It looks like Redbox is finally addressing one of the biggest concerns expressed by it’s customers in recent months – slow returns. There has been a lot of speculation on ways to do this over the past year or so – adding a separate return box/slot, or allowing a return while someone is browsing for a movie.
According to the Redbox press release, “BoxButler is an innovative new way to ensure our customers get the best service possible, without having to wait in long lines or deal with full kiosks that slow down the return process. With this new system, we have reduced the return time to just 2 seconds.”
The system is quite simple really – Redbox will add new employees whose sole job will be to be stationed at each Redbox kiosk and take the returned discs from customers. They will then return the disc to the kiosk when it is not busy or full, completely ending any wait time for customers returning discs. It also has the added benefit of speeding up the rental process, since customers coming to rent movies will no longer have to stand in line behind those just there to return their discs.
Overall the system sounds really cool, and to get more details I called Redbox and was put in touch with Ms. Deferst, the VP of Customer Happiness (I know, cool job title, right?). She filled me in on all of the details, and I must say, I am very impressed. The transcript from our call is below.
IR: Thanks so much for taking my call. I was just notified about your new BoxButler service, and had a few questions for you to clarify some things and get more details for my readers.
AD: No problem, Michael. We are very excited about this new service and really hope we can save our customers time and make their experience with Redbox a better one.
IR: Yeah, it does seem like a great service – one that has been needed for awhile. With the popularity of Redbox increasing so much, returns have been a big issue for those in the Inside Redbox community, and I assume this extends to many Redbox customers.
AD: For sure, Michael. We get quite a few calls and emails that revolve around people having problems with returning their discs due to full machines and long lines. We really think BoxButler solves all of these issues.
IR: Great. My first question is one of logistics. It seems like adding a new employee for every Redbox kiosk is quite the task, and could be very expensive. How exactly is this going to work?
AD: That’s a great question, and the answer is one we are really proud of because not only are we going to be serving our customers, but we are going to be helping those who are recently out of a job and looking for work as well. As you know, there have been quite a lot of layoffs recently, with more being announced all of the time. We wanted to soften the blow for many of the families affected by this so that they could meet their needs, too.
IR: Sounds good, so far…
AD: We are inviting all who want to apply to do so, but are specifically targeting recently downsized employees from our competitors such as Blockbuster, Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video. There are quite a few of these folks out there looking for work, and they have the added benefit of movie knowledge and may be able to help our customers in others ways other than just returns. In addition, we will also be looking for employees being downsized from the Postal Service due to the changes there with our “Gone Postal? Go Redbox!” campaign. It is all very exciting.
IR: Wow, that is quite the plan. I love the idea of you saving jobs and making the best of a bad situation, especially considering some of the criticism Redbox recently received over the closing of the Downers Grove call center.
AD: Exactly. We want to make it right, and continue to do our part in this difficult economy.
IR: That is very noble. I do hope it works out. What is the pay going to be like for these positions? Will there be any other duties as well?
AD: There will not be any other duties associated with these positions, as we want to keep things as simple as possible. The job will simply consist of being there to handle the returns and put them back in the box. For those with movie knowledge, they will be able to answer some customers’ questions if the need arises. We are also excited to announce that these employees will be able to watch all of the Redbox movies they want for no cost, as well.
IR: Wow, very cool. Everyone loves free movies, that is for sure. So, how do folks apply for this position?
AD: That is another point of innovation in this process – there is no need to apply at all. To get started, all those who are interested need to do is go down to their nearby Redbox kiosk and start taking customer returns right away. (update: read all the way to the end for full details.) All we ask is that they wear a solid red shirt (and/or jacket, depending on the weather), and that they choose a location where there is no other BoxButler present. And, that’s it. From then on, they will be part of our BoxButler program and receive all of the Redbox movies they want to watch, free of charge. Great, isn’t it?
IR: That does sound very innovative, indeed. Faster returns, saving jobs, and free movies – a lot of people are going to be really happy about all of this. I will share this with my readers right away. Thanks so much for your time, April.
AD: My pleasure, Michael. I look forward to talking again soon.
And there you have it. Redbox is doing it again, changing the way the industry works and helping others in the process.
I want to thank April again for her time, and I hope this service works out. If you are interested in a BoxButler position,
you can get started right away by following the instructions above too bad because it is NOT real!
What do you think? Do you like this new way of doing returns? Is there an even better way? Be sure to share your comments below, and let us know your experiences with BoxButler at your local kiosk.
[If you haven’t realized it by now – yes, this is a joke. Happy April Fools Day 2010!]