Unable To Skip Trailers On DVD Rentals?

by on January 26, 2010

in Entertainment

netflix blockbusterMy wife and I rented two movies from Blockbuster this past weekend.

Whoever is in charge of producing the DVD’s has now decided that we cannot skip the trailers or  commercials by hitting the DVD menu or the skip button on the DVD player remote.

They have crammed each trailer with just about every important scene from the movie. If I haven’t watched the movie yet I would prefer a teaser not a spoiler. If I have seen the movie, I’d like to skip the trailer. Also, If you rent more than one of this weeks releases you are going to see the same trailers again.

Now I don’t mind a little advertising but there is a limit. My wife and I timed how long it took before the menu finally came up. Below are the two movies we rented and the time it took for the trailers and advertisements to play out:

Whiteout“: Fifteen Minutes.
The Hangover“: Sixteen Minutes.

Fifteen minutes drove us well past being annoyed and far into being angered and we are never doing this again.

This is not the case with all rental companies. At least  it isn’t yet. A friend rented “The Hangover” from Netflix. She said that she wasn’t forced to watch the trailers on her rental.

I e-mailed this complaint to Blockbuster customer service. They were very responsive. I got this reply within an hour.

“Thank you for providing the account information for speedy escalation of your concern.

I have forwarded  this issue on your behalf to the District Manager and hope to have it resolved for you as quickly as possible. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Should you have further concerns, please let me know.”

Quick reply but no answer. I have yet to hear whether this is a Blockbuster policy, if it will continue, if it has been forced on them by the distributors or if it was an error in the production of the DVD’s.

I will not be renting from Blockbuster until I know it will not happen again. I will be using pay per view or some other rental service. I hope the cable company has not been forced to turn off the DVR buttons while the trailers are on.

This better not be the case for purchased DVD’s. I will not be forced to wait fifteen minutes each time I watch a movie that I have purchased?

I guess that I will have to go back to watching TV, reading or actually talking to my family. I just had a scary thought. No, not the part about talking to my family. Do you think that the Kindle is a conspiracy. When paper books have been replaced, will we be forced to watch commercials before we can read? Someone call Jesse Ventura!

I’ll let you know what Blockbuster has to say about this when I get an answer.  -Tim

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dan-O June 30, 2012 at 3:12 am

You’re welcome Bruce. I visited the BruSimm site using the link provided and discovered that you had generated a more thorough expose on what I briefly touched upon in my previous post. It appears I arrived after the train left the station in this case and “preaching to the choir” as well (lol). Anyway I’m glad your “BruSimm” Unable To Skip Ads On DVD Rentals site exists to help people unload their rage or frustration towards the “ads in your face” offending sources. I strongly believe the studios are the guilty party here since they control the content and production of the DVDs. DVD renters and buyers have legimate reasons to be angry whenever the studios force them to become unwilling audiences for their self serving promos. Also the studios are in crunch mode trying to convert as many older movies from film to widescreen and Blu-Ray ad filled DVDs as they can to keep the movies for sale market in the green per se and not the environmental kind of green either. Another thought comes to mind as the DVD slowly moves closer towards oblivion as did vinyl records and tape cassettes, all future movie streaming websites can virtually be guaranteed to be under control of the studios and/or their collobarators to ensure consumers will still receive their fair share of self serving promos and paid ads. As with DVDs the downloaded content will likely be formatted so these ads cannot be skipped. It is extremely important almost a moral imperative, depending on how you look at it, that consumers need to make choices today whether or not to continue renting or buying DVDs that do not allow promos/ads to be skipped. It will only get worse, who knows they may start adding a forced intermission halfway through the main feature just to accomodate (make more room for) the growing number of promos added to each newly released DVD. Just as the networks are to television, the studios are to DVDs. In both worlds of consumer entertainment media, ads and promos will continue to plague our viewing enjoyment. How much is it worth to viewers to reduce or eliminate them entirely? Unfortunately as Bruce pointed out in his previous post, casts and networks cost lots of big dollars. Not sure how the rental cost or sale price of a DVD is determined when you factor in cast and studio expenses along with income from theater receipts. Regardless whether you rent or buy a DVD or just want to watch some “tube” without commercials or promos, this preference could get expensive very quickly making these forms of entertainment almost a luxury. No quick fixes here. Thank you for reading my comments.

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