My notifications have always been hit or miss. Most times I will be notified that new movies have been sent well before I am notified that my returns have been received.

  38. PinkBox says:

    @Buran: Because I’m bored.

  39. commenter101 says:

    Blockbuster is saying it is a “systems problem”:

    LOS ANGELES, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The online movie rental service operated by Blockbuster Inc (BBI) was temporarily taken down on Monday after it experienced a “systems” problem, a company spokesman said.

    Blockbuster spokesman Randy Hargrove did not immediately provide details about the cause or expected duration of the outage.

    A message on the site urged subscribers to “check back soon” and said the company was “working hard to bring you an even better Blockbuster Online experience.”

    Shares of Blockbuster were up 9 cents at $3.51 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Gina Keating, editing by Phil Berlowitz/Jeffrey Benkoe)

  40. Buran says:

    @causticitty: Obviously.

  41. Mr_Human says:

    @krom: Sadly, this happens to netflix quite a lot

  42. Hitchcock says:

    The site has been down for hours now. Not something you’d expect from a big company like Blockbuster. I’ll also echo the comments made by the poster above, my returned movies last week were processed later than usual, and nothing has yet to be sent. I should have had new movies by now.

  43. shrtcrt says:

    We found out that the instore exchange limit resets on the first of the month, not your billing cycle. I also over heard the manager trying to get some couple to sign up for the $30 a month plan. Holy cry!

    Generally big changes like this are done in off peak hours. Of course this could be their off peak hours, who knows.

  44. bitplayer says:

    A friend of mine that worked there said he has never seen a major company so poorly managed. Tasks that should be simple are made horribly complicated by an outdated and horribly configured computer system. The system use MS freakin DOS on the computers at the stores. Managers are forced to spend more time configuring the candy than getting the store organized. All that in addition to the fact that they made money functioning as a collection agency of sorts and now that’s eliminated from their business model basically. I can’t imagine them staying in business too much longer.

  45. synergy says:

    Or death throEs, even.

  46. synergy says:

    @Mr_Human: It’s never happened to me with Netflix and I have the 5-at-a-time account, so you know I’m on it all the time.

  47. goodkitty says:

    @commenter101: That’s weird.. so their system goes down, but their stock price goes up. Aha, that explains how Blockbuster has managed to exist: they reside in Bizarro World. The worse service they give, the higher their prices, and the poorer their selection, the more customers they get!

  48. waitaminute says:

    hmmm… the phys Blockbuster on Church/Market Sts. in San Francisco is “CLOSED INDEFINITELY” as of Saturday afternoon.

  49. nikanjo says:

    New note now says:


    We’re sorry; is currently unavailable due to technical difficulties. We’re working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and expect resolution tonight.

  50. Skiffer says:

    @synergy: Thanks :)

  51. Teapotfox says:

    There were nationwide issues today with both the website and the internal computer system BBV uses for personnel management. The latter was resolved first… as of this comment, their website is still down, but says resolution is expected tonight.

  52. coren says:

    @themoralorderdotcom: The something bigger is Blockbuster messing around with queue wait times and movie send times to save themselves money and make your plan effectively worth less.

    And the error screen in question shows up several times a week in the wee hours of the morning; nothing uncommon about that, it’s their routine maintenance one (although, clearly, not routine maintenance here)

  53. firefoxx66 says:

    This article strikes me as effectively pretty pointless. Unless the Blockbuster site has been down for a day or more, then I think this should pretty much be accepted as internet norm. Sites go down for updates or repair, or just because of server problems. Usually, they come back up pretty quickly. Yea, maybe they picked a bad time, but is it really comment-worthy?

    It’s like sending out a note about a 6 hour road diversion for repairs. Yea, it’s annoying, and by all means, moan to your friends about it a bit. But is it really worth writing about?