AfterDawn: Tech news

Blockbuster hit by fraud lawsuit in N.J.

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Feb 2005 4:53 User comments (72)

Blockbuster hit by fraud lawsuit in N.J. Movie rental giant Blockbuster has been hit by a fraud lawsuit in New Jersey. New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey sued Blockbuster Inc. Friday, claiming the video rental chain is deceiving customers with its new "No More Late Fees" rental policy. Blockbuster is accused of violating the states consumer fraud laws with its new policy. "Blockbuster boldly announced its 'No More Late Fees' policy, but has not told customers about the big fees they are charged if they keep videos or games for more than a week after they are due," the attorney general said.
"There is no question about it, there is a violation of New Jersey's consumer fraud act," he added. Under the new policy consumers can keep a movie for a week over its due return date but after that, a consumer would be charged a restocking fee of $1.25. If a consumer keeps a rented movie for more than 30 days after its due return date, then Blockbuster will charge the consumer the full retail price of the item.

"The fact is there are no longer late fees at Blockbuster," the company said. "We're disappointed he took this action, because we believe our end-of-late fees program is a terrific program and we've received tremendous feedback from both our customers and employees." The company was surprised that he did not even try to contact them to get an explanation of the new policy first. The Attorney General said that investigation began as soon as the policy was implemented. "Our principal goal is restitution to the consumer," he said.


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72 user comments

119.2.2005 5:37

i knew when i read the fine print that they still charged something after the one week. so blockbuster is full of crap!!.i am still sticking to netflix, they don't charge anything. and blockbuster need to erase that no late fee thing, they still charge something after one week after the due date (after a month they charge full movie price on your credit card). they are full of baloney!. its good the attorney general is suing them, some customers don't read the fine print at all. some think they can keep the movie has long has they want.

219.2.2005 6:31

if it sounds too good to be true IT PROBOBLY IS!

319.2.2005 6:35

As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. I only found out the details of the program after I directly confronted a store employee about it. I was told, if you keep the movie past the one week rental, they charge you the full price of the movie. If you bring it back within 30 days, they rescind the full price charge but still charge you $1.25 processing fee. False advertisement at it's finest if you ask me. They make no effort whatsoever to inform consumers unless asked. Typical.

419.2.2005 9:50

lol, yea I saw this coming a long time ago. The truth is that you don't have any late fees but the whole program is so complicated in writing / out loud that it shuns people away. If net flix wasn't around, I'd say thats kinda kewl, but net flix imo is way better.

519.2.2005 10:51

Yeah here in the Indianapolis area its like 3.17 for one movie for a week ,theres no one day price anymore. which is crap.i only want them overnight anyway,so basically theres only one price for the week and if its not returned theres a still a charge ,still sounds like a late fee to me

619.2.2005 13:43

I've tried both Netflix and that Blockbuster get two movies as long as you want and then trade them for two different ones thing and I can say that Netflix is way better and has a much higher selection because if less than a certain amount of people rent a movie, then Blockbuster stops carrying it.

719.2.2005 15:07

Oh my God people!!! How f*ckin lazy and greedy do you want to be!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??????? What a bunch of complainers. Blockbuster isn't trying to deceive anyone. If because they got rid of late fee's, that entitles you to keep it as long as you f*ckin want!!???? As the old saying goes "Give them an inch, they want a mile" So true to all you lamers, and greedy f*cks out there. I've been a Blockbuster customer for 9 years, and i personally think it's awesome. I used to rent a shit load, and was late here and there. And it costs a lot. Now, at the WORST it only cost's me $1.25 for 37 days beyond the day I SHOULD HAVE brought it back. Other people (like me) DO want to rent a new release, but can't because some *sshole thinks he can keep it as long as he wants. Do you think Blockbuster would be in buis. anymore if people could just keep there movies as long as they wanted with no action!!!???? And your complaining about $1.25??!???? I think it's VERY reasonable. Before i've had $7-60 late fee's (because of lazy room mates), now i pay no more then $1.25, and won't get charged the price of movie/game until 30 days after. So a 2-3 days (whatever) rental, i keep for up to max. 1 month and 8 days for $1.25 (providing i bring it back w/i 30 days after 7 days from due date). I think that's pretty good myself. Bunch of greedy clueless bastards here. Man!!!

819.2.2005 15:14

There is no reason to shout. I agree that people keeping a video for more than a month is sort of a non-issue, as most people watch the video before then and then take it back. I use Netflix because it has a greater selection. Some use Blockbuster for convenience. BUT, if they say that there are no late fees, then there should be no late fees. They should tell you that the late fees have actually only been lowered, not that they are gone completely, as it is obvious they aren't. I also, however, think that this whole fraud thing is an overreaction. This is sort of like that guy who spilled McDonald's coffee on his lap and sued them because it burned him, even though common sense should tell you that coffee is usually hot. Just like common sense should tell you that you don't need to rent a movie for a month.

919.2.2005 16:58

Something that you might want to know about the differences in Blockbuster and Netflix. Netflix has a policy that will move a heavy user of thier service to a low priority. I actually had them inform me of this in an email. I had to correspond with them several times before they would actualy acknowledge I wasn't insane when I told them I suspected them of some sort of intentional delays in my deliveries. I switched to blockbuster and my service has been equal to the downgraded netfilx service and the service is cheaper with 2 free walkin coupons a month. I have noticed no differences in availability in titles between the 2 mail services, while Blockbuster stores do remove low activity titles. My wife loves all sorts of obscure stuff and we have found every title she has looked for at the Blockbuster site as well as netflix. So, in my opinion Netflix is guilty of a little truth bending themsleves in thier 3 at a time policy unlimited titles. Seems if you push them they will try and control your renting frequency and may be indirectly steering you towards a more expensive service. All other things being equal I'll stick with the less expensive service.

