Monday, November 19, 2007

Tale of two video stores

After work Friday, I went to our old video store (the one near our last place of residence) because they carried a film I wanted to show this week in class. They have a deal where you can rent 4 films for a week so I perused the store to find three more that would be good to show/watch. I spent about 45 minutes in there before I went to the counter to rent them. The guy informed me that I had to pay my late fees before I could rent.

"Late fees? No, there must be some mistake."

"In May of 2006, you rented War of the Worlds and brought it back 6 days late. You owe $46."

"That's impossible, I've never seen that film. Plus I've rented since then."

"They just didn't make you pay the late fees when you rented. You only rented one time since then - last November."

"I didn't rent that film."

"You're right, Serge rented it, but it's on your account so you're responsible."

"I am not paying $46! I could buy the film twice for that price!"

"Well, $30 has to be paid today."

"You're going to lose a client like this."

"You probably didn't rent here for so long since you knew you had these late fees."

That was it, fuck these people. I stormed out of there in a major huff. (Up here, you don't have to supply a credit card in order to rent films so they can't really "get you".) I went to the car and called Serge. "Did you rent War of the Worlds and turn in the video late?" He said, "Yeah, we saw that, it was terrible remember?" (of course I don't remember) "But does it ring a bell that you brought the video back late, because they say it was 6 days late." All Serge could say was, "It's possible." (Who can remember - it's been a year and a half.)

I got in the car and went to the video store across the street from our new home and asked about the late fees I have to pay. The last set of films I rented there I forgot about and turned in late. (I always remember if I turn something in late because I get really pissed at myself for forgetting.) The girl looked at me and said, "Three films were three days late, so it's $6. But you can just use your points to pay the fees." "I have points?" I asked. It seems that I have points accumulating each time I rent films. So she erased my late fees but also informed me they didn't carry the film I wanted. (Swimming with Sharks)

I came home and looked up the film on Amazon. It's available for $11.49. I ordered it and was told there was no charge because I had gift certificates already applied to my account. (This was a surprise to me. I must have forgotten about it.) So I will have the film Wednesday. And of course I will never spend another dime at the old video store chain. They have gone onto my boycott list, along with Blockbuster (I've had video trouble before) and Harvey's.

30 comments:

Snooze said...

My local video place often waves late fees. I have had to pay them sometimes - but never more than $20 (and that was fair enough because I returned five films, five days late - oops). If there wasn't a waiting list for a particular title, I can't see why they are being such jerks about it. Good for your boycott! And I boycott Blockbuster too for their editing of movies.

Ed said...

I'm clueless when it comes to computers and electronic gadgets but I know a guy who gets me any movie I want on DVD. I just say I'd like such and such a film and in a day or two he has it for me. I asked him is this legal? He said yes as long as I don't charge you for it. He burns the film onto DVD from his computer. I have no idea how he gets movies that are not out on sale yet but he does. So Torn you need a guy but you can't have mine, sorry. hahaha!

Lemuel said...

Was this store (the offending one) a chain? Would love to know. I'd join you in your boycott, although to tell the truth, lately we've been buying pre-viewed DVD's from a local store (not BlockBuster) when they run a special. They end up costing not much more that a single rental, we have them to watch whenever, and we do not need to worry about late fees.

mainja said...

okay, I'll bite, why Harveys?

Anonymous said...

is netflix available in canada yet? makes everything so much easier.

Polt said...

Netflix, my friend. If you can get them up there you simply MUST do so. Diffeent plans to suit your needs. And they come right to your door, no shipping fees and best of all in your case NO LATE FEES!

WHoo-hooo!

HUGS...

Maurice said...

I'll bite, too. Why Harvey's? It so happens they also pissed me off a few years ago and I haven't returned since, although I never formally referred to my refusal to return a "boycott."

tornwordo said...

I bit into a rancid burger (really disgusting) at Harvey's and they laughed when I brought it to their attention. Charmed me out of ever going back.

Cooper said...

It was a far, far better thing you did than ever you did before.

