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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.

It looks like Redbox has decided against these options, and is going with something that they believe will be even better. They are calling it the BoxButler.

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!]

203 Responses to “Redbox to Speed Up DVD Return Process, Save Jobs”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    big boy [visitor]

    great idea..the only problem i found out today when i went to a redbox location was the guy who was taken movie returns was polite and nice he stunk..!!! he not only smelt like cheap beer he couldn’t stop smoking..once he finished 1 he lit up far as dress code he had a red shirt on,but his pants looked like they had never been washed…he also had his pet dog next to him that kept lifting its leg at the bottom of your redbox machines…great idea,however get people who smell better,that take baths,that don’t smoke 3-packs a day,and someone who doesn’t smell like old english…or malt liquor…so improve this and it will work..don’t be afraid when you return your movies to thease people their only trying to do their jobs that redbox provided to them..i guess redbox doesn’t have dress codes,or train people that well…but great customer service if you can get by the smell…thanks for the personal customer service redbox..keep it up…

    • Member [Join Now]

      um no there is no such thing as a Rebox Butler this is a scam Redbox does have a dress code and would not put someone like that at a machine im hoping you didnt give your movie to that person!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Kdubb [visitor]

      Man I hope you really didn’t give that guy your disc. He probally already sold it for another 40oz of some Old E or Magnum..Happy first day of April, Fool!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      mrs box [visitor]

      ha!! ha!!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      kweenbee [visitor]

      April fools!!!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Movie King [visitor]

      My site had traffic thru the roof! The box butler was a female, dressed in a skimpy french maid’s costume! People were standing in line for hours just to rent a movie and immediately return it! Outstanding!

  2. Member [Join Now]

    April Fool’s. Duh. Very, very clever. Loved it !!!!!!

  3. Member [Join Now]
    juneshome [juneshome]

    Well, it’s a nice thing to trust. But, if for now, anyone can put on a red blouse/shirt and collect returned movies, what’s to say they don’t just walk away with the movies that are turned in to them?? Will the person whose credit card was used to obtain the movie then be charged for non-return? Sorry to be cynical, but these are the times we unfortunately live in….

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    man, I had my resume ready to go and everything… I hate April Fools day!

  5. Member [Join Now]

    I can see alot of people taking advantage of this until they buy a rental that they thought was returned. I’ll trade you this movie for a 40oz or some kid puts on a red t-shirt and make a new movie collection out of rentals.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    SeanDavid [visitor]

    Ummmmm, what??? So when are you going to end this joke Michael?
    Oh and, by the way, not a very good joke. You know how stupid people can be, there’s probably people out there right now standing by a redbox machine taking peoples movies from them, thinking they are going to get a paycheck for it. For those of us who really ARE out of work and struggling very hard, to click on it and read more and realize this whole post is luducris… yeah, not really laughing here, so thanks. I’m sure there are a lot of sick ass people that ARE imagining some dumb guy standing by the machine and laughing there asses off. I had no idea you were one of these people. Wow. Pretty low.

    • Administrator
      Michael [administrator]

      Dude are you kidding? It is April Fools’ Day. Many companies/websites write funny stories for today – I do it every year. It’s OK to have fun once in awhile, ya know?

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        SeanDavid [visitor]

        No I’m not kidding. Yeah, I have read a few funny april fools jokes by companies…like the one from a record company that said this one bands CD release was pushed back indefinately. But none of the ones I have read put anyone in any danger of being ripped off by handing DVDs to a stranger; or worse, standing outside all day thinking they have finally found a new job to feed their family. It is OK to have fun, but I don’t think it would be very fun to be one of those people. Ya, you’d have to be either not too smart, or just very naieve and trusting to believe this post, but there are A LOT of people like that out there. Sorry, I personally did not find this funny.

        • Member [Join Now]

          I agree that no this is not funny and yes there are people standing out side taking dvd’s lets see how all of this pans out im curious to see as a real redbox employee myself…..

      • Member [Join Now]
        HailDarkLord [haildarklord]

        Michael, this reminds me of way back in school, where on the first day of a new class the teacher would hand out a completely impossible to finish test with the instructions, “Read the entire test complete FIRST! This is a REAL test and will result indirectly in over 50% of your grade in this class! Remember, READ THE ENTIRE TEST and follow the instructions completely!”

