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Consumer affairs blog The Consumerist has published a letter from an angry reader about Redbox’s cancellation policy (or lack thereof) for online reservations. Once made, Redbox online reservations cannot be canceled for any reason. The company claims it does this to protect itself from a “lost” rental during the reservation period.

Here is an excerpt from the letter:

“Once on the phone with the CSR [customer service rep], she stood her ground and said there is no way to cancel an online reservation, which just sounds like an awful business practice. She said that once you reserve something, it takes away future rentals for the day if someone else wanted that movie, which translates to lost revenue for Redbox. I just don’t understand, if you can reserve with the click of a button, surely you can un-reserve with maybe two clicks of a button?”

Which side of this issue do you stand on, Insiders? Is Redbox right to protect itself by refusing to refund reservations? Or should it try harder to earn customer goodwill by adopting a more lenient stance on reservation cancellations? Is this a draconian policy or just good business?

(via The Consumerist)

132 Responses to “Redbox Reservation Cancellation Policy: Where Do You Stand?”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    sfmitch [visitor]

    People will complain about anything. The rentals are $1 – If you don’t want it, don’t reserve it.

    I’m 100% with Redbox.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      redboxfaxfan2009 [visitor]

      I agree, if you do not want it then do not reserve it. The problem is the idiots that would reserve and cancel all day long with no intentions of ever picking up the movie. The policy is very clear and the world has far to many whiners….thee is a reason that the service is a dollar. keep up the crying and it wont be. I am amazed at what some people expect for 1.00

    • Member [Join Now]
      Specialk_gracie2 [specialk_gracie2]

      Well in Calfornia red box $1.25 is and $1.35 per rental, no idea and no answer from red box employees why..
      i think your rental should stay held for one day no BFD, but not more than that.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        anonymous [visitor]

        I’m actually a CSR at redbox, and the reason on why the charges are from 1.25 to 1.50 is because we’re currently going through price testing.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          Jared [visitor]

          Correct…. They have said they would be doing the price testing for the last year… Have to figure some areas cost more to furnish the movies.. due to gas and so on.. have to expect some price differences.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          anonymous [visitor]

          This “price testing” is a hilarious term! Basically, you want to see how many sheep there are in the area who will keep paying higher and higher prices because they aren’t smart enough to wait until you drop the prices back down again. People have been brainwashed into expecting inflation and don’t realize the power they have to actually keep prices down.

          Most Americans are not educated about the economic consequences of instant gratification!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      r2s [visitor]

      Agreed. I’d RATHER redbox leave the policy as is otherwise we’ll have people intentionally making reservations then not picking them up. potentially reserving a movie that I might want. i say if you reserve it and stop me from renting it and you don’t pick it up..pay the rental fee

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bob [visitor]

    I agree with Redbox. Only reserve something if you’re serious about it. If there’s an emergency and you can’t get your movie you’re out a dollar. When you buy a ticket to a sporting event or concert you are essentially reserving your seat. You can’t cancel that ticket. People don’t get upset about that. When you reserve a Redbox movie the system immediately removes that item from the inventory. It’s unavailable for someone else. For all practical purposes the transaction is done.

    We should be thanking them that we can reserve online and not living in those archaic Blockbuster Friday and Saturday nights where you end up renting a Matthew McConaughey movie because all the good ones are checked out.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    John Small [visitor]

    Well, I understand where Redbox is coming from on this topic but the reality is that they could easily clear the reservation if someone wanted to clear it within a reasonable amount of time.

    Frankly, they shouldn’t be calling it a “reservation” if it is really an online payment anyway. This is just like the “no late fees” nonsense.

    They really should not be stubborn on this one because it will just end up in another class action lawsuit that will cost them more in legal fees than just making the switch.

    Not saying the lawsuit would be right, just saying it will happen because well, it is America after all.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Consumer [visitor]

      I normal agree with you, but you are way off base on this. Redbox does post the conditions of the agreement when you wish to reserve a title on their website and you must agree to such. Redbox then holds that disc for you until you pick the disc up or after 9pm the following day. Seems very reasonable to me.

      Now if you could reserve into the future (i.e. go online Tuesday to pick up the DVD on Friday) then I agree you could cancel without penalty.

      Redbox has such slim margins and low product depth they need every penny they can.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      tuna [visitor]

      You are an arse sometimes the redbox only has one copy of the movie in my town and I don’t want to drive all over town or check out redbox website to see if I can fine it , I want the movie near my house if I can get it, now to have another arse reserved it for a few days and then cancel that will get me mad at redbox for having such a stupid system of renting

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    The Situation [visitor]

    Actually the lawsuit would immediately get thrown out, because Redbox clarifies before you can reserve a movie that you can’t cancel it once you do so.

    I will side with Redbox for several reasons. For the consumer it’s not fair if you want to see a movie, and it’s not available because “John Doe” has it reserved and he’s not going to get it, he’s going to cancel it, before the deadline. That is stupid. Redbox loses out on money if people do that. It’s a dollar for one and two how indecisive are you as a person to take the time to reserve a movie, and then change your mind. If you aren’t sure if you wanted it or not, you shouldn’t have reserved it in the first place.

