March 02, 2010
| by Arlen Schweiger
If you’re used to receiving movie rentals in the mail ... then you don’t really need to read further here. But if you still visit your local Blockbuster video store (of which there could be almost a thousand fewer by the end of the year), be aware that those pesky late fees are coming back.
The struggling video rental service, which like rival Netflix does not charge late fees on postal-based rentals, will have $1 late fees for in-store movie rentals beginning this month, reports Home Media.
Blockbuster has reduced its rental period on $4.99 new releases from seven days to five days, and will charge a $1 late fee for up to 10 days after you haven’t returned the video, thus capping the charge at $10.
This is a shift from a 10-day grace period Blockbuster previously granted customers before implementing the $10 charge.
According to Blockbuster spokesperson Michelle Metzger, 80 percent of Blockbuster rentals are new releases, and are typically checked out 4.7 days.
Home Media notes that this move seems to be more in line with growing rival Redbox, which charges $1 per day of the rental for up to 25 days (at which point it considers the disc bought).
On that note, it’s also in line with my local library, which also charges $1 per day that a video is late to be returned. Then again, it was borrowed for free to begin with.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.