Yup, you read that right.
As part of a special offer, Blockbuster
What does one have to do to get this offer? Merely try to cancel your service with Blockbuster during your initial two-week trial period as I did yesterday. The website automatically implores you to stay, asks you why you want to leave, and offers you either an additional month for free or the aforementioned $15.99 promotional deal as enticement. How's that for customer appreciation?
Even as a regular Netflix
Whether Blockbuster's latest attempt at gaining market share will work remains to be seen. It sure won't be easy -- Netflix was able to comfortably grow its subscribers despite a lower-priced Wal-Mart option for more than a year. When the price difference is small, small differences in service start to matter. Although I'll stay with Blockbuster for that one more month of free service -- come on, it's free -- I'll switch back to Netflix and its $17.99 equivalent plan once the promotional offer expires. Simply put, I think the additional features are worth the extra $0.50.
For now, investors should be aware that Blockbuster's total subscriber count remains cloudy and, if these latest promotional offers are any indication, may remain opaque for some time to come. When accepting the offer, I signed a contract to let Blockbuster charge my credit card $0.00 for one month for its service -- so under the technical definition of the term I am now a paying subscriber. While giving potential cancellations an extra month of service will not be represented in the churn numbers it certainly won't add cash to the bottom line either.
Fool contributor Marko Djuranovic owns shares of Netflix and no other company mentioned in this article.