1019.2.2005 17:09

i have 5 friends that work for blockbuster, and i myself used to work there for a few months durring the summer. i knew this program was coming out months ahead of blockbusters offical announcement and knew there would be some troubles with the system (mostly issues with them charging your credit card after 1 week for the cost of the movie, and the restocking fee). but i was assured by my friends that blockbuster had done this for a number of years now in select test stores across the country, and that the system worked great... why else would blockbuster get rid of their largest source of income? i could just see trouble coming up ahead because there are always going to be people who dont pay attention to the fine print. while i dont think that blockbuster should charge the restocking free, it does make sense to charge someone the cost of the movie after a while (whats to stop them from returning the movie 6 months later?) but perhaps 1 week is a little too short. i dont think its really "fraud" but it is a little misleading, and perhaps it would have to take a large lawsuit for a corporationg like blockbuster (formerly of viacom) to change their ways.

1119.2.2005 17:12

The fact that they charge a restocking fee of only 1.25 instead of a late fee based on the time that you kept the movie/game extra. In its advertisement the "No More Late Fees" is a true statement. A late fee was assesed the full price of a rental for everyday you kept it over the return time. The restocking fee is the same regardless when you return it. Does everything have to be spelled out so detailed that there is no confusion from morons who can't use common sense. Blockbuster has to protect itself from individuals that would take advantage of the system if there were no "penalty" fees at all. Based off the choice of words and how "late fee" is defined they are not in voilation of false advertisement just trying to advertise to a public which needs the government to spell out every aspect of their lives.

1219.2.2005 18:05

Oh my god people, what are you whining about?!?! Oh no, I can keep a game or a movie for a month and a half for no more than 8 bucks!! Hmmm, sounds so horrible!! Its obvious that if someone was to keep a game (or movie), Blockbuster would need to be reimbursed for it, and if you are gonna complain about the 1.25 RESTOCKING fee (not late fee, and dont try to tell me they are the same thing, ive worked in retail for years, I know the difference) Then my suggestion to you is to check the cushions of your sofa, Im sure youll find enough for the fee and maybe enough for a can of common sense.

1319.2.2005 19:08

Thank you to BZBOARDER, JHAMMER79, and RAVENNE for sharing my same feelings. I was a little upset (needed a nap i admit), but i also work for Blockbuster, and have also worked Mgmt in retail for over 11 years. And am in training for BB currently. It's not often someone comes in and actually complains, or makes references to "Another form of late fee's" or "another way of twisting around 'late fees' wording", i got upset because of the few 1st couple posts that all shared the same mentality. As mentioned by the last couple posts that agree, there is a big difference of Late Fee & Restocking fee. Every retail company you shop at (except Cirtuit City as they changed there policies) have a restocking fee. It is normal. Who sue's them? It rediculous. As mentioned, it is done because it takes time and labor for someone to have to key and process a title back into the system. Labor isn't free. It's not a whole lot of effort, which is why it's only a $1.25 charge. Again, considering in the past a "Late Fee" would've costed a person by day or since then by a rental period, and some customers would have movies out for weeks, costing anywhere from $4.59-$13.77 for EACH title. And only a small % of people actually brought them back withing a couple hours late after 12pm. Now a good % of customers are all bringing them back on the avg. of between 2-5 days late. Meaning a lot of titles are not available to rent to others that want to see them, because the mentality is they can just not care to bring them back until there ready to. And as mentioned, a 2 day rental costs $4.59, and so if a user keeps a movie for an extra month and 6 days for nothing more then $1.25 extra, that's a "Late Fee" or 'Rip off'???? It just gets irritating some times when i hear people say this. That's all. I guess there's always going to be complainers, and people that want everything in the world for free. It's designed to give what the customers wanted. No more late fees. They didn't want to be charged a fee if they couldn't get the movie back by 'Noon' or a couple hours later. Which is what the company did. Even extended that up to '7 Days' past the due date with no charges what so ever. It wasn't intented to give the impression or mislead anyone into thinking "Hey, you know what? Just keep the movie as long as you want" As if no one else is wanting to rent it. Just be considerate of others, and if anything else, next time you want to rent that great title that just came out that's not in stock anymore, and your upset about it, just remember that when thinking about bringing it back in time. At work, we always tell customers "Remember, we've done away with our late fee's, so if you need it for an extra day or two, that's fine, we understand." We always explain when asked or questioned how it works. And ARE usually asked 'how many days till your charged', which we tell them. Sometimes, in good light, some of us joke around a little when asked "How long can i keep it past the due date?", and say "how much longer do you need it?" and they laugh. You gotta read customers, most you can tell if they are in a good mood, and depends on your personality also. But we always tell them. We never hide anything. It was only designed to not have the customer feel rushed to getting it back, not to give the illusion they can keep it til whenever. No one ever said that. Eventually you would have to do something to make sure you get your product back. More or less, the system auto-charges you after a that time (with 30 days to refund your money) because it assumes you liked it,and wanted to purchase it if you had kept it that long.

1419.2.2005 21:02

I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Really, I feel that someone saw a loophole in a system and thought that it might be a chance to make a few quick bucks by sueing them. I am not sure how the legal system works, but I would imagine that Peter Harvey will get a few bucks out of the deal. As to the other issues, I would have to admit that there is probably some shading on both sides of the fence. Blockbuster tries to broadcast NO LATE FEES. You hear this all the time. However, they do have to instill some protections that will keep them from going bankrupt when 4 million rentals across the US is about two years late. Of course, they do not want to burden their advertising campaigns with all the ins and outs. As for Netflix, I have never had any problem whatsoever. I am a big anime buff and Netflix has most of the obsure ones that Blockbuster and does not carry. I have never had any problem getting my shipment, it is usally a five day round trip from the time I put the DVD in the mail and get the next one. That is not too bad. My point? 1. I think that someone is trying to find whatever they can to make money. That is why we are so sue happy anymore. "Lets make those big guys bleed" 2. Blockbuster has instutied a program that is better than what they had. Any arguments there? 3. We are so terrified of hidden hooks and cannot ever be satisified with what is before us. If you do not like the program, get over it and don't use it. (Also, make sure that you are well informed before making any agreements.) 4. Blockbust and Netfilx are totally different. Blockbust is a storefront store that dabbles in an internet service. Netfilx is only internet. Of course they will be different. Pick the one you like and get on with your lives. 5. I like to ramble, so I am going to shut up now. 6. I also like to end on even numbers. Thanks...

