Blockbuster going back to late fees!

We’ve almost entirely switched over to Netflix now but occasionally we need to pick up a movie at Blockbuster – like when Rose finishes a Harry Potter book and wants to watch the movie that weekend.

I loved it when they went to no late fees because as my library will tell you I’m always late returning things.

However, Yahoo Finance reports that the company is bleeding so much money, it is going back to charging the late fees starting this week. Here is the structure of the late fees according to Yahoo:

“• Starting this week, customers will be charged $5 for a five-day movie rental. Previously, customers were allowed to keep each rental for seven days.

• If the customer returns the movie late, they’ll be charged $1 per day until it’s returned, up to a maximum of 10 days.

• If the customer still hasn’t returned the movie by the 15th day, they’ll be charged the full price of the DVD, which could range from $29.99 on the high end for newly released Blu-ray discs, to just a few bucks on the low end for a DVD on the clearance rack.

• If the movie is returned within 30 days, the customer will receive a store credit equal to the price of the movie they were charged for, minus $10 in late fees. So if the customer was charged $19.99 for a replacement DVD, they’ll have $9.99 credited to their Blockbuster account.”

Are you still going to Blockbuster? Are you using Netflix or some other type of mail away service? Do you often keep your movies over? Will you still use Blockbuster knowing there will be late fees again?

72 comments Add your comment

Michelle

March 5th, 2010
9:28 am

We haven’t used Blockbuster for YEARS! I cannot stand them! We usually buy movies the day they come out or watch movies on the cable stations! We’ve talked about going to Netflix, but just haven’t made that move yet.

Honestly, since the little guy has gotten older, we don’t spend a lot of time watching movies like we used to.

Rally One

March 5th, 2010
9:33 am

Netflix all the way. 3 Blu-Ray movies at a time unlimited for $24.99. We’ve had one movie for two months now and no charges for late fees! Love it. You can do one movie at a time unlimited for $8.99, can’t beat that deal.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 5th, 2010
9:33 am

I am loving Netflix because we often don’t get a chance to watch the movie and they sit but then when we’re ready it’s there. no pressure to watch something until you’re ready to do it. We love for the kids the streaming movies on netflix too. that is really easy. overall just fits our lifestyle.

Rally One

March 5th, 2010
9:34 am

that’s $24.99 per month…

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 5th, 2010
9:36 am

we do the $8.99 — which has worked great for us for about a year

mystery poster

March 5th, 2010
9:44 am

We previously used the Blockbuster online because if you finished a movie you could exchange it for free at the store. We switched to Netflix when they closed our local Blockbuster store. I love the fact that you can stream some movies and TV shows for no add’l charge.

We hooked up our computer to our TV and stereo, canceled the cable, and now we watch all of our TV over the air or online.

Lisa

March 5th, 2010
9:53 am

We have Comcast on Demand, so we order movies through there. They have tons of free movies. Most of the newer movies are $4.99 ($5.99 for the HD version).

I wouldn’t buy stock in Blockbuster, they’ve gotta be on their way out. However, I understand they have to charge late fees. That could get bad if folks just stopped returning the movies until they felt like it.

RJ

March 5th, 2010
9:55 am

I use pay-per-view, buy the movie or wait until it’s on TV. I stopped using Blockbuster years ago. Tried them again about 2 years ago and swore I’d never use them again. The movie I rented was scratched. When I returned the movies I told them it was scratched and would just like a refund. I was told that since I didn’t immediately return it I would receive a credit. Well, I rarely ever go to Blockbuster, there is no such policy on my receipt or posted in the store so I just want a refund. They refused to refund my money although they tried to play the movie and saw that it was indeed scratched. Whatever! I hadn’t been in Blockbuster since I’d lived in my previous home 4 years ealier. I can wait until it’s on TV.

Becky

March 5th, 2010
9:57 am

We haven’t rented movies in years..I only buy DVD’s at yard sales and then they are only for the kids..We are content to wait on them to be shown on regular TV..

