Rogue Manager in Astoria Violates Blockbuster Corporate Policy

Remember our friend Morgan who was told he had to pay 10 bucks and sign up for Blockbuster Online in order to rent a movie? He called Blockbuster Corporate and they told him that was not Blockbuster policy.

The woman I spoke to said that Blockbuster’s corporate policy is that you should be able to sign up for just a membership, with no fee and no requirement to sign up for Blockbuster Online. She said that franchise stores have the choice to set their own policies, but that all corporate-owned stores should be following that rule. She also confirmed that my local store is corporate-owned, not a franchise, and should therefore be following the rules.

I then called my local store and spoke to the manager there. He confirmed that his store’s policy is to require Blockbuster Online signup. I told him that Blockbuster corporate policy was not to require Blockbuster Online signup, and he didn’t care. He said that “all the stores are doing it”. I reiterated that his policy was in violation of Blockbuster’s policy, and he refused to change his tune. Eventually I hung up in frustration.

Let it be known that as long as it is a corporate-owned Blockbuster, you don’t have to sign up with their online crap or pay a fee.

Blockbusted Update [Whose Faulty Vision]
(Photo: Maulleigh)

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Edit Your Comment

  1. adamondi says:

    More importantly, you should find out who the store manager’s boss is, and get them into a ton of trouble for pulling this crap. I know that if a store manager of a corporate-owned location at my company decided to make up his own rules in violation of corporate policy, his regional manager would either correct the problem with the store manager immediately, or would fire his butt and get a good store manager in there.

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Also, you need to get your $10 back.

  3. Morganth says:

    That’s good advice. I sent them an e-mail after the phone calls, asking them to speak to the store manager, but if I don’t hear back, I’ll call again and see if I can get the regional manager.

  4. Morganth says:

    I never paid the $10–when they refused to let me become a member without signing up for BBOnline, I walked out.

  5. royal72 says:

    i wonder how many other people got suckered into his lil scam? … i would go down there with a camera and take a picture of the less than friendly manager and email it to corporate. perhaps they’ll post it here as well. somehow having a face to go along with words makes people pay more attention.

  6. number9 says:

    If you have the managers name, why not call corporate back and rat his ass out?

    The manager should be fired.

  7. Skeptic says:

    While coroprate’s official policy may be that local rental memberships may not be tied to Blockbuster Online sign ups they probably have also set mandatory quotas for cross sell sign ups and may tacitly approve of the tying. Seems unlikely the manager would be fired for doing it. He might get fired for being publicly caught, though.

    The next question is why you insist on being a Blockbuster customer? Supporting the chain only helps support BS like this.

  8. facted says:

    @royal72: That’s a pretty good idea. How about calling one of the local TV stations in on this? Would be awesome to send an undercover producer to catch it all on tape and send it to corporate…:)

  9. muddgirl says:

    It’s the $10 fee I’m worried about. If you sign up for BB Online, you should get a two-week free trial, no fee. I suspect he was somehow pocketing the $10.

  10. Demingite says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if corporate pressure for sales (no matter what the customer may want or need) “incentivized” that manager’s “store policy.” (Don’t know about the $10.) Sales quotas tend to promote deceit and sleaze. This may also be called: The AOL Effect. Or The Jiffy Lube Effect. Or The Best Buy Effect.

  11. jgodsey says:

    how much you wanna bet they get rated on their number of signups?

  12. dohtem says:

    Morgan: I wish you had recorded both calls. The one to corporate and the one with the stubborn store manager. Once they both hit the internet, heads will roll.

    Can you record your next call with them?

  13. heypal says:

    aaargh! Jamaican me crazy, mon!

  14. mad_oak says:

    Block Buster… yummmm… p.s. If you have a blockbuster membership you can supposedly walk into any other blockbuster, they add your membership number to their database and you can rent with the same card. The card I rent with in Michigan I got at a blockbuster in Florida while on vacation. p.p.s. I’d love to know if this is the only video store local. 15 minute waits in line to check out were common at the Ferndale, MI blockbuster cuz they were the only game in town.

  15. superbmtsub says:

    Blockbuster is teh evil!

  16. ElizabethD says:

    Blockbuster sucks. Why do they allow franchise owners to set their own rules? I had to pay a whopping fine for a movie (not even a new-release one; an oldie that my kid had to watch for a school project) that we returned a few days late. I incorrectly assumed there was a no-late-fee policy but learned otherwise, to the detriment of my wallet. “Sorry, that policy is only at corporate-owned Blockbuster stores. This one is a franchise.”

