Blockbuster Files Chapter 11 — The Witch is Dead

I don’t usually rejoice at the failings of others, but I’ll make an exception for Blockbuster. I’ve hated the company most of my life, primarily because they are responsible for many childhood scoldings from my father. Care for details? When I was a tweenie, there was little to do except rent movies with my friends and watch them at home. Because Blockbuster had a monopoly on movie rentals, I had no other options. I would inevitably lose the movie under my bed, and when I found it and returned it to Blockbuster, I was given an exorbitant late fee, which usually amounted to over $100. The bastards behind the counter never adjusted the price despite my tearful protests. The result was inevitable — I was grounded by my father, and banned from any future Blockbuster rentals, until I was old enough to either pay for the late fee myself, or put it on my own credit card. Needless to say, it was a long time before I rented movies again. Many years later, Netflix became the first company to give Blockbuster competition, and they immediately trounced them. Blockbuster then copied Netflix’s model, by launching online rentals, and changing their despised late fee policy. But it was too late. The online launch cost them millions, and the company never recovered. Perhaps if they decided much earlier not to rob little children like myself, they would have survived. It shouldn’t take a competitor to make your company moral, you should be moral on your own. So goodbye Blockbuster. May you rest in peace.

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