Jeff

March 5th, 2010
10:10 am

Netflix is doing to Blockbuster what Walmart did to Kmart and Target is now doing to Walmart.

jct

March 5th, 2010
10:21 am

Ugh! I guess my Blockbuster days are limited. We have been thinking of switching to Netflix but the spouse LOVES the staff at our local Blockbuster. That is the only reason we have not switched.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 5th, 2010
10:26 am

they haven’t had the late fees since 2005!

Jeff in Roswell

March 5th, 2010
10:30 am

Wow, has it been that long?
We were never big dvd renters. We have Dish now and use the pay per view from time to time.

A

March 5th, 2010
10:32 am

We haven’t used Blockbuster since we got our first DVD player in January 2001 and immediately signed up with Netflix. And to counter the argument that sometimes you want a movie at the spur of the moment, Netflix is constantly adding movies and TV shows to its “Instant” list, so you can watch streaming content on your PC or television if you have the right hookup. My 7-year-old has never been in a video store, and I think it’s one of those experiences we’ll remember when we talk about the “good old days.”

Tiger needs me on his PR team

March 5th, 2010
10:43 am

Do you guys have RedBox or DVDPlay out there? Their awesome,just single kiosks that rent you a movie for a buck a day. With Redbox you can even reserve your movie online and it will be waiting for you when you get it outside the McDonalds or in the Safeway, whatever. That’s my choice these days.

Chad

March 5th, 2010
10:44 am

It’s only a matter of time before Blockbuster goes out of business, I have been a member of Netflix for 2 years not and I absolutely love it! Blockbuster always gave me a hard time, and I always hated having the membership card because I already forgot it. I love Netflix because there aren’t any late fees. I could keep the movie for years and not worry about paying a fee. Blockbuster on the other hand it had to be back when they said, there was no leniency. I give Blockbuster a year max before they go out of business. Netflix has them beat my miles!

LM

March 5th, 2010
11:00 am

Truthfully, I thought Blockbuster was already out of business… The one in our town closed somethime ago, year or 2 years.

We just buy the DVD, I get a lot on sale $5 at Ingles for a previously viewed. Or if it is one I really want, I will buy it new when it first comes out, there is ususally a sale the first week somewhere.

Cammi317

March 5th, 2010
11:20 am

I didn’t even know that Blockbusters still existed! ROFL!

Cammi317

March 5th, 2010
11:23 am

I use the Netflix 14.99/two movie deal, plus we stream on the computer. We also have the Roku box attached to the big screen in the living room television for streaming movies. We dropped cable/satellite a good year ago and I still believe it is the best decision I ever made.

Becky

March 5th, 2010
11:23 am

@Tiger..We do have the redboxs (I think)..The one that I have seen is at Kroger..As I said, I’ve not tried it, we just aren’t that interested in having to see a movie as soon as it comes out..

DA

March 5th, 2010
11:26 am

Yahoo Finance has it’s facts wrong. As a Blockbuster employee, I can tell you that the new terms are not as stated above. Yes, there will be a $1 a day daily rental fee after the initial 5 day rent (the same thing happens for Red Box). Yes, the items that are outstanding for 10 days are automatically sold to you, but at the previously viewed price, not full retail, unless it is a film that has not been converted to pre-viewed. If the item is brought back before the 30th day, the sale is refunded as store credit, except for the $1 a day additional day rental fee. These are the new terms for corporate stores. I don’t know what the franchise stores are doing.

Blockbuster is really trying to stay in business and has adapted to the new trends in video viewing while attempting to keep their associates employed. In my experience with the stores that closed in my area, the employees were ALL placed in other stores, thereby keeping their jobs and positions.

There ar many alternatives out there for the video afficianado, but, truth be told, I am disheartened by the Blockbuster nay saying. In my 6 years as an employee, I have had only positive experiences from the corporate end and appreciate how up front Jim Keyes is as to how the company is doing and what each employee in each store needs to do, in order to keep the company afloat.