    J.S. it should be called a reservation, because it is held specifically for you at the machine. It is reserved, the dictionary would back that up. It’s not just the convenience of ordering online but that fact that if you reserve the last copy, it is only going to be vended out of the machine by the next night at 9 if you swipe your card to obtain the movie. How is this not a reservation? Have you even used Redbox before? You couldn’t be any less accurate in this posting.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      rb [visitor]

      Agree with The Situation…Again the Redbox terms you agree to when you reserve the movie is no cancellation –that is, your charge/debit card is charged $1 regardless if you pick up the dvd or not. Don’t think ANY period of time should be given within to make a reservation cancellation without ‘penalty’–that is, without be charged the $1 rental fee for that reserved dvd. Reason being, even if you could cancel your reservation within 2 minutes, 2hours, whatever, a paying customer could be standing at that kiosk wanting to rent that specific movie at that exact time that you just put it on reservation and walk away empty handed because that dvd is labeled ‘unavailable’… If Redbox would allow cancellation, even within a reasonable period, say an hour of reserving a movie, people would be reserving like 6 movies at a time because they’re not decided on which movie they actually want,… and then decide and cancel like 5 of the movies! This certainly isn’t fair to the paying customers standing at the kiosks wanting those 5 movies during that period of reservation decision making, nor does it $benefit Redbox who just had these customers walk away empty handed from the kiosk because the dvds they wanted were labeled ‘unavailable’ during a reservation cancellation period of someone else being given the opportunity to decide if they really want the movie.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Firstlawofnature [visitor]

      I think the vast majority of consumers would understand the need to be charged in this scenario. This policy enforces better availability for all Redbox users. Complaining customer is outside the bell curve.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    tea [visitor]

    Personally, it’s only a dollar, so I wouldn’t have taken the trouble to try to secure a refund. However, in the interest of customer good will, It would seem that a reasonable compromise is to allow cancellation with a fee for 12 hours after the reservation is made. Say, a 50 cent fee, I would think that would protect Redbox’s profit margins, and keep the customer happy, so they don’t move on to Blockbuster Express or another cube operator.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Wesley [visitor]

    “Is Redbox right to protect itself by refusing to refund reservations? Or should it try harder to earn customer goodwill by adopting a more lenient stance on reservation cancellations?”

    Yes.

    There is no problem with Redbox doing this. None whatsoever. Except if customers feel like they’re getting gypped (they’re not) and they decide to stop renting. In that case, how hard would it be to have, say, a several-hour grace period where you can cancel?

    Of course, then someone will be mad that they tried to cancel five minutes after that grace period…

    Screw it. Just make them click a “You can’t cancel this” box and be done with it.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Klrkrzy784 [visitor]

    I reserved a movie online a while back and went to the machine to pick it up but the machine wasn’t working properly. So I called redbox and instead of canceling my reservation they just gave me a free promo code to get the movie at no charge at another kiosk. That to me is perfectly acceptable. You know your gonna rent from them again at some point and your only out a dollar for the moment.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      anonymous [visitor]

      [CSR at Redbox] Correct, in the instances where it is our fault you cannot pickup your movie reservation(s) odds are we will give you a promotional code.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      mamadahl [visitor]

      I did exactly the same, also had to call because a disc was unreadable. Both times I was given two codes, so I received two rentals for each situation for my troubles. RedBox was extremely fair with this solution. Also, the CSR’s were extremely kind. I agreed with most people here, you don’t want it don’t plug in you credit card number. It’s that easy.

  8. Member [Join Now]
    lmiller867

    This is no different than cancelling a doctor/dentist appointment with less than 24 hours notice and being charged. If you don’t give them ample chance to fill your spot you get charged for lost revenue. in truth whether you pick it up or not when you “reserve” the disc you are really renting it and just picking it up later.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      John Small [visitor]

      And on this I agree. But what if you reserve a movie and then 10 minutes later realize your daughter has a soccer practice and there is no way you’ll be able to pick up or watch that movie. Only 10 minutes have gone by. Has Redbox truly lost any money on this transaction?

      If you reserve a rental car, you can cancel the reservation within a reasonable timeframe. If you reserve a hotel room, you can cancel the reservation within a reasonable timeframe. If you make a reservation at a restaurant, you can cancel or even no-show without consequence (other than being blacklisted).

      Just because Redbox says what their policy is does not mean that a court will not find that policy onerous and unreasonable toward their customer base. They will look at other examples within their industry such as calling a Blockbuster and asking them to reserve a DVD for you. Does Blockbuster charge you if you do not pick up that title? Likely they should given their situation but to my knowledge they do not. Same situation at your mom & pop rental store.

      On top of all of that, Redbox is completely computerized and each kiosk should know whether that reserved copy was actually the last copy in the box. If it wasn’t then Redbox cannot prove monetary harm.

      Again, I think Redbox is fine doing this but I would change the term used from reservation to pre-pay or something similar. Once the word reservation is used it brings up the comparisons I’ve mentioned above and puts them on tenuous legal footing.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Firstlawofnature [visitor]

        ‘…calling a Blockbuster and asking them to reserve a DVD for you…’

        You are such tool. Possibly the dumbest thing you have ever said. Blockbuster doesn’t even have the capability to do real time Internet reservations. Do ya think there is a big market for reserving at Blockbuster over the phone? Redbox’s policy keeps prices low and availability higher than it would be otherwise.

        Maybe the next lotion of the month should be called redbox. It could be sold for $1 a bottle.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        The Situation [visitor]

        Pre-pay isn’t an accurate term John. Reservation is the correct term, it is put on hold, specifically for one person. When you reserve a table at a restaurant, that table is specifically put on reservation for one party. There is no difference. Again your hate towards Redbox and your lack of intelligence and ability to prove facts shows here. I’ll be expecting an apology for your incorrect analysis…….

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          rb [visitor]

          You know how on The Factor/Bill O’Reilly show each day he deems someone a ‘Pinhead’ and someone a ‘Patriot’ based on their thoughts/beliefs/actions. Insideredbox should have a poll with the insiders and choose equivalent terms. Today, I choose The Situation the equivalent of ‘Patriot’ of the day for his/her above comment!

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          John Small [visitor]

          When you reserve a table at a restaurant you are not paying up front for the food.

          The same is not true with Redbox.

          Thus, a difference.

          I await your apology.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            You reserve the table, not the meal. Thats like saying that the movie isn’t a reservation because you reserve the disc and the case but you don’t reserve the location to watch it at. That comparison you just made is inaccurate and doesn’t apply here. Keep ignoring my other posts though, I’m sure your biological clock will have long past ticked before you can come up with any relevant responses to my inquiries.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            Firstlawofnature [visitor]

            One can make a reservation using opentable.com. If you don’t show up once or twice the penalty is that they take a way your ability to make reservations with them. Users don’t make frivolous reservations and therefore restaurants honor them. Works best for everyone.

