No More Late Fees

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

Say goodbye to the dreaded movie store late fee, that is, if you're a Blockbuster customer. Sound too good to be true? Here’s a look at the rental chain's new policy for the new year.

Walk into any Blockbuster store and you'll hear it: no more late fees starting January 1. Most customers give the new policy rave reviews.

"It'll save some midnight trips," says customer Ken Stancil.

"No more end of the night, ‘oh I have to finish this movie so I can take it back,’" adds Pam Stancil.

"I remember a month with $75 worth of late fees, so this new policy is awesome," says Reinere Ignacio.

Here's how it will work: when you pick out a movie to rent, you'll still get a due date, but if you miss that date you have a week before you'll notice anything on your account.

"After the one-week period of time after the due date, the movie would be charged to the customer's account," says David Wendorf, Blockbuster district leader.

Not much different than most rental store policies, but, "Anytime within 30 days of that auto sale date to their account, bring it back and get a full refund minus a restocking fee of $1.25," adds Wendorf.

Business analysts say Blockbuster had to do something different; profits for the movie rental chain are down significantly. The company's also faced new competition from online video renters. Blockbuster thinks this is a way to lure customers back.

"It's been proven in test markets that our customers come in more frequently. They rent more movies and games and take advantage of our other deals," says Wendorf.

As for problems keeping movies on the shelves with the new policy, the company plans to increase its inventory.

The current late fee policy at Blockbuster charges customers for another rental period, about $4 for new rentals for extended viewing. This new, no late fee policy starts January 1.


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