To the customers that object to the $1 a day viewing fee and possible auto sale, all I have to say is — Bring your movies or games back on time.

motherjanegoose

March 5th, 2010
11:27 am

@ Tiger…we used Redbox on vacation, after my sister and I met these 2 other sisters who rented their condo for a month…swam all day, ate a big dinner and then rode their bikes to Redbox to get a movie every night. They told us all about the good movies and they were so funny. We do use it here sometimes, you cannot beat the price!

Cammi317

March 5th, 2010
11:30 am

DA – I feel your plight, but unfortunately Blockbuster has become an outdated entity. It’s nothing against the store or the employees, but it is just more convenient to have movies delivered to your doorstop and no deadline to return them.

TnT's Mom

March 5th, 2010
11:35 am

Red Box is great! We rent a movie from there at least 2 to 3 times weekly. Of course it helps to have a teenager who can drive to take it back after we watch, so I never pay more than the $1 first day rental. Occasionaly we forget and we get charged the 2nd day. But, still $2 for a movie is a bargain. We have found a variety of movies and availability. My son even has the iPhone app to help locate the kiosk a movie is located at.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

March 5th, 2010
11:38 am

@DA…I think the problem with Blockbuster is that they rested on their laurels. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and they got beat to the punch by Netflix. Their struggles now exist for one simple reason, they didn’t have the foresight and ambition to capture a market that they were in prime position to capture, they certainly had the capital and resources to be the first on the scene. I don’t know, maybe they thought they would cannabalize themselves with this market, but they should have seen that if they didn’t eat themselves someone else would. Now they’re screwed. It’s the way it goes.

1sus

March 5th, 2010
11:52 am

We pretty exclusively use the Blockbuster Express box in our Publix. 9 times out of 10 we onnly rent movies for the kids. Once they’ve watched all the movies there, we go to another box at Walmart or something. Workds great for us$1.00 for a movie and I can pick up a gallon of ice cream for the kids. That’s a big night – movie and ice cream for our kids and little money out of pocket! Occasionally we’ve gone to the Blockbuster store and stear the kids to the older movies that are also just $1.00 now. $5+ is just too much!

TechMom

March 5th, 2010
11:55 am

Quite franly, I’m surprised Blockbuster hasn’t already done out of business. We LOVE Redbox. We have about 10 machines in 5 different locations within a few miles of our house. You can rent from any machine and return to any machine. They even have an iPhone app and you can find and reserve the movie before you get there… or in the case of a new release, find which machine has it before leaving the house. We do PPV from DishNetwork or via my son’s PS3 on occassion if we don’t feel like leaving the house.

By the way, Publix now has a Blockbuster machine similar to RedBox. The downside is that it’s inside the Publix whereas the Redbox machines are at 24 hour Wal-marts or in our case, there is one OUTSIDE of a gas station a couple of miles from our house. I’m just waiting for them to start popping up in shopping centers like those stand-alone ATMs so you won’t even have to get out of your car!

Ninga

March 5th, 2010
11:56 am

I haven’t used Blockbuster in years and I don’t miss it. We used Netflix for a while, but with 3 kids who play sports, we found that we were just wasting the monthly fee because we aren’t home to watch the movies. When we want to watch a movie, we go to redbox. If there is a movie we really want, we will go online or use iPhone app to fine it and reserve it.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

March 5th, 2010
11:58 am

@Techmom…Our Redbox’s are right outside of a bunch of McDonald’s here in CO. So convenient.

oneofeach4me

March 5th, 2010
12:03 pm

I haven’t rented from Blockbuster in years! However, I do go in and BUY the previously viewed movies because the kids like to watch stuff over and over and over!! Now as for adult movies, we just use Comcast On Demand for Free or paid movies. I mean to view a new release on Comcast is about $4.99 and you get it for 48 hours. No need to return anything.

Personally I think Blockbuster needs to beef up and advertise their previously viewed items. You can’t really beat $7.99 for a pretty new movie

DB

March 5th, 2010
12:10 pm

It’s been so long since I’ve been to Blockbuster, I’m not even sure where my card is anymore. I used to be a regular, but with Netflix, I just drive on by. Between Comcast On Demand and being able to watch Netflix movies on my TV, I just don’t need Blockbuster anymore. I have a line-up of movies I’m interested in seeing, and I get those regularly — it’s nice to pop in one evening and get caught up on movies that he hates (i.e. “relationship” movies and foreign films.) I don’t worry about running it back up to the store at the end of the week — I just pop it in the mail. And if I’m ironing or doing something else boring, I just find something on the “PLAY” list and watch it via TiVO.

