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As I was approving comments this morning, I read one from fellow Redbox user Heather that I thought would be good for discussion.

Here is her comment:

Hey Everyone,

Would it be too much to ask that you stop letting your children handle the DVDs you rent from redbox? Every single children’s DVD I rent is scratched to bits. I rented one tonight that was completely broken in half. Most of them look like they’ve been cleaned with steel wool. Any adult movie I rent is fine, but I swear parents must toss the kiddy DVDs back in the car seat for the kids to play with, as if it were a toy out of the happy meal.

I think she has a good point, as I have rented a few DVDs that were scratched up, too. I haven’t had one that wouldn’t play after cleaning yet, but I know it happens.
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What has been your experiences with the DVDs? Have you received any DVDs that were unwatchable?

Do you try and handle the DVDs you rent with care?
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Or… Do you give them to your dog to chew on before returning them? :)

Enquiring Redbox’er Heather wants to know… and so do I.

34 Responses to “Redbox DVD quality – Are your DVDs scratched up?”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Vi [visitor]

    I have had one DVD that was unplayable. It was very scratched and I was suprised I couldn’t clean it and have it work. It was not a kids movie, though.
    Most of the DVD’s I’ve rented have been just fine.
    But I did have a bad experience at one of the machines last week. I was renting and the machine just froze up on the DVD eject sequence. There was nothing any one could do about it. I called to report the problem and was pleased that I had not been charged for the rental. There was one time I did have a problem with being charged 25$ for not returning a movie when I have never been late returning a movie in my “Redbox lifetime.” But luckily I discovered and cleared up the problem on the phone and the charge was taken off my card. So be sure to watch your account statements.
    Even though I have had these few problems, I have been very pleased with the new machines and only wish the line wasn’t so long when I go to rent. It would be so cool if they could build a machine that could accept returns on one side and let people rent on the other!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Denise [visitor]

      I’ve noticed that some of the DVD’s look scratched, but with only one exception have I had problems viewing them. The one time when a DVD was unreadable due to what looked like either a deep scratch or possible crack, I called Redbox’s 800 number and reported the problem. The lady I spoke to was pleasant, asked for the code number on the barcode, identified by title the movie I’d rented and gave me 2 promo codes to make up for the problem. I was happy with the resolution even though I’d still be charged $1 for having the movie overnight (this was before I knew about the promo codes).

      I’ve rented well over 100 movies since learning about the promo codes earlier this year. Not once have I been charged for something I returned the next day. I don’t know what kind of card other people are using which seem to have a hold placed on it which is being mistaken by some as a wrongful charge. I’ve never had any such hold placed on any of the six cards I use to rent movies. The only thing I’ve noticed is that at even though I’ve given Redbox my e-mail address at the kiosk, I’ve never received any e-mails from them for promotions or receipts (and it’s not in my spam box). Eventually, my e-mail address no longer pops up on the screen after I swipe my card. I don’t know why I’ve never received e-mails from them, but it’s not something that’s that important to me.

      I will definately continue renting from Redbox.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      MR [visitor]

      It’s ridiculous!!! I rented Kung Fu Panda 2 days after it’s release and of course I forgot to check it out before putting it in the player. It skipped quite a few times. I took it out and sure enough not only did it have finger prints all over it but food too. What the … ??? I mean how pathetic is that. People, these are not chew toys!!!!

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Daniel [visitor]

    If redbox had any kind of clue, they could be just a tad more innovative in 2 ways: 1) make an option available on their website to inventory what dvd’s are in which redbox rental machines, and create a real-time availability schedule so that a movie can be found at which particular location…. AND NUMBER 2) track the time that a dvd is out of the rental machine. If I GET A SCRATCHED DVD, I put it right back in the rental machine. THE PURPOSE IS SO THAT I CAN ESTABLISH THAT I WAS UNABLE TO WATCH THE MOVIE! It will baffle me to no end if these idiots could figure that out and be a little bit more intuitive. They could simply credit a customer’s account with a free movie. Anyhow, best of luck renters!

