• Report: #243024

Complaint Review: Blockbuster Online

  • Submitted: Mon, April 09, 2007
  • Updated: Mon, November 10, 2008

  • Reported By:Los Angeles California
Blockbuster Online
Blockbuster.com Internet U.S.A.

Blockbuster Online hire a lawyer before giving Blockbuster your credit card number Outlets Nationwide Online Internet

*UPDATE Employee: well that has an easy solution

*Consumer Comment: Middletown, New York is not a suburb of New York City!

*Consumer Comment: Wow - such a 'tude!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Have to side with Blockbuster on this one Scott.

*Author of original report: Thanks... I think?

*Consumer Comment: "Southern Belle" Im a city girl!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Still confused.

*Consumer Comment: 'Who's on acid' ?

*Author of original report: Why so personal?

*Consumer Comment: And who's on LSD?

*Consumer Comment: Where is your confusion coming from?

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Confused by your statements.

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For those of you considering renting DVD's from Blockbuster.com may I first offer a word of advice? Don't give them any credit card number... even under the happy premise that you're merely entering a 'free' trial period.

Nothing is free at Blockbuster, as I found out these past few months. It cost me 60 bucks, 20 a month, but finally it's over and good riddens.

The problem is this: Blockbuster's website appears to have been designed by a 1960's acid flashback casuality, or, a lawyer. Or worse yet, a legalese-speaking fork-tongued lawyer on LSD. If you doubt this, then accept this challenge: Logon to the site, Blockbuster.com... and try obtaining something so simple as an email address.

Buried somewhere--- who knows, Iraq maybe -- is the answer as to why Blockbuster can charge you 20 dollars each month DVD's you neither bought or rented. And besides, What right do they have to peddle this 'free' offer and then turn around a few days and begin charging your credit card. If someone would have notified me (in that I made 'my' email address available), I most certainly would have cancelled. The best I can do now is never give them my business, be it online or in their stores... the latter of which will be soon be converted into 7-11's or dry cleaning establishments. Screw over enough people and the people will eventually bury you. It'll be fun to watch.

Scott
Los Angeles, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/09/2007 01:53 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Blockbuster-Online/internet/Blockbuster-Online-hire-a-lawyer-before-giving-Blockbuster-your-credit-card-number-Outlets-243024. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 12Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

well that has an easy solution

AUTHOR: Jeremy - (U.S.A.)

even when you sign up for the free trial you agreed to allow it to continue unless you cancel for the regular rate. All you have to do is cancel... which is only 2 double clicks away when you're signed on.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Middletown, New York is not a suburb of New York City!

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

I have been reading this tread, and I would like to correct Shawnagunk's erroneous statement about Middletown, New York being a suburb of New York City.

Middletown, New York is located over 65 miles from the New York City line, and therefore cannot be considered a suburb of New York City.

Middletown is actually an "exurb" of New York City!

By the way, I have used both Blockbuster Total Access and Netflix, and I prefer Netflix.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Wow - such a 'tude!

AUTHOR: Shawangunk - (U.S.A.)

Scott, why must you resort to such insolent name-calling and personal attacks, especially when you have no idea that of which you speak. I mean really, Marietta (suburb of Atlanta) and Middletown (suburb of New York) are HARDLY backwoods/southern Belle type places. Besides why do you take such interest in this anyway? It has nothing to do with your complaint.

Anyway, moving past your ignorance ... the only valid comment you made in your recent postings was "Don't you think Blockbuster is aware that many people may sign up for their 'free' offer and then, out of either forgetfulness or the procedure of online renting being relatively new, forget to cancel?"

Of course Blockbuster makes money off such people, as does every company that offers such similar free trials. This, however, does NOT mean that you were ripped off. Blockbuster provided the terms and conditions of the free trial which you had to agree to when you signed up. Just because you are "forgetful" and "can't remember" does not absolve you of your end of the bargain, nor does it qualify you to cry rip off.

May I suggest you work on improving your memory so this does not happen to you again. Try some Ginkgo Biloba supplements or something.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Have to side with Blockbuster on this one Scott.

AUTHOR: Patrick - (U.S.A.)

Scott,

I'll address your points individually:

"First off: Thanks, Patrick, for your response. You appear to be sincere, and furthermore you don't appear to be a shill, lacky, or otherwise hard-pressed-for-entertainment type drooling at a keyboard while doing Blockbuster's bidding."

