What Should I Do When Redbox Has Indigestion?

John, like many people, enjoys renting movies from Redbox kiosks and does so frequently. Recently, the machine wouldn’t accept his disc back. It’s not a huge inconvenience, but he started to wonder why he, the customer, needs to go out of his way due to a problem on the company’s end.

Last night, I rented two DVD’s from a Redbox machine at a nearby McDonald’s at about 3:30pm. I went home last night and watched them, and today put them in the car to return them during my one-hour lunch break so that I would have them back in time (one-day rental, each extra day is $1 more, you know). On my lunch break I drove to the Redbox at the same McDonalds to return them, waited in the usually long line, then hit “Return DVD” and tried to stick my rental in the slot to be returned to the machine. Unfortunately, I couldn’t return my DVD because the machine was full!!! It said to either come back later or find a different location.

Now I can understand that a DVD machine can be full — it doesn’t take a genius to understand that. However, if the machine being full is preventing me from returning the DVD on time, is that really MY fault? If I can’t get to another location before the one-day rental is up (actually until 9pm the day after renting) then should I be charged extra? There were no options to enter your information or swipe your card or anything like that so that they could give you an extra day. I will be able to find another location to drop off my rental and hopefully that won’t be full, so that’s not a problem.

My problem is that I could be penalized/charged extra because their machine is full when I tried to return the movie on time. That’s like Blockbuster not letting you drop off your movie. Does that seem OK to you? What do you or other readers think?

Is this Redbox a victim of its own popularity? Sure, there’s seemingly one in every big-box store you walk into these days, but not in all areas. What if every kiosk in the area is out of order or full? If you’ve been in this situation, what did you do?

Redbox’s very own FAQ offers pretty much the same advice we did.

Occasionally, a redbox will be completely full, and won’t allow you to return a DVD. In this case, please return your DVD to another location.

Still need help? Please call redbox Customer Service at 1.866.733.2693, 7 days a week, from 7:00 a.m. to midnight Central Time for prompt resolution of your problem.

(Photo: dionhinchcliffe)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.