Blockbuster Video, which loudly proclaimed “The End of Late Fees” a few years back, has quietly reneged on that declaration and begun to reinstate late fees on in-store rentals. This is a departure from the company’s previous policy, which gave renters a 10-day grace period to return borrowed titles, after which a $10 fee was assessed.
According to Home Media Magazine, Blockbuster’s “new-release movie rental period for $4.99 titles has been reduced to five days from seven days, with a $1 per day late fee assessed for up to 10 days thereafter. The $1 daily fee also applies to one-day standard DVD, Blu-ray Disc and previously viewed rentals”.
Cash-strapped Blockbuster is casting about for any revenue stream that it can find these days, and re-introducing late fees (once a big revenue stream for BB) is seen by analysts as an appropriately drastic move by the company. Edward Woo, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities said the following about the new/old policy:
“At $1 per day, it’s very fair and comparable to what Redbox charges per rental,”
Michael Pachter, also from Wedbush Morgan, agreed with his colleague:
“Their [previous] pricing made no sense, and every little bit helps,”
When/if Blockbuster recovers from its current financial woes, will company executives be raising a glass to late fees? How will already soured BB customers respond to this new policy? Tell us what you think in the comments.
(via Home Media Magazine)