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Blockbuster Video / fraud and cheating

1 United States Review updated:
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I have been a loyal Blockbuster Video customer since 1987 but this past Friday I handed in my Blockbuster Rewards Membership card and told them I do not need to pay for my own extortion. I was told that I could no longer exercise my membership privledges until I surrendered a credit card or debit card number for Blockbuster to put on file. I rented from this company for over 22 years without putting a major credit card on file! Add up the numbers at over 8-10 videos per month plus many pre-viewed movies purchased...probably over $5, 000 paid to this company and they go and lose me over an undocumented policy change? Not one mention of this policy prior to entering their stores! My major reason for not providing them with a credit card is because I was aware of their double-dipping of customers when they return their late videos and pay at the store only to find out that their debit cards were automatically debited/charged for the same fee that was paid in the store by cash!! I said no way to this policy. Beware of Blockbuster corporate policies which blackmail you into surrendering your credit card to them. BOYCOTT BLOCKBUSTER NOW!!!

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  • Wa
      19th of May, 2011
    +1 Votes

    I had a bad experience at a Blockbuster store, where I went into a store that I found on the Store Locator of I went into the store and to my surprise it was CLOSING and according to the clerk had been closing for almost a month. He wasn't sure why they were still listed on the web site as an active rentable store, but he had no movies to rent and could only offer me the ability to buy his shelves or wall hardware.

    So I filed a BBB complaint. Well Blockbuster replied and said they would fix the web site problem and send me 2 e-coupons for free movie rentals at a different store location. Then they dropped off the face of the earth for 3 months. Well I kept asking the BBB what they could do to help because I hadn't received the coupons. It took the BBB over 30 days to REPLY to my request for help. And their response was to tell me that they had administratively reviewed my complaint and the complaint was closed in favor of the business. No reason, no explanation, no comment about not being sent the coupons. Nothing.

    So I filed a complaint with the Council of Better Business Bureaus which oversees activities of the individual BBBs. The CBBB got a response to my complaint after almost a month. They said:

    "I apologize for the delay in answering this complaint. This complaint was actually reviewed and a response was sent to the customer. Our explanation upon closure was not expansive and more details are as below.

    The customer alleges that the company has provided poor service in that a store the customer attempted to visit was closing, and that the company later failed to follow up on a promise to send 2 e-coupons.

    Blockbuster, Inc has been in Chapter 11 and their normal operations have been altered. The trustees for the company sold the majority of the assets to Dish Network effective 4/26/11. The proceeds of the sale of assets were then used to pay the outstanding liabilities of Blockbuster, Inc. The customer was promised gift cards/coupons from Blockbuster, Inc (“old company”) on or about 3/15/11. Technically, this is considered an obligation of Blockbuster, Inc, and not Blockbuster, a division of Dish Network (“the new company”). Therefore, the new company has no legal liability to honor this promise or any coupons.

    The customer's original complaint was one of inconvenience due to a store not being open for regular business. While the company did make the promise to provide coupons, there were a result the customer complaining of this initial issue of not being able to rent movies from a store that was being closed down, as a result of the bankruptcy wind up. The customer may not have realized that the company was in bankruptcy, or that many things change or are affected due to bankruptcy laws.

    Since the end of April 2011, we have ascertained that Dish Network was the winning bidder of the assets, that the Denver BBB office does not wish to assume the "new company" complaints at this time, that the cut off for honoring coupons/gift cards was 4/7/11, and have concluded that old Blockbuster did give adequate notice on this action. We have established a new BID for the "new company" and have cancelled the Accreditation of the "old company".

    Lee, Denver BBB"

  • Bb
      1st of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    The information presented by the poster is completely false. Now in no way am I defend Blockbuster even though I am an employee of the company. Based on what the poster said, there is no way possible for them to be charged for movies on a credit card that they used in the store to make a purchase. If that was possible, then Blockbuster would be hit with all kinds of lawsuits. Think about this scenario, you and friend decide to rent movies for the weekend. You have an account but you're friend doesn't, you both find your selections and proceed to check them out. At the register you realize the you have forgotten your money and your friend covers the charges with their credit or debit card. The weekend passes and you remember that the movies are still at your house and should have been returned days ago, you suddenly get a phone call from your friend saying that Blockbuster has charged them over $30 dollars for late movies and caused them to overdraft their account. Your friend isn't a member of Blockbuster but yet Blockbuster is charging them for movies rented on an Blockbuster account. Do you see all the legal ramifications that would ensue if the company worked like that. The only time a member is asked to update their credit information is when they have a Movie Pass, which is a monthly program that is automatically charged to their credit or debit card, and the card of file is coming close to expiration. The computer system gives 2 prompts that all CSR's follow. The first ask if the card belongs to the primary account holder and the second asks if the customer would like to update the information on file with the new credit card information. If the customer says yes, then it would be changed, if they say no, then we can not change it. That is the only time when a customer card that was swiped would be asked to be placed onto the account. No doubt Blockbuster has its problems, but making up lies about things that could never happen is just frivolous.

