Blockbuster: Some Stores Charging Late Fees Again

Looks like the ‘No Late Fees’ policy isn’t working out for all Blockbusters, as franchised stores in Arkansas are doing away with the program. While not all Blockbusters chose to participate in the program in the first place, if you live in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, or Tennessee, be sure to ask your local store if they are still doing the ‘No Late Fees’ program.

If you recall, this is the same ‘no fees’ program that, you know, charged a lot of late fees to customers.

Blockbuster last winter said it would drop late fees, but its fine print said the company would charge consumers the cost of the video if they kept the movies too long. If the movie was subsequently returned, the charge would be refunded but there would be a $1.25 restocking fee. In March, the Dallas-based company settled complaints heard in 47 states and authorized refunds for offended customers.

Sadly, we don’t expect this to get any less confusing over the next few years. Movie and television downloads are set to cut heavily into Blockbuster and Netflix’ market (even more that it already does).

Oh, we’ve always wanted to ask: Who tears off just the very tip of a movie ticket? (Thanks, John!)

Late fees return at some Blockbusters [AP (USAToday)]

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  1. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    I can’t beleive it’s taken franchises this long to figure out that the no late fees policy is bad for their business. I am actually one of 3 people in america who still has his blockbuster movie pass (shady dudes in black jean shortz kept stealing netflix from my mailbox) and the no late fees thing drives me banannas.

    I want to go in to get a movie, not there. I ask when it’s coming back.

    Old blockbuster: Tuesday, by 10am, or the person will need a second mortgage to rent again.

    New blockbuster: Possibly back by the next full moon…the person may want to keep it so we can’t really say. No we don’t plan on buying a new one to replace the one we’ve “sold”.

    I can’t wait till internet pirates from the south china sea disintermediate all of these bastards. Viva la bit-torrent.

  2. Papercutninja says:

    Yeha they’re doing the “restocking fees” over here in NYC.

  3. Smoking Pope says:

    A couple of years ago I tried to buy (not rent, BUY) a DVD at Blockbuster, and was told I had to have a membership to do so. No reason other than it’s their policy. After an extremely idiotic conversation with the drone behind the counter, I wound up speaking to the manager.

    I was told that I 100% could not buy a DVD without being a member. I asked if I could buy a $1.00 box of candy and was told yes. When I asked why I could buy candy at BB, but not a DVD, I was asked to leave the store or they’d call the police.

    I wasn’t loud, obnoxious, and held the sarcasm to a minimum (for me, anyway). It was obvious that they did a lot of business, and didn’t feel like dealing with anyone who didn’t play by their rules.

    A couple of months ago I walked by and saw the same manager in the (now empty) store. I went in and asked him if I could buy a DVD without being a member, and was told it was no problem. I just laughed and walked out. Wankers.

  4. I’ll play spokesman for Alabama and Mississippi.

    Most of the stores in this area have dropped the ‘No Late Fees.’ I asked the local manager why.

    He stated the obvious: People don’t understand that if they keep the video beyond the “7 day grace period” then they are charged for it.

    He said they come in pissed off, and it takes so much time and manpower to settle the issue that it’s just not worth it.

  5. oneguynamedjosh says:

    they’re charging them in TX too. I live just south of Ft. Worth and was told that effective 12/18 their rental policy would change and there would be a $1/day late charge.