Blockbuster Online vs. Competition
(March-November 2005)

Problem Rentals

Service		Shipped		Problem		Title
Netflix		6/28/2005	Broken		Rurouni Kenshin vol. 6
Netflix		6/24/2005	Broken		Tenchi Muyo GPX vol. 8
Netflix		4/6/2005	Unplayable	Gad Guard vol. 4
Netflix		3/24/2005	Broken		Kiddy Grade vol. 4
Blockbuster 	11/19/2005	Broken		Silent Mobius vol. 1
Blockbuster 	9/7/2005	Broken		Dragon Drive vol. 9
Blockbuster 	8/5/2005	Broken		Dragon Drive vol. 8
Blockbuster 	6/23/2005	Wrong	 	All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku Dash vol. 3 
Blockbuster 	5/7/2005	Broken		Argentosoma vol. 3
Blockbuster 	5/11/2005	Broken		Argentosoma vol. 3
Blockbuster 	5/2/2005	Wrong		Ghost In The Shell
Blockbuster 	4/28/2005	Lost		Get Backers vol. 3
Blockbuster 	3/30/2005	Broken		Metal Fighter Miku vol. 2
Service Rentals Broken
Lost In
Netflix 114 3 1 0 4 3.51 1 out of 28
Blockbuster 119 6 0 1 7 5.88 1 out of 17
GreenCine 77 0 0 0 0 0 0 out of 77

GreenCine had no problem rentals during this period.


march		19.07		15.89		21.95
april		19.07		15.89		21.95
may		19.07		15.89		21.95
june		free*		15.89		21.95
july		free*		15.89		21.95
august		19.07		15.89		21.95
september	19.07		15.89		21.95
october		19.07		15.89		21.95
november	19.07		15.89		21.95
Total		133.49		143.01		197.55
*Free after complaint to Better Business Bureau			

Total Rentals

Netflix 114 12.7 2.9 $1.50 2.4 80 mi.
Blockbuster 119 13.2 3.0 $1.20 2.3 80 mi.
GreenCine 77 8.6 2.0 $2.55 3.5 2,080 mi.

*From March through November 2005 per each services billing period: Netflix bills on the 14th , Blockbuster on the 27th, and GreenCine on the 6th of every month.  Two months free Netflix service from Better Business Bureau not included.  Total based on number received during billing periods March - November 2005.

Throttling (Intentionally Delaying Rental Shipments)

Here are the results I've gathered by having my rental data analyzed by

Netflix Results:

Blockbuster Results:

GreenCine Results:

Data for comparisons: Netflix, GreenCine, and complete Blockbuster history.  Note:  Blockbuster's data may have been skewed by reporting Ghost In The Shell: TV vol. 4 shipped 5/2/05 as received 11/18/05.  This rental was returned days after it was shipped and removed from my "Shipped Movies" long ago.  I'm not sure why it wasn't marked received back then.

Netflix, GreenCine, & Blockbuster Online: 
A Comparison of Customer Satisfaction

Originally published October 14, 2005
See Update

After renting nearly 1,000 DVDs online, I've experienced the intricacies, quirks, and pitfalls of online DVD renting.  I started out renting from Netflix 2 years ago then subscribed to Blockbuster Online and GreenCine a year ago after becoming dissatisfied with Netflix's service.

