Murphy, you tricky devil!

I got an email from Blockbuster the other day. Apparently they are making some changes to their online rental program, of which I am a member. Their deal was already pretty good – for $17.99 a month you can have up to 3 movies at any given time that are mailed directly to your home to be watched at your leisure and mailed back. In addition to that, you also received 2 free in-store game or movie rentals per month. These come in handy when it’s Thursday or Friday and you’ve just sent all 3 of your movies back, you know you won’t get anything new until Monday or Tuesday, but you need something to watch NOW. All-in-all it wasn’t a bad setup. It may be a couple dollars more than Netflix – I think they’re around $14.99 a month – but the store rentals made it worth it.

Now it’s going to be even better!

It’s called Total Access, and here’s how it works: you still get your 3 movies mailed to your house, but when you are finished watching them, you now have two options. You can either mail them back as usual and the next movie on your list will arrive in a few days, OR you can take them to your local Blockbuster store and exchange them for a free in-store rental, one for each movie you return. What’s really cool, is that even though you have exchanged your online rental for a store rental, you are *also* sent the next movie from your online list. Basically you are getting twice the movies with no extra cost. Plus, you still get your coupons for 2 free in-store game or movie rentals a month.

I have this bad habit of not watching any movies for a couple of weeks and then sitting down and watching all 3 within a day or two. I am then left with nothing to watch for a few days, and it always seems to happen on a weekend when Megan is away and I am home alone with no plans. Now I will have another option!

So this sounds like a good deal, right? Wanting to test it out, I finished watching the 3 movies I currently had: War of the Worlds (good), The Ring II (eh), and The Skeleton Key (ok, better than I thought it would be). Megan and I got in the car, movies in hand, to drive the .7 miles to our local Blockbuster store for our free rentals. I wondered how Mr. Murphy could rear his ugly head and ruin what seemed like a sweet deal…I imagined I would get to the store, choose our 3 replacement movies, wait in line for 20 minutes, then find out that “Oh, I’m sorry, we’re not a *participating* Blockbuster store,” or something along those lines. What actually happened, however, was not anything that I had anticipated.

The Blockbuster that is less than a mile from my house – how convenient is THAT? – is closing. They stopped making rentals on October 29th and are only open for a few more days to accept returns. Now when I want to take advantage of their free in-store offer, I have to drive 15 minutes to Long Gate. AHHHHHHH.

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