        The first line read, “READ THE ENTIRE SHEET BEFORE YOU START!”

        The center was a standard semester ending test.

        The last line read, “Now ignore everything above, ONLY add your name, date, and turn in the paper without speaking to anyone. The remaining day is yours for following instructions and reading over the sheet first!”

        The “test” provided the basis in fact that people do not always read all the facts before jumping to conclusions. So always read contracts, follow directives, and USE YOUR HEAD! Question things, use common sense, and be aware. Just because you didn’t think of it, doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t take the time too.

        So, in closing, for those who would hand your DVD to a red shirted employee stating in a store without question… I have a deal for you! We can now put movies on a strip of magnetic tape! It’s totally new and the next “big thing”! For only $500 you can be the first to own one of these new technology advancements! Oh, and I have MILES beach for sale in sunny Death Vally, California!

        Have fun, notice the date, use your head. Don’t be angry if someone “got you”. ~ Jim

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tony [visitor]

    Great idea, but what if the butler steal the movie. How am I going to prove of my return.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    mrs box [visitor]

    it is a scam!!

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    mrs box [visitor]

    If you give your dvds to anyone wearing a redbox shirt you will be charged for it not being returned to the tune of 25.00 plus tax!! this is a scam!!

  10. Member [Join Now]

    You guys know this is a scam right DO NOT TURN YOUR DVD’S INTO A REDBOX BUTLER as there is no such thing! I am a customer service Team Lead For Redbox and this is not legit, movies need to be returned into the machine. If you hand your dvd to someone else and they do not return it, it is your responsibilty. This site is not even affiliated with Redbox please go to for correct information.

    • Member [Join Now]
      Timec [timec]

      I love how you say that the site is “not even affiliated with Redbox” and then provide a link to the official site as if that was information the site owner was trying to keep hidden. Here’s a hint: Every page on this site (including a message before the “Submit Comment” button) gives that exact information. Heck, it even provides their customer service phone number.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        mrs box [visitor]

        you would be surpirse how many people think this is redbox’s site because it is the first one that comes up if you google “redbox”.

        • Administrator
          Michael [administrator]

          This is certainly not the first site that comes up when you do a search for Redbox. I just searched right now and it came up #6.

          Honestly, I do all that I can to ensure people are not confused by this site. As has been pointed out before, everytime you leave a comment you have to see the Notice that clearly states this is an independent site.

          Most people figured out that this was a joke (being April Fools Day, and all) pretty quick. It is satire, and clearly not plausible, especially when you read the end. Having a sense of humor is a good thing.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    redbox employee [visitor]


  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    Cmc3 [visitor]

    Sadly, there are a lot of gullible people out there who will probably fall for this.

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    lemka [visitor]

    This was not funny. Playing a practical joke on people who are out of work it pretty pathetic. Shame on you.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Tomas [visitor]

      Well, I guess it’s good to be occasionally reminded that there are a whole lot of dense people in the world.

      Yes – I was fooled when I saw the title of the email. But as soon as I, you know, actually started reading the article I realized that it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

      The best jokes (especially the best April Fools jokes) do not make it immediately apparent that they are jokes. They instead leave little clues as to the less than authentic nature of the piece. One must look for issues of plausibility (let’s face it – anyone with any grasp of reality would see that this isn’t at all realistic) and other little clues.

      To all who are attacking Michael: the problem isn’t Michael. It’s you.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    Cmc3 [visitor]

    I hope Michael’s April Fools joke doesn’t screw RedBox and it’s customers. There are way too many trusting people out there who get suckered in daily with this kind of stuff. They don’t realize until it’s too late that they’ve been scammed.

  15. Member [Join Now]

    If this was real, then it would be a bad plan, for all of the reasons that others have mentioned. This was not that great of a joke. People will probably belive this. There will probably be somebody standing by a Redbox all night (lol). This might just give someone a plan to steal Redbox dvds. If that happens then this joke has really screwed up

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    GoodFinances [visitor]

    A nice jab because RedBox has laid off a bunch of people

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    me [visitor]

    i think it is funny, and i think it is even funnier that people here do not seem to have a sense of humor.

