Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start: yes, Redbox still exists. But because many folks would rather get instance access to a digital version of their desired flick, rather than leave the house to visit a DVD kiosk to rent a movie and then have to return it later, business is not doing so well, prompting the company’s president to fly the coop after less than two years on the job.
Now that spotting an open Blockbuster location is a novelty that merits a double take, and scores of other video rental chains have vanished, movie fans who want to rent some DVDs for the road have had to change the way they operate. Redbox remains an option for nightly rentals, and Netflix will still ship out discs via the mail, but gone are the days you can stop by a rental store, browse and pull some discs off the shelves and not have to return them for a week or so.
Reader A. says Redbox randomly tried to charge him $1.25 for a $1 normal DVD rental. What’s up with that?
Several readers in the Oklahoma City area wrote to us about a recent issue with Redbox. Kiosks all over the area were full and unable to accept DVD returns. Redbox made up for the outage by offering area consumers a free rental. Except the free rental code was only good for six hours after the message was sent out.
Sarah has been trying to catch up on the Showtime series Dexter over Netflix, but she’s been stuck in the middle since early September because Neftlix won’t get the next disc to her.
Brian signed up for Blockbuster Total Access, which lets you rent movies by mail and return them in store.
Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories are in sort of an awkward place. Are they part of America, or not? Sure, they can’t vote in presidential elections, but they are on the back of a quarter. This confusion has led to problems for Netflix users in Puerto Rico. Netflix will provide them with DVDs-by-mail service at the same price as service in the 48 contiguous United States, but considerably slower. However, they won’t let Puerto Rico customers stream movies over the Internet, which would be handy while they wait three or four days for their DVDs to show up.
A few readers contacted us, with tears in their eyes, to let us know that Redbox is ending their “Free Movie Mondays” promotion as we know it. Redbox kiosks, which seemingly sprouted overnight in every grocery store in the country a few years ago, let you rent newly-released DVDs for $1 per day. The free movie promotion sent a free rental code out every Monday in an e-mail or text message. After May 11, new codes will only be issued once per month, ending in August.