1519.2.2005 21:21

Blockbuster didn't implement the new policy out of the goodness of their hearts. They did it because so many people are fed up with them and have moved on to a much better thing called Netfix. It's going to bite them in the ass anyway once enough folks find out the hard way that they just bought the scratched up rental they kept too long.

1619.2.2005 21:28

Netflix is better anyway, I've had it for awhile and my girlfriend decided to try blockbuster online, blockbuster takes alot longer and doesn't have as good a selection. Anyway, ya blockbuster didn't really get rid of late fees, they are just extended.

1719.2.2005 22:45

Yeah, Netflix has a way better selection. I'm real big on anime as well, and Netflix always has what I want. I actually like anime more than most hollywood movies nowadays, so it works for me.

1820.2.2005 7:40

I'M WITH WORLDRAVE, BZBOARDER, JHAMMER79, and RAVENNE. Everyone else needs to quit their whining. Blockbuster says there is no more late fees, and it is true. They never did say that there was no more restocking fees, now did they? How much more time do you need to watch a damn movie? You get to play a video game for at least two weeks for $6.99, bring it back within another month and it cost you $1.25 more. WOW what a ripoff, NOT!!!! Either way, it's alot cheaper than buying a game, and getting bored with it in a month.

1920.2.2005 11:43

The bottom line is this... Blockbuster no longer charges "Late Fees", but they do charge a $1.25 restocking fee if you keep the movie more than a week after it's due. This is not a means by which they're trying to get rich, but rather a gentle remindder that you -do- have to return the movie at some point. If you keep it for more than a month, they've got to assume that you either lost it or are otherwise not intending to return it. At that "month" point (which is more than fair), they finally charge you for the video... At a reasonable and realistic price, namely what it costs them to replace it. This program was put into place based on customer requests, since a HUGE percentage of late fes were from movies that were often only a day late, or in my case, often only several hours late. Now I don't get charged an additional $5 for being an hour late, which I usually am. All in all, good job, Blockbuster. It's a consumer-friendly action, and one that surprised me because they're giving up a signifigant amount of money on this one. Jake

2020.2.2005 13:03

Thanks a lot to Bzboarder, Jhammer79,Ravenne,420ninja,and VCDHelp! for helping me out to help others better understand things the reality of things. I appreciate it. There are tons of people that read this site, and that's why it's important to clear it up. Bad rumours are never a good thing (or confusion). Peace ya'll!! :-)

2120.2.2005 13:10

Also, to be fair with posts here comparing to Netflix. You can't compare in general, because Blockbuster stores and Netflix are 2 totally different markets. 'Blockbuster Online' and 'Netflix' are the same, which isn't what this topic is about. Which BTW- Netflix is $17.99 vs. Blockb. Online is $14.99 a month. And if you search (a few posted below) you'll find as many negative responses about Netflix. As in- Howdy from Houston, TX, I'm agreeing with you that NETFLIX sucks. I made the mistake of upgrading my membership and was effectively punished for it by not receiving DVDs 2 weekends in a row. It may well be 3. Already I know I want to withdraw from NETFLIX membership, but I want to be sure they don't rip me off further when I do. Here we are at just about mid month, and no DVDs. I'd just finished sending my third letter to NETFLIX about the mess when it occurred to me that if I was pissed with NETFLIX there must be others. Voila, I found your and other NETFLIX sucks sites. I think the results are in...NETFLIX SUCKS. Have a nice day. posted by: Dan Lewis on February 10, 2005 07:44 PM I have been victomized by Netflix's great two- week trial scam. It's been over a month since the trial period began and to date I haven't received one video. They are now charging my credit card a monthly fee. I have tried to cancel my account to no avail. Do any real people work for them? All responses to my complaints have been automated so far and ineffectual. posted by: Art Bryant on February 14, 2005 06:31 AM Netflix is a scam. They give you the impression that you can watch unlimited movies a month. However, as soon as they find out you are checking out 10+ movies a month they slow down sending you movies by 2 to 7 days. I asked Netflix why they did this. They claim that they wait for your next movie in the queue to become available for 2 days. This is bullshit...why have a queue...with 100+ 'Available Now' movies. Also, they will send you a survey only for a movie they know you recieved in a day after shipped. They must think the consumer is an idiot. Well...fool me once...:)) What IDIOTS! posted by: Ron Fern on February 17, 2005 04:56 PM

2220.2.2005 16:22

wow, so you post 3 customer complaints about netflix...big deal. like anyone out there can't find just as many complaints about blockbuster. netflix has a much better system than blockbusters online system, and once customers realize that there's better service and much bigger selection from netflix, paying 17.99 as opposed to 14.99 is well worth it.

2320.2.2005 18:04

This is just too funny. Blockbuster employees sticking up for a crooked corporation that could care less about them.

2420.2.2005 18:15

ha ha ha .....

2520.2.2005 18:38

Well, do you even know jack about the company to say they don't care a less about the employees? It's a great company to work for. Most of the people at my store an the one up the street from my house have been there for anywhere rom 3-7 year. If it was a crappy company, would you have actually stayed with them that long? Very doubtfull. And I understand i ony put 3 posts, because theres' not enough space to post every bad feedback about Netflix. My point was trying to be fair and mention that 'Netflix is by far a perfect company and also has upset customers as well. There's no such thing as a perfect company. Every place is going to have upset customers to a point. Me and others so far here have pointed out facts that explain themselves to educate people that might only know the half of it, or have listened to someone they know that doesn't know what the hell there talking about. What have you guys responded to facts with back?? "Duh, it's still a late fee", which means your just a compete idiot. Or "Well Netflix is better" (which again is comparing apples with oranges since the stores *main title of original news message* is different then Netflix. You can only compare Netflix, first of all, with Blockbuster Online ONLY, since only they are the same type of buisiness. You can't have an intelligent debate with someone by re-stating your opinion as a response to a fact. This isn't even worth it anymore. It's like talking to a bunch of High School kids. Peace out!

