Iniard Watch

Thursday, February 24, 2005


I am sure that you all have seen the new advertising campaign from Blockbuster video claiming the end of late fees. No more late fees, wow. No wonder all the people in the ads are dancing in the streets and worshiping their local blockbuster video store. Personally I try to buy DVD's of the movies I want to watch, because when I do rent them, I end up paying late fees that would amount to almost what a DVD cost anyway. Anyway, curious got the best of me so I thought I would read the fine print on the "NO MORE LATE FEES" claim, which by the way, was very difficult to even find the fine print published anywhere.

The truth is that you can turn the movies in a few days late and not pay a late fee. If however, you are a week late in turning the movies back in, they conveniently charge your credit card the full retail price of the movie. You can still bring the movie back within 30 days, and they will refund the credit card less a $1.75 per movie restocking fee. (Note: it is not a "late" fee, it is a "restocking" fee. I guess it costs them more to put a late video back on the shelf than it does normally, and they are simply passing those extra costs on to the consumer?)
I do not see the glory in their policy and bet that they will not be losing any money with the new "no more late fees" procedures. They are banking on the fact that half the people that get charged the price of the movie will not try to get a refund, and that they will also be making a fair amount off of restocking fees. They are using clever marketing to try to make people think that the world has changed and is much better now.

What this really illustrates, is how companies like Netflix are really putting pressure on the brick and mortar rental places, and now block buster is getting desperate. I give it a few more years until there really are no more late fees from blockbuster because they will be out of business.


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