No More No More Late Fees At Some Blockbusters

from the these-aren't-the-late-fees-you-thought-they-were dept

Almost exactly a year ago, Blockbuster announced to the world that it was ditching late fees in an attempt to compete against the growing Netflix challenge. The fine print (there’s always fine print) got some people upset, however. While there weren’t “late fees” exactly, they would charge you the full price of the movie if you didn’t return it by a certain date. Perhaps Blockbuster should have named it the “easy rent-to-buy purchase program.” Anyway, some states sued and won some cash from Blockbuster for being misleading. However, that apparently didn’t stop the marketing campaign trumpeting “No More Late Fees,” even though the settlement suggested they would stay away from that phrase. Yesterday, there was some buzz after some Blockbuster stores quietly started charging late fees again, claiming that without late fees, their inventory management got all screwed up (the popular movies were never in stock). Blockbuster has quickly jumped up to claim that it’s not a chain wide policy, and only a few independent franchises have chosen to go this route. Either way, it does suggest that the whole program isn’t working out as nicely as they had hoped. It’s not hard to see why the “no late fees” program makes much more sense for a system like Netflix, where the DVDs are warehoused much more centrally (if still distributed around the country) allowing for better inventory management and (the important bit) returning a movie gets you a “reward” of sorts — a new movie. The Blockbuster program doesn’t have that same Pavlovian effect.

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Comments on “No More No More Late Fees At Some Blockbusters”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

It’s funny, because in the area that I live, unless there is a penalty, no-one returns movies or anything for that matter. If the stores get them back, they are unusable, or they are returned in good shape by the only 5 people in the whole town that actually care. Some stores have had to resort in having people arrested for theft. That’s what happens when you let the south turn into the friggen ghetto and refuse to tell the “political correctness police” to shove it and correct the problem at it’s root… making people accountable for their actions regardless of race, creed, color… etc.

Oh and netflix it too expensive for the people here… since they all are on the bandwagon for self imposed poverty to collect welfare. I love amer-africa… I mean America.

Bob says:

Late fees aren't the problem

I would gladly agree to pay late fees if I could for once rent PLAYABLE dvd’s from Blockbuster.

Because every time I rent anything from there, movie discs are always scratched, have fingerprints and grease all over them, or are in such bad shape as to be nearly worthless. I can’t count the number of times I was near the end of a movie and it suddenly “froze” because of the problems.

Poor disc quality, not late fees, is really the only reason I choose to no longer rent anything from Blockbuster. Oh that and the high rental fee, which should be reduced by a dollar or so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Late fees aren't the problem

Actually, if they made the rental fees more expensive, maybe the shitheads that wreck the disks will no longer be able to afford going to blockbuster and stick with the crappy little ghetto stores in their own neighborhoods.

Or, maybe they should put someone at the door checking all of the discs with the customer there, and have them pay or be arrested for destruction of property. Having them impose a fee the next time they rent will only screw the stores and the rest of the customers… once most of the idiots have a fee, they never rent again and walk out without paying it. And blockbuster just lets them walk… way to go!!

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