No More Late Fees

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

Got a DVD from Blockbuster you've been meaning to return? If so, you may want to read this.

The struggling movie rental company is making some changes that affect its procrastinators.

Blockbuster, the world's largest video rental company says it would eliminate late fees on its products starting Jan. 1, 2005, in an attempt to jump start a rental business being hammered by competition.

Blockbuster's competition ranges from online rental services like Netflix to discount retail stores like Wal-Mart.

Blockbuster's new plan still has due dates for their movies and games.
The due dates will be one week for games, and two days or one week for movies, depending on whether it's a new release. Customers will be given a one-week grace period after that to return the product, or face an automatic purchase, less the rental fee.

If the customers don't want to purchase the movie or game, they can return the product within 30 days for a credit, less the restocking fee.

In August, Blockbuster started offering customers the opportunity keep movies as long as they want in return for a monthly fee, which is the same rental service as Netflix.

A spokesperson with Blockbuster says that service will continue in addition to the new no late fee rental policy. In response to Blockbuster, a spokesperson for Netflix says, Netflix has a higher number of members, and bring in substantial amount of money each year.

They expect Netflix to bring in huge profits for 2004, and see Blockbuster's plan as having no significant impact on its service.

So when it comes down to business, it's all about the money.

It's estimated that Blockbuster would have seen $250 million to $300 million in revenue for late fees in 2005.

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