            Redbox allows reservations as well. The penalty there is that you are bound to pay $1 once a reservation is made. This keeps all parties honest and benefits the maximum amount of people. Canceled reservations cost money. Reversing charges with credit card companies isn’t free. Not having a cancel option is fair, keeps prices cheap and benefits the maximum amount of people.

            JS is still selling lotion of the month as a better deal than a $1 a night for DVDs. There is little doubt about which deal is better for consumers.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            Here’s a point John Small will never counter, and it proves his agenda is against Redbox no matter what. Now John, based on your previous statements, we understand that you would like Redbox better if they charged more. Now you are saying they shouldn’t be charging for this (cancellation of reservations). You want them to charge more, you want them to not charge……

            It’s clear that you are just saying things to cover yourself, but your points are weak and you are contradicting yourself time and time again. Never again will you be considered a relevant source for any thoughts on this website, and if others agree, let it be known!

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            John Small [visitor]

            If you pay for something upfront, it is not a reservation. It is booked.

            The Situation, surely you can learn to read properly. I have no problem with Redbox charging for this service. I just think that by calling it a “reservation” they are opening themselves up for legal problems.

            I actually think the fact that you can pre-pay for your movie online is a fantastic option that Redbox provides. However, I do believe they should provide a short window to allow people to cancel their order (a hour or so) or simply remove the word reservation from the process and just tell people that they are paying for the rental now.

            My issue is with the legalities regarding the word reservation and a customer’s inability to unreserve. In common business parlance, a reservation is temporary with the ability to cancel said reservation within a reasonable timeframe. I fail to see why you and FLON wish Redbox to continue with a policy that will no doubt result in yet another frivilous lawsuit that will likely have to be settled after spending several million dollars on legal costs when the solution is simple.

            Remove the word reservation.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            Firstlawofnature [visitor]

            Everyone knows your real issue is with Redbox’s continued success but that’s another story.

            Is there not a point in time where your hotel reservation becomes too late to cancel? It’s 24 hours with most hotels. The reserved room is taken out of circulation and is yours whether you use it or not after a disclosed time period. Some hotels require payment in advance (usually popular hotels or busy weekends) while others do not. It’s a reservation either way. Common usage of the word.

            Redbox allows reservations as well but has no grace period in which to cancel (this keeps costs down and prices low for everyone). Your copy of the DVD is clearly being ‘reserved’ until is picked up.

            This is all bullshit anyway. Only 1 in 10 reserve in advance. Won’t make a difference. The marketing message matters more than trying to avoid some potential lawsuit from a JS minded person. Bring it on. Netflix was ‘unlimited’ and JS probably cried and cried about that one. In the end it mattered not one bit. Semantics. JS wants it to be called something that makes it less clear to the consumer what it actually is. Let’s call it pre-pay so everyone will be confused and go back to the independent rentailer.

            Everyone knows Redbox is a better deal than lotions of the month. I’ll order a box if they name it Redbox and charge $1.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            Again you are wrong John. Your point about the dinner table is also inaccurate. You reserve a table, and then you get food. For such a “wealthy” person you don’t understand that typically people don’t pick out the food until they show up and look at the menu when having a reservation. Have you ever had reservations to a restaurant? I would recommend trying it sometime, you would be delighted! You used the word “booked” but there is a common term called “booking a reservation”. You are having that table put aside for you, so that people may get other tables but not that exact table. Redbox allows you to reserve a movie, and when you reserve not only is a movie put on hold, but a movie with a specific barcode unique to any of the other millions of copies of millions of discs Redbox rents out. No one else can get that barcode during the time you have it reserved, because it is indeed reserved for you. When you reserve a Redbox movie, you are not billed immediately, the dollar is authorized and then billed (the fee is settled and not pending) when you pick up the reservation, or if you fail to and it expires. So the “pre-pay” concept is incorrect as well.

            There you go trying to force flaws out of Redbox again, and once again you have failed. Again, it seems as if your credibility on this site is getting “Smaller” and “Smaller” with each comment you type.

            The term booking, is simply the act of reserving or having something put on hold. I will admit your efforts are improving as I noticed you sent out a compliment to RB. Congrats on your breakthrough, you are getting there. Keep following that bouncing ball.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            John Small [visitor]

            Again, you lack any knowledge of how the word reservation is used in context to monetary dispersement. When you reserve something, you do not pay for it up front.

            You guys want to make this about me but the reality is that this policy will cost Redbox money with a lawsuit unless they change the wording. Just like what happen with “no late fees”. You’ll notice they changed that wording pretty quickly once the frivilous lawsuit was filed.

            As I’ve stated before, allowing people to pre-pay for their rental online is a great service that Redbox offers to their customers. I have never denied that. My concern is for their inaccurate phrasing and the resulting legal battle that will ensue because of it.

            If you guys wish to continue to engage in juvenile insultings then go right ahead. What you really should do is have any kind of relevant argument to back up what you say. You have not made one iota of sense in any of your attacks and you only reveal yourselves to be the small-minded individuals that you are by not engaging in civil discourse. Your choice. Act like children and you will be treated like children.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            Don [visitor]

            If you are THAT concerned about your dollar then don’t use the online reservation. You can make a decision about renting a movie to just change your mind less than an hour later and have 1 buck buyers remorse?

            If you don’t like the way they do it then just go to the box and rent there. Oh, damn….. The movie I wanted got checked out before I got here…. Wonder if i can get a partial refund on that Venti iced coffee….. It got warm before I finished it….