(How do these people think they'll stay in business with that kind of attitude? )

GayProf said...

In the era of Netflix, I am shocked that video stores are still using their same old business model.

Blockbuster is evil for many, many reasons.

RoxRocks said...

We have a dish with every channel you can imagine. Yet hub still rents movies on occasion. Me? I'm a buyer of movies. I am always crawling around in the bargain bin looking for five dollar movies from 1984, or adding films to my Johnny Depp Collection.

Laverne said...

Wow. $46 for one movie six days late? That's crazy. more than seven bucks a day? How much did the regular rental cost in the first place.

Crazy man, crazy.

You know the library has movie rentals too, didn't you?

don said...

Order the movie for $5 on VOD and then record it on your TiVo. Then you will have a digital copy for ever. Late fees? Nada!

dirk.mancuso said...

I once worked in a video store and was allowed to waive late fees for customers in cases where I felt their business was more important than a few dollars. The only people I refused to erase late charges for were the ones who didn't return a movie because they lost it and didn't feel they should have to pay anything since "I can't find it so why should I have to pay for something I can't even watch again?"

(And what kind of late fee do they charge that it's $46 for 6 days? Damn. My video store only charges you the rental cost per day -- which would amount to $16.74 in your case.)

Anonymous said...

We use Rogers Home Direct to rent films. Same as Netflix, I suppose. DVDs arrive in your mailbox, you what them whenever you have time and then mail them back to Rogers. They have a HUGE selection of films.

Lewis said...

Oh, the tangled webs and trouble our husbands can get us into. DAMN THEM!

vuboq said...

I had a similar experience as yours with the only video store near my home, Hollywood Video. I totally *heart* Netflix.

Perplexio said...

Swimming With Sharks is a great film! I look forward to reading about how your class reacts to it!

And way to stick it to the man! Blockbuster in the US has gotten rid of late fees but they charge so much per rental that it's no wonder... If they're charging $3.99 and up per movie, it's no wonder they don't need to charge late fees any longer!

Patricia said...

yup, things like this will make me boycott companies like this and tell everyone i know to boycott them, as well. and i can stand it when someone is so smug with me.

em said...

Shit, I have a DVD that is late!

Cameron said...

Netflix, Netflix, Netflix!!

If you don't have this chain in Canada, surely there must be one that's comparable.

While I was on the road with Phantom of the Opera for 10 years in the US, Hollywood Video was generally my choice.

But now that I am settled in one place (which just happens to be out in the middle of nowhere!) Netflix is PERFECT.

Getting stuff in the mail or online seems to be a lot better than retail, which is dying a slow death.

Lacey said...

Well, I don't know. You just sound like trouble to me.

But yes, Netflix is so wonderful. The DVD can just sit there on the table for weeks, and there's never a late fee.

lattégirl said...

You gonna tell us the Harvey's story? I do love to read a good complaint/rant.

bardelf said...

As a former librarian, I must inquire as to whether you ever return library books late.

I tried Harvey once. Once was enough.

David said...

I hear ya. I don't rent videos, but I was at a deli last week and the bill came to something like $7.38, and I had $7.37 in exact change, so I handed it over assuming the guy would not make a fuss but he just kept repeating the amount and looking at me so I had to break a $20. I will never go back there again.

Jason said...

What happened at Harvey's?

Lyvvie said...

I never rent movies because I always forget to return them on time. The library ladies often hand over books to me and hold onto them a little longer then necessary because they know it's not coming back for a month. At least I can always remember to renew.

Those are some scary fees for a silly six days. They're Sadist Movie Rentals, right?

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Good for you, TW. I love to read people taking a stand against dipshit businesses.

Who thinks they can get rich by fucking over customers?

Java said...

I tend to buy the pre-viewed DVDs. No returning them! Sometimes, though, I end up with a stinker that sits on the shelf taking up valuable DVD space.

Steven said...

You shouldn't be mad at them because of your selective memory loss. LOL.

I mean, first the late fees, then the 'points' situation, and the amazon gift certificates...