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Redbox glitches demystified

Happy Friday everyone!

One of our fellow Redbox users just posted a message in the Redbox Forum that I think everyone needs to read. So, I am posting it here for all to see.

This post deals with some of the reasons you might be charged even though you entered a valid promo code.

Thanks, carmander7, for sharing this with us.

Ok everyone, this topic seems to be of interest to everyone, and I myself have had stuff like this happen to me many times. From my experience…

Yes, authorization charges do occur sometimes, depending on your bank/credit card. However, my bank nor my credit cards have never had visible authorization charges that showed up. With that being said, that doesn’t mean they aren’t occurring, I just have never seen them.

Now, I do believe that I have encountered a couple glitches within the Redbox system that may or may /not have been fixed yet…

First, if you choose to “Rent with a Promo code” on the home page, then add the movie to your cart, see that there will be no charge, then swipe your card, and it ends up that you already used the card, you will be told that the promo code has already been redeemed and you will be taken back to your shopping cart, showing a $1 dollar charge. if you then use the “rent with a promo code” link in the shopping cart, you can choose a different code and complete the process getting your free movie. HOWEVER, you’ll notice that when the email page pops up, if you had previously entered your email address, it will no longer appear. THis is a glitch and a warning that you have actually been charged.

See, with Redbox, emails are saved indefinitely within the system based on your credit card. When they do not show up, it’s your first sign of trouble. In the previous scenario, what Redbox thinks is that you rented the movie twice. Once with the invalid promo code and once with a valid promo code (this is why you get only charged $1). I know this for a fact because I called Redbox and they thought I had rented some movie twice within 1 minute (ridiculous, ain’t it).
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Now, there’s another related glitch. You may be able to enter a promo code and have your shopping cart say $0 charge, but when you go to swipe your card and then enter your email, you’ll see that once again, your email address will not be available. Another first sign of trouble! You will be charged for this rental.

What really sucks is that once you get to the email page, there’s no way to go back in the process. Your card has been effectively charged and your stuck to make a call to Customer Service for them to give you a refund or another promo code (you have the option for both, just ask).

Now what also is kinda sucky is that the CSRs have no way of documenting bugs found by users (I work for a simliar company where CSRs can raise issues that customers have run into so that they can be changed in the system).

I’ll get off my soabox now. I only wrote all this because it’s happened to me 5, yes 5 times now, and I thought someone else should feel my pain =).
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Regardless though, i LOVE REDBOX. I really do. It’s a great way to get the newest movies for free.

And maybe somebody at Redbox will stumble over this post and find a way to fix the bug?

14 Responses to “Redbox glitches demystified”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Liz [visitor]

    Wow! Thanks for the info! That sucks that I’ve been charged! arghh..
    so, what is the best way to do things then?

  2. Member [Join Now]
    Vike [vike]

    Thanks for the info! Thanks for taking the time to explain. I could have sworn I returned a few movies on time and still got charged for them. Now I know why.

    Liz, just call the 800 # from the email reciept or from any Redbox location. They will give you a one-time use code or refund your $$. Their customer service is very easy to work with.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    CS Rep [visitor]

    This info is incorrect in so many ways. There ARE ways of documenting issues (we do on every call) and if a promo code is entered correctly it is never charged. A lot of customers confuse the authorization charges as an actual charge. One more thing, authorizations are on ALL transactions otherwise you would not be able to rent. You first have to be approved. Hope this helps clear up some thoughts. All you have to do is call Customer Service.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Sherralynn [visitor]

    I too have been charged when I thought I had successfully used a promo code. I am not confusing this with an authorization charge – the money was debited from my account; however, it seems silly to call in and try to get credit for $1.00 when the movie was worth it. It just took away the thrill of getting something free once in awhile. I even lost my interest in renting redbox for awhile. I guess I better just keep better track of which codes were used on which card. And ya know, if I occaisonally get charged a buck for a movie – no big deal! What would be really nice is if redbox would have vending machines with movie-type treats so that I don’t have to make two stops!