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike [visitor]

    If Redbox didn’t charge, one could reserve all the movies in all the machines each night and cancel before the deadline and do it again. Think of it as a denial of service attack from the competition.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    BS [visitor]

    I like the fact that Redbox is sticking to it’s guns and giving the people who are actually physically at the kiosk their due consideration. 99% of the time, the only reason you’d be reserving a movie is because it’s very popular and a lot of people will be running out to get it. There’s no fairness in reserving a copy of said uber-popular movie, then turning around a few hours later and saying, “never mind.” If there was a window of time for cancellations, it would have to be less than 60 seconds. Maybe a countdown clock with an option to cancel: “We will charge your account and your reservation will be finalized in 59… 58… 57…”

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    But my Redbox was broken [visitor]

    Like the person who posted a few posts above me, I reserved a movie online last Friday, and when I went to pick it up, the machine was broken, and it wouldn’t accept anybody’s credit card (which we had to scan to pick up the movie). But I still got charged for something I couldn’t even pick up!! Even if they don’t change the cancellation policy, there needs to be some policy in place that protects consumers from Redbox’s faulty machines. For example, once you make a reservation online, they could email you a code that you can type into their machine as an alternative to having to scan your card again to pick up your movie. That way, even if the card scanner is broken, you can still get your movie, and everyone is happy. Or they could install some kind of sensor that tells Redbox when their machine is broken, which then updates the website and prohibits customers from making online reservations at that particular Redbox in the first place! :/

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      The Situation [visitor]

      Have you tried to call them and give them a chance to correct it? Maybe you should let them know because they aren’t psychics. For all these suggestions you are making you seem to miss basic concepts.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Firstlawofnature [visitor]

      Go to your local vid store. You’ll be happier as will JS.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      redboxfaxfan2009 [visitor]

      They do not expect you to pay for a movie that you cannot pickup. The machine being broken is on thing you baby daddy not wanting to take you to the redbox is another matter. Just call them and thay will take care of it. I have seen that people her want to complain but never even give redbox a chance to fix the problem.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    lee [visitor]

    When I first started using redbox our town had had 1 box in town now we probably have 8 that I can think of it. One time I reserved on line and then my husband rented it at the kiosk the same movie. I called and they refunded the fee. Since surely i didn’t need two of the same movie. I have never been given a chance to do that since.
    Since then I have one location (the most convienant for me) taht was constantly having me reserve online then the card reader would go down and I coudlnt get my movie. They are capable of refunding and releasing the movie, they jsut don’t. all i get now is rental codes. I think this has more to do w/ the hope that you’ll keep the movie longer.

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    mcm [visitor]

    I am with Redbox.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike [visitor]

    Its a buck…..or $1.06 in Mass. She should get over it. Since you could reserve in the morning and have it held til 9pm, its completely reasonable as someone else would likely have rented it in that time.

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Elanor [visitor]

    They did a great job taking this out of context –

    The issue in question recently posed on The Consumerist was 1) A user had reserved at a Redbox and the machine they reserved at was broken when they arrived. 2) The user had to pick up their kids and because of that their route no longer fell past the particular red box they reserved at.

    In case 1, the person was offered a free movie credit, not a refund.
    In case 2, I don’t think they should’ve been punished for an emergency situation, but it is only $1.

    Just wanted to clarify the facts.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      mamadahl [visitor]

      In point of fact, I was offered a one dollar refund to my credit card or two free codes e-mailed to me for the situations I posted above. I chose two free codes. RedBox CSR’s have never been anything but kind, understanding, and helpful with my family!

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    Vivace08 [visitor]

    I am with Redbox. It would keep others from renting and cause redbox to lose revenue, thereby, we, the consumer, would have to pay to offset someone else’s lack of planning.

  17. Member [Join Now]
    droyal

    The problem is that THEY aren’t bound by the reservations. I reserved a movie once, paying in advance. When I got to the machine, it was out of order. Couldn’t get my movie and, when I called Redbox, couldn’t get a refund either. I got two free rental codes with expiration dates, and when I didn’t get around to using them, I ended up with nothing. If THEY break the reservation, shouldn’t they have to make good.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      anonymous [visitor]

      [CSR RB] The codes we give are valid for 45 days. Instead of refunding you $1.00 plus tax, we gave you two free rentals. We apologize that you didn’t use your promotional codes, but really are we to blame for that?

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        droyal [visitor]

        I paid Redbox money to see a specific movie on a specific date. I informed the customer representative I spoke to, and he confirmed, that I had been forced to go elsewhere and rent the movie (again) there. So they got paid twice for the same movie rental. If they couldn’t deliver, they should have refunded my money. Why should I be forced to rent again on a different date, if I didn’t otherwise want to? That’s not what I paid for.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        droyal [visitor]

        Or perhaps they could have given me a code that did NOT expire. At least then, it would be up to me when to use it.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          michael [visitor]

          Redbox gave you two codes, for 1 movie. Don’t you understand thats basically two movies for the price of one? you have 45 days to use the codes, i’ve used them before. you were compensated and kudos for redbox actually giving you more then one code. i think it seems more then fair, even if you didnt use them. personally i think redbox did good and its not their fault you didnt use the code.

  18. Member [Join Now]
    Bikemiles [bikemiles]

    I’m with Redbox here. Three scenarios I have experienced. An online reservation dropped serveral times due to wifi outages. No email verification. I rented the regular way and checked for online charge. No found but sometimes Redbox has a posting lag so that is a bit annoying.

    One redbox tended to jam for a while. I checked and no charge once. Another time I emailed and got a code a couple of days later. Code was good for thirty or fouty days. Fair, I thought.

    Situation three. I sort of ditzted out and got confused about what Redbox I reserved on. My fault. That is like the miscommunication where someone reserved and and their husband rented a copy. Too bad. It’s only one dollar. A reserved movie cannot be rented.

  19. Member [Join Now]
    starman15317

    I’m with Redbox, for the reasons mentioned above

  20. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    Blockbuster/NCR would just sit by and reserve all the movies all day long and then cancel them that night… Of course you get charged for it. Its like if you order pay-per-view and decide not to watch it, do you get your money back?

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Firstlawofnature [visitor]

      Pay per view example is best yet. Bravo.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Firstlawofnature [visitor]

        Yeah better to call it something else so no one knows what the f— it means. What would you call it JS?

