February 22, 2005


     So I'm sure you've all seen those "end of late fees" commercials for Blockbuster, and I'm almost equally sure that you have heard this isn't the whole story. Well it's true that they don't give you the whole story, but I honestly it'll be a big convenience to those who wanted to buy something in the first place. The way the new system works is quite simple: You keep a video or game past the due date and they'll charge you for the video or game as if it were being bought used from Blockbuster. Now this implies that they will be charging a fair price for the unreturned goods, but they could just as easily charge you a million dollars and get away with it because the video/game you have taken is now practically stolen property. This is because they decide the prices of used games and videos in the first place, and so it is completely subjective.
     The only thing that makes me angry about their new policy is that they still charge late fees anyway! They've just renamed it to a "restocking fee." The only difference between the restocking fee and the late fee is that the restocking fee is the same price no matter how late you return it, whereas the late fee was directly proportional to the number of days late. The only issue is that because they charge you the price of the video and/or game (which can be charged to your account or credit card) they can't guarantee that you can be refunded for your purchase! If they charge your credit card, then there is no way to recieve those funds back, and you simply recieve store credit. But what if you never go back to Blockbuster? Or start using your local video store instead? Then all those store credits go to waste!
     Actually, come to think of it, there was one other thing that made me angry about Blockbuster's new "no late fee" plan. That was the fact that to get Blockbuster to divulge this information I actually had to sign up for a customer service account which required my email and name. Grump! That kind of information should be a part of my plan to use (or not use) Blockbuster when I first sign up! I should NOT have to sign up for anything to find out if I want to sign up for something. Damnit.

Posted by Kickmyassman at February 22, 2005 09:59 PM

That is why Blockbuster and other "regular" renting systems are dying and giving place to the new, better Netflix / Gamefly era. People want a better service, and that is what they usually get with the new system. Go netflix!

(Yes, I am aware that if you want to rent a movie or game ocasionally, the new way sucks.)

Posted by: Cavalkaf at February 22, 2005 10:06 PM

Grr. Kit, you have failed to include all the information. The whole deal with the late fee thing is now they give you like an 8 day grace period, when they call and remind you that your video is due. Your account is only charged AFTER that period, and then I believe you're right about the restocking fee, except I think in most cases, they do refund the fee, exceept not in store credit. I think they just cancel the charge from your account, but I could be wrong about that last part.

Posted by: Sam at February 23, 2005 03:27 PM

Netflix is supposedly good, but I suggest Hollywood Video, mayby Potomac, but they rarely have anything. It is really quite stupid, the shame is people wont notice until its too late.

Posted by: Brian at February 23, 2005 03:29 PM

     Check your facts Sam! You're close, but it's a seven day grace period. Yes I know what you mean by the fact that they refund it, but they can't cancel the purchase after the purchase has been validated. So in other words either they chose to make no money and charge your account (aka make it so your account balance is equal to the charge of the game and/or video) or they make their money fast and charge the credit card associated with your account. The point is that if they charge your credit card they can only refund with store credit, which is stupid.

Posted by: kit at February 23, 2005 04:10 PM

I have a year of netflix, it just can't be beat. Remeber when people were astonished that someone would sell books online, but now it's the norm, as bookstores across America are beggining to close? It'll happen with rentals too.

Posted by: Louie at February 23, 2005 06:50 PM
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