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Author: bthomas15 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308686  
Subject: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 11:58 AM
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My credit card was recently charged for a DVD from Blockbuster that we had never rented. The charge was $9.14 - 8.50 plus tax. So we called and told them that we never had that DVD, and they either took my word for it or found the missing DVD. And a few weeks later there was a credit from them on the card for $7.89.

When I look at the fine print on the post card they sent me, it seems that I am being charged a $1.25 restocking fee.

A restocking fee for a DVD that I never had (and apparently they agree with me on that)!! What a racket!! Why should I have to pay a restocking fee in this case? They could do this to anybody at any time and make a $1.25 profit each time.

I know it's silly, but this fee has me very angry at them.
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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232393 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 12:01 PM
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A restocking fee for a DVD that I never had (and apparently they agree with me on that)!! What a racket!! Why should I have to pay a restocking fee in this case? They could do this to anybody at any time and make a $1.25 profit each time.


I'd call them again, and demand that the fee be credited to your account.

If that fails, I would put the $1.25 into dispute with my credit card. Clearly, they agree the charge isn't yours, so why would something associated with that charge be yours? It's a small amount, but it's the principle of the thing.

I wouldn't pay it.

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Author: TheDrake2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232394 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 12:02 PM
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It's why I love Netflix.

The Drake

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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232395 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 12:03 PM
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It's why I love Netflix.

Only if you have enough free time to watch enough DVDs in a month to make the subscription worthwhile.

Fuskie
Whose own answer is no...

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Author: jeffbrig Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232396 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 12:03 PM
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A few years ago, I had a late fee charged to my credit card from a Blockbuster store that I had never set foot in (though it was nearby). When I called the store, the manager looked in the computer and confirmed that I had never rented a video there. He apologized profusely, but said refunding would take some time, and had to go through corporate. We bargained and got a handful of free rentals. Works for me, I think we actually came out ahead.

My advice would be to take the issue up with the store manager, see if he'll give you a free rental or two to make up for the inconvenience. Of course, that's assuming that you do rent movies periodically, and this would have some value to you.

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Author: bthomas15 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232397 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 12:05 PM
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I would put the $1.25 into dispute with my credit card

I have disputed it and I do expect that it will come out in my favor. I'm just ranting because I feel like it...

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Author: foolazis Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232407 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 1:05 PM
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A restocking fee for a DVD that I never had (and apparently they agree with me on that)!! What a racket!! Why should I have to pay a restocking fee in this case? They could do this to anybody at any time and make a $1.25 profit each time.

I know it's silly, but this fee has me very angry at them.


I had a similar experience with Blockbuster 10 years ago, and will never enter their doors again.

foolazis

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Author: mbarr Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232426 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 2:31 PM
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It's why I love Netflix.

You love Netflix because Blockbuster wrongly charged someone $1.25 that they don't really owe?

My dog was run over in front of McDonald's. That's why I love Burger King.

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Author: bthomas15 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232428 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 2:50 PM
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I love Netflix, too.

DD is the one who uses Blockbuster, not me. (And she swears that the never rented the DVD in question).

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Author: joelcorley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232430 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 3:01 PM
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bthomas15,

You wrote, My credit card was recently charged for a DVD from Blockbuster that we had never rented. The charge was $9.14 - 8.50 plus tax. So we called and told them that we never had that DVD, and they either took my word for it or found the missing DVD. And a few weeks later there was a credit from them on the card for $7.89.

When I look at the fine print on the post card they sent me, it seems that I am being charged a $1.25 restocking fee.

A restocking fee for a DVD that I never had (and apparently they agree with me on that)!! What a racket!! Why should I have to pay a restocking fee in this case? They could do this to anybody at any time and make a $1.25 profit each time.

I know it's silly, but this fee has me very angry at them.


You've misinterpreted their response entirely. Apparently they've put your CC information on someone else's file. When that person was late returning the rental, they charged your card.

They charge you for the value of the DVD if you don't return a DVD within 7 days of the due date on a rental. If you subsequently return the DVD, they credit your account for the value of the DVD less a $1.25 restocking fee. This is standard policy with Blockbuster now and has been since at least the beginning 2005.

My simple interpretation of you story:

Someone (let's call him Ted) rented a movie. He forgot to return it. Blockbuster charged the credit card number on Ted's computer record the value of the DVD. (At least it was a cheap one!) You called and complained. They ignored you out of apathy ... or maybe they even started an investigation. Ted found the DVD weeks later in a pile of crap on his entertainment center and returned it. The investigation, if there ever was one, was subsequently dropped when the DVD was returned because they figured you (Ted's alter ego) returned it. Blockbuster followed normal procedures for crediting the card they had on file for a late return.

The real problem here is that Blockbuster has stored your CC information on someone else's file and you can't get it removed. They probably have no way to look up records by credit card number, figuring out who Ted might be impossible for a normal CSR. Besides, Blockbuster does really care because they got paid and it was only $1.25, so what do you really care, eh?

So what's the solution?

You first call the CC company and tell them what's happened and ask them to cancel your card. Then write the CC company a letter disputing the charge. The amount is only $1.25, so don't bother sending it return receipt since you're already blowing the cost of a stamp.

Once your charge is disputed, Blockbuster will have to provide proof, which means they have to pull the account application. If they've actually filed your application in Ted's file, they may be able to justify the dispute; but since it's only $1.25, I'm not sure I'd take it any further. Once the account is cancelled, they won't be able to charge you for Ted's mistakes any more.

