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Schadenfreude Capitalism

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I was reading earlier today about how swell the new Blockbuster-by-mail DVD service is. The dude compared it to Netflix, but thought maybe Blockbuster's was better. The reason? You can go into a Blockbuster store and return your DVDs and immediately pick a new one from the in-store stock (even though you are a mail customer). Truly, that is an advantage over Netflix. The prices are roughly the same, about $16 a month. I have a Blockbuster pretty close to the house, maybe I should consider switching. Just kidding — I would never switch back to Blockbuster even if it were free.

Why? Because of that term I just coined above. Blockbuster is a purveyor of Schadenfreude Capitalism®. Since this term has only existed for a few minutes, allow me to explain. The reason why I totally hate Blockbuster and will never do business with them again is because their business model was set up on you failing. Blockbuster only made money if you forget to get the movies back, and they were betting on that. Remember, when you rented a movie for $5, you got it for three days. However, if you were late, it was $5 a day. See, that's fucked up. It should be that if you were late it would be $5 for every three days. Blockbuster made all their money by you not returning your movies. Blockbuster wants you to fail as a human.

I understand that business is business, and I also understand that I have a choice in business. Another reason to love Netflix? They have a real life call center for help, not an FAQ. Know what else? Their call center is in the United States and is staffed with real life working class Americans! That is a customer service coup, and one we should support. As for Blockbuster, I can't prove that their entire business model was built on my not returning movies… but twice I saw the assistant manager in my neighborhood slashing tires so we couldn't get back to the store on time.

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  • Dr Dreadful

    So you hate Blockbuster because their profits depend on their customers screwing up?

    I sincerely hope you don’t have any credit cards then, if this is your consumer philosophy…

    On the other hand, one has to give a great deal of kudos to someone who has the chutzpah to call their personal blog “I Am Correct”!

  • Yep, Blockbuster’s new schtick seems to be: remember how much it sucked to use us? Well, now it can still suck…I also had the impression Blockbuster didn’t carry racier titles, at least at one time, which made the paucity of choices even more limited.