  18. Visitor [Join Now]
    Az4me [visitor]

    Oh my, are you people for real??? You didn’t see this was April Fool joke coming from 5 miles away???
    I, for 1, WITH a sense of humor, saw it as soon as I read a HUMAN will stand at a box to receive returns. Come on folks, laugh, I promise it will do you a world of good.
    And for those SO concerned about people being ripped off by this…groan…if anyone is SO stupid to hand over a rental to a complete stranger, well, sorry to say, but they deserve it!!!
    The main problem I see here is lack of a funny bone by some of you commenters.
    Get real.
    As for me, I AM THANKFUL for a REASON TO LAUGH, something we ALL need.
    AZ4me :)

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    tuna [visitor]

    The sign says This is an independent website and is not affiliated with Redbox
    At the bottom of this page now someone is going to give a return DVD to a Redbox with a return butler then find out it was fake then turn around and sues redbox funny!

  20. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rebecca [visitor]

    Wow good April Fools joke…”Happy April Fools Day”

  21. Visitor [Join Now]
    Marie [visitor]

    HAHAHA! I’m sorry for those who think this isn’t funny. Once I got to the explanation about how to apply for the job it was so obvious this was an April Fools joke. I really want to drive by a Redbox now to see if anyone is out there. With any April Fools joke people might get upset and even fall for it, that is just how it is. I’ve done jokes where I’ve upset another person really badly, but they got over it and was able to laugh. If you don’t have a sense of humor then make sure to mark your calendar for April Fools and don’t take anything seriously on that day. Unfortunately people might take advantage of this, but that is just the world we live in, don’t blame it on Micheal. I think he was a genius to come up with this, wish I did. Go Micheal!

  22. Visitor [Join Now]
    Joe [visitor]

    There is not one mention of how much this job pays and even more, Doesn’t say HOW you would go about getting paid! Anybody that would go do this within first researching it is stupid. Any redbox jobs I imagine would be posted on the actual redbox website and this is not!

  23. Visitor [Join Now]
    Cynthia [visitor]

    Come on, people. Wasn’t April De Ferst your first clue that this was a fake story. Can’t you take a joke?

  24. Visitor [Join Now]
    Maxwell_Taylor [visitor]

    And this is what’s wrong with america…no sense of humor any more….or maybe it’s that people are just dumber than they used to be back in the day.
    reminds me of the reason for labels on lawnmowers.

  25. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    OMG, how do some of these people even know how to turn on their computer?
    Even after 20 postings about it being an April Fool’s joke, there are still people posting that its a scam. Duh, geez people. You must be the same people who hand your keys to the valet parking guy at Mcdonalds, and then are surprised to find that your car was stolen.

  26. Visitor [Join Now]
    wsm [visitor]

    The first April Fools post I read all the way through. Thanks, Mike.

  27. Member [Join Now] []

    Very clever April Fool’s joke!

    However, was it really necessary to send out a special email about this? I don’t mind the weekly updates, but if I get a special email, I would expect it to be a legitimate, very important story, not an April Fool’s joke.

  28. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jonathan Rowling [visitor]

    Well reading this April fool’s joke as well as some comments about people returning their movies to people by redboxes, hopefully you all know this was April’s Fool Joke. Also in case someone fell for that scam by reading this email, I don’t think redbox will refund you any money. In case of complaint you might have to see the owner of this site which as stated below is independent website and not affiliated with Redbox. I hope this dude is ready to payup all the money based on people doing what he wrote, because I don’t think this was redbox approved.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      lovinit [visitor]

      Oh my gosh! Are you serious? If anyone is dumb enough to lose money on this in any way, it won’t come back to Michael. At the end, he clearly states that it’s an April Fool’s joke! He has covered himself from any possible issues from this. I think it was a great joke and I think people need to take everything with a grain of salt and not believe everything they read or hear…. No wonder ObamaCare passed! Just sayin….

  29. Visitor [Join Now]
    zeroturnzed [visitor]

    It is a good thing that this is a joke because if it was real, redbox would lose the entire customer base within a week over this piece of idiocy. Although, if they paid enough I might wear one of those red shirts. Heck I might do it anyway just for the free movies to add to my collection.