        Redbox is a homerun for consumers. Lotion of the month is a rip-off for consumers. I still think next month’s lotion should be called Redbox. Price is $1 a bottle.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      John Small [visitor]

      Just don’t call it a reservation.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        mamadahl [visitor]

        From Webster’s online dictionary:
        Main Entry: res·er·va·tion
        Pronunciation: \?re-z?r-?v?-sh?n\
        Function: noun
        Date: 15th century
        1 : an act of reserving something: as a (1) : the act or fact of a grantor’s reserving some newly created thing out of the thing granted (2) : the right or interest so reserved b : the setting of limiting conditions or withholding from complete exposition c : an arrangement to have something (as a hotel room) held for one’s use; also : a promise, guarantee, or record of such engagement
        2 a : a limiting condition b : doubt, misgiving
        3 : something reserved: as a : a tract of public land set aside (as for use by American Indians) b : an area in which hunting is not permitted; especially : one set aside as a secure breeding place

        Notice the example of the hotel room ends with a promise, guarantee, or record of such engagement. When I reserve a hotel room they charge my credit card for half the charges, if I cancel they do refund some, but there is always a cancellation fee. If I wait too long they charge my credit card the full amount. By “reserving” a movie you are asking RedBox to hold that DVD until you arrive to pick it up, as mentioned before, others cannot then rent it as it is held for you (reserved). Just don’t be idiotic and dogmatic. It makes you seem foolish and petty.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          rb [visitor]

          Agree, a reservation IS a reservation IS a reservation… The “FACT” that Redbox has the ‘no cancellation’ $1 rental fee term & condition with its online reservation just makes it a ‘paid’ reservation. BUT IT’S STILL A RESERVATION!

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          John Small [visitor]

          I have never had a hotel charge me a cancellation fee when I’ve cancelled my reservation but then I likely frequent better hotels than you do.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            Again with the personal attacks John. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it back. That might be your personal experience at hotels, but that doesn’t mean its a fact. No one cares about your personal experiences, you talk like you can provide facts, yet you have no numbers or references. If you can’t provide those, then just shut your mouth, because no one cares about your bias.

            You being constantly passive-aggressive in your posts and opinions shows your lack of confidence when your not in front of your computer. You say one thing and say “oh learn to read” like it can have a different meaning every time you need a way out when you are wrong, which is more often than not.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            firstlawofnature [visitor]

            What’s the return policy for lotion of the month? Don’t you think lotion of the month is sort of a rip off for consumers? Redbox is a much better deal for consumers no?

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            John Small [visitor]

            Again, learn to read Situation. Back to grade school with you it seems. Into the corner with a dunce cap.

            BTW, here is a direct quote from a major hotel chain website reservation system for booking a room on August 18th.

            “Canceling your reservation before 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on Wednesday, 18 August, 2010 will result in no charge. Canceling your reservation after 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on 18 August, 2010, or failing to show, will result in a charge equal to the first night’s stay per room to your credit card”

            That’s right, I can cancel up to 6:00 pm on the day I was supposed to arrive without having to pay a cent.

            Game, set, match.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            rb [visitor]

            J.S…What’s the name of the major Hotel chain you just checked on for Aug 18th? You know, when I recently went to reserve a room near Wash. D.C. for a major, in-demand, high class hotel I was given a 24hour period to cancel without fee BECAUSE the high class hotel/rooms was in such demand. In case I need to reserve again, it would be helpful to know the hotel you frequent/checked on so I can reserve there and cancel same day without cancellation fee. Fact is, it’s the right of each hotel/chain, or even dvd rental business, to determine the terms and conditions of their reservation/cancellation policy. Fact is the Webster dictionary definition of reservation is: an “arrangement” to have something held for one’s use. Different hotels/dvd rental businesses, etc. have the right to determine and set the terms/conditions of this “arrangement”, that is, “reservation” in this case. Just like there is ‘free’ sex, or ‘paid’ sex, it’s still “SEX”…No different than how there can be ‘free’ reservations, or ‘paid’ reservations, it’s still a “RESERVATION”. It’s the right of the business to set and enforce the terms/conditions of the “arrangement”.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            Wow John, I couldn’t possibly predict that you would tell me to “learn to read” that is really your only defense at this point. Did I say that ALL hotels don’t charge cancellation fees? Maybe you need to learn how to read, I said that your personal experience doesn’t matter here. ONE hotel chain, that’s fine John I didn’t say hotels always charge if you cancel.

            RB sums it up perfectly, and the dictionary doesn’t say that money has to be involved for it to be considered a reservation, that part is at the sole discretion of the business who provides such a service. Redbox again (for the millionth time) states this in their terms of use.

            So what will you do now John? Claim I can’t read? Claim the dictionary isn’t accurate? Or claim that I’m personally attacking you and avoid the subject?

            To commend you though, that hotel you mentioned does seem to have a fair policy. I hope you enjoy your visit to the Bates Hotel.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            John Small [visitor]

            RB, I’m not going to mention the name of the hotel chain on Michael’s site but I did go and check 3 more national chains and they all have a similar policies to the one I stated earlier.

            Again, simply put, if Redbox sticks to their guns with their terminology on this one, they will get sued. Yes it will be frivilous. Yes it should be thrown out. But it won’t, it will cost Redbox millions and they will change their terminology in the end.

            Just the facts.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            rb [visitor]

            J.S…So you can’t mention the name of a major hotel chain on Michael’s site because….WHY? What, we’re not allowed to say Marriott, Ramada, Sheradon, etc. on this site because WHY? Trying to think if it’s out of your respect somehow for Michael but since YOU call his other Redbox bloggers on his site cheap, pathetic, losers, insult them further by telling them they need to go back to grade school and wear a dunce cap, etc. etc. etc. I don’t deem this to be the reason. I was just asking J.S. because your info on this reservation-cancellation friendly hotel might be a hotel chain I would definitely use in the future because of their friendly reservation policy.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            Firstlawofnature [visitor]

            Nice one rb. Most of these hotels are franchised anyway and have different policies on cancelling reservations. Nice that others are calling out JS for his ever higher piles of bullsh*t.