I appreciate the fact that you recognize my sincereness to your problem, and lack of onesidedness in this situation, even though I am a former Store Manager who left on good terms with the company. If you look at most of the other Blockbuster reports on this site, you will see that I honestly try and help each person with their particular situation (except Steve from Philadelphia, that guy is just loco if you ask me).


"Well it makes perfect sense if you're out of the country for almost 2 months. Yes, all of us did have access to the Internet. And if the greedy corporation in question would pop for the extra cost of notifying its customers by email invoice then I would've cancelled immediately. Don't you think Blockbuster is aware that many people may sign up for their 'free' offer and then, out of either forgetfulness or the procedure of online renting being relatively new, forget to cancel?"

This, unfortunately, is where I have to side with Blockbuster in your case. The terms are very clear and posted in multiple locations on the website that if you do not cancel, you will be charged the monthly fees. It seems in your case that you had (unexpectedly?) gone out of the country shorlty after signing up, and found the charges when you got back. So here's my suggestion. Call up Customer Service and explain the situation (not sure what you have done to this point as it has not been included in your missives so far). They should be able to check your account and see that in fact you never checked out any titles. If the first person gives you no satisfaction, then ask for a supervisor.


"Tell me, is Blockbuster (aka Texas scam artists) unaware that many people fall into this group. I believe they're very much aware. In fact, I believe many online businesses love the idea of a recurring monthly charge. they 'bank' on it, shall we say."

I would have to imagine that the vast majority (at least 98%) of people who sign up for the free trial check out at least a few titles. I mean, why else would they sign up in the first place? Your's seems to be an exception to the rule, rather than a typical scenario. I do agree that companies like having customers on a recurring automatic draft. Much easier for them (and for me as well to be honest, I have like 4 bills that draft automatically).


"It's probably my fault. I should've carefully read and re-read all of the legalese and conditions and agreements implied or otherwise stated between lessor and lessee."

I took the liberty of removing some of the text of this paragraph. I would have to agree with the statement above (less all the sarcasm of course).

I'm not going to bother with the last paragraph as it only detracts from your report. I sincerely hope you follow my suggestion above. You may still be able to get at least some money back.

Good luck!
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#5 Author of original report

Thanks... I think?

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

First off: Thanks, Patrick, for your response. You appear to be sincere, and furthermore you don't appear to be a shill, lacky, or otherwise hard-pressed-for-entertainment type drooling at a keyboard while doing Blockbuster's bidding. (Tell me, do you guys at least get unlimited free rentals while doing the B-Buster's damage control all over the Internet?)

So then, Patrick, to answer your question: "Are you saying you signed up for the free trial, but did not check out any movies? That doesn't make much sense."

Well it makes perfect sense if you're out of the country for almost 2 months. Yes, all of us did have access to the Internet. And if the greedy corporation in question would pop for the extra cost of notifying its customers by email invoice then I would've cancelled immediately. Don't you think Blockbuster is aware that many people may sign up for their 'free' offer and then, out of either forgetfulness or the procedure of online renting being relatively new, forget to cancel?

Tell me, is Blockbuster (aka Texas scam artists) unaware that many people fall into this group. I believe they're very much aware. In fact, I believe many online businesses love the idea of a recurring monthly charge. they 'bank' on it, shall we say.

It's probably my fault. As Blockbuster's little helpers at this site have already pointed out: I should've carefully read and re-read all of the legalese and conditions and agreements implied or otherwise stated between lessor and lessee. but, unlike Julz and Shawangunk of Middletown (or in Gunk's case, Meddlingtown), I happen to have a life.

The above is an example of not only a personal attack on Shawangunk, but also the entire jerky backwater town he resides in. My initial salvo was aimed at a corporation, not any individual. But since Julz, I believe, opened that door of repartee, Why should I not in turn be allowed to slam it shut? It's the law of reciprocity, you only get what you give. Till the next round of bright-eyed drooling B-Buster employees show up. Good day, y'all.
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#6 Consumer Comment

"Southern Belle" Im a city girl!

AUTHOR: Julie - (U.S.A.)

Here your saying that whoever designed blockbusters online was on lsd or having flashbacks from acid. Your post didn't make much sense and when you add all that lsd stuff in-it makes you wonder!! Im no "southern belle"- my dad being in the military I have lived everywere including california.

If you've been to GA you would know especially "Atlanta area" its no hickville. You said you didn't get any movies but continued to pay for 3 months- why didn't you do something the 1st month or at least rented some movies. No southern belle here!

