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Redbox Sued Over Multi-Day Rental Fees

lawsuitAfter having been the plaintiff for so long in its suits against several Hollywood studios, Redbox now gets to wear the “defendant” hat. The kiosk operator is the subject of a class-action lawsuit claiming that Redbox has illegally collected $100 million in fees from customers who kept films for longer than a day.


“While it boasts ‘easy $1 a night DVD rentals’ ‘with no late fees…ever,’ that is not the truth,” the filing reads. “Instead, Redbox charges its customers who return a movie even one minute late a late fee in the form of an illegal penalty.”

According to the filing, “The Coinstar unit has violated its claim that it doesn’t charge late fees by charging an additional $1 for DVDs that are returned any time after the 9 p.m. deadline after the initial 24-hour period has expired.” The claimants are also asserting that  Redbox’s $25 charge for unreturned DVDs is illegal, as the fee is in excess of the typical cost of a new disc.

Video Business says that the suit was instigated by Illinois resident Laurie Piechur, who was charged $25 apiece for 27 Dresses and Fool’s Gold when she failed to return the rented discs to a Redbox machine.

Leaving discussions about Ms. Piechur’s taste in film to another day, what do you make of this lawsuit, Insiders? Are the claims being made against Redbox reasonable and justifiable, and will the suit go anywhere?

[via Video Business]

159 Responses to “Redbox Sued Over Multi-Day Rental Fees”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    jMac [visitor]

    Sorry to join the party late, but thought I’d add my two cents. Rental agreement clearly states the new rental period starts at 9PM, so the plaintiff is a Dumas for that. However, I’d have to say that charging $25 for not returning it after a certain period of time is uncalled for. If I were to buy it new, retail, yes maybe the SRP is $24.99, but with that I get a brand-new disc, the case, the cover art, and any inside liner notes that would be included. So if Redbox were to charge me $25, I would expect to get all the extra stuff that comes with it, despite the fact that the disc is used.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Dave [visitor]

      Always look at both sides of the coin. $25 might seem outrageous for not returning the movie after 25 days, but consider all the potential revenue lost to Red Box because of that. They are a business, not a charity. Red Box terms are very clear. Now you got this greedy low life who doesn’t appreciate the millions of dollars that Red Box has saved us Americans. Now she wants to sue. I say nuts to her and I hope she loses. If she sets a precedent for other low lives to follow, then it just may ruin it for all of us. Red Box may have to raise their rental fees to cover litigation and losses. Thank you Laurie Piechur. You just may have ruined it for everybody….

      • Member [Join Now]
        dave6508

        I agree with above. Some people just don’t get it. It’s not greed on Red Box’s part at all! Why do you think banks charge so much for insufficient funds? Why so much? IT IS A DETERRENT!!! Think about it. If the bank only charged 10 cents, more people would bounce checks. Not good for business. Same thing for Red Box. They want their movies back…DUH….and charging $25 gives those certain irrespnsible people a good reason to return the discs……message is ment for those who just don’t get it.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          KAlsobrooks [visitor]

          I totally agree with both Dave’s! Movies are expensive to rent anywhere else and with the economy the way it is people cannot afford to rent movies. If it weren’t for Redbox I would not be able to rent movies at all! My son loves the fact that every time we go out and see a Redbox machine he can ask for a movie and get it!! And the low lifes who need money desperately will ruin it for all of us who don’t care about a dollar if the movie is a day late. As for the $25, if this woman was in business renting something would she not charge the person not returning it??

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rick [visitor]

    I don’t believe that it is a “late fee”. People are told up-front that each rental 9pm-9pm period is $1. If you keep a disk for 2 rental periods, you pay for 2 rental periods. There is no late fee. They also are not charging anyone $25 for a DVD. If a person keeps a DVD for 25 consecutive rental periods knowing full well they are paying $1 per rental period, Redbox actually gives you the DVD for FREE.

  3. Member [Join Now]
    filtalr

    I don’t see this one as going against redbox – that is if the judge has any brains …. but I guess that is a BIG if ;)

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    SRenno [visitor]

    Redbox isn’t exactly charging $25 for the disc. What is happening is after 25 days (and associated $1 rental fees for each day) Redbox is saying keep the disc!

