The End of Late Fees? Really?

Lurker

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What do you all think of Blockbuster's new policy? Is it true or just a different way to screw us?

According to the Blockbuster website:
"If you still have a movie or game seven (7) days after the due date shown on your receipt, we will convert your rental to a sale. The movie or game will be sold to you at the selling price in effect at the time of rental, which is either the retail price, or, when available, at the previously-rented selling price..."

It sounds to me like just a different way to charge late fees. You ge a bit more time, but a much bigger ding if it is late. The problem I have is that now you have no idea how much you will be charged. What is Blockbuster's idea of "the selling price" of a new release? It is probably different for every movie and it may be higher than you would expect. The "selling" prices also might be quitely inflated over time as a way for Blockbuster to pad its profits.


Don't get me wrong. Blockbuster has a right to make a profit and structure their fees any way that they want. I just think the "End of Late Fees" advertising campaign is a bit deceptive and I hope people watch out for the catch. Blockbuster has already been the subject of a huge class-action lawsuit over their fraudulent charging of late fees. Not the most trustworthy company in my opinion.
 

evan9162

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This is Blockbuster's way of competing with Netflix. However, it appears this new "no late fees" policy is only being enacted in regions where on-line movie rentals may be cutting into their business

Here in Idaho, the Blockbuster franchise for this state is not participating in this program. So Idahoans still get shafted for late fees. However, it is being advertized like crazy on TV here, so I have a feeling that a lot of people will be misinformed, and think they don't have to worry about late fees. BB will probably end up getting more late fees in this state. They've also covered their collective asses, since I'm sure I saw a "in participating areas" disclaimer at the bottom of the commercial.

So - make sure your BB stores are actually doing this - some areas aren't.
 

PocketBeam

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Evan, I think blockbuster on-line is thier way of competing with Netflix and Walmart DVD mail rental programs.

I think they did this as was mentioned, because of the class action lawsuit over late fees. And I agree with the first post, this is just one big late fee, of unknown value. Sounds liek false advertising, since you still pay a fee if you are late. I think this is much worse then before and too severe a penality for people that are simply forgetful.

I hope I never remember that I forgot to return a video, while I am sitting on a plane for a one week business trip or vacation.
 

Lurker

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Yeah, it's the unknown amount that gets me. If they just said up-front that it's going to be $50 or $80 or whatever it is, then at least you know what is in store for you and you know how diligent to be getting it back. The problem is that a lot of people buy DVD's on closeout at Walmart for like $8 and they figure that is what Blockbuster will charge them. Wrong!
 

lymph

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This Blockbuster thing is a joke. Netflix is much, much better. If Blockbuster wanted to compete, they'd do a brick-and-mortar version of Netflix, where you get a set number of movies/games/whatever for as long as you want, and you can't get new ones until you return them. They could charge a monthly membership fee or a "per visit" fee.
 

Lurker

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lymph, Blockbuster does now offer a membership plan like you describe. I think you can do it by mail or at the store.
 

MR Bulk

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I was under the impression that at least here in Hawaii, you get to rent (up to two) movies and keep them for however long you want. But you just can't rent any more till you return the first two...this was explained to me by my neighbor across the street and I may not have gotten it absolutely clear - but they've been a member for a while now and are actually doing it this way, they say.
 

PocketBeam

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Well, I just joined Blcokbuster Online two days ago. For $14.99 a month, you can have three movies out at a time. Same as Netflix which is $17.99 a month. But Blockbuster also gives you two free in store rentals each month too. (Although I assume they can't be current movies)

Walmart also offers a rental plan, which If I recall corecctly is $17.99 a month for three movies at a time.

BTW, with Blockbuster and the others you don't have late fees with the DVD mail rental program. You just don't get more until you retunr the ones you have.

So basically the way these work is, you go online and sign up. You get a two week to one month free trial, after that they monthly bill your card. Then when on-line you browse the movies and add the ones you like to your queue. The company will pick the top three movies off your list that are availible and send them to you. When you send one back then send the next one off the list that is availible to you.

You can add movies to your list at any time, and can rearrange the list too. Keep the movie for as long or as short as you wish. All these programs include free return postage and the package to return it in. So very simple to use.

BTW, I don't have cable TV, so this will be all I will watch. And we are cutting back on going out to movies, which we didn't do that much any way. But this is the same as a couple going out to the movies once a month.

Oh, I signed up Tue, and my movies are due to arrive today. Two days!

Any other Q's?
 

beam_me_up

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Blockbuster now has a deal where you get 2 free weeks for signing up, then your first month is only $9.99 then $14.99 thereafter......however I am on an unadvertised $12.99/mo plan that lets me have unlimited movie rentals but 2 out at a time. This is a very nice plan and you still get the 2 free in-store coupons. Netflix has this plan but they limit you to 4 movies per month and of course no coupons...another thing I like about the 2 coupons is they can also be used on video games if you so desire.

-Matt
 

Darkaway

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Per the Consumer Reports web site, customers who are charged the purchase price of a movie may get a refund, minus a "restocking fee", by returning the movie within 30 days.

This "restocking fee" is in effect a late fee. Call it what you want Blockbuster, but if it walks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it's a duck.
 

powernoodle

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I like the new so-called no late fee thing. Now, instead of being limited to a 2-day rental for new releases and 7 days for all others, its 9 days and 15 days, more or less. Thats fine by me.

best regards
 

CiTY

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I hear Netflix is really good about turnaround time to send out our rentals, but after a few months, they put you lower in the queue, and it may take more days to receive selections.
 

beam_me_up

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[ QUOTE ]
PocketBeam said:
Well, I just joined Blcokbuster Online two days ago. For $14.99 a month, you can have three movies out at a time. Same as Netflix which is $17.99 a month. But Blockbuster also gives you two free in store rentals each month too. (Although I assume they can't be current movies)

[/ QUOTE ]

The coupons are good with any moving including new releases...they are also good on video games if you prefer. Myself I am on the $12.99 plan w/blockbuster which is still unlimited rentals but 2 out at a time....I get the coupons as well.
 

BuddTX

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In reading the Audio Video Forums it seems that when one first joins netflix, you get almost all of your choices, even the new releases, but after a couple of months, you have to wait longer for the new releases.

Also, patrons that rent more videos are also "punished".

One guy had a item in his que for months, and it was listed as unavailable. He opened up a new account, with a new CC, e-mail and address, and choose the same title, and got it immediately.
 

turbodog

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Blockbuster is considering buying hollywood video in bankruptcy. Is that good or bad? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

The "unlimited" rental plans have really killed my motivation for renting. Now that they're "free" (at bb and hollywood) I feel like I have to rent to make it worth my while. This completely killed my renting. And we were BIG renters..... we have something like 4500 rents at hw and bb combined. Needless to day, there's now much we have not seen.

So I guess the new plan, designed to save me money, has really saved me money now that I dropped it and don't rent nearly as much.
 
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