I Just Want To Give Redbox $1.50

Lindsay rented a DVD from Redbox, and kept it longer than planned. Except her card on file was closed, and they couldn’t charge the extra rental fees to it. Can they take her payment over the phone? No. They aren’t set up to handle this situation, and don’t particularly want her money.

Here is the deal. I rented a movie from Redbox the other day, I kept it for a couple of days too long, and was charged (rightly so) for some late fees. This acct was closed leaving me owing $1.50 in fees. I called up redbox to let them know the card wasn’t active, and that I would like to pay with another method. It turns out they can’t do that, but they will continue to try to collect from this closed acct indefinitely. But I shouldn’t worry because the representative assured me that they never send anything to collections. I asked for proof of this in writing. After speaking with her supervisor she said she couldn’t do that. What the heck should I do about this?


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  1. The Fake Fake Steve Jobs says:

    Tape a dollar and two quarters to the redbox, and walk away.

  2. temporaryerror says:

    What card did you use to rent the disc in the first place, OP?

    • MMD says:

      Exactly my question. Something’s missing here…

      • TacoDave says:

        My bank recently deactivated my credit card and sent me a nice letter explaining that they didn’t like my credit score anymore. If I had a Redbox movie out at the time, I would have been in the same boat as the OP – the first day’s rental would have charged when I rented the movie, but all future charges would be blocked.

    • SissyOPinion says:

      Why is “card wasn’t active” so confusing?

  3. tbax929 says:

    I’d mail them a check, certified return receipt. If they haven’t figured out what to do if a situation like this arose, it’s their fault.

  4. scoosdad says:

    Write them a check, put on the memo field “late fee for {name of DVD}” with your account number or email address, and mail it to them registered mail, with proof of delivery, return receipt requested and all of that. File it away in case they send you to collections and move on with your life.

    Costs more than the buck fifty, but if it’s bothering you, it may be worth the extra postage and fees.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Registered mail shouldn’t be necessary, assuming they receive and cash the check. My bank doesn’t return cancelled checks, but I get scanned images of them in my account online.

      • MMD says:

        But if they don’t cash the check (maybe someone decides it’s not worth the hassle over $1.50, but doesn’t bother to clear her account either), there’s no proof that the OP tried to make things right.

      • pythonspam says:

        My bank used to scan returned/processed checks, but now, businesses that convert them to ACH (electronic processing) may, even though accepting a physical check as payment, that check is never “cashed” and processed.

  5. flyingember says:

    You cost them more than $1.50 in your time just talking to the rep. It’s not worth the hassle for them.

  6. kaptainkk says:

    OMG are your serious?! Do you really think a company is going to spend the time and effort to collect $1.50? For the love of God, let it go and move on. Save a baby seal or something.

    • thomwithanh says:

      I was taken to collections for 89 cents – believe me, some companies are that much of a dick…

      • StarKillerX says:

        Yeah, because some people are big enough dicks to think they shouldn’t have to pay a company because it’s only 89 cents. :)

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Actually many companies I’ve talked to in my work as a payroll rep say they close garnishment accounts when the account goes below anywhere from $1.00 to $10.00 or so, give or take depending on the company. This includes state agencies that deal with past-due child support.

          But for a business that deals with $1.50 payments for their entire business, I might think they’d care more about it.

        • Jules Noctambule says:

          Or some companies don’t send bills under a certain dollar amount but are happy to send those same bills to collections after a certain point anyway. :)

      • alana0j says:

        Yep this exactly. And collections are harder to get off your credit than you might think…I have learned the hard way. It’s already paid but it was on there for so long it’s still negatively affecting my credit score.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Consumerist has both reported on collections for $0.00 dollars, as well as gettinb ills for -$X.XX dollars.

      So yes, I believe they would do that.

    • MMD says:

      Are you willing to bet your credit score on your beliefs?

    • TasteyCat says:

      I’ve been sent to collections more than once for under 10 bucks. I believe the lowest was $3.71 in late fees/penalties I was never billed for by a town I had lived in about 5 years earlier. I paid them, but I made them waste their time verifying first. In any event, it was not reported to credit reporting agencies. Will they send it to collections? Probably not. But they reserve the right to if they want.

  7. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:
  8. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Could this cause her bank account to do that thing where they reopen to put through a charge out of “convienece”, then she gets hit with bank fees?

  9. cosmotic says:

    This doesn’t even make sense. Redbox doesn’t charge late fees and based on my understanding of how they charge would only ever result in one transaction on the credit card.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Redbox doesn’t charge late fees

      Really? So I can go rent a movie for $1.30 and keep it indefinitely? I didn’t know that. Thanks!

    • foodfeed says:

      They charge the first day and then another transaction for any additional days when you return it, up to a certain amount.