  5. Member [Join Now]
    bosco11

    What a nitwit !!!

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Claudia [visitor]

    This is a frivolous lawsuit and I hope that the judge, not only throws it out, but awards Redbox the legal fees that they will be incurring.

  7. Member [Join Now]
    snazzyd

    honestly, the 9pm thing always messed with my head! maybe its just me, but i’d rather it just be 12 pm midnite starts a new rental period, with a minimum rental time of 24 hours. Like I always forget that even if I rent past 9pm, its still due the next day before 9pm (i work til 10.) But $1 a day (even $2 which is mostly my case since i can’t return in time) is still a great deal!! That woman is just stupid, greedy and an ahole! I hope that if she wins, they do like most companies and instead of reqwrding her solely with damages, offer up more free codes for everyone in the sum total of the judgement. I bet she had a free code for those horrid rentals too!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Krissi [visitor]

      While I understand the 9 p.m. is a little “off” from the norm, they do this because not all Redbox kiosks are located in stores that are open 24 hrs.
      For example, my town has a Wal-Mart, where redbox is located, however it is not a supercenter, and it closes each night at 9 p.m., hence the “due by 9 p.m.” terms.

      I see this case being thrown out….the woman kept the dvd’s longer than she was suppose to…..she owes!

  8. Member [Join Now]
    amberleigh

    When you swipe that card at the box in exchange for a rental, you are entering into a contract with Redbox, i.e., you are agreeing to the conditions of rental as spelled out by Redbox. You are therefore RESPONSIBLE for adhering to those rules. If you don’t abide by those rules, YOU are in violation of that contract and are therefore liable for any stated penalties. Your decision to rent from Redbox is VOLUNTARY. Redbox did not force you to rent, nor encourage you to not return the DVD within the specified timeframe. It is YOUR negligence which has incurred additional fees. You’re lucky they let you keep the DVD after a set amount has been paid & don’t pursue you for theft of property.
    Personal responsibility, folks. Let alone honor & integrity.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    freddiecartwright [visitor]

    look at what the videostores charge for lost or messed up movies………has been up to 60.00 or more so whats the diff

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      John Small [visitor]

      Video stores charge late fees, Redbox claims not to do so. That is the difference.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Spark [visitor]

        And they don’t.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          John Small [visitor]

          If you return the movie past the due time, they charge you a fee. They can call it an “Extra Day Rental” or “Another Rental Period” but the reality is that it is just a late fee.

          The courts know this as video stores have tried the same re-wordings before. Just because you call a dog a “Four Legged Companion” does not mean it is not a dog.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    hareinPA [visitor]

    Way back when there was a store called Phar Mor. They would charge $25 for unreturned movies after so many days and even if you returned the movie after said amount of days you still had to pay that fee. So it is not uncommon for places to do that. They do have to protect their inventory.

    I wish there was no such thing as frivolous lawsuits. It says right there it’s a dollar a day. Their business day ends at 9.

    It is still alot cheaper than Blockbuster and their “no late fees”.

  11. Member [Join Now]
    slidecage

    miss phar mor they used to be a good place to rent games dirt cheap… too bad the CEO drop that company into the ground with that stupid basketball leauge

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    BT [visitor]

    Redbox is the best deal for rentals! Of course if you keep the dvd out additional days you will be charged for each additional day. Why should Redbox lose revenue if you choose to keep it out longer. They are a business! Even the libary charges $2 a day for each additional day a dvd is keep out. Only ignorant, corrupt people file lawsuits like this. Get a life and make your own money, don’t steal others!

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ladymary [visitor]

    The case could go either way. It’s like the idiot who sued McDonalds for hot spilled coffee in their lap. For one they were stupid to put it in their lap. Also they already paid for it and it became their responsibility. Sadly they still won the case because of a stupid judge. Hopefully it doesn’t go to that same idiot.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      asmiller-ke6seh [visitor]

      Until you have read the decision on this case, you will not have an opportunity to understand the merits of the McDonald’s Coffee case. This was not an isolated incident. McDonald’s new that they kept their coffee outrageously hot; many other customer had previously been seriously burned. The reason for the punative damages was because McDonald’s had knowledge of the product liability they held, they had done notheing to ameliorate the situation, and thus deserved to be pubished for their own carelessness. The result of the lawsuit was that McDonald’s reduced the heat and keep tempuratire of their coffee machines, and they placed HOT label on all hot drink cups.

