• Report: #285770

Complaint Review: Blockbuster

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  • Submitted: Tue, November 20, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, November 23, 2008

  • Reported By:madison Wisconsin
Blockbuster
6925 University Ave Middleton, Wisconsin U.S.A.
  • Phone: 608-836-3535
  • Web:
  • Category: Employers

Blockbuster Blockbuster does not care about women. It's the slimey grease-ball of the video rental world. Middleton Wisconsin

*UPDATE Employee: Just a few things

*UPDATE Employee: I'm thinking that's a little unfair...

*UPDATE Employee: I'm thinking that's a little unfair...

*UPDATE Employee: I'm thinking that's a little unfair...

*UPDATE Employee: I'm thinking that's a little unfair...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: It's the entire blockbuster entity

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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.

Grievence
madison, Wisconsin
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/20/2007 03:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Blockbuster/Middleton-Wisconsin-53705/Blockbuster-Blockbuster-does-not-care-about-women-Its-the-slimey-grease-ball-of-the-vide-285770. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Just a few things

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

First:
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.



Actually...now that has to be put on an account. Internal theft, yes...but I've never heard of someone stealing from the drop. Not all stores have a problem like this.

As for dating someone that was a manager...you broke company policy. It's in the employee handbook that you're not allowed to date other employees and even if you do, not to make it public (breaking but still lying, either way).
Never dip your nib in the company ink.

You shouldn't have gone through all that crap, and that's what WORD is for, but even still don't break company policy because that's probably why no one is calling you back :\
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#2 UPDATE Employee

I'm thinking that's a little unfair...

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

when I started working for blockbuster (in Pennsylvania). All of the store managers in my district and the next one over were either females or gay (2 gay) except for 1 store manager. My district leader was a female, and 2 csr's who hadn't weren't as experienced as me got promoted ahead of me (they were females).

Now I work at a blockbuster in Virginia. To get hired in my district you have to have an interview with the store manager of the store you want to work at and "The Board". Which consists of 3 store managers. Guess what gender all three of them were. I can honestly say I've been sexually harrassed by older female coworkers, being that she is a female my complaints not taken seriously (especially by her). Now, if I had pushed the situation and step up my complaint do you suppose there would've been any chance of me moving forward and getting promoted. I would be a joke. Almost everyday I worked with her she would purposefully or 'accidently' touch me and I tell her everytime with a very serious face she needs to stop. A couple times in front of my store manager (female) who said "I didn't see anything...(with a smile on her face)".

So I'm gonna say blockbuster not caring about females is a little unfair it's all about circumstance. Every business has problems because they are run by humans. Unfortunately the more you cut people out of the equation (internet businesses) the less jobs out there and the deeper the economic recession. And yes I agree blockbuster online has been doing some pretty shady things. But most of the In-Store experience is controlled by the In-Store staff, not necessarily blockbuster. I'm an assistant store manager now and I can take complete pride in my store and the way customer and employee issues alike are resolved.

And as far as a credit card on file... you worked at blockbuster so you of all people should know if you have a valid phone number on file (which you definetly should) you get 2 phone calls before you are charged, any problems from there are handled by management In-Store if the movie can't be found. If a CSR steals movies (as in plural) from the drop box before checking in you better believe I'd find out. I find out who's missing checkins and I correct the situation. So to say "Blockbuster" almost anything isn't fair just because a store isn't doing what it's supposed to for customer service.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

I'm thinking that's a little unfair...

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

when I started working for blockbuster (in Pennsylvania). All of the store managers in my district and the next one over were either females or gay (2 gay) except for 1 store manager. My district leader was a female, and 2 csr's who hadn't weren't as experienced as me got promoted ahead of me (they were females).

Now I work at a blockbuster in Virginia. To get hired in my district you have to have an interview with the store manager of the store you want to work at and "The Board". Which consists of 3 store managers. Guess what gender all three of them were. I can honestly say I've been sexually harrassed by older female coworkers, being that she is a female my complaints not taken seriously (especially by her). Now, if I had pushed the situation and step up my complaint do you suppose there would've been any chance of me moving forward and getting promoted. I would be a joke. Almost everyday I worked with her she would purposefully or 'accidently' touch me and I tell her everytime with a very serious face she needs to stop. A couple times in front of my store manager (female) who said "I didn't see anything...(with a smile on her face)".

So I'm gonna say blockbuster not caring about females is a little unfair it's all about circumstance. Every business has problems because they are run by humans. Unfortunately the more you cut people out of the equation (internet businesses) the less jobs out there and the deeper the economic recession. And yes I agree blockbuster online has been doing some pretty shady things. But most of the In-Store experience is controlled by the In-Store staff, not necessarily blockbuster. I'm an assistant store manager now and I can take complete pride in my store and the way customer and employee issues alike are resolved.

And as far as a credit card on file... you worked at blockbuster so you of all people should know if you have a valid phone number on file (which you definetly should) you get 2 phone calls before you are charged, any problems from there are handled by management In-Store if the movie can't be found. If a CSR steals movies (as in plural) from the drop box before checking in you better believe I'd find out. I find out who's missing checkins and I correct the situation. So to say "Blockbuster" almost anything isn't fair just because a store isn't doing what it's supposed to for customer service.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

I'm thinking that's a little unfair...

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

when I started working for blockbuster (in Pennsylvania). All of the store managers in my district and the next one over were either females or gay (2 gay) except for 1 store manager. My district leader was a female, and 2 csr's who hadn't weren't as experienced as me got promoted ahead of me (they were females).