2620.2.2005 19:21 for all your anti-blockbuster needs. worldrave: us "high school kids" are gonna go smoke cigs in the in?

2720.2.2005 20:14 for all your Anti-Netflix needs. I'll pass on the cigs. Too funny. Hmmm... What color is it?? LOL.

2820.2.2005 21:52

These restocking fees seem like just a bunch of BS. Where were these fees back when there were late fees? And why only charge restocking fees after you've had it more than a week after its due? Was that intelligent enough for you? I only compared it to Netflix because people were talking about it, and Netflix actually has no fees other than the monthly ones.

2920.2.2005 21:58

i agree with worldraves first post. i work at a hollywood video store and it really blows my mind that people do not understand the fact that they get charged late fees in the first place when they are just that...late. If you are late with anything else are you not charged a fee? Late making a payment, returning a rented car, etc. Generally if you are late in the real world you pay a fine for it. however i do agree with blockbuster in giving people a few extra days to return it past the due date because the vast majority of people who are late with their movies were just a day late because something either came up or they forgot or whatever else happens that causes them to be late. I'm late all the time myself. On the other hand i do get alot of people who rent there also and know nothing about the fact that they are getting the fee of the movie charged to their card and are very suprised when it does happen. I feel in all blockbusters hype over no late fees they fail to even min. let their customers know about all the details. I got an email advert. the new no late fee policy and no where in the email did it mention having your card charged. the average person takes it at face value. no late fees means no charges for keeping it late. thats my opinion.

3020.2.2005 22:13

Thanks for the revalatory link worldrave. This is funny stuff from that link and my comments are in bold: The Cons: * Monthly subscription fee (even if you don't rent anything)(Duh!) * Slow turnaround time (from the time you return a movie and get one back is approx. 1 wk.)(I get mine 2 days after I put the old ones in the mailbox - without fail) * Frequent renters get penalized with even slower turnaround time (total bull - I always watch all three within a day and send them back so it's a constant cycle for me and I never have to wait longer than 2 days to get them) * Long waits on new releases (I've recieved every new release I've wanted without a wait) * No shipments on Saturday or Sunday (Netflix employees don't work weekends) (No big deal to me) * Most DVDs are badly scratched and may not play (see advice) (I've never recieved one that refused to play) * Broken & lost DVDs through the mail (Never happened to me or the other two people I know that use Netfix) * Videos are sent when available.(How is this different than Blockbuster being out of a title?) o If you are renting a series (Lord of the Rings), you may get video C before you get video A and B. So much for the surprise ending!(More misinformation. I'm currently recieving two different anime series and all I have to do is set them up in my queue to be sent in order) * No customer service phone numbers on - (888)638-3549 and (800)279-5688.(I wouldn't know - my service has been perfect) * Poor customer service(see above comment) Couldn't you find a site that actually made legitimate claims against Netfix?

3121.2.2005 6:54

So basically, when it comes down to who is better or not.Most people think better???? I have blockbuster online, i however had thought about signing up with netflix but for now blockbuster was a little cheaper for me just to try out. Also from what i understand the movie gets scanned at the post office and sends a reply to blockbuster letting blockbuster know that its on the way and then blockbuster sends out the next movie. Is this the same for netflix? Thanks for the help./

3221.2.2005 7:21

in general, where did you get that information from? never heard of the post office having any kind of agreement like that with any company. never even heard that they had that kind of service. if there is a service like that i can send it over to gamefly to have that kind of service too. to make the cd games come over here faster

3321.2.2005 12:55

I only use Blockbuster for new releases to rip and burn....Netflix has old the old and obscure stuff to rip and burn. Both have they're markets and I'm never late cause it only takes 20 minutes to rip a pic, then I take it back so the next pirate can have a go at it!!

3421.2.2005 13:35

To all of those who have ever had to walk into a blockbuster and cough up some cash to pay for having a movie out past the due date, i would think there would be more support of a company willing to take a billion dollar loss in revenue to make the customer experience better? I don't understand why people wanted to openly and rudely complain about late fees under the old policy which were at least 4 to 5 dollars every time the movie rechecked out to you which would end up to be like 25 bucks over two weeks then you had to buy the movie it didn't come back, now people are complaining that paying 1.25 is just another late fee? please you guys, it's called a greedy fee if you can't figure out how to return a movie within 9 days for a 2 day rental and 15 for a week long rental, then you have a seriously bad misperception of who is in the wrong. besides i think it's just another example of greed that is the cause of this lawsuit. it's not fraud when the advertisements direct you to a store employee for more information, they're not hiding anything, it's not their fault if you the consumer choose not to read the information.

3521.2.2005 14:29

a company willing to take a billion dollar loss in revenue to make the customer experience better?
Yeah, they better since so many folks have abandoned them because of crappy customer experiences.

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3621.2.2005 14:32

I abandoned blockbuster years ago. Before I switched to netflix, I used Hollywood Video instead, cause they have good service, better prices, and better selection.

"I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive" - Albert Einstein

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3721.2.2005 15:28

Funny how this whole thing turned into a Netflix vs Blockbuster thing. And for those who are arguing for Blockbuster being such a "great company", please.. they took a giant loss in money so that they could keep up with companies like netflix. A friend of mine worked there for 3 years and was assistant manager and she made less than 8 bucks and hour.. ya great company.. woo hoo!!! Its a big corporation, chances are they don't care too much. And they are hella slow with their online thing, its been almost a week since my gf sent her movies back and still nothing, not even a notice that they have received her movies, while myself, with netflix sent mine on Saturday and they are already sending my next 3, its now Monday.