            Just the facts whether you want to hear them or not.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            So lets say there are two hotels, and I were to reserve a room at each one. I then cancel both reservations, and I am charged by one hotel, but not the other. Does that make one more of a “reservation” than the other?

            Where is money mentioned anywhere in the dictionary definition for reservation? If you are to claim that this is a “common parlance” or can you provide a legal reference to this?

            I’m not expecting a response…..

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            John Small [visitor]

            If Michael chimes in and says he doesn’t mind my bringing the names of the hotels in then I will be happy to do so. Needless to say, the ones I looked at are major chains.

            As to one charging a cancellation fee for a reservation over the other. Both are reservations, just one is ripping off their customers. You can make the judgement on which one applies to Redbox in this situation.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            Well you just proved my point John. You called it a reservation, therefore that’s what it is. Directly from you. Directly above this comment.

            Lets see here, I would say the majority of people in this room agree with the idea that canceling a reservation is only a ripoff if it was something outside of the customers control (such as a machine down) and we see that Redbox will compensate for that. Otherwise if you don’t want it, don’t reserve it, period.

            You comment below that a customer canceling a reservation for double the fee would be a good idea? Yet you are calling the current situation a rip off for customers. So it is less of a rip-off to charge them double? (I anticipate you will mention how I can’t read here, but others will agree that you state all of this clearly and indicate no sarcasm).

            I think this argument is over, but I commend you on a great effort, and you put heart into it. This one is over, you lose, try a new topic!

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            firstlawofnature [visitor]

            ‘Both are reservations, just one is ripping off their customers.’

            NJ guido takes down John ‘lotion of the month’ Small.

            JS you are bleeding buckets of credibility on this one.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            John Small [visitor]

            Geniuses, both are reservations but neither are the same situation as what Redbox is doing. Neither reservation, in this situation, is requiring full payment, from moment one, with no chance of cancellation.

            If that was the case, then it is no longer a reservation, it is a pre-payment.

            JFTR, the double fee cancellation thingie is a joke. Seriously guys, you need to lighten up a bit. I know you love to attack me without thinking or reading but try a little harder.

            When the lawsuit comes, you guys will jump up and down and I’ll just shake my head and do my best to not say, “I told you so”.

            It does appear that most people who need to cancel their reservation can get free codes which seems very fair to me though a little inefficient for Redbox. It likely explains why their customer service call centre had to relocate to cheaper environs.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            rb [visitor]

            John, I commend you: you’ve just admitted that you were wrong in the first place by now admitting/agreeing that whether money or not is part of the reservation/cancellation, it’s still a reservation . I know this admittance was hard for you–you don’t like to admit when you’re wrong. Know though, it takes a BIG man to admit when he is wrong– so for this stab-to-your-ego admittance ,I respect you. Baby steps can take you a long way; maybe this is the first of many for you. I’m so delighted with your first ‘baby step’ towards truth, that I don’t want/ need for you to mention the name of that hotel chain on Michael’s site. Relax, take it easy…Don’t even think about how you’re wrong to suggest that Redbox is ripping off customers with their ‘no cancellation’ policy. :-)

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            firstlawofnature [visitor]

            ‘When the lawsuit comes, you guys will jump up and down and I’ll just shake my head and do my best to not say, “I told you so”.’

            You are such a loser. You don’t get to say ‘I told you so’ if they get sued. I haven’t seen anyone say this wouldn’t happen. It well may. The point is that this process needs to be called something that invokes meaning to consumers. Reservation is that word. Use the correct word to drive usage with consumers and deal with the lawyers later. If a potential lawsuit costs them $3mm to settle then fine it’s a business expense. If you want to beat your chest on a worthless insight like that then you are a simple man.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            Game set match on this one……. I’m going to celebrate by RESERVING a movie online with Redbox tonight!

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            John Small [visitor]

            Sorry RB, that’s not what I said and you know it. Go back and read again.

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            Wouldn’t you know it, the best he could come up with was “What I really said/meant was….” because your individual statements are so weak, you need to attempt to be indirect so you can weasel your way out of always being wrong. He quoted you directly John, we all see it, and dont need to research it because it’s right there. Just because someone starts a lawsuit doesn’t mean anything, they have to win the lawsuit, and no judge anywhere is going to back such a lawsuit, because there is no “common parlance” for the term reservation that it has to be a money based thing. YOU LOSE!

  21. Member [Join Now]
    James Moorhouse [james-moorhouse]

    I reserved a movie, my daughter went to pick it up and the store had just closed. All that within half an hour. We then went to another Redbox (Walgreens) and picked up the movie. No one could have rented that reserved movie with the store closed. Maybe put an hour cancellation time limit… A buck isn’t going to hurt anyone that bad though….

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      The Situation [visitor]

      Good point, the Redbox site does indicate that one should be aware of a stores operating hours before reserving a movie, as not all stores are open 24-7.

  22. Visitor [Join Now]
    will [visitor]

    I agree 100% with Redbox’s cancellation policy; only in extreme cases such as a malfunctioning kiosk should there be any leeway. That said, the R-word should be avoided by Redbox; I’d suggest ‘guaranteed rental’ or something like that.

  23. Visitor [Join Now]
    Steve [visitor]

    Redbox is right. If you have reserved a movie, then its unavailable to everyone else. Not only is that lost revenue to Redbox, its an unavailable movie to another customer who wants to rent it.

  24. Member [Join Now]
    angi_marie26

    I respect Redbox’s side on this. However, as someone that went online, found the movie I wanted, then tried to see what else was at that exact location…I goofed and hit the wrong location, one that is WAY out of my way, on a morning I had NO time to spare…I didn’t realize until AFTER I ‘reserved’ the first movie…ARGH!! Too late, sorry, can’t cancel and reserve it at the location I was actually going to be driving past. I wasn’t wanting to cancel it a day later. It would be nice if there was a quick cancel within a minute, or two, of the online request. I didn’t realize until the confirmation came up and said the store. If there were a ‘cancel’ right there, on that screen…while it is POSSIBLE they could miss out on a rental in that MINUTE, the odds aren’t that high!

