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Thursday, January 6, 2005

No More Late Fees? Don’t Believe It!

So let me get this straight. Blockbuster will no longer charge you a few bucks if you don’t return your rental on time, but will charge you the selling price of the item if you don’t return it within a week after the due date.

Exqueeze me. This is not what I would call “no more late fees.” This is simply a revision of the late fee policy.

Okay, sure, it has the advantage of you getting to keep whatever it was you didn’t return, so it’s really a sale and not a late fee. I’ll agree to that. But Blockbuster will still be making a decent profit by selling you the item.

Oh, and don’t automatically assume you’ll get charged the “previously viewed” price for that item. You’ll only get that during the limited times that certain (translation: lame and undesired) new release titles are offered for previously viewed sale. For everything else, you’re nailed with Blockbuster’s brand-new copy price—and you don’t even have the item’s original packaging to show for it!

Blockbuster’s own FAQ about the end (uhh, revision) of late fees has a gem of a quote:

…It’s in everyone’s best interest to return their rentals by the due date, even with the end of late fees, to ensure that we have the movies and games you want to rent, available when you want to rent them.

Riiiiight. Great tactic. Plead upon the good mercies of the same customers who’ve been collectively (and annually) bilked for $250-300 million worth of late fees, many of whom were probably only late by a day or two.

» Posted by ALBj at 09:15 PM (ET)
Category: Musings


I’ve heard bad things about Hollywood Video’s unlimited rental service as well. I think I’ll stick with NetFlix.

» Posted by Queue
January 7, 2005 08:13 AM

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