      I’ve had nothing but great service with them. It’s a lot easier/cheaper for them to give away free rentals and forgive 1.50 than it is to dink around with banks.

    • icerabbit says:

      No, they don’t charge late fees per se, as in you are no incurring some kind of multiple dollar penalty

      They do and will charge you for each additional rental day till you reach the value of the disc.

  10. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    Send a certified letter with a check attached that states if this check is cashed then acct # abcd is closed and paid in full. Then save a copy of your letter along with a print out from USPS that they accepted the letter and a bank copy of the cashed check.

  11. xamarshahx says:

    why chi this even posted, why does she even care? it is $1.50

    • MMD says:

      If she was trying to get out of paying the late fee, I predict you’d be among the first people in line to judge her.

  12. StarKillerX says:

    My question is how why was the card valid the day of the rental but not a couple days later for the late fee?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      THIS! How could the OP not think we would all be insanely purplexed by how this could logistically happen.

      • Rose says:

        THIS! is not relevant to the story, which is that Redbox will not offer a secondary payment method or provide a waiver of the balance. There are dozens of reasons that a situation like this could arise, including cards that expire during the unanticipated days, using a gift VISA that didn’t have enough funds for the unanticipated days, having to report a card lost or stolen while the DVD is still out, which would result in a rejection of the final charge, etc. They all result in the same scenario, which is that Redbox needs to provide a secondary payment method or a waiver of the balance.

        • Pelonis says:

          Here is what is relevant to the story, Don’t you need to swipe your credit card each time you rent from redbox?

          According to what I understand she did a credit card transaction where the ACCOUNT was closed a few days later, not just the card. Why?

          There seems to be a lot of missing info in the op’s story. That makes Redbox not wanting to accept a new credit card number (from a suspect person who already shows up as a credit risk to them) a non-issue.

          • Rose says:

            “Don’t you need to swipe your credit card each time you rent from redbox?”

            Yes. It charges for the first night right then. The rest of the nights are automatically charged when you turn in the movie, or 25 days later, when they charge you $25 for the movie.

            “According to what I understand she did a credit card transaction where the ACCOUNT was closed a few days later, not just the card.”

            This doesn’t matter. If the card number no longer works, the transaction is simply declined. It doesn’t get passed on to the account, whether the account is open or not. It’s just declined.


            Again, this is my point. The reason why isn’t relevant. The card no longer works, therefore the transaction cannot go through.

            “There seems to be a lot of missing info in the op’s story.”

            The only relevant information missing from this story is whether or not she attempted to use their website to change her card. She may not have realized that’s an option, and it sounds like the Redbox employee didn’t bother to tell her that.

            “That makes Redbox not wanting to accept a new credit card number (from a suspect person who already shows up as a credit risk to them) a non-issue.”

            Redbox refused to accept money in any form, and it has nothing to do with any suspicion that they may have. The rep simply couldn’t offer an alternate payment method. This is an issue for anyone who is going to use Redbox, since credit card fraud and subsequent card cancellations are an everyday occurrence.

    • Captain Walker says:

      You’ve never had a credit card expire?

      I’ve got one in my pocket that expires on March 30th, and I don’t intend to renew it (I’ve got a different one to replace it with better rewards).

      So, to spell it out for you.

      3/31/12 it will be good
      4/1/12 it will not be good.

      Got it?

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        There’s still a story behind it she’s not telling. My mind wanders towards a reason of bad credit, not just letting a card lapse.

      • StarKillerX says:

        I understand that, but while the card in your pocket might be expired the account doesn’t, and I find it hard to believe that he card just happened to expire the day after she rented the movie.

        And if this were the case and she just planned on switching to a different card, why not just call the CC company, reactive the account for a cycle and close the account as soon as she gets the bill for $1.50.

        It seems to be, as in many letter people write into this site, that she appears to be leaving out some very important information.

        • BBBB says:

          “I find it hard to believe that he card just happened to expire the day after she rented the movie”

          I thought that too. One possibility is that it was a pre-paid credit card that she depleted on that day. [rent the movie and they use the rest on groceries.]

      • MMD says:

        Your account is still there if you don’t activate a new card. Did you mean you actively closed the account?

        FYI: Some businesses will change the expiration date on an expired card on file to clear up billing issues. Most of the time, the charge goes through.

    • icerabbit says:

      Super simple:
      Use your credit card for a variety of purchases including some netflix discs on Friday. On Saturday
      a) you misplace your card
      b) your card/wallet/purse is stolen
      c) your card has been skimmed and a fraud duplicate causes an alert
      c) a fraudulent internet charge is made somewhere abroad with your card, generating a fraud alert (happened to us twice times now)

      Credit card company will close your CC # the minute you confirm an issue.

