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Blockbuster Grovels at the Feet of Ex-Customers

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Despite Netflix's price hike, Hulu's sluggish catalog expansion, and the growing number of tiered data plans preventing unlimited mobile streaming, it's unlikely Blockbuster is due for a comeback. Following one failed Hail Mary play after another -- from SD-enabled kiosks to introducing "restocking fees" -- Blockbuster was woefully behind the video rental curve and got crushed by Netflix, Redbox, Hulu, and iTunes.

But after being saved by a last-minute, post-backruptcy acquisition by Dish Network, Blockbuster must try to win back the customers it steadily lost. How? Well, trying to pitch the same thing that led them here in the first place. Oh, and an undisclosed "special rate."

BGR got its hands on a promotional email that a former Blockbuster customer received this week. The chief focus of the message is the Total Access streaming and DVD-by-mail service it launched in response to Netflix. Although Blockbuster's plan is less expensive than Netflix's following the hike, I don't know how many customers would be willing to go back down that blue-and-yellow brick road again.

Dear [redacted],

Just 90 days ago I became the president of Blockbuster. In that time, our company has worked tirelessly to improve our product and regain your trust. We have reduced in-store DVD rental prices by as much as 38%, while other companies have raised prices by as much as 60%. Millions of customers have rewarded us by visiting our stores and experiencing our unmatched choice, convenience and value.

You’ve been part of the Blockbuster family before, and we want to earn your business again. For a limited time, we’re offering you a special rate and a free 30-day trial of Blockbuster Total Access.

Blockbuster Total Access is an outstanding alternative to other services. In addition to our everyday low pricing, you’ll get:
Many of the newest movie releases 28 days before Netflix and Redbox.
Games and Blu-ray at no extra charge
Unlimited exchanges for free in-store movie rentals
Improved availability, especially of our new release titles

We have more than 1,500 stores nationwide that will continue to provide excellent service and value and I invite you to take advantage of unlimited in-store exchanges. We hope you will agree that the Blockbuster experience is unmatched.

As a special offer to you, you’ll get a discounted rate if you sign up using the link in this email before September 15. Come say hello to the new Blockbuster — click here to start your 30-day free trial today.

Michael Kelly
President, Blockbuster L.L.C.

(See also: Infographic: How Netflix Beat Blockbuster and Watch: Blockbuster Training, Circa 1990)

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