This week's a doozie. Between Continental holding people hostage, Johnson & Johnson suing charitable organizations and Mattel not apologizing for trying to hurt babies, it was difficult to pick just one bad friend. Then Blockbuster sent me this e-mail.
Hang with me here. On first glance it doesn't seem as bad as brand homicide, kidnapping, or charitable villain, but sometimes it isn't the grandiose gestures that make the worst friends. J&J and Mattel have betrayed old friends in a significant way, but are largely isolated acts that they can (if handled as a friend) make up for and work through. Blockbuster, on the other hand, is that annoying old friend that just doesn't listen. The one who never cleans up after themselves no matter how many times you ask them to put their glasses on a coaster or close the lid on the toilet.
People pay Blockbuster for their services, for the enjoyment they provide...it isn't a privilege, it's a choice. The overdue fiasco several months ago still sitting poorly with people, they've now proudly announced that all of their "preferred" (read existing) customers should be grateful that they don't have to pay the increased rates, yet. Instead, subscribers are held hostage to their existing plans and threatened that if they change them, they'll be subject to what everybody else pays.
Instead of spinning a nagging increase in price to people as a privilege, Blockbuster should have been honest and exhibited some transparency. Give people the facts and ask them how they feel about the options. Let people know it has to happen to keep the business running. People will understand. What I don't understand is why I feel good about the privilege of not paying more while knowing that any friends I refer to the service are getting shafted with higher rates. They're like the prankster roommate from college that announces they've pulled pranks on everybody else on the hallway, but don't worry, they won't do anything to you. Signed "Your Friends at Blockbuster." Well, you're not my friend and you're also not getting another dime of mine.
by Evan Slater