      Your pending and recurring charges from merchants are still out there going to the now closed number. They will all be denied/bounce.

  13. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    1) Rent dozens of movies from Redbox
    2) Close the credit card
    3) Don’t return any of the movies
    4) Profit!

    • Kevolito says:

      I swear I used to hear about people doing that with prepaid Mastercards… I’m assuming they’ve fixed that by now though (or maybe not).

      • bhr says:

        you can’t use prepaid cards. I got a couple visa gift cards for the holidays and wanted to burn the last few bucks via redbox and couldn’t

  14. digitalgimpus says:

    Simple fix: tell them for religious reasons you can’t be in any sort of debt.

    They’ll take care of that quickly… don’t want to be accused of being ant-anything.

  15. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Um, change the card on file?

    • MMD says:


      • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

        I did. It’s not clear that she can’t add a different card to the account. She wants to pay “by another method”…” over the phone”.

        • MMD says:

          If it were as easy as giving them another credit card number, would we be talking about this story?
          Even if she has no other credit card to give, Redbox’s continued attempts to charge a closed account don’t make sense.

          • Billy says:

            People may not know that you can go onto the Redbox website and register a card that is linked to your account, if you want. It’s not necessary, though. I assume that most people just swipe their card at the kiosk.

  16. 2 Replies says:

    go to redbox.com
    Log in and check transactions under your account.
    Or create an account and associate the defunct card with your account as well as a good one, then call up again and have them apply any charges on your defunct card to your good one.

    You could also probably call your credit company and have them apply the charge from your old card to a new one.

    But the best thing to do would be to be responsible in the future and pay attention to your credit cards.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      But the best thing to do would be to be responsible in the future and pay attention to your credit cards.

      You can’t always do that. Twice in the past 4 months I’ve had my bank cancel my debit card without warning because they got an unauthorized charge and their fraud department caught it. One of those times I was out running around and had just used the card at one store and it wouldn’t work 15 minutes later at another store.

      That isn’t me being irresponsible or not paying attention. It’s my card issuer being on the ball.

  17. kella says:

    Get it in writing that they’re refusing to accept payment on the account.

  18. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    PCI Compliance….

    • Billy says:

      How is Redbox not being compliant? AFAIK, PCI is about data security for credit cards. That’s not an issue here.

  19. framitz says:

    Ignore the non-issue and stop freaking out and whining, might be a good start.

    • MMD says:

      Are you willing to bet your credit report on your self-righteousness?

    • icerabbit says:

      You must not be aware of people having seen balances of a penny and less (yes erroneous balances with outstanding credit) sent to a collections agency and have seen their credit score take a hit.

      I once got a nasty call from some domain company’s subsidiary over a missed domain auto-renewal payment (two months) because the card on file had expired. We’re talking $7 that they wanted $50 in administrative fees for or it was going to collections.

      Don’t take any outstanding debt lightly, it will only cost you more and more in the long run and may come to bite you with a hit on your credit score when you’re applying for a car loan or mortgage.

  20. Billy says:

    “they [Redbox] don’t particularly want her money.”

    “but they [Redbpx] will continue to try to collect from this closed acct indefinitely.”

    Which is it?

  21. az123 says:

    Send them a certified letter clearly explaining the situation and that you want to make arrangements to pay them but their customer service is unable to help, if they try to go to collections you then have ammo to get back after them

  22. Paul @ The Frugal Toad says:

    I didn’t think you needed a card to return the DVD to Redbox, in fact I’m almost sure you don’t. When you return the DVD late, I believe the card info is already on file and they already have authorization to charge your card. Charge should have gone through.

  23. Rodulus says:

    If you guys need something to write about, contact me. I’ve taken craps more interesting than this story.

  24. Insert nickname here. says:

    Verizon wrongly sent me to collections for 37 bucks. Twice, over the course of five years, for the same “bill”. Took me months each time to get it straightened out. I’ll be damned if I ever do business with them again.

  25. faislebonchoix says:

    I don’t think Lindsay has anything to worry about. Redbox can’t send her to collections without her social security number. If Redbox can’t put a charge through to her expired account, Lindsay should update her account and rent another movie. Then if Redbox thinks she still owes them, they’ll have a new card to charge.

  26. Extended-Warranty says:

    $1.50 says there’s more to this story

  27. BackInBlack says:

    Don’t worry about it— I gotcha covered. They charged my active credit card for two DVDs that I got with “free” promo codes and returned on time. I called CS a couple of time and was assured a credit for both was forthcoming. It never was.

  28. BETH says:

    It’s possible that they might sell it to a collection agency. If that happens, the collection agency will ask you to pay the $1.50 you owe, and that will be end of it.

  29. shelman23 says:

    SOMEBODY needs to get a life. Honestly.