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2) Clone DVD2

3821.2.2005 16:05

To Nephilim, Pointing to a site with legitimate claims??? Umm, they ARE legit. I can say the same about the sites against Blockbuster. Duh!! It's all about personal experiences my friend. Just because you might have good experiences, that's your opinion. Just like it's your opinion on who you like better. In general, Because they said, 'No more Late fees' is EXACTLY what they did. Removed them. As mentioned above, EVERYTHING you are late for has a penalty. That is no more even with Blockbuster. Sure the price of movie is charged after so much time (the key is "Temporary!!"). Bring the movie back within 30 days, and you get your money back - $1.25. It costs people to key stuff back into the system. Do you think labor is free now all the sudden?? How would you respond if your boss said "We're going to ask you to do this extra task every day/each week, but we're not going to pay you to do it each time, because the customers are just winers and don't feel like having to pay to do it." How do you think you would respond to him after hearing that?? That's exactly what your saying here! We shouldn't charge a restocking fee, because it should be free. We have to pay someone labor to do that with each title. If your whining about it, guess what? BRING IT BACK WITHIN A RESONABLE TIME FRAME (Do you really need more then 7 DAYS PAST DUE DATE, which is 7 days past more then you've ever got before this, and never complained much before this) and you'll never have to even ever worry about this happening. And if you DO get charged because your so darn lazy, and disrispectfull to others wanting to also rent that title, bring it back within 30 days, and your only out $1.25. If this is so bad, and are hurting so much over $1.25, you are nothing but the biggest, greediest, inconsiderate b*stard in the world, and I couldn't care a less if you like Blockbuster anyway. Don't you understand, 1.) If they didn't eventually charge you, What reason would someone ever have the need to bring it back ever???? Duh!! 2.) Every period of days it not back past due date is what they call "Lost Revenue" because no money is being made on that title all that time it's not back, since it's not in the store to be rented again. 7 Days past that isn't enough still?? Personally, that's an EXTREMELY generous amount of extra time now given with NO CHARGE. Also, for example, there are over 2,000 (AT LEAST), and next time you break one because you didn't know it was actually against the law, try that one in court "Well your honor, no one told me!?". Don't ASS-U-ME someone telling you "No late Fee's" = "Keep the movie as long as you want, nothing will happen, you won't be charged anything ever for it either" We get asked a lot about what it means, and how it works, and we tell EVERY customer how it works, and what happens. And guess what!?? Customers STILL do it, and still wine about it. That's just lazy, and trying to work the system. Renting something for 1 month and 7 days past the DUE DATE (still exists!!) for only $1.25 and complain about it still? That's not being lazy and money pinching, yet you paid $4.59 to rent it from the start, and never had a problem with that? Wow!! Every single remark i've made from the start is nothing but FACT's. Most every negative response I've read is either an opinion (personal experience), or simply hearsay (read BS from another post/site),or just plain posting something because of an experience caused from simply being lazy, or assuming you can just keep something as long as you feel. Like the example used above, try renting a car, or consol,or room for a few days, and do nothing for a couple weeks past that, and tell me it's not going to cost you anything, as well as try to use the stupid excuse "Well, you didn't tell me all that". We tell all customers the due date. And if they want to keep it an extra day or two, that's ok. We don't say, keep it forever, nothing will happen. We don' hide anything. We properly explain every question (GET ASKED A LOT) asked, and in detail as it's further asked. But we don't want to just tell every customer all this info, because no one would ever bring back a movie within 10 (for a 2 day rental) total days with no penalties. Which is happening a good bit already anyways. So if this information about price of movie , again, 'TEMPORARILY' (30 days PASSED the charge appears on your account, or card. And refunded minus $1.25, Instantly, once brought back in, NO QUESTIONS EVER ASKED.) charged isn't explained in detail at the time, That gives you the right to assume you can just keep it whenever, screw everyone else that also wants to rent it, and at NO EXPENSE to you at all, and can honestly tell me your being ripping off, or that's not being LAZY or INCONSIDERATE, or it being 'our fault'????? That's a lot of nerve. And stupidity. Facts are facts, which is all i've stated from the start. Can't argue that with opinions. Nothing more.

3921.2.2005 16:38

And one more thing also in case you OBVIOUSLY didn't know. Before this even started, Blockbuster has always charged you for the price of the movie after 2 weeks. This is always been. This is not anything new. And to CPwinkie, Blockbuster did NOT take a huge hit to compete with 'Netflix (get your facts straight), it was to give the customers what they wanted, 'No more Late fee's', and 'MOST' were accounted to being charged because it was within an hour to 8 hours late, which now is up to '7' DAYS grace period. And again (how many times you still didn't read this part) That is apples and oranges to even compare the two. 'Blockbuster' and 'Blockbuster Online'(what is what DOES compete with Netflix) are 2 totally different buis's. (IE- Like saying 'Home Depot' is the same thing as 'Exposition Center', which are 2 different places, even though there both subsideraries of "HOME DEPOT"(TM) ) The only link between the two is Blockbuster Online gives each customer 2 Free Rental Coupons a month to use in a Blockbuster store. THAT'S IT. We're not linked in any other way. And BTW, if your friend was a manager, and only making $8 an hour, somethings really wrong there. I don't know any managers (comparing to 19 i personally know of course) that make anything even close to that low. The only person i know that even comes remotely close to that is only 21 years old, and that's his 1st manager's position for experience, and even then, it's a Sub-assist mgr position title. So i'm affraid somethings wrong with that picture.

4021.2.2005 16:56

I think bringing up netflix since they are in the same competative market and BB is responding on that basis is perfectly fair. I went to the site posted here and I have to say that the observations there are extremely accurate. it refelcts my experience 99% It is clear Netflix is also pushig the very outer envelope on ethcial pracitces as well. I notice how some people are saying that "all you can eat doesn't mean that literally." Ahem actually no resteraunt "offering all you can eat" can segregate its customers according to how much they eat. they can't be given any preference on past behavior either. And if you do get limited in such a busiess model you have a right to a full refund. I think netflix is accumulating liabilites for everyone they have throttled going back many many months. sooner or later a gung ho state's attorny general is going to go after them as well. Onto blockbuster: Blockbuster's restocking fee is TOTALLY in line with standard rental contracts. I worked in hardwre store years back that did rentals and we had standard forms for our rentals. If you didn't return the item in ten days, you bought it. We cahrged yoru card for the full price and NO ONE ever successfully fought that. We would buy it back from you less a $10 transaction fee (just like blockbuster not a late fee but a restocking fee). Anyway, again I think Netlfix has more ethical problems. I used them for two years and they of course (as slashdot clealy proed 18 months ago) lied about preferencs for new releases. those preferences for new customers had NOTHING to do with your rental load (what netflix apparently classifies as "sheep" vs pigs") but purely you length of cotnract. IS people paying the same fee - regardless of activity - got less new releases the longer they were subscribers. Some of you may recall thre months ago the Wall Street Journal did a piece on Best Buy categorizing value seeking custmers as "devil customers", flagging them in a database, and insitution policies to disincentive them from best buy. that raised hackels. netflix is doing something else, since their "devil customers" are already paying fees. that is highly problematic.

