Blockbuster has been a staple in my life. I love movies and movie discussions; I have rented from them 5 times a week and was on the online program for months as well. While I do adore those extra 7 days to return a movie as well as the month after that they give me to return the movie before they charge my account and the online/in-store trade ins I have come to the conclusion that all women and the men who love them need to boycott blockbuster.
My story is simple. I'm in my senior year at the UW-Madison, and decent jobs that work around your school schedule are not easy to find, even horrible jobs are hard to get because of the surplus of college students seeking part time employment. I decided that since I visited blockbuster so much and would love to help people separate the garbage from quality movies, and as a kid-movie aficionado I loved helping people find age appropriate titles for their kids. Easy to say, I loved my job, sure it didn't pay that great and sure customers could get agitated but I worked the bar rush Fri./Sat. nights at a Perkins so honestly, I couldn't complain. In fact, I loved what I did.
My problems however came after a realization of their, what could be called, loose interpretation of the law. The sexual harassment was an everyday event for me, something I was not quiet about either and all but the assistant manager knew how I felt. I didn't understand why if there were 7 phones in the store and two people were there why my manager had to hold his conversations right next to me, consistently "accidentally" touching me, I had to hear about his genitalia and look away at the blatant admittance of his harassment and how there was nothing to be done about it. This was not uncommon though it seemed, there was only one other female employee left and all the others I have met who were no longer employed there and they all had their graphic horror stories. I made the mistake of casually dating for about a week one of my co-workers, we broke it off but I wanted to keep things civil at work, something I thought I was doing quiet well until I discovered I was the hot topic among the entire (all but one female who had already given in to the managers persistent annoyingly obvious come-ons) staff. Things escalated from there. I was even told by a male co-worker that my friendly disposition (as I always try at work) while not screaming for it, but not saying no either (silly me, I thought no meant no and my personable disposition as I would have with anyone co-worker or costumer shouldn't be the basis of fantasy). I don't want to post all the gruesome details, but I assume you're starting to catch on the idea. To summarize the hell I was put through in one situation, my boss after my complaints about the harassment and after hearing the rumors my other co-workers he actually said to me, as the last thing I was told on the clock was, "I hire the female employee's here to sleep with me, not the other managers' (the person I casually dated was 3rd down on the management pole in a 6 person staff.)
The next week I wasn't scheduled at all. When I went in to return some rentals and figure out why I wasn't scheduled, though I had a pretty good idea already. He demanded I talk about my personal life and when I refused saying it had no place in a work-environment I was told I needed to transfer to a different store (something he was well aware of in advance that I had no intention of ever doing, I felt like I could deal with it because I again was actually loving what I was doing, silly as it sounds but given the job market in the area and the general happiness it gave me I felt I could just deal and hopefully sooner or later people would stop gossiping and my boss would get the hint.)
Worse of all, I haven't gotten a single call back. My complaints were all ignored. The manager is still managing that store. Nothing has been done, what happened to equal rights, what happened to security. Apparently Blockbuster simply does not care about women, especially its female employees.
But it doesn't just stop there, now I get to whistle-blow.
I knew a person who was working at another blockbuster location prior to my employment who would regularly steal from the blockbuster drop box BEFORE the movies were checked in. Don't always believe them when they say you didn't return a movie, sure you may have dropped it off at another video chain, or as in many a call from the public librarian suggested: the library. Theft happens everywhere internal theft defiantly happens. I've seen it. Those poor people were charged for a movie they brought back. I'm not, by far, saying it's a common or even more than a rarity, but it happens. People off the street have managed to steal as well, so what if they miss the movie that you dropped off from getting checked in, it goes on the shelf and someone takes it. It's your responsibility now, and no one is going to believe you.
Furthermore, the online program, just don't do it. I loved it until they changed all the rules, which I only was aware of because of my employment and only then that it was "going to happen" but not when until it did. You suddenly had to pay more money a month to get what you previously had signed up for. As a matter of principle you shouldn't change terms of agreement on a whim. I was told to tell everyone who complained about the new limits of in store trade-in's, which were less than fair in my opinion, that they had all been notified.
I wasn't even notified, I had the program and I worked there. In my opinion it was a scam to get more money, and as my boss put it "they just wanted to prove they could out-do netflix." Second they did beat netflix, the prices went up and the rules changed.
Furthermore, to everyone out there who hates that they have your credit card on file so they can just charge you before you even have the right to complain, I know you signed an agreement saying we could do that, but sometimes we're in the wrong, happened to me (and I had my debit card on file, being a broke college student I of course had to pay the overdraft fee of 31 dollars even though it wasn't my fault, and no, they won't return that money.) Here's my suggestion: Bring in a utility bill instead. They have to accept those in place of credit cards, and then the fine is simply billed to your account so if you feel it's undeserved you can contest it BEFORE paying it.
So, in the sake of justice don't go to Blockbuster. Find a local store, or h*ll Hollywood Video, whatever else is in your area.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Blockbuster