Heck, even Blockbuster’s USED movies are overpriced, now! When they’re 2 or 3 for $20, they’re still almost twice as much as the movies in the $5 sale bin at Walmart!

And Netflix treats me like a human being — I sent one movie back and then a week later realized I didn’t get the next movie in my line-up, and went on line to check. They hadn’t received it, and I expected that they were going to make me pay for it, but I just filled out a short questionnaire about when I mailed it, and *poof*, the next movie appeared the next day. About two weeks later, I got a notice that they had finally received it, apparently it had been misdirected in the mail. Netflix didn’t get snippy with me or start throwing fines at me, or charging me for movies — they treated me respectfully and as a result, I am theirs for life.

Appreciate

March 5th, 2010
12:14 pm

First, i feel most people take too much advantage of what they have and can’t even take advantage of what they have if it was it was right in their face. Com’ on, how many days does it take an average joe to watch a movie for heaven’s sake? Since most people cant return a movie on time, how else do you think the company will make money? If this is what it takes for Blockbuster to make money, then they should go ahead and make strict rules…i mean changing policies once a while isn’t the best but hey, they are a company ready to make profit not go bankrupt…

Tiger needs me on his PR team

March 5th, 2010
12:25 pm

@Appreciate…they can go ahead and charge whatever they want, but if they do it in a vacuum without regard to a preferable, more consumer friendly competitor, they’re going to go bankrupt anyway. Seems to me that’s their real problem, ignoring the better mousetrap that a competitor has created.

Lisa

March 5th, 2010
12:26 pm

@DB – the movies in the $5 bin at Walmart are the ones overpriced! Those are old or not wanted movies. The 2 for $20 at Blockbuster is for movies from within the past 2 years.

BIG DIFFERENCE.

Jane

March 5th, 2010
12:28 pm

People think netflix doesn’t charge for an unreturned movie? WRONG.

You can’t get another movie until you return the current one – that’s the charge. Also, you pay whether you get movies that month or not. At Blockbuster you can still rent more movies when you have a current one out and if you’re not renting, you’re not paying.

Everybody charges – Blockbuster is just more upfront about it.

PHR

March 5th, 2010
12:39 pm

I just lost a movie that I got from Netflix and they only charged me $14.99. It was a new release and I thought that was fair.

We’ve been Netflix fans since almost the beginning of Netflix. We love it. I’ve also used Redbox and our Publix has a Blockbuster machine just like Redbox and we’ve used that too without difficulties.

I left Blockbuster when they let someone rent a movie under my account and then blamed it on me. I called their bluff and said let’s watch the security tape. Then they dropped it.

A

March 5th, 2010
12:43 pm

@DB, you’re right on. I have nothing really bad to say about Blockbuster, but after being with Netflix for 9 years, I’d never go back to any video store for a rental. And I’ve also had that experience where a DVD from Netflix got lost in the mail. As DB says, it’s totally no hassle, they don’t charge you, and you get your next movie right away.

And after having our son 7 years ago, like many new parents we weren’t going out the movies (still don’t all that often), so Netflix became our lifeline to new films and TV shows we might have never tried. Netflix may not be perfect in everyone’s eyes, but for many of us they filled a need at the right time, and because of that they have many loyal customers and counting.

Cammi317

March 5th, 2010
12:47 pm

Jane, the difference with Netflix is even if I you don’t have movies sent to you in the mail that month or they don’t send out the next on your list because you have not returned the one that you have, you can still continue to watch live stream movies on the computer and/or television. It’s no where near the same thing. Considering I have movies at my fingertips 24/7 – 365 days a year (366 during leap year), it’s definitely worth the $15/month to not have to burn up gas driving to blockbuster 2x in a 24 hour period.

oneofeach4me

March 5th, 2010
1:03 pm

@ Lisa ~ you beat me to it. When I said that I only go into Blockbuster to buy the previously viewed movies it’s mostly movies for the kids. And old movies don’t count with them. As many times as they watch a movie, I ALWAYS get my money worth. Heck the last time I went to buy some it was 3 for 20. All 3 were recent (within 2 years) movies. Those at walmart will run you full price of $14.99-$19.99 each.

