Online Game Rentals – Part 2
As I mentioned in my other article about online game rentals, it’s a great idea, but not without it’s flaws. The first flaw being a slow turn around time. The second biggest flaw I’ve found is not quite as prevalent, but one that is certainly worth resolving. At least one would think so.
Again, lets take a look at another customers concern which I found in a forum post:
“Knowing that Company X can be sucktastic about shipping newer games in their inventory, I went ahead and deleted everything in my rental queue except for Heavenly Sword and Lair. Several days ago I got an email from Company X that they had received a game I returned but for three days now I’ve not gotten a peep from them about shipping out any game from my queue (and it’s not showing up on their website either). Company X’s response is “Put more games in your queue” but I want to guarantee I get one of those two games.”
The discussion thread goes on further on ways to manipulate their game queue, to get the games you want. Some would call that just knowing how to work the system, while others suggested that they shouldn’t have to “trick” the system into giving them what the online game rental company promised from the beginning.
I tend to agree with the latter point. Just give me what you promised, and I’ll keep paying. One of the big advantages that online game rental companies have, is that they are able to address such a large audience. In this case the entire United States. They’re not like your corner store that may have a few thousand potential customers to draw from. The online guys have millions and millions. This kind of customer base allows them to have a bigger and more diverse inventory. At least in theory. And they do seem to. Some have over 5000 titles to choose from. One of the things that some customers like about the online rental services is the choice. The bricks and mortar guys just can’t compete there.
So why can’t everyone play Bioshock on their Xbox 360 the day after it comes out? The online companies just need to manage their inventories better. I can’t believe it’s because they’re saving money by only buying a limited number of new titles. It’s probably costing them money by not having enough. What’s the cost of a frustrated customer? What’s the cost of a truly pissed off customer? Bad press, and more competition maybe. It’s just a question of time before someone else jumps into this booming business and gives the customer exactly what they want.