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    LORI [visitor]

    I too have rented several movies that were so scratched up. Of course RedBox is great about giving you a code when you call in. But, why don’t people treat them like their own? Wait, they probably do. They probably don’t care about their own either. Everytime I rent a thriller, they are scratched deeply, making them unwatchable just when you get to a important part. Very frustrating to say the least.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ryan Gardner [visitor]

    What kind of RedBox is she renting from? I’ve never seen any “Adult Movies” in the RedBoxes that I go to… A RedBox in the RedLight District?

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Heather [visitor]

    Haha :P I would be renting from Utah, seeing as I didn’t even consider that someone might think I was renting porn. By adult movies, I mean movies that are not rented to show your children. Being a BYU man, you should be ashamed of making this poor girl blush.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Lucie [visitor]

    I’m delighted to hear one can call & report a scratched DVD. We have found about a 1/3rd we rent have some sort of scratch on it here in Minneapolis. Thanks for the site.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Fayeta [visitor]

    I got one DVD that was badly scratched though it was still playable and stopped playing couple times. I could not complained since I rented it using promo code.

    By the way, has anyone ever rented any movies with promo codes and still got their cards charged? I experienced it three times. First time, I called Red Box but they refused to return my money back. Instead, they gave me one-time promo code. Then I just called the card company when these things happened again.

    Mike, thanks for this website.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Colin Jensen [visitor]

    I’ve rarely met a movie that cleaning with something waxy (palmolive or handsoap or whatever) couldn’t fill in the scratches and fix. I have to wash half the redbox movies I get with handsoap, but they work just fine after that.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Katie [visitor]

    My boyfriend and I have gotten several scratched DVDs that were unplayable. Let me tell you I was and still am very mad! I thought about reporting it but I don’t have any proof that we didn’t do something. I mean I don’t want to be accused of doing it even though I didn’t. Yes we have gotten charged even though the movies were rented with promo codes. That makes us mad too. My boyfriend had over $130 in his bank account and now it’s gone. So we are really mad. It better not be from Redbox charges or there will be some problems.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ed Puariea [visitor]

    Pissed Off

    I rented a Movie fom the RedBox and then returned it the next day. 25 days later i get and email telling me that I have been charged $25.56 for a movie I returned the next day. I called to ask about it and they siad to bad. We will have someone check it out and then for me to call back and check on it. They also said I have a second movie that has not been returnd yet. I did return bth movies. I wish Ihad keeped them so at least I would have somthing to show for the money I paid. I will never rent from them again. Fricken theifs. I want my money back I guess they have me over a Berrel so to speak.

    Signed pissed off.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Zeik [visitor]

    First of all…

    Everyone on here who is complaining about scratched DVD’s or claiming that they were charged even though they used a promotional code, or even was charged $25 and when you called they said oh well… You’re dumb. Honestly…

    When you use a promotional code to rent you have to make sure you hit the rent with promo code button before you do anything else. Once you enter you code the machine will tell you if it is a good one or not. If it is a good code and usable then you will not be charged. When they say you won’t be charged I’m not saying you won’t see any authorization. An authorization is a hold on a certain dollar amount of the account holder’s funds that THIER OWN BANK puts on it. The money never actually leaves there account while it’s being authorized or transactions are pending. If Redbox tries to collect money then this is when it becomes a CHARGE and when we can actually refund you anything. The authorizations take 3 – 7 BUISNESS days to fall off. So don’t email them or call them up demanding a refund claiming you were charged… because no, you were not!