A

March 5th, 2010
1:04 pm

Cammi317 is right. Before Netflix started offering streaming content, sure if you were slow watching one of your DVDs at home, it quickly stopped being worth the convenience if you were wasting your $15/month. But with the instant feature, even if you have all of your DVDs in transit, or at home but you don’t want to watch them for whatever reason, you have thousands of other options available whenever you want. And Netflix is adding new stuff to their instant view feature all the time.

New Stepmom

March 5th, 2010
1:06 pm

We are Redbox fans too. Often you can get the same movies there for $1 that are on pay per view for $5. I noticed that Blockbuster now has a kiosk in our Publix that is just like Redbox, $1 per rental per day. Ijust wish we had thought of Redbox. They have to be amking money considering there is always a line!

Alan Moore

March 5th, 2010
1:09 pm

We live in Rome, Ga and found a delightful little indie video store only 3 blocks away from Blockbuster named ROME VIDEO. The guy that owns it is somehow able to get all the new releases that Blockbuster gets and only charges $3.75 per week! I don’t know how Blockbuster is losing money at $5 a movie when this guy seems to be doing pretty well.

Jeff in Roswell

March 5th, 2010
1:10 pm

In years past you had to be very careful about how you brought your movies back. You had to bring them into the store and watch the employee scan them back in. If you just wanted to drop them in the depository, they wouldn’t scan them in for days and then charge your credit card for late fees. Blockbuster was NOTORIOUS for doing that. It happened a few times with us. The first time, I let it go… the second time I raised holy hell and then quit going there. Blockbuster will not be around very much longer. The only reason they are changing the late fee policy is to raise a little more money on a sinking ship. They know they are going under.

oneofeach4me

March 5th, 2010
1:33 pm

@Alan Moore ~ It probably has to do with the difference in marketing campaigns. Your local indie store probably uses local advertisement and word of mouth. Blockbuster on the other hand does tv commercials, magazine ads, radio ads, ect.

Peachy

March 5th, 2010
1:45 pm

We use the blockbuster mail service and LOVE IT! Streaming movies just isn’t something I am interested in learning how to do, and I love that with Blockbuster when I am done watching a movie I got in the mail I can immediately go exchange it in the store and they go ahead and send me a new movie in the mail. I guess this late fee thing won’t affect us, since we are memebers of their program, but I love Blockbuster. The staff at the Brookhaven location always have great suggestions!

JJ

March 5th, 2010
1:53 pm

With summer coming up, I won’t watch much of ANYTHING on the tv. I am considering letting Charter go for a few months…….

Lady Strange

March 5th, 2010
2:02 pm

I don’t really rent movies anymore since it’s hard to find the time to watch a movie. If I do go to Blockbuster it’s only to see what they have on sale on the clearance rack. Then if there is a good deal I just buy the movie.

Rally One

March 5th, 2010
2:08 pm

@Peachy, do you have to take the movie back to a Blockbuster store or are you also able to mail it back?

Jane

March 5th, 2010
2:54 pm

@Jeff in Roswell – that must have just been the Blockbuster you use(d) and the chain is certainly not “notorious” for that. I’ve used several different ones over the past 10 years and that has never happened to me.

mystery poster

March 5th, 2010
2:56 pm

@JJ
Let it go! I was a little hesitant about “cutting the cord” but I’m happy we did.

@Peachy
Blockbuster changed its exchange at the store policy. They don’t send you another movie until you return the one you have from the store.

@Rally ONe
If you get the blockbuster movie at the store, you must return it there. If you got it in the mail, mail it back.

We had the blockbuster online for a couple years, but they charge for streaming and closed our local store so we recently switched to Netflix.