Finances & Money

Cancelled Blockbuster Online in favor of….

redbox dvd rentalRedbox! Yep, we have canceled our Blockbuster Online subscription, but not because we were overly unhappy with it. Rather, we had otherblockbuster total access reasons. Basically, Redbox costs $1 per night to rent. If we only want to see 5 movies per month, it costs us $5. For Blockbuster, 5 movies would cost us $19. Actually, 1 movie costs us $19. We’d have to rent and watch 19 movies per month to match the Redbox price.

But Redbox isn’t available for everyone. We have one in the grocery store across the street. What is Redbox? Well, it’s a self-service kiosk that spits out the movie after you’ve paid. You return it to the same kiosk by 7pm the following night. You insert it in a certain way, and it’s available for the next person to rent. You can also create an online account to browse the available rentals at your kiosk, and actually reserve them online for pickup later! Oh, and they have a free trial coupon via email! I believe it adds you to their mailing list, but you can unsubscribe and they don’t sell your address.

But cost was only one reason to give up Blockbuster, and not even the biggest reason. Here are our other reasons:

  • We were on “Movie Overload”. This is actually the biggest reason we canceled Blockbuster. We felt like we had to watch every single movie that we received, or else we wouldn’t get our money’s worth. I would feel the pang of guilt when I saw that envelope sitting on top of the TV, waiting to be watched. It was just too much to take.
  • I’m starting my graduate degree. I’m sure the classes won’t take up every waking hour of my life (I hope), but…
  • I have other things I want to do. We made another purchase which I’ll detail in a later post, but I also have some home improvements I want to look into like renovating our upstairs and our older bathroom.
  • We’ve watched all of our “Must-Watch” movies. After rating movies on Netflix and Blockbuster, I’ve realized that I alone have watched at least 800 movies in my life. And I’m not even a movie buff! There’s some classics we’d like to see, but they can wait (they’ve waited this long). I think we’ll be fine just catching a new release every so often. If we miss it, no big deal.
  • We weren’t getting movies at the top of our queue. This seems to be an issue with Blockbuster that we didn’t usually have with Netflix. Even though a movie shows as available, we get one below the top 5, and sometimes below the top 10. Why, Blockbuster, why? I wanted to see Delta Farce with Larry the Cable Guy, not Casablanca!!!
  • Our TV shows start up again. Although 7th Heaven and Gilmore Girls is done, we still have a few shows like Ugly Betty, Heroes, etc. to keep us busy in the evenings. Oh, and Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! too.

So we’re gonna give Redbox a try. It’s funny because it’s in the same complex as the local Blockbuster. I doubt Blockbuster has anything to worry about yet, but I think that Redbox will proliferate more, and more competitors will get into the market.

So let me know if you’ve tried Redbox, or if you’ve canceled Blockbuster (or want to cancel) for the same or other reasons!

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I’m a Redbox user too and posted about it last month. I usually only rent 1 or 2 movies a month which isn’t enough to justify a subscription service. You can use the code “redbox” for a free rental the first time you use the service. You can use the free code once for each credit or debit card you have. It will take quite a while before I run out of free movies.

  • That’s so funny… I cancelled Netfilx a few months back for one of the same reasons. The pressure to watch the movies right away so we could get the next one and so on. We were getting our money’s worth but I felt this overwhelming need to get more for the money. We seem to be doing fine with just cable and no movies now. I’ve seen those boxes around here.. I don’t think it’s Redbox, something else but haven’t tried them yet.

  • Yeah, we’ve had RedBox in the grocery stores for a few months now and we used it exclusively… and I think we were the only people checking out the big new vending machine. But, my, has it gained a ton of popularity!

    Since around mid-July, I can’t think of a time we’ve been in the grocery store where the RedBox doesn’t have a line-up of 4-5 people… so Blockbuster may have to start to worry!

  • I just tried Redbox for the first time last week. I have Netflix, but I wanted to watch a movie I know my boyfriend wouldn’t like while he was gone. Rather than try to time the Netflix, I thought I’d go over to Redbox when the movie came out on video.

    Good things:

    1) They had the movie I wanted in stock, although it was not pictured.
    2) I actually was able to get the movie I wanted out of the machine.
    3) The movie was totally watchable–not too scratched up.
    4) They really did only charge me $1 + tax.

    Bad things:

    1) It looks like you have to go through the whole list to get to the movie you want–I was glad my movie started with the letter “B” and I only had to go to the next screen twice. (There may be a quicker way, though, which I would look harder for if I wanted a movie that starts with the letter “W.”)
    2) Swiping my card did not register for many tries. I think you have to push it through slowly.
    3) Then my card registered, but they claimed not to recognize it.
    4) Then I waited several minutes for Windows to shut down and restart. (I guess this is a good thing–it knows that when it’s screwed up it should turn itself off and start over.) They did recommend activities to while away the time, though: I could recite the declaration of independence, I think it was, or slowly hum some song (I forget which one) three times. Funny.
    5) Then I had to go through everything all over.
    6) When I returned my movie, it took 16 tries to get the machine to accept the disk. It kept giving me a message to place it so that the label was showing a certain way, which it already was.

    Even if it wasn’t annoying, I could never make the switch from Netflix because I like to watch a lot of weirdo (ahem, independent) and old (ahem, classic) movies.

  • […] Cancel Blockbuster Online In Favor Of…  I have heard about RedBox but have not seen them in my area yet.  I saw a machine at a grocery store that was very similar.  An interesting concept, but I don’t think it is something I will use due to the fact you still have to go to the store to return it which is the reason I hated Blockbuster stores.  Netflix has a very cheap plan that is like $4.99 a month and you get up to 2 rentals a month, up to 1 movie out at a time.  So that equals out to $2.50 per movie, for me the convenience would be worth it.  I still get the traditional three movies out at a time and we pay like $17 for the convenience.  I love Netflix though and probably will not trade it out at any point until it all goes digital. […]

  • I’m reluctant to try it because even at Blockbuster you get unwatchable (scratched) films. I see only one person in the comments section mentioned that it was ok. Did everyone else have unscratched movies?

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