    About the scratched DVD thing and not reporting them. Are you dumb? Customer service is there for a reason. They do not blame people for scratching DVDs. They understand that this sort of thing happens. And it is NOT their fault for this. Some people actually think that there’s a way they can prevent this. Sure… If they could put a little person in the machine who’s only job was to run the DVD through a disc doctor every time they came in scratched. But of course unless you want to spend more money on rentals so they can afford better equipment and technology to help then SHUT UP! ALWAYS REPORT SCRATCHED DVD’S BECAUSE THEY MARK THEM FOR REMOVAL FROM THE MACHINE AND NO ONE ELSE HAS TO GO THROUGH THIS PROBLEM. Do you know if you don’t report the problem the DVD will be rented out to someone else and they will have the same problem and now Redbox has 2 pissed off customer all because someone was too stupid to report it in the first place.

    And lastly…

    If you are charged $25 then it was most likely your fault. I admit a lot of times the machine doesn’t read something or for some reason something went wrong and now you’re charged. But honestly what about the customers who call in telling us that they misplaced it and now found it well over 25 days and want a full refund. Why should Redbox be responsible for your stupidity? And Redbox does look over your account and sees if you’re lying. Oh and one more thing, DO NOT CALL IN AND ASSUME THEY HAVE ALL YOUR IMFORMATION UP AND HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU BECAUSE THEIR SYSTEMS ARE NOT VOICE ACTIVATED. NOR SHOULD YOU CALL WITH AN ATTITUDE BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT DONE ANYTHING TO YOU. THEY ARE THERE TO HELP YOU NOT TO HAVE YOUR FRUSTRATIONS TAKEN OUT ON.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    angelo [visitor]

    I rented two dvds and I returned them on time, and I most of the time get billed twice for one of the dvds.
    this is a rip off becouse I can not complain to mobody the number on the machine always send yuou to a answer machine.
    I brought the dvds on time and they still charge me for one extra day like always, before I did not pay attention to my statement but now I see it they always charge me extra even if I return the dvds on time. MOVIE RENTERS PLEASE SEE YOUR STATEMENTS WHEN YOU RENT BECAUSE THEY CHARGE YOU EXTRA BUT SINCE IS A $1.00 WE DON’T PAY ATTENTION “PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR STATEMANTS”

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    Amie [visitor]

    I’m having real troubles with this company. And they won’t respond to my emails or phone calls. After one night rental on the road I wasn’t within an hour of a return location. They told me to mail it back (which I promptly did) and then after the 25 days I was charged the 25$ for each making 50$ for movies I sent back and dont even have…. Sigh-won’t use it again and won’t recommend it.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    oregonian [visitor]

    I’m pretty upset with redbox because I’ve been charged for $1 even though I use the promo code. I didn’t return it late, and this has been happening 5x so far. I know that I got charged from the email receipts that were sent to me.
    Some of them were successful and I didn’t get any charge on my cards. Does anybody have the same experience???

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Janet [visitor]

    I’m so ticked off at Redbox right now I could scream. I didn’t know so many people had problems with Redbox. I was a frequent user of this box, but after today I will never ever be back. I rented on-line and within 2 seconds and emergency hit us and I contacted them immediately and asked if they could take the movies off my account so people could rent them and I wouldn’t have to pay for them. They refuse! I reminded them that I rent lots of movies every single day and I would at least like a free code to use later even if they didn’t take the charge off and AGAIN they refuse! These people suck! I will never recommend or use them again. I will make it my mission in life to make sure nobody around me pays another dime to these idiot thieves! I hope they get shut down personally! The movies are so filthy you have to clean them before you can even watch them. They double charge a lot of times and don’t give a damn when you call. What a scam!

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dale [visitor]

    The movies are a little dirty sometimes try cleaning them a little twice I have had movies not play but I called the number and got a rentle code a lot better price than blockbuster or others and the results are the same.

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    Geri [visitor]

    We use Redbox often and love it! We have only had one problem, which customer service corrected. Some loser had pulled off the label and stuck it on a different dvd so we got some crappy cartoon instead of the movie we had rented. We had not found this out until we had popped popcorn, made smoothies, were cozy in bed and went to put the movie in. So, instead of watching a movie we had to call customer service who credited us the $1.00 for the movie and 1 more promo code. We still use Redbox just check the dvd after it despenses!

