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Blockbuster Rolls Out "Summer Escape Pass" Rental Promotion - Makes Netflix Look Like the Bargain It Is

Posted on Saturday, June 13th, 2009 12:00 PM

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Blockbuster has introduced a new promotion they are calling the "Summer Escape Pass," which allows renters a week of unlimited rentals of movies and games for $10.

"During the summer, people have more downtime to spend together with friends or family, and we want them to know that there's never been a better time to 'escape in' than with BLOCKBUSTER," said Jim Keyes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with Blockbuster Inc. "No matter what the economy is doing or what the weather is like, the Summer Escape Pass from BLOCKBUSTER gives customers an inexpensive way to have a great night out by staying in."

The catch in this promotion seems to be that you can only rent one movie or game at a time, which means lots of return trips to the video store. Great if you're within walking distance, not so great otherwise. If you're willing to do this once a day, it means that you would be able to rent a total of 7 discs in the week's time. Getting more than that means lots of trips, and personally, going once a day is probably more than I would do.

The press release encourages renters to purchase a new pass every week, which would be a great deal for Blockbuster!

I might be biased, but I think Netflix is a better deal (if you're not going to be renting games, as they don't rent games). They are a merchant in our Gift Shop, so we have a vested interest in getting people to sign up, but we have also been members for many years, so we can speak of our good experiences with Netflix.

For the same $40 per month that the Summer Escape Pass would cost you, you could sign up for Netflix's "6-DVD's at a Time" plan and still have change left over. This plan would give you six discs from their selection of over 100,000 movies and TV shows, plus it would give you access to 12,000 shows that you can watch instantly on your PC or connected device.

Instead of driving to Blockbuster multiple times a week to get your money's worth from their Summer Escape Pass, you can walk to your mailbox and have new movies in your mailbox in as little as two days! That means that in a week's time, you could watch many more than 7 movies, for less money.

Personally, I wouldn't go for the 6-discs at a time plan, but rather the 3-at-a-time plan for $17, and you can add Blu-ray access on top of that for an extra $4. For $21 a month, I would think that would keep you swimming in movies for a fraction of the price of the Blockbuster plan.

If the Blockbuster promotion still sounds like a deal to you, head on over to the Blockbuster web site for more details.

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