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Letters to the Editor

Blockbuster’s policies misrepresented
Re: “Blockbuster has no right to mislead customers,” March 30

I found it quite sad to read the editorial on Blockbuster and their “no late fees” slogan. I am an ex-employee and quit about a month before the new “no late fees” program was implemented by Blockbuster.

I have friends who still work there and keep me up-to-date on the changing policies. I knew about this program not only from what they told me but also from what I saw on the news.

The editorial was not totally accurate. First of all, the customer’s accounts are not billed for the movie after seven days. They are billed for the movie after 30 days.

I know this because I have kept movies past the seven days and I have received a notice in the mail stating that I have kept it too long and if I don’t return it, my account will be billed. Also, they are not billed for a new movie, they are billed the previously viewed price which at most is $16.99 plus tax. They also have the option to return the movie and get that fee taken off their account.

I know that corporations can be heartless and uncaring; God knows I feel and have felt that way about Blockbuster during my three-year employment with them. But facts are facts. I had throes of customers complaining every day because of late fees, people who didn’t want to pay even though they knew they kept the movies longer than they were supposed to.

Also, the fact that they are charging the movie to the account is not a late fee so that the slogan is not misleading.

I am by no means defending a corporation that at times has treated its customers, even the undeserving ones, better than its employees. I am just sticking up for the people who work there. In the end, the employees who these petty customers deal with every day are the ones who will have to bear the brunt of some customer’s attack because they were billed for a movie.

And yes, like the editorial stated, they did get pamphlets that explained everything. I know that a lawyer always warns for everyone to read the fine print. I guess when it comes to Blockbuster, people feel they shouldn’t have to. I mean it’s not like it’s a mortgage or anything.

As for the suit, I’m glad the people won. If they have the time to rent movies and keep them for 30 days and be charged for them, then by all means they should get money back because they were told there would be no late fees, and there is a fee of $1.25 that is applied to the account after seven days.

I just hope they didn’t keep the movies, too. They couldn’t be that selfish, could they?

Juana E. Soto is majoring in business management.