Lights, Camera, Great Customer Service

An anonymous reader, who we’ll call J, had an upsetting experience at a Movie Gallery in Orlando. J dropped five movies into the after-hours drop box at 9:30pm, thirty minutes before the store was scheduled to close. The next day, late fees were charged to J’s account.

J called Movie Gallery to contest the late fees. Their surprising response, after the jump….

After confirming the date J returned the movies, the Movie Gallery rep informed J that they had an employee who had been closing the store early. J was only one of several people to complain. The honesty is rather refreshing.

Movie Gallery obviously refunded the late fees. To apologize, they gave J two free rentals. Then, they gave J’s daughter free candy. J got home and realized there was another movie that needed returning, one that was now legitimately late. When J brought it back, they let the late fee slide.

J’s email to us:

I’ve been a long time reader of your site, I’ve enjoyed it and benefited many times over years thanks to your site. I figured I’d share my own story I experienced tonight, one of good customer service, something that has seem to be lacking in Orlando these past few months. On Wednesday night I returned 5 moves to the Movie Gallery on Hoffner here in Orlando at around 9:30pm, they close at 10p. The lights were on, the TVs still going so I figured they just locked the doors to go to the bathroom. After waiting a min or so, I dropped the movies in the afterhours drop off (hoping they would count it before they finish closing) and went home. Come today (Friday), sure enough there were late charges on my account. I spoke with the Rep and told her my story, she wanted to make sure it was Wednesday and then she apologized profusely. Apparently they’ve had an employee closing up around a half-hour earlier than they were suppose to (and fudging their timecard) and they received a few other complaints today over the same nights the employee in question worked. They quickly refunded my late fees (Cool!), they gave me free rental on two of the four movies I picked and even gave my daughter the candy she wanted without charge, no additional explanation needed and they didn’t further speak about the employee (commonly, people will talk about the other employee, something that usually annoys me) in question and even still, I realized I forgot to return 1 movie, went back to the house and brought it back and they even cut me a break on the late fee for a movie that I *did* forget. In the days where customer service is lax, and where you have to argue even when you are in the right, these people went above and beyond to make a customer happy. Usually people get praised for doing their job, these people get the praise for going above and beyond.

Candy and honesty, a refreshing combination. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER


Edit Your Comment

  1. levenhopper says:


  2. mopar_man says:

    Good luck getting that kind of customer service from Blockbuster.

  3. eross says:

    The remedy was adequate, but hardly worth special praise.

    Such a problem would be unimaginable at any of several local independent video stores I’ve patronized, wich also have better prices and keep their discs in better shape than Movie Gallery or Blockbuster

  4. xredgambit says:


    Yea because we all know that blockbuster has horrible late fees. Wait no they don’t.

    They did do good, couple of free rentals and also a free candy. That is good service. But I would be more upset over the fact that someone closed the store early.

  5. mordie says:

    I work for hollywood video, and it is not movie gallery, but they did buy us.

    As shift leader I am surprised they did not check their box in the morning. For example, we close the store at midnight, and we check the box after 11:30pm but before midnight. In the morning, the person who is opening must check the box outside before the store opens. If not they have to take off the late fees, and that looks bad on the person.

    To add a little more; if your movies are due on wednesday before closing, in reality they are due on thursday before opening time.

  6. DashTheHand says:

    Actually, yes Blockbuster does have late fees. They just changed the words from “Late Fee” to “Restocking Fee.”

    Its funny, because no matter how long I keep Monty Python and the Holy Grail out, I sure as hell don’t see another copy sitting on the shelf once the original gets returned.

  7. Havok154 says:


    I still haven’t been back there in about 5 years since they charged me an erroneous late fee. Never payed it either. Blockbuster lost all of my business with that one screw up.

  8. @eross: Independent video stores? Where do these mythical beasts reside?

  9. chrisgoh says:

    This is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact this would NEVER happen at the local blockbuster. I month or so ago, I forgot to return some movies by the midnight deadline, so dropped them in the box before they opened the next day. I returned in the evening to pay the late fees they were rightfully due and was told that they were returned on time. They said if it is in the box before they open, they count it as on time.

    I just don’t understand, in the above story, Movie Gallery gets credit for reversing the late fees caused by employee FRAUD and for offering a token of compensation. Whereas Blockbuster won’t charge you even when they are entitled to do so. That is what I call good service.

  10. scoobydoo says:

    In this day and age of Netflix and Blockbuster Online, the small video store has to do everything it can to hold on to customers.

  11. ElizabethD says:

    As someone already posted, Blockbuster (or *some* Blockbusters) does have late fees. When I returned a DVD one day late to our local Ballbuster (ha ha), I was surprised to learn I owed a late fee. I questioned the clerk, and he explained that franchise BBs can charge late fees; only “corporate” stores have the much-vaunted “no late fees” policy.

    Crikey! I loathe them, but sometimes they’re the only game in town.

  12. mopar_man says:

    @Holden Caulfield:

    There’s one in my city. Blockbuster can’t compete with their fees. It’s great and I hope a Blockbuster never sets foot here.

  13. eross says:

    I’ve been lucky to have lived in several places that still have indies stores that beat the hell out of the chains. (At this point, just about any indie left is probably damn good to have survived.)

  14. Brad2723 says:

    Movie Gallery did the right thing. It came as a surprise to the poster because in today’s world we have been conditioned to expect really crappy service.

  15. Yogambo says:

    Wait. What is this late fee of which you speak?

    Thanks Netflix, for never having to say I’m sorry. And I can live without the free candy.

  16. Terminixsux says:

    I agree with many of you, it’s a sad commentary when we laud a company for simply doing the right thing.

  17. ngwoo says:

    There’s a movie gallery in my hometown. I’ve never had any problems with them and they got a very generous point system that always results in at least one free rental per visit. (I rent lots of movies at once, instead of just sprinting to the store when a new one is released)

  18. Kat says:

    After having erroneous late fees charged to our Blockbuster account twice, we no longer use the drop box. We walk them in and make them check the movies back in, in front of us.

  19. I havent seen an independent video store for over 5 years. And that was only one. If I were to remeber more than one I would have to go back almost a decade.

  20. shdwsclan says:

    Not bad….
    Anyways, indepent video stores have much more variety than old LackLuster….

  21. tcabeen says:

    I can’t believe these pigs contributing to the obesity epidemic! Their gross negligence…

    Oh, wait, this is a positive story?
    My bad.

  22. jewls7969 says:

    I’m sorry to say, But I use to work at Movie Gallery so I can speak from personal experience from what happened. One They cannot close the doors early because automatic termination. Two, only stor managers can change their time on the computers, no one else because they have a store manager code. Store managers will do things like this to ” BUMP THEIR SALES”. Every store manager has to meet a Quota every month to get their bonous’s but to keep their jobs. Things are not always what they seem. We had so many complaints about ours here. Besides they are suppose to check the movies in the next morning before they open up so there is not suppose to be late fees then open their store. Now that is customer service!! Then they go down the list to see who is late.But the store managers do not do this because of the bonous’s. They only getly get salary paid.