<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5529474\x26blogName\x3dDimmy+Karras\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d2234159095245132931', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Saturday, February 12, 2005

"No Late Fees" Mystery Solved

I had been wondering how Blockbuster's new "no late fees" policy could have made any sense. If there are no late fees, I asked myself, how do they expect to get people to return anything? Maybe they could harass you, not let you rent anything else while you had things out that were past due, I thought. Here's what they really do:

Though consumers now have an extended grace period to return films and games without extra fees at Blockbuster stores, they ultimately are charged the full retail price of the title (minus the initial rental fee) if they keep it for more than a month. The program, which launched Jan. 1, is now in effect at Blockbuster's more than 4,500 stores in the United States.

According to the Los Angeles Times, several state attorneys general are investigating the company's ad campaign. ...

New releases can be rented for two days, catalog titles for seven. Games can be rented for seven days. If a customer keeps a title seven days beyond those deadlines, Shepherd says, they get reminder calls from the store. A card is then sent in the mail notifying them that the title is due back and that the customer will be charged the full price if they do not return it within 30 days.

So much for my plan to rent things from Blockbuster and never return them!

I actually know of an academic who studies the video rental industry whose head must be exploding with all of these recent developments.