4121.2.2005 17:00

I just did want to add that Blockbuster has always forced you to buy the movie after a period of time - again JUST like any other rental company. If you rent a film from netflix and ceancel your account (stop paying) they will make you buy the film too. it is no different one iota in there agreement. If you et a netflix gilm on the 2nd, cancell on the 5th if your aniversary is that date, and send back on the film on the 30th of that month do you think netflix won't charge you EVEN more than blockbuster?

4221.2.2005 17:51

@ worldrave, I hope you had fun writing that essay cause I'm not even going to waste my reading it. Go ahead and write a novel if you want but it isn't going to make me or any of other folks who abandoned Blockbuster suddenly go back. Piss on them, they had their chance. I could however put in a good word for you at the corporate office so maybe you can get one of those really cool employee of the month pictures on the wall or something for your undying loyalty to Blockbuster :)

4321.2.2005 17:56

hey worldrave, whats that stuff on your looks brown

4421.2.2005 18:05

Just wanted to point out that several comments have been made about the blockbuster company in regards to their treatment of employees, that they are an unfair company that doesn't treat people well. I hate to point out the obvious, but you haven't read one posting from a disgruntled currently employeed blockbuster person have you? and to anyone else out there speaking for another about whether or not they were paid well, you weren't their boss, you have a bias oppinion. Everyone wishes the compensation they recieved was higher, but the truth of the matter is, retail is what it is, all companies compete with wages and what they do offer is good enough to where anyone can be replaced, besides, it's blockbuster, it's not like it's a hard job, the worst part i would think is putting up with customers that refuse to understand that store level employees don't make the rules they enforce

4521.2.2005 19:12

LOL. Ok,ok. I'm just very passionate at whatever i do (always giving 175%), and for the record, if you don't like them, or prefer Netflix, that's totally cool. I'm not trying to change minds, or sway people one way. I'm just trying to set the record straight and let facts be out there, and known. That's my only intent. That's all. :-) PS- Funny though, i used to always associate Blockbuster as a quite not so hard job though until i started working there myself. It's a great company actually. I know a lot of people think "Oh, you just hand out movies, and put movies back", i can assure you, there's a bit more on the plate then that. (Managed retail for 11 years) If your not quick, customer service friendly (no matter what personal mood your in), very much able to highly multitask, time management oriented, you will for sure not last.

4621.2.2005 20:27

I saw an ad for this and in the fine print I clearly understood what would happen. I thought it was lame but...consumer...just rent rip and return! That's the way to end late fee's :)

4722.2.2005 0:16

nephilim, i think there was some misunderstanding in my posting, and i apologize for it. while i was a former employee of blockbuster, im not really sticking up for it. while i do believe there is a difference between a "late fee" and a "restocking fee", i dont believe that what blockbuster did was ethical. it was misleading and i think something should be done to prevent companies (not just blockbuster) from taking advantage of the common person (most of whom will not take the time to read the fine print). with that said, i have tried many of the rental options out there. while employed at blockbuster i got 5 rentals a week free which started me on my path to ripping movies. i tried netflix and had a great experience with it. no complaints what so ever (possibly because the warehouse was literally less than 2 miles away from my house and the turnaround time was 1 day). much to my co-wokers' dismay, i tried out blockbuster online after i quit. the system was a little slower (between 2-3 days turnaround), and did not have the selection of older movies that i enjoyed from netflicks. ive had the movie and game passes from blockbuster. over all, i prefer netflix. yes, a former blockbuster empolyee admiting the truth, netflix is better.

--im the only john wayne left in this town--

4822.2.2005 15:05

This is getting stupid. Even a half smart person would realize that their HAS to be some kind of limit on how long you can actually rent, even if late fees are "over." Technically, they are still in place, but they've renamed it. You can't keep the movie forever.

4922.2.2005 20:38

Blockbuster is an extremely good company to work for, I have only been with them 10 months, but i have already been promoted twice and all of the people i interact with are great. The corporation is headed by smart people and they know that without us little employees and customers they would be nothing. John Antioco actually hosts an annual patrty at his ranch for all store managers who would like to attend. Furthermore, the new late fee policy is awesome compared to the old system. If someone is going to keep out a movie for more than a month they deserve to buy it! Keep in mind that on the old system, it did not charge them the amount of the movie, it just kept accrueing late fees until the item was brought back or reported lost. this often added up to three times the price of the movie! This new policy from blockbuster a revolutionary for the video rental business, and I am happy to be able to say i was employed during the switchover...however, if any major corporate people are reading this...the compass system is terrible! If you are not an employee, you would not know what this is because it only affects employees.

5022.2.2005 20:44

an addendum to the above, the FINE PRINT as you so lovingly call it, is Posted on a sign the size of me in EVERY STORE LOCATION so if anyone is really going to concede they didnt understand the is because of their own sheer laziness to not only ask any employee, but they could also READ THE SIGN IN THE STORE...the phone works too...i probably spend 20% of my shifts...on the phone...some people are never happy.

5122.2.2005 21:56

HEY i have a idea LETS END THIS THREAD iam really tired of it.

5223.2.2005 16:16

yeah, we should end this thread. For the record, I saw a sign at Blockbuster dictating their actual policy, it said "Need a few extra days? ...go ahead," which is really what this new policy is. I have not however seen any big signs relating to the so titled "fine print."

5324.2.2005 14:10

If you want this thread ended...why do you keep coming back to read it? If there is any store without a sign with the "fine print" posted it is a $500 dollar fine from corporate to that store manager. Therefore, that location you went to either has a sign that you missed, or you didnt read the fine print, you read the bold words on top and said screw reading the rest. Or that store weekly charges their store manager $500...wouldnt that be fun?