    My biggest frustration (petty as it may seem) is that online you can only do one at a time. If I can go to the machine and pick the four movies I want and process in one transaction…it would be NICE to be able to do the same online!

  25. Visitor [Join Now]
    Beth Johnson [visitor]

    I LOVE REDBOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just think there should be a way to let Redbox know that there is a problem viewing the CD, maybe a box to check stating damage when you return. My thought is that someone else is going to rent the CD i return and it won’t work for them either. I love that it’s only $1 but frustrating when I get home and can’t watch the entire movie. Thanks to whoever came up with this wonderful Redbox idea for us movie watchers!!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      mamadahl [visitor]

      Call them… The CSR will make it impossible for others to rent that movie and when the machine is re-stocked it will be removed and replaced with a copy that is not damaged. I did it and they said once I returned it it would be put in an unrentable slot.

  26. Visitor [Join Now]
    joemamma [visitor]

    Why should they allow you to cancel? as many others have said, if you don’t want to rent it, don’t reserve it.

    I see a future of a bunch of leeches staying up and reserving every title available holding them and then cancelling them, making it way harder for everyone else to get movies that they want to see. Keep the policy the way it is, its working.

  27. Member [Join Now]
    rdejam

    Redbox wasn’t available in my area after 9pm the first time I reserved a movie online at 11pm EST. When I picked it up the next day, I was charged for 2 days. I called support, they explained their policy but were very nice and refunded $1 for me given my circumstances. I never reserved online again but rent from Redbox all the time.

    Like it or not, it’s their reservation policy. Just don’t reserve ahead of time and use the lookup feature on Redbox’s website before you go to rent.

  28. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bill [visitor]

    If you are not going to pick it up – don’t rent it. Redbox has ALWAYS been more than fair when I had a problem. If the machine was down when I tried to pick up a movie they would refund the rental that I couldn’t get AND provide a code for a second rental for my trouble.

    It’s a buck. We rent here because they provide a great, inexpensive service. It’s our job to pick up what we rent or pay for it if we don’t.

  29. Visitor [Join Now]
    DCM [visitor]

    The other side of the coin is that if cancellations were allowed, it would free up the movie for someone else earlier. Within the 24-hour period before the rental expiration time, someone else could have rented that movie rather than have it sitting there not picked up, ultimately unrented. If there were to be an allowance to cancel, maybe it should be within a small window, like within 15 minutes after the reservation has been made.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      mamadahl [visitor]

      Why should RedBox care about this, whether movie is picked up or not they get paid. It makes no difference whether it is sitting in your house, watched or unwatched, or sitting in the machine. If you want to make sure a title is available to you, go online and RESERVE it. Otherwise, go to the kiosk and take your chances. As said many times it’s a freakin’ dollar! If you don’t want to rent it, DON’T. It’s pretty simple.

  30. Visitor [Join Now]
    gandhawk [visitor]

    Redbox’s profit margin can’t be very high. You reserve a movie; you pay for it. It’s only a dollar. Be happy about all the other movies you have rented from Redbox for a dollar. Also remember when you paid $4 for a movie. How soon we forget. Suck it up.

  31. Visitor [Join Now]
    lauri [visitor]

    With the price of everything these days, I find it absolutely laughable that someone would complain about a lousy dollar because they cannot make up their minds on whether to rent or not.

    With the price of movies these days, how can someone complain about $1.00?

  32. Visitor [Join Now]
    Andy [visitor]

    Wow…this is one of the longest thread over 1 stink’n dollar. I know the economy is bad, but damn!!! It’s just a buck, so crack open your wallet you cheapo and suck it up.

    My 2 cents – If you can’t see the movie, don’t reserve it. If you reserve it and something comes up (and can’t watch the movie), you should of plan better or changed your priorities.

    If you don’t like Redbox’s policy, go to Blockbuster while it’s still around. If you have a planning issue (don’t know when to reserve a movie), then get streaming Netflix.

    I don’t want these whiners will screw up a good thing with Redbox!!!!!!!

    I’m done.

  33. Visitor [Join Now]
    Meh Man [visitor]

    Situation and FirstLaw- Can you guys take the stick out of your rears and actually listen to what JS is saying? It’s semantics but you 2 uber nerds don’t want to listen. If there is some way that someone can start a lawsuit vs RB they will. Hmm maybe I will… But please don’t tell your shift manager at the RedBox CSR dept that I said that.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      The Situation [visitor]

      Yes, I understand that people can start lawsuits for pretty much any reason. That goes without saying. I don’t work at Redbox, but I love the service, I’m sorry you lost your job at Blockbuster and I will be hoping that you can find a way to get John’s small stick out of your rear soon! All he’s doing is trying to come up with ways to make redbox look bad, and you are eating it all up. Look at the dictionary definition provided, next thing you know, he will be saying that the dictionary isn’t based on fact, and his opinion is more accurate……

      Is it fair to say that Redbox can sue the customer for being in violation of their terms of use, which is laid out clearly?

      Still waiting for J.S. to address my many other arguments with his points here.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Meh Man [visitor]

      Hehe- I just love riling up sanctimonious site trolls like you and first. The brick and mortar mom and pop video store around here does well and I always enjoy going there. Intelligent conversations about movies, older titles, I’m not standing outside in 100 degree weather while some goof tries to figure out how to use some big red impersonal box. Yes, I like saving money but will definitely pay for a better experience. Oh, and leave my job out of it, I don’t bother you when you’re out sweeping the parking lot of the minimart you work at ;-D

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        The Situation [visitor]

        I don’t get riled up by people online, perhaps you are confused with yourself? Look man, I’m not a site troll, and I just recently came on here, I don’t have something to say about EVERYTHING (with no offense to FLON and JS who do) and I’m basically out to prove a point that John Small’s bias is highly flawed. That’s fine if you like brick and mortar stores, I never said Redbox was better than any service. In fact I mix it up a bit myself because there are pros and cons to each service.

