Blockbuster Doesn't Believe We've Returned Their Stupid Movie

Reader and admitted Geek Squad employee Mike says he and his girlfriend rented and returned The Ugly Truth at Blockbuster, but the floundering rental chain insists it can’t find the movie so his girlfriend is stuck with late fees that Blockbuster supposedly did away with years ago.

Mike explains:

My girlfriend had rented the Ugly truth from our local Blockbuster. Pretty funny movie actually despite being a chick flick. Anyway, she returned it a day late to a different Blockbuster location on her way to work, albeit a day late. The rest of the week was pretty uneventful until she got a call informing her that she still had the movie and that she was incurring late fees. She informed them that she brought it back to another another location a matter of days ago.

We went to the original Blockbuster and tried to clear up the mixup. They informed us that the movie wasn’t in either stores. We assured the clerk that she had brought back the movie. He called the other store and they could not find it. We went to the other store and personally checked every copy on the shelf and it somehow is gone. Not on either shelves. Not in their “wrong store” bin (as it was called by the employees at store 2).

We explained to an employee at store 2 that we dropped off the movie. We made the point of the 10 plus years of her and her family’s memberships and that why all of a sudden we would “steal” a movie. He was understanding and courteous but didn’t know much about what was going on. He told us that the store wide inventory is in a month and that if they find it the problem will be resolved on their end and that we shouldn’t worry. I asked for clarity as to what happens if they don’t find it, they said the movie would be charged to my account.

“This is stupid. Why would i steal a crappy movie when i could buy it from the store, burn the copy i rented off you, or download it for free? What makes more sense. That I would steal this crappy movie and move past all of my easier options of getting it, or that in the thousands of movies you rent in a day, on got misplaced or stolen?”

That’s the sentence that got the employee stuck for a second, but he just continued with his “it will all be resolved if we find the movie during inventory blah blah blah.

Oh, Blockbuster — never letting a day pass without giving customers yet another reason to stop renting from you.

At least Mike can be thankful Blockbuster didn’t try to upsell his girlfriend on an extended warranty or optimization. Which brings me to the most important lesson from Mike’s story: Always put movie rentals on your girlfriend’s account and not your own, lest you be the one who gets stuck in the maelstrom of doubt should the business start sticking you with extra fees.

On a serious note, if you’ve been in a similar situation and gotten Blockbuster to call off the dogs, please leave your advice.

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