  1. Community Friendliness: There is no doubt Netflix has a hostile Google search the site with racist terms and you'll be surprised by the results.  Netflix members often chastise others for renting titles they object to.  I've experienced friendly interactions on GreenCine's message boards.  Blockbuster doesn't have an online community at this time.
  2. Rentals Per Month:  Both Netflix and Blockbuster provide me approximately 13 rentals per month while GreenCine provides approximately 9 movies per month.  The difference is due to location.  Both Netflix and Blockbuster have distribution centers 80 miles from my residence while GreenCine's only distribution center is over 2,000 miles away.
  3. Price Per Rental:  Correlates with the rentals per month.  My Netflix and Blockbuster cost per rental is approximately $1.39 and $1.22 respectively while GreenCine's cost is significantly higher at $2.34 per rental.
  4. Anime Selection:  GreenCine has the best anime selection.  In fact, I built my GreenCine queue with anime Netflix didn't carry.  Netflix continues to make improvements however GreenCine has the edge, especially with older titles.  Blockbuster's anime selection is not as comprehensive which makes it difficult utilizing their service.  Personally, I believe Blockbuster should hold off raising their subscription price until their online service improves in order to compete on equal footing.
  5. Foreign Film Selection:  I've recently compared all three's foreign film selection and all did poorly although Blockbuster did slightly better than the others.
  6. Adding Volumes To Queue:  If you're watching a serial (i.e. Cheers), Netflix and GreenCine make it easy to add additional volumes to your queue.  Just click the volume in your queue and additional volume information will be displayed.  Blockbuster makes you type a search to add additional titles.  However, all three allow you to add the entire series to your queue--this doesn't always work well as rentals often end up in your mailbox out of sequence.
  7. Envelope Quality:  Blockbuster should redesign their envelopes as they often come apart during shipping.  One Blockbuster rental was lost in the mail as the envelope came apart and the DVD fell out.  Unlike Blockbuster and Netflix , GreenCine pads their envelopes to protect DVDs.
  8. Playable Rentals:  My pet peeve!  If I had to choose one reason for disliking Netflix it would be the number of cracked rentals they've sent me.  Over the past 2 years Netflix has sent me 2 dozen cracked rentals, 1 scratched rental that would not play and 4 rentals which I did not order.   Blockbuster has also sent an alarming number of broken rentals--this is the result of mailing fragile DVDs without any type of protection.  Occasionally, all three services ship rentals that have minor playback difficulty due to scratches.  None of the 116 rentals I've received from GreenCine have been broken or unplayable. 
  9. Ethical Business Practice:  Netflix is the only company that I've had concerns over honesty.  Last year, I noticed a significant decrease in my rentals per month and I complained online.  The Netflix community ridiculed my complaint and accused me of being paranoid.  Finally, the company admitted providing customers service on 2 tiers--more profitable customers received better service.  Furthermore, Netflix has been using spyware on the public to steal customers from Blockbuster, GreenCine, and others.  Also, Netflix insulted consumers' intelligence by promoting a customer satisfaction survey which remarkably omitted Netflix customers. 
  10. Rental Recommendations:  98% of the titles I rent are anime yet Blockbuster and Netflix consistently recommend other genres.  GreenCine recommends anime--I'm not that hard to please.
  11. Title Availability:  Here's another area Blockbuster can improve on before raising their prices.  Too many times I have moved titles from my Blockbuster queue to Netflix or GreenCine due to seemingly indefinite "coming soon" or long waits.
  12. Free In-Store Rentals:  Blockbuster provides a solution for those occasions when mail isn't delivered or when rentals didn't arrive in the mail.  Currently, Blockbuster also offers free used DVDs on selected titles.
  13. Rating Individual Volumes:  This is a feature that Netflix had at one time but chose to discontinue.  It's useful to know a volume's rating.  Depending on the rating you may choose whether or not to rent a particular volume.
  14. Volume Information:  Netflix usually provides information on each volume except GreenCine is more in-depth.  In this example, GreenCine provides volume information on the anime Lost Universe.  Not only does GreenCine provide volume number, they include the volume title as well--Netflix does not.  GreenCine and Blockbuster also provide the DVD cover for each volume as well as a separate page with information on each volume.  Netflix omitting this information is a minor inconvenience.  Granted Blockbuster Online is still organizing their web site, however they occasionally omit basic information like the volume number which sends me to GreenCine looking for information.  Both GreenCine and Netflix are more reliable for basic information such as volume number.
  15. Search Engine Results:  I have no particular opinion on Blockbuster's or Netflix's search engine.  I will say GreenCine was able to find the anime Seven of Seven while Netflix could not.  Netflix lists this title as "Nana Seven of Seven" probably as this title in Japanese is Shichinin No Nana (Seven people of Seven).


In order to provide a meaningful review of the 3 companies, I created a 15-item questionnaire utilizing a 5-point Likert scale.  The questionnaire's objective is to measure Netflix, GreenCine, and Blockbuster customer satisfaction.


After administering the questionnaire to myself I determined that GreenCine provided the best customer satisfaction:

Netflix = 2.7
Blockbuster Online = 2.7 
GreenCine = 3.5

Blockbuster's service is still new and constantly improving.  Making a few much needed improvements should put them ahead of Netflix in customer satisfaction.  You're more than welcome to compare your results with mine.

Written by M. Villanueva 
December 3, 2005

Price/Rental Calculator & Turnaround Time | Broken Rental Ratio & Percent | My Opinion of Netflix | My Netflix Journal | Customer Opinions