Monday, February 21, 2005

Blockbuster No Late Fees Sham Scam

By now, you have no doubt heard of Blockbuster's No Late Fees promotion. They have these huges signs proclaiming "No Late Fees." Also, they have these glorious TV spots showing the demise of late fees. But what's really going on here?

I rented two movies recently. Of course at the check out I was told, "These movies are due back _____, it's okay if you need an extra day or two." Well, forget you and your "extra day or two." There are no late fees and I'll damn well return these movies when I'm done with them.

Well, seven days after the due date, I got the second of two automated calls saying that if the movie was not returned by the next day, I would have to buy the movie less the movie rental price! I said to myself, "Self, you heard that wrong." But then I watched a local reporter, Liz Crenshaw do an expose of Blockbuster. She took hidden cameras into four different Blockbusters and only at one place did they make it clear that after seven days, your credit card is charged the selling price less rental for the movie. If the movie is returned after the credit card has been charged, they'll refund the charge for up to a month, less the stocking fee. After a month, you are SOL. (Oh, I think after the credit card charge, you only get refunded if you physically take the movie into the store to return it, dropping it in the bin will not work.)

How dishonest is that? All they are doing is giving 7 extra days and then an even larger fee than their previous late fees. I think it is time to consider Netflicks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ono, you weren't paying attention to the ads! Blockbuster's campaign slogan was "The End of Late Fees. The Start of More." More what? Fees, of course!

4:21 AM  
Blogger Ono said...

Heh! Funny, but true.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you were a fequent renter of blockbuster you would have already known that after a period of time if you do not return a movie, of you course you are going to buy it!! it has always been that way...

6:32 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not a scam, your just not looking at the fine print. The policy is outlined on the recipt that you get. And if you can't even be bothered to read the recipt or the fine print logo of the advertisments, or even listen to the phone call, or call to check with the store, or anything remotely similar to common sense,..

Well you pretty much deserve what you get. How are they supposed to make money if you just keep the movie indefintely? At least think before you do things.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous CreditDude said...

I agree. You were too lazy to read the fine print. Just think about it: if they would have had no way to make people bring the movies back what would they do?

2:46 AM  
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