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Few Blockbusters To End Late Fees

Blockbuster started their “End Of Late Fees” promotion this year where you’re allowed to keep movies as long as you want but after a week you’re charged for them as if you purchased them. For a $1.25 restocking fee, you can return the movie and get your money back. But, did you know that not ever Blockbuster takes part in this? It’s a corporate policy but according to Wikipedia [3], franchised stores (18% of all of them are franchises) aren’t bound by the policy. Of those 18%, less than 10% of those aren’t participating in the “End of Late Fees” promotion… so when you rent, beware.

Now, it’s been reported [4] that an additional 160 franchised Blockbusters will be dropping the “No Late Fees” policy. What’s surprising is that they’re surprised people weren’t returning the movies on time and that they’d have to investigate ways to motivate their customers to return movies sooner. If you remove the reason someone would do something, i.e. the fee, then chances are they aren’t going to do it. Duh.

Personally, I’d just go with Netflix [5]. Read my comparison of Netflix, Blockbuster, and Walmart’s now defunct service [6] and an analysis of whether Netflix really is saving you money [7].