      It’s easy to have an uninformed opinion — isn’t it?

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    Joel [visitor]

    Reminds me of the Josh Fenderman Mr. Show skit: “I didn’t know that if you exchanged [money] for property or services, they’d take it away for good. And that’s just what they did.”

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rebecca [visitor]

    So Laurie Piechur keeps the dvd or dvd’s for over 25 days as a test to see if Redbox would charge her for the over due dvd’s. Redbox does so, just as the contract reads, Laurie Piechur then figures that her plan has worked, then she goes through with the lawsuit. She had it planned out from the start. What a crook Laurie Piechur is, what a crook.

  16. Member [Join Now]
    ~willow~ [orange_willow]

    y is she keeping movies for what might as well be a month anyway. clearly she doesnt have time to watch them so she shouldnt even be renting them in the first place. then she wants to get mad when she gets charged for keeping the movie at her house collecting dust cuz shes too lazy to take it back. redbox clearly states the rules of renting and that u will be charged 25 dollars to keep the movie after so long…blockbuster does the same so how is it illegal…

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    CF [visitor]

    Isn’t this the same woman who spilled hot coffee on herself from Mcdonalds????J/K

  18. Visitor [Join Now]
    marquis6461 [visitor]

    Everyone keep this person “Laurie Piechur” in your books. This is a person who cannot be trusted with a contract. She wants things for free and if she can’t get them she sues you.

    Redbox rents you a movie very simply. If I go to the box a 8:00 am on Tuesday morning, I can rent a movie for $1.00 until Wednesday @ 9:00 pm.
    Can you find anyone that does that. Even netflix doesn’t do that.

    My only complaint is the limited amount of movies in the box. New movies are hard to get unless you are the first. I work at a redbox location so I can get the movies post haste. If you want the move before me. Reserve it at the website. If not stop crying.

    This lady is a big baby and deserves to be spanked.
    I agree that she should pay all of the court costs if she loses. This would greatly reduce the stupid lawsuits.

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    Carolyn [visitor]

    The only problem I have with redbox besides the 9pm deadline (I wish it were midnight as well – especially when I remember at 10pm that the movie is now overdue. It is less than a mile from my house so it’s worth driving it back out that late at night to avoid the add’l fee) is that you can often buy the used movies from Redbox for cheaper than keeping it for 25 rental periods. Some of the newly released movies are already in the $7 purchase bin. I agree that they shouldn’t be able to charge you more for the movie than what it could be purchased at a store but that may be hard to regulate as stores sell it at different prices +/- $5, but more specifically in THEIR OWN BOX they should be able to regulate that!

  20. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dan [visitor]

    People like laurie Piechur and the lawyers that represent her are one of the major problems with our society today. They pursue these frivolous lawsuits that do nothing but drive up the costs of the things we do. Let’s face it, any company that loses a lawsuit such as this only passes the cost onto the rest of us that purchase their goods or services. So thank you Laurie for trying to ruin the good thing we have at redbox. I hope that some day someone can sue the heck out of you for some minor thing that is really their fault to begin with.

  21. Visitor [Join Now]
    rb [visitor]

    Just had on the news a robber who was suing the store that he went in to rob at gunpoint BECAUSE he felt the store clerks used excessive force to stop him from robbing them! Maybe this robber guy is Laurie Piechur’s husband!

  22. Visitor [Join Now]
    michael [visitor]

    all the comments i have read are great, true, there are no LATE FEES, there IS A 24 Hr RENTAL and a 9pm deadline,..before a new rental agreement goes into effect,… one person here said the 9pm messed with her brain and she wants 12am,.. well, I got a vid once from 2 Local Compeditors in town, not at all like redbox, lacked features and process was cumbersome, but the return time was 7PM, that I would not like, I like 9pm and is a resonable hour i would be out, as for the 9 thing though, I don’t think redbox is sniffing the box waiting to charge you for the next day at 9.01pm, no, i think there is a mINumum timeframe that is a grace if your actually returning it, i don’t think again at 1 Minute after it’s burning your card.. hahaha,..