  5. Member [Join Now]
    Bigmacs [bigmacs]

    First, I think renting a new release for a buck is pretty darn good, so when I think I’m not charged but I am, I don’t really worry about it. (It isn’t worth the phone call to get it removed.)
    Second we got a redbox at Smiths this week in Park City. I thought the “smiths2006” would surely work but it did not!!! freedvd worked though. This was last night, June1st.
    What a great service..and when it’s free, even more great.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Pat [visitor]

    Why is it that people think Red Box videos should be free all the time? Exactly how do you think companies make money. It blows me away the entiltlement mentality in this country. Hey folks, just wait until you’re running a business and your customers want your product for free. Give me a break.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jon [visitor]

    Pat I don’t know why you are are trying to make it sound like these companies are losing money or something off of these few free rentals. These huge companies have plenty of money: redbox is owned by Mcdonalds, it is not some Mom and Pop company! In addition, redbox is not going to give you any breaks the second you are late returning a movie; and it is inevitable at some point you will be late returning a movie and will have to pay. Or if you lose a movie or something your paying them $25. It is just like a credit card companies reward cards you get a bit of cash back just for using the card, but when you are late you pay. So, I think that it is not too much to expect that we at least get our free product when the company has obviously made codes, because they know they will get people that mess up and lose a DVD or decide to keep it for an extra couple of nights and will still make plenty of money.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Sherr [visitor]


    Do you realize that Redbox gives out these codes? They WANT us to take home more movies – thats why they offer them free. Also, every person that mentioned getting charged said that they didn’t mind paying. Redbox is brilliant for offering the free movies. Do you think they are making any money on the buck that you pay? No, the money comes from returning the movie late or not at all, which a great majority do. The more DVDs they get you to take, the more potential for making money. Entitlement is asking and expecting free when it is not offered. Go ahead and keep paying though if it makes you feel good.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Justin [visitor]

    I have noticed that I will be charged even after using a seemingly valid code, but then be credited back (without a complaint call) the $1.00 on the following statement. I wondered if they made errors frequently and just caught them later or if it was a function of the authorization fee.

    In any event I don’t stress about it because it is still worth a dollar. What I really want is my money back for all the times my wife goes and forgets to check insideredbox first for a code.

    While I am here, Redbox makes plenty of money off of late returns AND Mcdonalds makes more money off of customers having to drive there two days in a row and spending money. “I’m here I might as well get a treat.”

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    Nicki [visitor]

    Ok I TRIED using a few different codes and, none worked so I just left So I need to know WHY it says I have a $1.07 charge when I never swiped OR rented that day. I see some of you have called customer service can anyone provide me with that number? I NEED to call them.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    honollluhelga123 [visitor]

    Thanks a lot this really helped me out. now i know what to look for

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    slcgurl [visitor]

    Hey Guys
    hey do any of you know any codes for cache valley utah??
    i could really usesome.
    oh and the people who put the codes in use their names so experiment use diffrent peoples names they work

  13. Member [Join Now]
    RyanLaw [ryanlaw]


    The codes for market Salt Lake should work there, and so should all the general ones – such as FreeDVD, DVDonme, etc.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jill [visitor]

    I just wondered if anyone is having a similar issue — I used to love the convenience of Redbox, but now I’m going to close my account. I’m not keen on people playing in my bank account.

    I rented 3 movies, returned them on time and was billed accordingly.

    FOUR days after the charges had cleared my account, they showed up again (with the same rental date). I emailed to complain and they ‘disappeared’. I got an email from Redbox telling me basically that I must have been mistaken/crazy. I didn’t appreciate the tone of the email.

    Again, it’s too bad, because I liked Redbox until I viewd my bank statement. Had I not complained, would those charges have been double invoiced? It’s only $3 but it’s more a matter of principle when you allow people into your bank account – you hope for honesty/accuracy.