Redbox Policy Change


redbox logoA couple of weeks ago, no rx _Technically Speaking_ reported on Redbox automated DVD rentals. We’ve used Redbox a number of times since then, about it and generally speaking, buy I’ve been quite impressed. That may be about to change, however.

Last night we rented _Robots_ (not very funny, and not well written, but a subject for a different entry) from Redbox. This morning, there was a rental receipt in my e-mail for this rental. At the bottom of the receipt, I found the following fine print:

DVD rentals cost only $1.00 + tax until 10pm (7pm in Utah, Wyoming, and Northern Nevada) the next evening, then $1.00 + tax for each night thereafter

The important part of this note, is that the receipt says that movies are due at 7PM in Utah, Wyoming, and Northern Nevada.

This was the first time I had heard this policy, and I immediately sent an e-mail to Redbox asking for clarification. Margaret Jones from Redbox sent me the following reply:

Hello Paul,

Thank you for your e-mail, regarding the 7:00 PM return time. This has not always been the policy, you are correct movies were due back at 10:00 PM, however the time change will improve the stock of our most popular titles. Starting November 8th, 2005 Dvd’s (sic) will be have to be returned by 7:00 Pm. If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at 1-866-redbox-3 and we will be more than happy to assist you. Thank you, Margaret Jones RedboxDvd Customer Service.

I called 1-866-RedBox3 because our movie had been scratched, and I wanted to alert them. At the end of the call, I asked about the change I had noticed on my rental receipt. The customer service rep told me that the change would be effective as of November 15^th^, 2005.

In my opinion, this is _not_ a good change for consumers. With the previous model, you could take advantage of your rental the evening you rented it, and the evening after you rented it, as long as you got the movie back before 10. this was especially useful if you had a rent-one get-one-free promotion. You could watch one movie the first night, and one movie the second night, as long as you got both back before 10 on the second day. Now, however a rent-one get-on-free promotion will essentially be useless on any week day, because who has time to watch two movies in one evening? Certainly not me.

I sent Redbox customer service a message asking them for some clarifications on their new policy. When I find out more information, I’ll let you know.

But it seems that the Redbox that a month ago I thought was so cool and could do no wrong found a way to make itself less cool by committing a major wrong!


5 responses to “Redbox Policy Change”

  1. Interesting, and I have to say that I disagree. I did like the 10 PM policy, but more because it made it easier than because I could watch a movie the second night. In my opinion, I would never want to watch a movie knowing that the minute I finished it, I would probably have to tear out the door to get it back in time.

    From a business sense, this move is very very smart. A 10 PM return time essentially removes that movie from rental stock for two nights. The majority of movie renters probably rent well in advance of the 10 PM deadline, so they have no chance to rent a movie turned in at that time. It’s smarter for RedBox to move it up, and it puts them more in line with the major rental stores on the market.

    RedBox is still my first choice for renting (we rented Batman Begins–EXCELLENT– two nights ago and will probably rent another film tonight) even with the earlier return time.

    Oh, and Courtney and I frequently watch two movies in a single night. When we do a movie night, we do a movie night. Two films, lots of snacks, a long comfortable couch… What could be better? Ah, yes. A cheese pizza.

  2. I was charged for to many dvd rentals.and also if i was charged for the dvd for having it to long when i returned it why did it except my movie and not recieve it.Now since i was charged for the dvd how do i get it back since its mine now. but please check my transactions
    and let me know what you find. Derrick Golston visa#4XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX,Exp. Date XX/XX.

    NOTE: This comment was moderated by the blog author; I removed the poster’s private credit card number and expiration date.

  3. Derrick,

    I don’t work for Redbox. I am simply a customer who wrote a blog entry about my experience with them.

    And I’ve removed your credit card number and expiration date from your comment, as I don’t think you ought to be publishing that to the world.

    I’d check with redbox.com for customer service information. They have a number you can call.

  4. I recently received an e-mail from a reader who said that the number I gave for Redbox was incorrect. However, I verified the information from Redbox’s contact page:

    For questions or to obtain information on Redbox Automated DVD Rental see the FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions section, write to questions@redbox.com, or call 1.866.REDBOX3.

    As far as I know, this number is still the main contact number for Redbox (whose service I still occasionally use, even if I think NetFlix is tons better).

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