    Redbox is not an enemy to most of us and those who they are well, it’s because there the best in what they do and aparently the largest,..

    hopefully the judge will see the agreement we digitally sign and know there truely are NO LATE FEES, may seem like a gimmic, but it really is not, it’s a simple idea,.. like rechecking out a book at the libruary but it’s one automatically..

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      mshell56118 [visitor]

      Turned in a movie at a redbox at 5 after 9 and was not charged even though i expected to be. they one thing i like is it is nine pm on the local machine not on there system. I live close to the central-eastern time zone break so i have figured out that if is is after nine my time i just take it to a redbox that is in the central time zone and i am good to go.
      as for the 25 dollars it costs to keep that disc 25 days is rental for each period if you do not like that return the darn thing. if you loose it and have it for more then 25 days and want to return it go ahead redbox is just charging you for the 25 rental periods you kept the movie they are not saying you have to keep it just that you are more than welcome to after that point

  23. Visitor [Join Now]
    luvbobby [visitor]

    Why, oh why, do some people think rules apply to everyone except them?
    If you don’t like a store’s policy, don’t trade there.

    Redbox has an EXCELLENT customer service department. Their reps are friendly, helpful & efficient. I’ve had the experience of going to a box to return a DVD only to find the box isn’t working on two occasions (different locations) Reasoning that I shouldn’t be penalized for not being able to return on time, I called the ‘Help’ number (posted right there on the box–ever try to find a phone # for Netflix?) & explained the problem to a rep who asked the location & verified that the system was down, apologized for the inconvenience and then gave me codes for free rentals.

    THAT is what I call caring about customer satisfaction.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      frank prado [visitor]

      friendly customer service? yeah alright, the woman i talked to seemed amused with my trouble. and thats not called caring for their customers thats just their policy.

  24. Visitor [Join Now]
    bobandoug [visitor]

    Here’s a link to the suit filed:

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/10/27/Redbox.pdf

    Item 92, page 21:
    ‘Treble damages attorneys fees are provided for under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act’
    ‘Plaintiff…humbly requests….actual and other appropriate damages in an amount in excess of $50,000.’

    Wendler Law, P.C. in Edwardsville, IL and Brent Coon & Associates, P.C. in St Louis, MO are the reps for the suit.

  25. Visitor [Join Now]
    frank prado [visitor]

    this same thing basically happened to me today
    i was cheching my credit card status and i had been charged $52.20 for two movies that i had supposively not returned which i did in 2 days. They said i didnt turn them in which im pretty sure i did. Also i rented the movies in early september and up til now late november they are barely notifying me about? why so late? if they would have told me earlier i could figured out what went wrong and got my full money back. Theres one thing for sure, im NEVER renting a movie out of that big red box again. I dont care if they’re only a dollar a rental I’d rather go to the blockbuster next door where they charge me 4 bucks a rental. At least im notified when my movies are late in a week. and another thing redbox claims they have no hidden fee’s, yeah…. right!

    • Member [Join Now]
      Mark [rb123456789]

      “You own it for $25 after 25 days” is hardly a hidden fee.

      Bottom line is, you screwed up and must bear some responsibility here. Either you really never did return the movies, or they lost them. You had every opportunity to verify they checked them in by looking for a return email and calling them if one never came.

      I do think if they are charging you the extra $24 any later than 25 days (or a couple more maybe for processing) after you rented that is wrong of them. When calling Redbox I personally would make a big stink about that and use that as part of a rationale possibly for disputing the charge, that their unreasonable delay kept you from notifying them in a more timely manner that indeed the DVDs had been returned.

      But my guess is some significant percentage of people who are certain they returned a movie or book or whatever really did forget or put it somewhere where something got put on top of it, etc. Not all cases, but many.