Blockbuster Shady Marketing

The article is titled “Blockbuster dropping late fees as of Jan. 1“. If you read the article, though, all they’re doing is extending the due-date by 6 weeks, at which point, they charge you the same amount of money. If you do the math, what a typical customer ends up paying in late fee’s after 6 weeks accounts to the cost of the movie anyway. The $300 million dollar loss is probably because the restocking fee isn’t that high. Now, as a consumer I can no longer stem the blood loss by returning the tape early, and avoiding any further late fee’s. All I have to do is return it before my 6 days are up, and I can avoid paying the restocking fee.

I’ve had a chip on my shoulder against this company ever since they threatened me with legal action when I was 18. It feels good now to sink back into my anti-establishment teenage tirade, almost like I’m getting revenge at the company who was legitamtely upset at me for losing their copy of Tomb Raider for Playstation. This was coupled hearing a co-worker couldn’t get a mortage for his house until he resolved an outstanding late fee from Blockbuster on his credit.

Blockbuster is losing revenue to Netflix, and I guess they feel it is because people like me chose Netflix over them because the cost of movies the way Netflix does it is far cheaper then the known late fees I will be charged at Blockbuster. That’s not the only reason. Blockbuster had some shady practices because of their monopoly. Their late fee’s and prices grew and grew over the years, far suprassing the 3% economy, and their customer service was a joke; they were always rude in some way if I ever had a problem, or wanted to open a new membership at a new store. Their lack of store to store connectivity was astounding… until I read Zeh’s comment at MossyBlog, and it all made sense.

Not only is their company technically imcopetent (keep in mind they were the ONLY company I heard about haveing Y2K problems January 1st, 2000 on the news), but so is their staff. I want to go back in time and say to one rude encounter I had after waiting for 20 minutes to discuss a problem with my account back in ’97, “Your just mad your not coding HTML for 100k a year, bee-oootch!!!!”

It kind of sucks that their fixin’ to purchase Hollywood Video too. I went to them so I could publicly not support Blockbuster… but now they’re buying it too. Course, the late-fee’s are the same on my wallet…

I remember camping out at the MovieTime in Richmond, Virginia for hours at a time, waiting for whatever customer to return some new Nintendo game I wanted to try since the cashier would tell me it was due that day.

Screw that, I’ll just automate it, pay the difference, and end up saving money and heartache in the long run. Karma’s a bitch, Blockbuster.

Blockbuster Article

Via her majesty.

5 Replies to “Blockbuster Shady Marketing”

  1. Can’t agree more with the Blockbuster comment. I too had a similar run-in with them about 5 years ago with the exact same outcome – I now go to Hollywood instead and evangelize against that horrible place to anyone who will listen. If Hollywood does indeed get purchased, I’ll probably stop going there as well and perhaps will go with NetFlix. They DO know how to do one thing very well – alienate customers.

  2. They probably did customer research and found that most late returns were over 6 days late. So this gives them a way to overcharge even more while they look like they’re doing you a favor. You won’t get billed the ‘on sale’ price, I guarantee you that. ‘You didn’t return ‘Ishtar.’ That’ll be $39.99, please.’

    That’s like my bank telling me that if I make my car payment late, they’ll do me a favor and wave the finance charges — and then they bill me for the remaining balance of my car loan in one ‘convenient’ lump sum.

    bah. humbug.

  3. I remember losing a copy of Tombstone on VHS. ‘Blockbusted’ wanted me to pay $120.00 for a fargin’ VHS tape. I ended up paying the collection agency, but damn if I’m ever going in that place again.

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