  30. Visitor [Join Now]
    Firstlawofnature [visitor]

    In my town there are far more blockbuster kiosks than redboxes so I put on my red netflix shirt and stood outside the blue box. The machine was broken so I thought I’d get lots of takers for my butler service. Unfortunitely there wasn’t a single return while I waited.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      NC Red [visitor]

      If “these BoxButler ” did do this at Redbox, maybe there are Blue Shirt “ExpressButler” at the Blockbuster kiosks, because Blockbuster renters are more native about give money away!! :)

  31. Visitor [Join Now]
    john sfrengeu [visitor]

    I read part of the story and I tough it was a great idea, then i read the comments and remembered todays date.

  32. Visitor [Join Now]
    Maria [visitor]

    I know we need to have humor every now and then but Michael when people are out of work or been laid off, they are pretty much in pain and confused, so don’t be naive to think that this kind of joke is acceptable. look into your heart if you can feel them struggling, hope you’ll never experience it so please think of other people’s feeling when you decide to do April’s fool. Especially in this economy, everybody is doing there best to stay alive and maybe laughing a little is a good thing but not to the expense of fooling people.

    • Administrator
      Michael [administrator]

      This story really had nothing to do with being out of work, it was a joke about the return system at Redbox, being that is probably the biggest complaint I hear around here. If you notice, the whole story pulls in current events in the movie industry and makes a joke out of it. Isn’t that what April Fools Day is all about, taking something that may be slightly plausible and making it implausible?

      Yes, I have struggled before. Yes, I have been out of work. There is no way I would ever be offended by something like this, especially on April Fools Day. It is good to laugh, and most readers and commenters here did just that. If you really were offended by this, perhaps you need to take a look at yourself and ask if the problem is really a story like this on April Fools Day.

  33. Visitor [Join Now]
    Wanda [visitor]

    That wasn’t funny at all.

  34. Visitor [Join Now]
    IMALRYT [visitor]

    I knew it was a scam while reading it because I would never release my rented Redbox video to a person standing next to the machine so that they can return it for me. The return of the video is directed associated to my debit card and I am very careful about those things! This was not a funny April Fool’s Joke!

    • Administrator
      Michael [administrator]

      I know you are not the only one calling this a “scam”, but seriously!? Whether you thought it was funny or not, it was a joke – no one is actually suggesting you do this. It is not like there is some diabolic plot to steal movies.

      As some commenters mentioned, there are people who do this for valet parking and other things. It is really sad, but it does happen. I do think anyone with any sense would realize that handing over your property to some random person with no obvious authority is a bad idea.

      Maybe this could be considered a good PSA to anyone who would do such a thing.

  35. Visitor [Join Now]
    Melissa [visitor]

    Seriously? People, if you would hand over your movies to a guy in a red shirt just because he was standing next to a red box, your going to get ripped off. Obviously this was a joke, you didn’t even need to finish reading to realize that! It’s not a scam, it’s an April Fools Joke – the difference – no one was actually trying to get you to hand over your movies to some stranger. Now it’s sad there are so many people more than willing to believe everything they read, but if they had bothered to finish reading, they would have known it was a joke!

  36. Visitor [Join Now]
    slidecage [visitor]

    I dont see why anyone would belive this for one second…. redbox would never hire anyone to just stand around all day… Here there are what around 80 Redboxs within maybe a 50 mile zone…

    80 x8 per hour that is 640 bucks per hour redbox would have to pay just for this city… That is probally more then they make in a day

  37. Member [Join Now]

    Very funny. I loved it. For those of you who are upset, YOU ARE A FOOL! Hence the name APRIL FOOL’S DAY. You have been made a FOOL of. That is the WHOLE IDEA of APRIL 1ST. GET OVER IT!
    I got it when talking about a resume.

  38. Visitor [Join Now]
    lovinit [visitor]

    I thought it was a great joke! Very witty. I seriously wanted to drive around town to see if there was anyone standing by any Kiosks. Heck, I’d go stand by a Kiosk just to see if anyone would really hand me a movie! That would make my April Fool’s day!!

  39. Visitor [Join Now]
    Chris [visitor]

    Ok, people are dumb. Try not to be one!

    “…not a funny joke cause people are out of work…” First, if they are out of work and reading this post, who is paying their internet bill? =)

    Really, I am out of work and thought, wow that is funny. I can’t let being penniless and out of work take my humor. Laugh a little people, it won’t hurt.

  40. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bill [visitor]

    There were so many things wrong with this story that you had to know it was a joke!