Policy: Blockbuster Debits $1 To Test Your Card, Then Charges You For Your Rental

For every debit or credit card transaction at Blockbuster, the company will now debit $1 to “test” your card. If the transaction goes through, they’ll then debit the full amount of your purchase. Blockbuster tells us your dollar will be returned in 3-10 business days. Reader Jason says he rented a game on Thursday and hasn’t gotten the dollar Blockbuster borrowed back yet. Will he get it before the 10 days is up?

Jason writes:

On Thursday I went to Blockbuster and rented a videogame for 8.47$. The next day I checked my online statement to find out that I was charged 8.47$, and then another separate transaction from Blockbuster for 1$. Considering the guy behind the counter had no idea what he was doing at the time I figured he made a mistake and called the Blockbuster back to investigate. They informed me that it is a relatively new policy on all in-store rentals for debit/credit cards in which before charging you the rental for the game, they first bill your card $1 to make sure that it is active, then they bill the rental in addition to that. The manager I spoke to said that they refund the $1 at a later date, but here I am almost a week later with no refund. If this is even legal, why not just charge the $1, and if it works, charge the normal rental price subtract the $1?


(Photo: Seth W )