5426.2.2005 4:48

ah this is so classick. this simple...if you dont like Wal-mart go to Kmart. If you dont Like Blue jeans try on Green jeans. Choices and opinions are great. but why does redudantcy(??) have to be so addictive?

551.3.2005 11:13

Rant Everyone is entitled to an opinion, which is what makes this country useless in a communist perspective. I for one have a fight against some of your opinions so flamebait me all you want. First off, the legal implications against Block Buster are strictly due to the false advertising that they employed on TV ads. RTFA! The FTC (.gov) has a truth in advertising law that states that all commercials advertised or broadcasted within US/FCC control must have a truth, or must be proven true advertising. Block Buster advertised “NO MORE LATE FEES”, however this is a broad statement, which does not clearly state zero fees charged for returning a video after a certain amount of time. No one saw this but the legal department of Block Buster. Block Buster was loosing rental sales against online rental business like Netflix. In retaliation Block Buster decided to offer a online rental capability, while having a prominent presents around the country (as in having storefronts) they had to enact the no late fee advertising in order to gain the revenue towards the online/offline rental sales. The current legal suit against Block Buster is due to the fact that they falsely advertised the “NO MORE LATE FEES”, and I know for sure as soon as the media heard of this case, people took opinions and facts and ‘miskeewd’ the legal case. Again someone please read the actual case argument against whatever before taking sides. This would help… prove a point. Next point! I agree, people should not keep a rented DVD/video for over a month, and this is where the current arguments are fighting over. People are being charged a whole retail loss cost for a movie rented and kept after a certain amount of time. This is a automated system, so the system automatically confirms that a movie has not been returned by a set deadline, then the computer system does a CC charge for the amount of the movie. However the movie is still kept in record that it is rented, then by the final day if the movie is returned before the system drops the movie from loss inventory track, the charge is charged back (reverse charge) to Block Buster. Again, there is that $1.25 ‘restocking fee’ It is still not clear as to what that restocking fee is accounting for. Would it be accounting that they have to place that DVD into another container with a active bar code? Because that would make no sense, due to the fact the computer system recognized that the movie was returned. I have other theory-based arguments on this but I’ll keep that out of this conversation. Again, people should not keep movies for a prolonged amount of time, because there is a limited order/ownership that the rental companies have of each new release. Who is Better, Netflix or Block Buster? That is all opinion-based arguments; people cannot fight over this statement because this is personal opinion statement. However people can fight over someone claiming a false fact. Realize that my opinion is leaning towards netflix. I prefer netflix because of the convenience, of order 3+ DVDs and they all arrive in my front door (mailbox) within 1 business day. I have no problems with this because I AM a anti-socialistic prick. America is moving towards this social trend, and if you have not realized this by now, then take a closer look at how the current marketing trend is heading, which will give you a better perspective of what American citizens want. Block Buster is a great rental outlet market, but again I am a person that socially does not want to interact with people. It is not because I could be this hideous disfigured man that is bent on ruling the world. It is because I find the majority of those around me ignorant, and just within my tastes to take a baseball bat to anyone that does a stupid thing. (Goes to show why I follow in the IT security career field, I’m a logical thinker) Finally, The customer/employee have the obligation to know what they are doing. Of course the business aspect of the client/business perspective knows that the customer will not ask questions and sign said statement here with out asking questions. Businesses/Corporations have a obligation to inform their customers what they are getting into. Have you ever signed a bank loan statement without reading the fine print? If you have that is your fault that when you fail to make the payments on time, or decide to stop paying, when that time comes for you to go to court, the judge rules against the person without valid reasoning. Whenever I create a SOW or RFP, or even a said contract I explain either the complete run down of the contract or I explain the actual terms of the contract to my clients. By the time they sign the contract, they firmly know the extent of the terms. This is also where anyone that in anti Block Buster needs to shove a beat stick where the sun don’t shine, because it is also the customers responsibility to understand terms whether or not they are in a hurry. /rant

"Don't Forget to Salt the Fries!"

563.3.2005 9:35

@ natitfj just a friendly reminder: people wont read something that long. if they wanted to read war and peace, theyd buy it.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Mar 2005 @ 9:38

--im the only john wayne left in this town--

573.3.2005 10:22

In terms of Blockbuster Vs. Netflix, I have had both. I can tell you that in terms of effeiceny both are terrible. At least this is my expierence. Blockbuster is absoultely terrible!! They say they send a dvd on one day...but it takes 3-4 days for the movies to come. Netflix takes 1-2 days. Something tells me blockbuster lies when they say they send. I actually just signed up in the store for blockbuster movie pass. That is the best way. I also did not get disks becuase my mailman was watching them too...

583.3.2005 10:40

just a friendly reminder: people wont read something that long. if they wanted to read war and peace, theyd buy it.
yup, skipped straight over it LOL

593.3.2005 16:21

not of my concern... just wanted to post my opinion. I was bored at work, got a phone call from a customer looking for EIN info for BB, and I came across this thread. decided to post... if you read it, then great, your a bit more intelligent than the next gent. If not, maybe I was not enlightening enough.

