I’m a member of Netflix, have been for about six months. I like it, there’s a distribution center near me, so I get my DVDs uber-fast. And I’ve never had any significant problem with them but last week when we started to watch Battlestar Galactica, we discovered that they had sent me The Miniseries as disc one, but as disc two, they sent disc two of the series. Which means a disc was missing in between (the first four episodes of the actual season one). They had JUST shipped me new movies, so I knew it would be five or six days, at least, before I could get the disc I needed (including shipping time to me and me returning to them and then shipping time of new discs back to me), and trying to figure out just which disc that was didn’t seem worth the hassle, so I decided to give Blockbuster Online a whirl, figuring I could get the first three discs in the series a day or two quicker and not “waste” my queue spaces with Netflix.

Ha! I should have stuck with Netflix because Blockbuster? Total bust. (play on words intentional).

I skipped (mentally, since I’m sitting on the couch the whole time) and signed up for a free month’s trial of Blockbuster. I put the first season of Battlestar Galactica in my queue. And the second season. Noticed they didn’t have season 2.5 and thought that was kind of odd. The discs shipped and the first of the three arrived today (don’t ask why it arrived seperate) and of course, it’s disc three (because why would it be disc one, right?), but I popped it in to see where in the series it fell. Imagine my surprise when it’s…the OLD Battlestar Galactica series. I KNOW I didn’t place that in my queue, was careful not to. So I look. Hmm, it says The Complete Epic in my queue, which indicates the old series. So I go to view the series and it says Season One. WTF? I do a search for Battlestar Galactica and when I look at the returns, it shows Season One as in my queue, but not the Complete Epic. Again WTF? So I shoot off an email to customer service:

I placed Battlestar Galactica Season One in my queue. When I received Disc 3, it is the OLD series not the new, 2004, series. So I went to look at my queue, it says The Complete Epic, but it is Season One which I placed in my queue. When I view it, it describes itself as the first season. When I look at the first season, it shows as being already in my queue, but again, looking at it in my queue shows it as The Complete Epic. I feel there must be an error in the Blockbuster system which has these two things looped together. I do not want the old Battlestar Galactica series, I want the new, first season of Battlestar Galactica, from 2004 but there appears to be no way to place it in my queue, since it says it’s already there, but lists as The Complete Epic, which I don’t want.

In their favor, I got a reply pretty promptly, but it was another WTF moment:

Thanks for contacting BLOCKBUSTER Online Customer Care.

I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble with our web site. Internet Explorer is the preferred browser we recommend and is what our tech team uses to test with. Other browsers such as Mozilla/Firefox, AOL/Netscape, Safari, and so forth may not be completely compatible. If you have security or privacy software running such as Norton/McAfee/AVG, then that is very likely the reason why you’re having trouble. If you aren’t sure how to allow our cookies via your software, then please contact the developer for those instructions. If you don’t have any such software installed and you’re using Internet Explorer, we have a few suggestions in case any temporary files have become corrupt.

If you have more than one browser open, close them all except for one. Go to Tools–>Internet Options and click on both the ‘‘Delete Cookies’‘ and ‘‘Delete Files’‘ buttons located in the middle of the “General” tab. In the same area, you will also want to click the ”Settings” button and verify that the “Every Visit to the Page” option is selected. After clicking “OK” to accept the settings, go to Tools->Internet Options and click on the “Security” tab. Click on the green “Trusted Sites” icon, and then click on the “Sites” button to the lower-right of that same icon. Remove the “Require server verification” check, and add “www.blockbuster.com” to this zone. Click OK, and then click on the red “Restricted sites” icon. Click on the “Sites” button again, and make sure that blockbuster.com is NOT listed anywhere. If it is, then please remove it. Finally, close the browser and launch a new one.

I hope this is the information you needed. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Always here to help,

Customer Care Associate

At this point, I’m wondering what in the holy hell browsers, cookies and caches have to do with my problem. But I am ever obedient, so I open Internet Explorer, which I don’t use unless forced to, because I use Firefox almost exclusively. And…wow. It’s like looking at a whole new site. No really, give it a try. Open a Firefox and an IE window, go to Blockbuster online and do a search for Battlestar Galactica. In Firefox, you see only a few options, and The Complete Epic appears as Season One. In Firefox, there is no Season 2.5. In IE, you see everything individually, including each individual disc for each season, Season 2.5 and The Complete Epic both appear. Like looking at two totally different sites.

So I added the REAL Season one as it appeared in IE to my queue, along with Season 2.5. But rather than feeling better I am PISSED. Essentially, a corporation the size and scope of Blockbuster can’t be bothered to make sure their website is compatible with other browsers. And there is nothing to warn you that this is the case. No disclaimer that the site should be used with IE exclusively. It never occurred to me that I’d have to double check what I was placing in my queue in a different browser, to make sure I was getting the right discs. I find it completely ridiculous that Blockbuster thinks this is okay and after the end of my free month, I won’t be continuing with Blockbuster. Because they suck. Just saying.

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