Now I work at a blockbuster in Virginia. To get hired in my district you have to have an interview with the store manager of the store you want to work at and "The Board". Which consists of 3 store managers. Guess what gender all three of them were. I can honestly say I've been sexually harrassed by older female coworkers, being that she is a female my complaints not taken seriously (especially by her). Now, if I had pushed the situation and step up my complaint do you suppose there would've been any chance of me moving forward and getting promoted. I would be a joke. Almost everyday I worked with her she would purposefully or 'accidently' touch me and I tell her everytime with a very serious face she needs to stop. A couple times in front of my store manager (female) who said "I didn't see anything...(with a smile on her face)".

So I'm gonna say blockbuster not caring about females is a little unfair it's all about circumstance. Every business has problems because they are run by humans. Unfortunately the more you cut people out of the equation (internet businesses) the less jobs out there and the deeper the economic recession. And yes I agree blockbuster online has been doing some pretty shady things. But most of the In-Store experience is controlled by the In-Store staff, not necessarily blockbuster. I'm an assistant store manager now and I can take complete pride in my store and the way customer and employee issues alike are resolved.

And as far as a credit card on file... you worked at blockbuster so you of all people should know if you have a valid phone number on file (which you definetly should) you get 2 phone calls before you are charged, any problems from there are handled by management In-Store if the movie can't be found. If a CSR steals movies (as in plural) from the drop box before checking in you better believe I'd find out. I find out who's missing checkins and I correct the situation. So to say "Blockbuster" almost anything isn't fair just because a store isn't doing what it's supposed to for customer service.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

I'm thinking that's a little unfair...

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

when I started working for blockbuster (in Pennsylvania). All of the store managers in my district and the next one over were either females or gay (2 gay) except for 1 store manager. My district leader was a female, and 2 csr's who hadn't weren't as experienced as me got promoted ahead of me (they were females).

Now I work at a blockbuster in Virginia. To get hired in my district you have to have an interview with the store manager of the store you want to work at and "The Board". Which consists of 3 store managers. Guess what gender all three of them were. I can honestly say I've been sexually harrassed by older female coworkers, being that she is a female my complaints not taken seriously (especially by her). Now, if I had pushed the situation and step up my complaint do you suppose there would've been any chance of me moving forward and getting promoted. I would be a joke. Almost everyday I worked with her she would purposefully or 'accidently' touch me and I tell her everytime with a very serious face she needs to stop. A couple times in front of my store manager (female) who said "I didn't see anything...(with a smile on her face)".

So I'm gonna say blockbuster not caring about females is a little unfair it's all about circumstance. Every business has problems because they are run by humans. Unfortunately the more you cut people out of the equation (internet businesses) the less jobs out there and the deeper the economic recession. And yes I agree blockbuster online has been doing some pretty shady things. But most of the In-Store experience is controlled by the In-Store staff, not necessarily blockbuster. I'm an assistant store manager now and I can take complete pride in my store and the way customer and employee issues alike are resolved.

And as far as a credit card on file... you worked at blockbuster so you of all people should know if you have a valid phone number on file (which you definetly should) you get 2 phone calls before you are charged, any problems from there are handled by management In-Store if the movie can't be found. If a CSR steals movies (as in plural) from the drop box before checking in you better believe I'd find out. I find out who's missing checkins and I correct the situation. So to say "Blockbuster" almost anything isn't fair just because a store isn't doing what it's supposed to for customer service.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

It's the entire blockbuster entity

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

Working at Blockbuster was the worse experience of my life. As for the rights of women. For the Valentines Love setup they wanted to include "What's Love Got To Do With it," the Tina Turner story. I refused because the wall was just for romance titles. My manager at the time, wanting to follow the map to the letter demanded we put the title up. I still refused. I told him that I'd call corporate to complain because a woman getting raped and being brutally beaten does not belong on a wall dedicated to romance. It isn't a romance. It's a story of survival.

I won that battle but there were plenty I didn't. As the only female manager of the store, they'd have manager meetings without telling me. Prepare in advance and then at the last minute include me when it was too late to bring my grievances to the table.

An employee was sexually harassed to the point of being stalked by a much older gentleman, and blockbuster wouldn't even ban him from the store because he was a "gold rewards member." He would follow her home and she went as far as filing a police report. She was told she was being "too friendly" and to just ease up. When she then went in and hid in the back-room while he was there, she was reprimanded and told, "you're making him feel uncomfortable. You must be nicer."

It was an awful environment. I had worked at an auto store for five years and a hardware store for four. I never endured internal Sexual Harassment or discrimination until I was at Blockbuster. The young lady who was being harassed called the 1800 number and they faxed the report to the manger who it was filed against for his inaction. He wrote her up and made her feel awful until she quit. He wrote me up twice that day (my only two written warnings in 13 years of retail experience) because I had allowed her to use the phone on my shift.

I don't even blame the manager. All in all, I think he's a nice guy who was trying to protect his job. Blockbuster had such a poor way of handling sexual harassment and thinks so poorly of women that he didn't know how to react.

I quit shortly thereafter. And for the past year and a half I've worked in an awesome atmosphere (knock on wood). And the girl who was harassed has become my best friend and works right beside me.

Everyone under the sun encouraged us to sue, but I think we both just wanted to put it behind us. I must say even looking back on it, it was the most stressful time of my life. I wouldn't work for Blockbuster again for all the money in the world.
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