  • An
      20th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Sorry but you get 9-14 days to have a movie out without any fees or charges. People severely take advantage of that. If this is such a major issue I suggest renting from redbox...but wait, you must have a credit card to rent from them and only get TWO days to watch the movie before you are charged the full selling price of the movie. Or maybe you should do online rentals...wait you need a credit card there too. Maybe if people brought their movies back in the GENEROUS alotted time these problem wouldn't exist. Not to mention if for some reason you were too lazy to return your movies after two weeks...your money gets refunded to you less a $1.25 restocking fee. Most other movie stores charge you per day. So have fun paying 99cent per day for your movies you only get for like two days anyways =)

  • Ma
      27th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I can tell you that I have spoken with various managers and employees of the BB chain. And they are very unhappy with the things BB is putting their customers through. They get to hear the complaints, but when they pass them up the line, no action is taken.

    BBs selection in the Family Favorites is a wasteland of missing DVDs. These are meant to be the Rewards in the Rewards programs, as in you rent M-W, you get a Family Favorite for free. What you discover is that even though BB SOLD these to customers by auto-charging their credit card, they will NOT replace them.

    The coordination between store and Corp HQ is so bad that I've seen missing DVDs (with thte little posterboard still there) in the same place for over a YEAR at a time. And this isn't one or two. I'm talking about hundreds of DVDs already auto-charged and never replaced.

    The selection gets crappier and crappier along with the policies. I get the impression that some posters think it's okay for BB to take ANY credit card that you've used with BB in the history of your life, and rack it up with charges, even if it's NOT the card you used to secure the account -- and NOT the card you used to pay for your rental that incurred the policies.

    If so, go float your boat in another pond.

    Some families have more than one account. One with almost no money in it used for a specific purpose only (like entertainment), and one with a larger buffer, used for household expenses and bills. Just because we decide to use a two-card/account system instead of a single card system does NOT make it ok for BB to MUCK AROUND WITH OUR CREDIT CARD NUMBERS.

  • Li
      26th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I disagree with you. A lot has changed since 1987. They're doing it for security purposes. Many people rent movies without returning them. What are they to do? They have to protect themselves too you know.

  • Ch
      25th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    A Credit Card is only required if you
    A. Rent more than 3 movies or have 3 or more movies out at a time
    B.Movies auto sale to your account continuously
    c. If your renting a PS3 x360 or WII game.

  • Ma
      21st of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    What you missed is that BB will wrongly take your credit card number from your most recent swipe INSTEAD of the one you used to SECURE the account. In what country would this be possible? Oh, yes, only the United States, where Corporations have all of the priviledges of a human being, but none of the accountability.

  • Mi
      18th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    Fuchi, you speak the truth. This is why customers/employees need to verify the account is up to date because Blockbuster will try to remind the customer about their late rentals. And as for credit cards, just about every online or in-store membership program out there requires a credit card on file to sign up so I don't see why Blockbuster is at fault for doing the same. It's the only way to ensure rentals will come back, and why should one customer expect special treatment when everybody else needs to follow the rules. I myself have received a few restocking fees (returns after the grace period) in the past, but I realize that's my responsibility to return the rentals on time and not Blockbuster's. And not every store may have the same rental policy so ask the clerk/manager if you have any questions when checking out. The website says it can change anytime without notice (just like any other policy out there).

    That said, in-store customer service is not the same from store to store which is unfortunate and hard to control. Some stores have better managers than other and they know the right people to acquire/relinquish. I guess I'm lucky the Blockbuster near me has a good staff on board. The manger is very polite and informative and the employees under him are helpful as well. They have, for the most part, been upfront about any changes in the store that might affect me and my renting habits.

    I believe the rental policy has changed again so that's something I need to inquire about on my next visit...

