Schadenfreude Capitalism®

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 Blockbusters was better. The reason? You can go into a Blockbuster store and return your DVD’s 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. Allow me to explain the math of how Blockbuster does BETTER if you never show up.  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 if 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.

Let me make one last analogy, because that is how my mind works.  Imagine if you got all As and Bs in school, except one F.  It jacked up your GPA for years.  THEN… you found out ‘oh, everyone fails that class.  The teacher gets a cash bonus for every student he fails.”  You’d freak, right?  In my mind, this is no different from Blockbuster’s business model.  Glad they are gone.

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