  18. Member [Join Now]
    malcolm mitchell [malcolm-mitchell]

    junk on dvd,tried alcohol nothing worked had to put in redbox, did not feel good about it. is there a way to return movie.

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    kaylaJ [visitor]

    I recently found my local redbox and did a redbox movie marathon. I was so suprised they were offering these movies so cheap.UNTIL I started to notice a pattern of that half the movies i brought home were unreadable. i’ve cleaned them,they aren’t scratched(they look brand new),i’ve tried them in two different machines (DVD player and PS2)and both say they can’t read them. It’s getting really annoying.

  20. Visitor [Join Now]
    Myron [visitor]

    I have rented movies on there first day of release, and found some to be scratched, maybe Redbox is getting a deal on the less than perfect dvds.

  21. Visitor [Join Now]
    Danette Worthen [visitor]

    Redbox just today charged my card $65.00. I called them to see what for and they told me it was for movies that I rented in June that were taken back. I personally took them back. The lady Kanishia said well our system is never wrong. I am so angry I have no clue how to get my money back. I will never rent from them again. I had a friend tell me about a horror story of her renting from them and I didn’t listen to her now I feel stupid which makes me angry.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Daniel [visitor]

      i’m curious as to how you managed a 65 dollar total, because it would be 25 a piece plus tax for movies not returned and there is no way that 25 plus tax goes into 65 dollars. the way I watch to make sure this doesnot happen is to have rental reciepts sent to my email for everything I rent so I make sure it shows up right.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Danette [visitor]

        You tell me they claim that on June 27th that I rented 3 movies which I know that I did rent the 3 movies but the exact dates I am unsure of. I remember watching them and then returning them 2 days after but according to them I never returned them so they charged me from the 27th to today why they chose today I have no clue, but I look at my checking account daily and this is what I found this morning.
        The Lady said that unless I could prove that I returned them there is nothing they could do. Well I haven’t a clue how to prove that.

        I guess it is a hard lesson learned and one I will never make again. I have never had this happen before but I can’t afford for it to happen again so I will rent from somewhere else next time. This has ruined renting from a machine for me.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          Daniel [visitor]

          like I said before do you get reciepts emailed to you? If you do that would prove you returned them because at the moment you return a movie you are emailed a return confirmation email, this is also a way of making sure your movies registered as returned because if you did return them and when you got home did not recieve the confirmation you could call them right away before the 25 day period has passed and you get charged for not returning them, also did you follow proper procedure when returning them, meaning, did you push “return a dvd” then insert 1 movie wait for confirmation of return, then wait for main menu and go through the process again, you cannot just jam all the movies in at one time.

        • Member [Join Now]

          I have been using Redbox for over a year now and Yes I put them in 1 at a time. I have never requested a receipt for any of the hundreds of movies I have rented there.
          It won’t happen again! Bad customer service will get you no where and the Kanisha, or Lanisah chic was very rude I in no way called her upset I was very polite expecting her to work out a solution with me. She was very cocky and she even admitted they have had this happen before,but without proof they wouldn’t do anything. Like I said before hard lesson Learned.

  22. Visitor [Join Now]
    Wendy [visitor]

    I have never had any problems with Redbox that could not be solved quickly and amicably. I’ve had a dirty disc or two that required an alcohol cleansing. I’ve had a scratched disc that I called in and reported and received an extra promo code for (and yes, it had been gotten for free with a promo code). I’ve had problems with a Redbox screen not working which I reported and was given a free code for. I’ve been standing in line for 15 minutes trying to return a movie, it goes past 9PM and call Redbox while still waiting and they have flagged the rental so I don’t get charged. The employees have always been pleasant. Occasionally I have to wait on hold, the same as I have to when I call the bank or the cable company, but never anything excessive. I keep an eye on my email to be sure that I get a return notice and charge receipt for every DVD and if I didn’t get one, I would call right away (not 25 days down the road when I got charged) to try and correct the problem. I think if I reported it early and they still weren’t able to find it, I might have more of a leg to stand on to claim that I shouldn’t be charged the full $25. Guess what – I went to Taco Bell last week and they mistakenly charged me $71 instead of $17! The manager was happy to correct it. There are mistakes made everywhere and if we report them promptly and politely, then usually they can be resolved.