  • Fu
      16th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    im so sick of customers thinking that employees have to hold their hands in every little thing that they do. first off, if you felt uncomfortable putting your debit or credit card on the account, then you shouldn't have signed up. second, blockbuster gives you 2 weeks to return your movie or movies at no extra charge whereas back in the day it would have been a fee for every day it is late. so be lucky you got a credit back from the movies. also, blockbuster's card machine does not even work in that manner, so i have no idea where you got that nonsense. if you knew you were going to be that busy, you should have put a memo or alarm of some sort on your phone or a sticky note on the fridge or something to remind yourself to return the movies (you remember to pay your bills don't you?). The phone calls and letters that you say you did not receive from blockbuster are a COURTESY. They aren't REQUIRED to do anything. they do these reminders so they DON'T have to charge you. So if you dont update your own info on a regular basis then you are still at fault for you not receiving your own COURTESY REMINDERS. TAKE YOUR MOVIES BACK ON TIME AND YOU WILL NEVER HAVE A CHARGE, DAMMIT!

  • Ma
      16th of Oct, 2009
    -1 Votes

    Also, they were not 120 days late as stated in the above post. For me, it was less than three weeks. I was not notified twice by mail. If they called at all, I did not get it. It would be wise for them to have their local stores call their best customers with warnings that their accounts will be soon subjected to possible overdrafts because I actually had the store number programmed into my phone -- that's how much I shopped there.

    For a company that's drowning, they sure do poo on their best customers. I too heard many complaints over the years and just counted myself lucky. This is also why we used the debit card with the buffer to sign up. And this card wasn't expired either.

    Sneaky, unethical, no standards, no acknowledgement of their Gold vs. Lead customers. Doesn't surprise me they are sinking, cause they sure are stinking.

  • Ma
      16th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I agree completely with the complaint. When my husband and I signed up, we were forced to give a debit card number to even be able to rent. This was a while back. Since then, I have been the only person using the card, and I spend up to $20 a WEEK renting movies. I had an extremely busy month and was late returning several titles.

    In the past when we were late, BB would send a card with a warning that the card would be debited if we returned. But just like BB's HORRIFIC customer service at BB Online, this didn't happen.

    So I found out when I made a bank deposit -- moments before I was heading to BB to return the movie -- that BB had DEBITED MY ACCOUNT TO THE POINT OF OVERDRAFT.

    Fine, it was your fault, you say? But get this. BB Managers LIE. They didn't charge the debit card we had used to sign up -- in which we keep a buffer of funds. They used the card that I had most recently swiped at the store!

    And when I asked the manager about it, first he lied and said it was the card we signed up with. Fat chance, the account didn't even exist then! Then he said, "Well, you GAVE US PERMISSION to change it."

    I said, "I did not!" And I never had. It is probably someone in the fineprint of the NOVEL you have to sign to be a member -- or perhaps it was in the Rewards renewal? Whatever it was, they used the LAST card I had swiped -- which was disposable money and had a small balance.

    What offends me about this company is they give you ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIT for the $thousands$ and $thousands$ of dollars you've spent with them over the years. They treat everyone off the street in the same CALLOUS manner.

    If even a COMPUTER PROGRAM had analyzed my account, they'd know I was an excellent, Grade A customer who not only rented movies, paid restocking fees, but also PURCHASED MERCHANDISE LIKE PRE-OWNED SERIES OUT OF THEIR STORE!

    I thought no experience with BB could be as bad as our experience with BB Online, but this was just as bad.

    I closed the account immediately and permenantly. I am switching to buying my preowned series from pawn shops (already started a month ago), Amazon, etc. -- and reselling or swapping them when I'm done.

    BB is way too much of a headache for a $10 savings from renting vs. buying. God.

  • Bd
      2nd of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    I mean no offense, but you have to realize, since 1987 a lot of things have changed. Especially prices. Blockbuster has a HUGE problem with making people free memberships, and then, given member, rents 5 brand new films for $25 if that much and never returns them. It is not that they are out to get you. They are no Redbox that randomly puts charges on your card, they do it strictly for security. For them. They are drowning right now, and are doing their best to save themselves from the inevitable closing of the doors. They only charge a customer well after 120 days of a given fee has not been paid, and that is after three phone calls and two mailings to let you know you will be charged. They don't WANT to use that card, but sometimes, with how untrustworthy people are now-a-days, they have to.

  • Fu
      12th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    You have to understand that the reason for that policy changes is that other customers complained to employees that were not able to rent movies because they were not returned on time or at all. this is a way to be sure that all customers can have a chance to rent the titles. when movies are not returned its hard to track to down a person to pay the fee or return the movies. granted the employee should have explained the policy to you but this is just a way to be sure that all movies are returned on time so that you as a customer can rent movies. also it is posted all around the store that you have have a valid credit card on the acct. its not a pretty policy but its the best policy they can enforce at this time.

  • Di
      1st of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    They promised Blu-Ray DVD 's but did not send them and refused any type of refund.

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