Poor Customer Service Skills = Why I Hate Blockbuster

Customer Service SkillsIf you think that poor customer service skills aren’t likely to drive a patron to absolutely despise a store and every location it has on the face of the Earth, then think again.  That’s exactly what the folks at a local Blockbuster movie rental did this to me.  They just kept on being rude and finally I boiled over to the point where I simply despised them.  Here is what happened.

First off: I know it’s not easy to work with the general public.  I’ve worked in customer service my whole life.  I’ve had people get in my face because their pizza was made wrong or make threats at me because they had to wait 30 minutes for something.

But I also know a thing or two about how making customers upset (no matter who is right or wrong) can hurt the business.  And when the business gets hurt, that puts your income in danger because you need the place to stay open so you can keep your job!

As it turns out, it can be said that as high as 70% of people who experience poor customer service end up going someplace else.  Therefore, if you’re in management, one of the best things you can do for yourself as well as for the people you manage is to develop their customer skills and help them be creative at finding a way to make things right.

What a lesson that would have been in my case with Blockbuster.  But that’s not how it ended up.

Getting Off on the Wrong Foot:

So to start: Blockbuster and I never really got off on the right foot to begin.  Back in the 90’s there were just a ton of video rental places all over for you to choose from.  They were all mostly privately owned and the workers were all pretty down-to-Earth normal people.

But then as technology changed from VHS to DVD, a lot of those smaller movie stores couldn’t make the leap.  And when the weak show vulnerability, that’s when Blockbuster made its move.   They came crashing in on the scene everywhere with their surplus of DVD’s to rent, fancy stores, and hype.  But it also came with a $5 price tag to rent one movie.  What the hell?  I used to pay $2 to $3 at the other places.  But it was too late.  The old video stores had all been driven into extinction.

With no other choice, I had to start going to Blockbuster for all my movie rental needs.  When you go to a commercial big-box store like that, the environment is just different.  Every time I went in, they never seemed to have what I needed.  Forget about asking the snarky 16 year employee at the front counter.  If you tried you were met with the customer service skills of a valley girl who simply was too cool for you or dying of disgust for her shift to end.

Customer Service Skills

Poor Customer Service Skills Eventually Drive Me Insane:

So this brings me to the straw that broke that camel’s back.

For a few years I used the Blockbuster location by my house and things were neutral.  Until one day Mrs FD returned a few movies and accidently put one into the U.S. mail box that was literally 12 inches away from the movie return slot.  WHY would they put those two things so close together???

Anyways I didn’t think this was such a big deal.  But apparently it was – and I was never to hear the end of it.

During my next trip to check out a movie:

  • Blockbuster worker: (Low bored tone of voice) “Sir, it says here in our computer you deposited a movie into the mailbox.  We have to ask that you don’t do that”.
  • Me: “Yes, I know.  I’m sorry.  My wife accidentally dropped it in the wrong return.  We’re sorry it won’t happen again.”

And then it happened again the next time I checked out:

  • Blockbuster worker: (Overly eager teenager voice) “Uhmmm, sir, it says you put a movie into the mailbox outside.  I’m supposed to tell you not to do that”.
  • Me: “Yes, I know.  You guys already reminded me.  It won’t happen again.”

And then again and again and again:

  • Blockbuster worker: (Emo teenager voice) “Uhmmm, sir.  Can you, like, not put your movie in the mailbox outside.  There’s a note on my computer that says you did that.”

Now I’m starting to go postal!  How many times are they going to tell me?  How long must I suffer?  I was beginning to grow tired of the apathetic customer service skills and decided to inform the manger.

  • Blockbuster Manager: (Cocky, condescending voice) “Yeah, I’ll remove that note from the computer.  But you have to promise not to put anymore movies in the mailbox outside.”

Then, sure enough, the next time we went to rent a movie:

  • Blockbuster worker: (Low bored tone of voice) “Sir, it says here in our computer you deposited a movie into the mailbox.  We have to ask that you don’t do that”.

I put the movie down, drove home, and signed up for Netflix that same day.

About a year later when my kids wanted a particular movie that both Netflix and Redbox didn’t have, I had to go back there and see if they had it.  When I went to check out:

  • Blockbuster worker: (nerdy teenager voice) “Sir, our computer says you returned one of our movies in the mailbox outside”.
  • Me: (Now I can’t help but be sarcastic  …) “Oh my God!! REALLY??”

Don’t Make the Customer Angry:

Recently I drove past the Blockbuster location in this story and the store was completely closing.  Inside my head I cheered a silent victory for I knew that poor customer service skills had finally done them in.  Or maybe it was the fierce competition from Netflix and Redbox.  Who cares what the real reason is.  This is my story.

In the end it just goes to show: How you treat your customers affects every aspect of how your business performs and how well it does overall.  So pay attention to what your workers are saying to the people who walk through the door.  They could be the key to your success or your great demise.  Choose wisely.


Related Posts:

1) How Much Is Gold Worth? More Than What a Dealer Will Give You!

2) The 72 Month Auto Loan – A Great Way to Pay More For a Car Than You Should!

3) Living on a Budget Doesn’t Have to Stink – Tips for Success

Images courtesy of Mr FD


  1. says

    Yeah, it is very much true that if customer service is not good, very natural customer will go to some other place where he can get that good service. Your experience with Blockbuster was really ohh my god!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>