Jules
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Still confused.

AUTHOR: Patrick - (U.S.A.)

OK Scott, I'm still confused. Did you not read the terms and conditions of the "Free Trial" when you signed up?

And since it was a "Free Trial", wouldn't something like having to provide a CC number trigger an alarm for you?

So basically Blockbuster is giving you some time to try the service for free. And if you like it, great. All you have to do is continue checking out movies and pay the monthly fee. But if you don't like it, you cancel before the trial is over and get charged nothing.

Are you saying you signed up for the free trial, but did not check out any movies? That doesn't make much sense.
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#8 Consumer Comment

'Who's on acid' ?

AUTHOR: Shawangunk - (U.S.A.)

Actually, Sir, I believe Jules selected that title based on something that YOU wrote in your posting. If you find that harsh, perhaps you should not have said it, nor should you have accused Jules of being a "Southern Belle." If you want to resolve your problems, may I suggest not being so downright nasty and critical? It is usually easier to resolve situations by behaving like a mature, rational adult.
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#9 Author of original report

Why so personal?

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

The responses, one of which came from Julz down in Georgia, seemed rather personal; especially from those of you claiming no affiliation with Blockbuster. So what if my complaint was 'too dramatic'. deal with it.

When you feel you've been taken advantage of I'll sit back and enjoy your withering prose. And Julz, what was it that made you question my drug usage? Isn't titling your rebuttal 'Who's on acid' a bit harsh, even for a shrewish Southern Belle du jour? But let's move on.

It's simple, if it's free it's free, Blockbuster shouldn't need a credit card #. And in a perfect world online businesses should issue an email invoice (like iTunes already does each time you purchase a 99 cent song file).

As someone stated elsewhere on another thread.

In our personal relationships, if we cloud the truth it is lying. In business if they cloud the truth it is called advertising.
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#10 Consumer Comment

And who's on LSD?

AUTHOR: Julie - (U.S.A.)

I love Blockbusters online. It's basically like I am getting unlimited movies for $19.00. You would not have been charged for 3 months if you obviously would have canceled in the beginning! Everyone loves Blockbusters online. It beats $4.50 for one movie!

Julz
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#11 Consumer Comment

Where is your confusion coming from?

AUTHOR: Shawangunk - (U.S.A.)

First off, I am in no way employed by Blockbuster, nor do I even bother with renting movies. But, your dramatic story piqued my curiosity and I looked at the website about which you are complaining. It took only a few seconds and clicks of the mouse for me to locate the terms and conditions of the free trial, written clearly in plain English, and I am by no means a computer expert nor a "1960's acid flashback casuality, a lawyer, or a legalese-speaking fork-tongued lawyer on LSD."

The only way I can justify in my mind the source of your confusion is if perhaps you actually signed up for something other than Blockbuster and have gotten the names confused, or if this is actually a case of "pseudo-confusion" brought on by your failure to completely read the agreement and thus accruing additional fees that you now do not want to pay.

The only way out, as far as I can see, is if you are under the age of 18 and signed up for this service without your parent's permission. Otherwise, you are required to comply with your end of the agreement and pay all fees as accrued by your use of the service.
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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Confused by your statements.

AUTHOR: Patrick - (U.S.A.)

Scott,

Your report is somewhat confusing. You stated:

"Buried somewhere--- who knows, Iraq maybe -- is the answer as to why Blockbuster can charge you 20 dollars each month DVD's you neither bought or rented."

First, I will assume that you signed up for the free trial (by your statement in the first paragraph of your original report). Next I will also assume that you did not cancel your membership before the free trial period expired as outlined on the sign up page, and in the terms and conditions.

Now, this program came out long after I stopped working there as a Store Manager, so I did as you suggested and went to the website. I clicked on the "Free Trial" section which took me to the Sign Up page. Right on the bottom of that page, and without having to click any additional links, is the following statement:

"If you do not cancel your membership prior to the end of your free trial period, your membership automatically renews at the applicable monthly fee (plus taxes) until cancelled. If you cancel your membership prior to the end of your free trial, BLOCKBUSTER Online rentals must be returned no later than ten (10) days past the expiration date of your free trial to avoid additional charges."

Please correct me if any of my assumptions are incorrect.

BTW, I'm a Total Access member. I go on every week and add new movies to my Queue. I find nothing wrong with the website.
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