Some Blockbusters Stick The Late Fees Back In

From The AP:

Blockbuster Inc. stores in several states are quietly resuming late fees for customers who keep movies too long, rejecting the video-rental chain’s national advertising of “No Late Fees!” because they can no longer keep popular movies on their shelves.


Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc., said the decision to cancel the “no late fees” policy is made by independent franchises. About 4,600 company-owned Blockbuster locations will continue the program, he said.
Tom Barzizza, vice president of Flicks Management Inc., which owns 30 Blockbuster franchises in the mid-South, said it stapled notices to receipts for 30 days prior to the late fees’ return. Some customers said they did not receive the notice.
Barzizza said it was important to reimpose the fees.
“It’s a mechanism by which we can get customers to bring the movies back,” he said. “Our business is all about availabililty. If somebody keeps a new release that’s in high demand out for two weeks, that means it’s not there for someone else to rent.”

Blockbuster is obviously having trouble keeping up with Netflix, on-demand video services and all sorts of other competitors. Considering the big ad push they made when they introduced this program, are they damaging their brand?



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.