    Doesn’t Blockbuster see that nasty franchise rules make its name look bad? Most consumers don’t have the time to distinguish between “corporate” and “franchise” and to learn a bunch of different rules for different stores. BAH

  17. NeoteriX says:

    The solution is so obvious here:


  18. Morganth says:

    Yeah, I’m definitely going to try to find out who the regional manager is, and see if he or she will talk to the store manager, and at least get the policy changed (if not actually fire the guy). It looks like Blockbuster’s still not answering their e-mail, so it’s going to have to mean more time on the phone.

  19. golgiapparatus says:

    I work at a Blockbuster, and that’s definitely not the company’s policy. They have quotas of how many people we’re supposed to sign up for Blockbuster Online and offers like that, but at least at my store we don’t even mention it unless someone actually asks about signing up for it.

  20. Lindalu2 says:

    Blockbuster Online ORDEAL –
    They didn’t have the movie I wanted in the store, so checked online and it was available. I’ve been everywhere trying to find the movie. They HAD it! YES. So, the store manager explained the program, soudned good, gave me a two week free trial.

    I signed up. Surely, my movie would come in the first two weeks, then I could cancel. Well, it didn’t come. I signed up for their lowest Total Access plan, to give the movie more time to show. Two months later, still showing available at the top of my cue it hadn’t come. I contacted the joke Blockbuster calls customer service. They just told me the same thing the website says to keep a good turnaround and movies always coming keep your queue full so they can ship from the “distribution centers nearest you.” What they don’t say is that if it isn’t in a distribution center their computer system chooses as your DC, it will NEVER ship even though it says available. I finally got the 6th Customer Service Rep to admit to that – the only one I talked to on the phone. Others were e-mail contacts, wwho all ingnored my real concern and got themselves some really bad survey raitings. I did manage to get 6 “please be happy” coupon bribes and a 1 week account extension from the airheads though.

    As for the local Blockbuster that sent me online for the movie I wanted. I couldn’t even sign up for an account! Why? Because I don’t carry my cellphone bill with me! They wouldn’t let me sign up unless I showed them my cellphone bill or had a landline that they could call immediately to confirm. So, to open an account so I could use my envelopes for coupons for instore rentals, I opened in the next town over so I didn’t need to carry my cellphone bill around with me.

    My son-in-law went into the first Blockbuster a few days later to check on the cellphone bill requirement. He already had an account with Blockbuster. The same manager who told me I needed a cellphone bill, told him that was never a requirement!!! I’m an average 40ish mom and don’t look like a theif. So, can only aassume, she didn’t want the return envelope rentals credited to her store if I signed up.

    All around Blockbuster Bizarreness is too much for this person. If I ever decide to do online again – i’ll go with Netflix. Been there, done that, it wasn’t bad at all compared to the idiocy of Blockbuster Customer Service.

  21. Lindalu2 says:

    @Lindalu2: UPDATE – I got a CALL from Blockbuster Corporate someone. He was very nice, in my local area even. He looked at everything he could for the movie in question and said likely I would never get that movie shipped. A slim chance if I waited for months and kept it at the top of my cue. He gave me 4 free in store rentals to make up for the monthly fee I had paid hoping to get the movie from online.

    I decided to just ride out the month I had left watching a few movies, so went to my queue to put some back in. . .low and behold! The movie status was now SHIPPED. I got another e-mail from the CSA I asked to have fired, who still doesn’t have manager by his name, to tell me that the movie had shipped. Maybe he’s hoping I credit the ship to him and give him a satisfactory survey rating. He was still only cordial and didn’t claim any responsibility for getting the movie shipped. He also still doesn’t have manager beside his name. I had requested in the last 4 e-mails that only a supervisor or manager bother to answer my e-mail. So, I may just not fill out the survey at all instead of giving him yet another negative.

    As for me, I’m pretty tired of having to rattle so many chains and buck a corporate system to get a movie their system said was available all along. So, I still won’t be continuing with Blockbuster, since I have many older movies on my list of want to sees, and don’t see it productive to have to fight for each one.

    As far as our local rogue manager who wanted my cellphone bill? Maybe I’ll bring all the free hush coupons I got from BB Online to her store. Payback. .. . I hate to saddle the Blockbuster store that was nice to me with having to honor all those coupons.