603.3.2005 21:29

To all of those in states that are considering or acting on a law suit like this, now is the time to tell those responsible to stop.Cast aside the fact that instead of paying $8.66 for a movie that is 7 days late you are only stuck with $1.25.Cast aside that you could, if you were irresponsible and rude,keep the movie a further 30 days for the same $1.25 instead of another $40 in late fees.Cast aside that Blockbuster offers three movie pass options that save you money on rentals and already offered no more late fees.Consider instead where this ignorant suit is going to end up.Either the no late fees will end, not good for the consumer, or the restocking fee will go away as well as the ability to return the movie, sticking you with the purchase price of the video, again not the best for the consumer.No good will come of this.There is no other options.You take the purchase of the movie and restocking fee options out and don't replace them with something, then Blockbuster would essentialy be selling the videos for $4.33.Obviously that's not going to happen, for they surely would go out of business.If you don't understand the no late fees policy it will be explained to you and there are brochures at the register, or will be supplied at your request.No aspect of this is hidden.The only thing hidden if you don't understand this is the functionality of yourself in society.YOU HAVE 7 DAYS TO RETURN THE MOVIE AFTER THE DUE DATE.If you can't do that then you are not intelligent enough, nor do you have the manners to not only rent a movie but function in society.These people "acting in our best interest" by bringing these law suits are not doing that.They will cost us money in the long run.For those that want to complain about how Blockbuster treats their employees, for starters that is not the issue here.Second, I have worked for both now and I can tell you as a person that hired at both, Blockbuster is twice the company that Hollywood ever dreamed of being.Someone mentioned that they knew someone that made $8 an hour as an assistant.I live in one of the poorer markets in America and made as much as an assistant at Blockbuster as I did as a Manager at Hollywood, and didn't have to work 65 hours a week at Blockbuster to do so.Furthermore, no assistant that I know makes near that amount.In fact most shift leaders don't make that little.One more on this topic, at Hollywood I hired CSR's in at minimum wage, and at blockbuster they were hired in at much more than that.As far as competing with Netflix goes, Blockbuster has their own online service which is at a better price and deal than Netflix.Your mail time should be considerably less since at Blockbuster your movies will be coming from a store in YOUR town or the closest one to it.Netflix in my area(I used to subscribe) was sent to a state a 1000 miles away.HMMMMM.Which would make it to my house first?The bottom line to all this is this:these people bringing these lawsuits against Blockbuster will end up costing you money, and will be ending a good thing that doesn't hurt anyone but the irresponsible.

613.3.2005 22:03

Wow. A career video store employee managed to write all that?

6212.3.2005 9:07

Wow man don't get crazy. This "back ups" for you!

The MadGreek
Rig #1..ehhehe
Celeron 2.4 (non D) oc'd to 3.2ghz
idle 38..load..44
1.0 gig 2700 ram
8x lite on dvd burner and dvd reader
Dvd Players- JVC Progressive scan and Cyberhome 300
Rig #2
Celeron 2.4 (non d) not overclocked yet heheh
512 me

6312.3.2005 10:01

Here is the way to solve some of these issues: Forget about New Release Rentals for two days only and make all movies 7 days. Stock enough DVD’s for customers to be able to view a New release in the first week instead of having small inventories of them that force the customer to come back day after day and not find them available still, example; (Flight of the Phoenix.) And spell out completely what they meant by No More Late Fees! If you are going to say No More Late Fee’s then do just that and don’t charge anything for bringing in a movie late. Don’t change the language to a re-stocking fee. Are you really saying that there is a difference between placing a movie back on the shelf after 6 days or 8 days? Does it take any more muscle, knowledge, effort, manpower, equipment, machinery, whatever to place that movie back on a shelve? Of course not, so why the re-stocking fee bullcrap. It is a late fee and that’s all there is to it! Blockbuster needs their ass to get sued so they can get their wording straight. The only reason they even attempted any changes is because they are getting their shorts eaten by the Netflix and the Hollywood videos out there.

6430.3.2005 9:52

I thought that everyone should read this:,0,6916175.story?coll=sfla-business-front

"From now on we are poison to you Spider-man...Thats why we call ourselves...VENOM"

6530.3.2005 12:02

I just read that in the local newspaper this morning. It serves them right.

My killer sig came courtesy of bb "El Jefe" mayo.
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"And there we saw the giants, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight" - Numbers 13:33

6630.3.2005 12:58

Yes it sure as hell does...I remember read an article that Dela put up about Blockbuster, I think. And this one guy/girl was saying how lazy people were in returning movies, and blah, blah, blah, and saying that people should read the fine print about the late fees and stuff like when I read this, I couldn't stop laughing. Although, I am still trying to find that thread. ;)

"From now on we are poison to you Spider-man...Thats why we call ourselves...VENOM"

6730.3.2005 18:05

I have allways hated blockbuster, cost too damn much compared to the local video store. Rent games for 2.00 a week.

6830.3.2005 18:16

Definately! I agree with that one. ;)

"From now on we are poison to you Spider-man...Thats why we call ourselves...VENOM"

6930.3.2005 19:08

I don't understand how anyone can say that NetFlix has no late fees. It's true that you can get your 3 movies and keep them forever if you want to. As long as you pay your $17.99 monthly fee that is. Blockbuster has an online service that probably works the same. People that this fee applies to do not pay a monthly fee. I have a Blockbuster movie pass and I can keep movies forever also as long as I pay the monthly fee. I don't do that because I like to be able to get more movies. There is an old saying that there is no free lunch. I believe that this illustrates that. No free movies either. I only use Blockbuster because they're close to my house and I don't want to fool with the mail. The main effect that I have seen from all this is that people don't bring back the movies until a couple of weeks have elapsed and new releases are very hard to get unless you are there when the store opens on Tuesday. Fortunately, I'm retired and I do this.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Mar 2005 @ 22:13

7030.3.2005 19:10

I think last time I checked Blockbuster was making you pay 7.00$ a week. They are just too damn $$$. The only time I go there is when I get a gift card to there.

7131.5.2007 12:27

Ok, for the record I work for blockbuster and let me tell you i love it. Now here's how it is plain and simple if you keep a movie out for over 37 days, then you should pay for it, cause you must think that you own it to keep it out that long. And one other thing, if you rent a 2 day rental or even a 1 week rental you have 7 days after the due date to bring it back before your charged the restocking fee now personally i dont believe blockbuster inc. she suffer for a consumer's laziness to bring a movie back on time. And frankly i think they should start canceling consumer's accounts that have a record of keeping movies out late and getting restocking fees. Cause even when i didnt work for them i never had a restocking fee because im not lazy. Consumer's need to stop crying about this and deal with it.

7231.5.2007 12:35

Consumer's need to stop crying about this and deal with it.
The last time anyone posted to this topic was:
philipman (Senior Member) 31 March 2005 0:10

I think two years is plenty of time to stop crying. Now Movies6 next time just read the date on the last post before you respond. :)

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