        Some people don’t want to talk to strangers about movies, and some don’t appreciate the constant “add-ons” offered by clerks, so they go to Redbox. I wasn’t attacking your choice of rental service by any means, but if you believe this crap John Small is saying, than you are easily to manipulate.
        P.S. I make at least triple a year than you make, which isn’t too impressive because I’m sure the assistant manager at Mcdonald’s does as well.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          Meh Man [visitor]

          Wow- turn off the internet because NOW I’ve seen everything! You mean being a site troll pays now? And 3 times as much as my government job with the IRS? Please send me a link (if you have time cause I know that site trolling is a very demanding job).

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          rb [visitor]

          Did you ever see the movie “Broadcast News” and at the one point I think it’s William Hurt’s character tries to insult a bunch of thugs by telling them, “You’ll never make more than $19,000 a year!” Then you see the thugs walking away, hip stride, thinking and dreaming together, happy dreaming that maybe someday they’ll be able to actually make/reach $19,000 a year working at the gas station or wherever they were then employed!!! I dunno’, just thought I’d share :-)

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            The Situation [visitor]

            Yeah, I’m sure you just made all that up in your head meh man. Your answers are inconsistent, so your real life must be really pathetic for you to be trying to get people mad online. You seemed to show up the moment that John Small was stuck in some good pickles to take the focus off of him and how he is wrong. (Ironic or maybe he has 2 computers). You really have nothing valid to add to the points here, so your time is wasted and your really aren’t helping J.S. look good. Lets see, RB comments often (no offense) but yet you come after me (who is fairly new) and FLON. Why? Oh wait it’s because we argue with John Small’s point of view on things he can’t back up with facts. Why don’t you just propose to John Small and get it over with already fun boy? I won’t waste anymore time talking to this guy………

          • Visitor [Join Now]
            Meh Man [visitor]

            heh- this is actually directed to the very eloquent situation (who suprisingly closed the string…) You never can tell who you are communicating with on these anonymous posting boards. I really don’t have any opinion on RB but I do enjoy having these discussions. You strike me as the type of site troll that enjoys a nice discussion. I admire people like you. Yep, you never can tell who you’re communicating with on these anonymous boards =-D

  34. Visitor [Join Now]
    Brenda [visitor]

    Have any one of you clicked ‘The Consumerist’ link in above *excerpt*?
    If so, you would see the ENTIRE discussion between the author of exerpt and the Redbox customer service rep.
    Reading ONLY an *excerpt* provides ONLY partial information!

    Those people RESERVED 2 of the SAME DVD at different kiosks.
    AND the $1.00+tax charge for one of * THEIR MISTAKES * WAS REFUNDED.

    The main problem I see here is that so many do NOT read TERMS, FAQ’s, etc, beforehand.
    Redbox has policies, not only to protect themselves, but also to provide the best service possible FOR ALL of their customers. They do that for $1!!! Are you kidding me? Please tell me, WHAT else can any of us do or buy for a single dollar???

    So many in this society find ways to blame others for their mistakes!
    Where is personal responsibility?

    Bottom line: Redbox states their terms, policies, FAQ’s and provides a toll free telephone number where you will speak with knowledgable company representatives who will provide a reasonable solution or answer any questions.

    Please don’t ruin the best deal that may ever come along for some of us.
    That Redbox CAN and DOES do what they do still boggles my mind and they are my only source for DVD rental.

    I stopped doing ‘business’ with BB many years ago & swore they would never see 1 more cent from me…and they haven’t and never will.
    I hope I am counted as one reason they are going bankrupt :)

    OMGosh, to think all this, (including childish slander of each other), is about $1 and not having all the facts is mind numbing.

    ?HUGE thanks to and for REDBOX?

  35. Visitor [Join Now]
    Lisa [visitor]

    Hi – I called Redbox to get a refund on a rental because I couldn’t find the promo code box to use before my credit card was charged. The agent said I couldn’t possibly get a refund of any kind and told me to keep the promo code and use it next time. When I asked to speak to a manager, he put me on hold and came back about a minute later and all of sudden, he could issue me a refund!! Funny how that works, you ask for a manager and suddenly things happen! That would be my recommendation for the future – go right to the top!

  36. Visitor [Join Now]
    Brenda [visitor]

    Those ? question marks should not be in my post…oops, I tried to do something else and blew it.
    hmmm, see? Taking responsibility for MY mistake. What a concept!

  37. Visitor [Join Now]
    T Davis [visitor]

    I think they should offer a cancellation option with a $2.00 cancellation fee per title. (And yes *I* know that twice as much as the rental.)

  38. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jim [visitor]

    Most people have commented on whether or not this is fair or a good business practice in relation to the customer who made the reservation but no longer wants it. But what about the other customer who wants to rent the title that night but can’t because there is a reservation that the first customer does not intend to follow up on? The company does get its buck, but the movie stays in the Redbox that night and you have two dissatisfied customers. How about a change so that you can cancel your reservation and, if someone else rents the movie during the period you would have had it, you get your buck back? Result: Redbox gets its buck and has two satisfied customers.

  39. Visitor [Join Now]
    Baby [visitor]

    I reserved a movie once online, and when I got to the Redbox, the machine was froze up, and I could not pipck up my reservation. I called the CSR so my card would not be charged, but I still wanted the movie. The CSR could not cancel the reservation, but gave me two free codes for rentals. One code worked when I went to get the movie, the other did not. So, I did pay for the movie I rented, but their “make up” code, was a fluke. I get free rental codes all the time that never work, even though they are within the exp date time. I will not be reserving online again, and don’t rent from them much at all anymore. Don’t trust them!!

  40. Member [Join Now]
    The Dude [cancun]

    I’m with RedBox too. I don’t even reserve myself, just in case something comes up.

    I would advise not to make reservations. Many have done so, only to face a non-working kiosk. Even if you get a free code by complaining, there’s is 2 trips to the Redbox, the frustration, the gas, the phone call. Too much hassle for a frikking dollar.