No. of Recommendations: 14

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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