  23. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mimi [visitor]

    Redbox works really well, unless it doesn’t. If there’s a problem, it’s a major inconvenience to resolve it. They have their money so it isn’t in their interest to help you out. Redbox customer service is awful. Hold times on the phone are extremely long and I just waited 5 days for an email response.
    I’ve rented a lot from Redbox and I’ve only had two problems but neither were resolved to my satisfaction. I had a damaged (totally unwatchable) DVD. I had it for 3 days before I put it my player. Customer service acted like this was unheard of and offered a promo code good for 1 free day. Just recently I kept a video for 2 days. Unfortunately, I didn’t immediately check for a return receipt (I got a little busy what with the holidays and all). I did eventually gat a return receipt for 11 days of rental. I can’t figure out what happened. There’s no way I returned it when they claim. I was at work on the date and time of return. Redbox said our machines are never wrong and emailed me three promo codes. I called and they said the most they can do is credit me $5. So, I think I’m done with Redbox. Most of the selection is straight to video schlock anyway. Netflix or Blockbuster, any recommendations?

  24. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dan [visitor]

    My kids love to slide on them. They think the characters are actually living in the disk.

    It’s more entertaining for them and for me than some of these movies Universal has come out with lately.

    Isn’t that why I rent them in the first place? Entertainment?

    What I do with the DVD after I rent it is my business.

    • Member [Join Now]
      MyBlueNovember [mybluenovember]

      I hope that’s a joke, if not that is pretty rude. It is everyones business when you rent. Your poor parenting skills is what will cause an inevitable raise in price because of all the discs they have to throw out due to excessive damage. I am tired of having to clean alot of dvds everytime I rent as well as sit through player disc pauses and jumps over heavily scratched areas. If you want to buy a movie, then it is your business, when you are renting someones property you are expected to take care of it and return it in the same condition. Maybe everyone should call when the disc looks bad and hopefully they will be tracking how many times the last person who rented it brought back a scratched up dvd and charge them.

  25. Visitor [Join Now]
    Frank [visitor]

    Hi I have a problem with Redbox movies being scratched on the Release date of when they come out. It all started on 2/24/09. I rented 2 movies from the redbox in my area. They were both all scratched up and would not play. I called redbox and they sent somebody out to look into the situation. The results were that my account was suspended. The reason they told is because I called to tell them what was wrong. The supervisior that did this to my account was named Giovani. After I spoked to another supervisior they told me that this was the reason and my account can not be reinstated. Please let me know if this has happened to anybody else. I feel that they need a better system with the way that they load the movies in the cases. This is bullshit.

    • Member [Join Now]
      Car [car]

      Nice try blockbuster or netflix guy.

      You told them what was wrong and so they cut you off? That’s silly.

      They could only block your credit card number, there’s no “account” with Redbox that you can’t simply change including your CC number.


  26. Member [Join Now]

    Hmmmmm. I just rented 2 DVD’s from my local Redbox machine, one of them works great and took a little tweaking, but got it working. The second was not as fortunate, didnt want to play, and even on my computer and laptop would cause the entire system to freeze (CPU reading 100% usage on the DVD program, and even needed restarting). I also tried rubbing alcohol and carefully cleaning, but there seems like some good scratches over parts of the DVD, and on both sides since it is both wide and full screen. I just got off the phone by calling their support number, and I am actually so shocked at how quickly and painless it was! The automated answer machine took about 10 seconds to process, then a customer support rep spoke to me within another 10 seconds, and she was very friendly and professional. I explained the DVD was scratched, she asked for the 9 digit ID number, marked it as unplayable in the system, and gave me 2 free movie rentals.