- Joel

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Author: bthomas15 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232438 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/20/2006 4:44 PM
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The real problem here is that Blockbuster has stored your CC information on someone else's file and you can't get it removed. They probably have no way to look up records by credit card number, figuring out who Ted might be impossible for a normal CSR

I never thought of this.

But...could it be the other way around? That the DVD in question was incorrectly entered into my account? (Instead of my cc info being put into someone else's file).

They charge you for the value of the DVD if you don't return a DVD within 7 days of the due date on a rental. If you subsequently return the DVD, they credit your account for the value of the DVD less a $1.25 restocking fee. This is standard policy with Blockbuster now and has been since at least the beginning 2005.

Yeah, I'm well aware of their policy. I'm not disputing their policy. If I return a DVD late, I would expect to pay a restocking fee.

At this point, it would be a major, major hassle for me to cancel this credit card. And if, as you say, they can't obtain records by credit card number, why should I be worried? If it happens again, I'll just dispute it again.




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Author: joelcorley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232449 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/21/2006 12:06 AM
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bthomas15,

You wrote, But...could it be the other way around? That the DVD in question was incorrectly entered into my account? (Instead of my cc info being put into someone else's file).

Yes, its possible. A mistake would be almost impossible if they only required your membership card when you checked out a DVD; but Blockbuster will usually look up your account based solely on information like your name and phone number - information that another person that knows you might also know.

But unless you can get Blockbuster to track down the source of the mistake and own up to it, how will you ever know that the scenario I've suggested isn't the one that happened? I've been told that you should never suspect fraud when incompetence more readily explains the mistake. Unless you can be sure that your account hasn't been compromised in this way, I think you have to assume you must have the credit card company issue you a new card and account number.

- Joel

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Author: bthomas15 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232454 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/21/2006 7:24 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts, Joel.

I've been told that you should never suspect fraud when incompetence more readily explains the mistake

I would be willing to bet on incompetence. I guess it wouldn't do any good to close my Blockbuster account...

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Author: TheDrake2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 232456 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/21/2006 8:44 AM
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You love Netflix because Blockbuster wrongly charged someone $1.25 that they don't really owe?

Yep, and because of the type of treatment that I got while a member, too.

Example: I was in a hurry, and dropped my movie in the slot at 11:30, due back at noon, and they recorded it as late, because the employee never bothered to grab the last few out of the bin and scan them in before noon. That kind of crap drives me up the wall.

The Drake

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Author: AnimalSpirits Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 233117 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/27/2006 1:04 PM
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I had similar experiences with Blockbuster, although they never charged my card. They did claim I had a 3-month late return fee. As I had returned the movie three months ago and knew for certain that I had not returned a movie recently I contested it. The store manager told me in no uncertain terms that he could only work with what the computer told him and the computer told him it had been out for 3 months and had just recently been returned. I asked him why over that three month period they had never previously asked for it to be returned or charged me a late fee and he told me that it had just recently shown up on the computers. The manager was quite insistent that I pay so I left and never gave them my business again (there were several other rental places in the neighborhood).

I am not sure why Blockbuster seems to be so set on their computer reports. It is clearly chasing away customers who used their services regularly.

-Animal Spirits

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Author: foolazis Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 233121 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/27/2006 1:27 PM
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I am not sure why Blockbuster seems to be so set on their computer reports. It is clearly chasing away customers who used their services regularly.

The last movies we ever returned to Blockbuster (after they tried to charge us for a missing movie we returned) I insisted that they check the movies in in my presence and issue me a receipt that I had returned the movies. I've never been back since.

foolazis


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Author: dougdoogle Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 233151 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/27/2006 10:39 PM
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Twice, Blockbuster called to tell me a movie was late, one that wasn't late. After exasperating, a friend suggested I go to the store, find the copy I rented on the shelves and show it to them. The third time, I persuaded the clerk to do it over the phone. Good customer service.

I started using Netflix. Two movies a month suits my style.

Doug

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Author: twopairfullhouse Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 233183 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/28/2006 2:00 PM
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Well, if McDonald's had a long history of customer abuse, as does BlockBuster, I suppose it might make BK burgers taste a bit better by comparison.

I used to be one of Blockbuster's many abused customers, and now I am a very satisfied Netflix customer. I'll never go to a Blockbuster again. If their service cost 10 dollars a month for 5 movies at a time, I wouldn't do it, because Blockbuster, in my opinion and experience, simply cannot be trusted to run their (very simple) business honestly. The price of Netflix is less than my honesty-hassle-factor. I don't want to spend my time checking every single charge to see if they are cheating me. Life's too fricking short for that.

Dean



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Author: twopairfullhouse Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 233185 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/28/2006 2:11 PM
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mbarr,

I replied to your post before seeing this from joelcorley: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24369188

Now, this is very good advice from Joel, but is doing business with a company that can hose you up so bad that you have to cancel your credit card account really something that most of us want to be doing? If you had ever been on the wrong side of one of the millions of Blockbuster snafus (which, not coincidentally, always seemed to be in Blockbuster's favor), you would understand on a visceral level why people express love for Netflix when they hear the latest tale of woe from a Blockbuster customer.

Those 'BK burgers' are tasting better all the time.

Dean

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Author: bthomas15 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 233209 of 308686
Subject: Re: Blockbuster Date: 7/28/2006 5:14 PM
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Wow. I had no idea that problems with Blockbuster are so widespread! I am a very infrequent customer because I mainly use Netflix.

My Blockbuster doesn't have 'The West Wing', which I am currently watching. I was very surprised at that... My Blockbuster also has very high prices compared to some of the others in the area.

I doubt I'll be using them much anymore...

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