March 21, 2023
Annapolis, US 41 F

When Will Blockbuster Finally Go Under?

It seems that the Blockbuster stores in the area are closing faster than the Orioles can lose a baseball game.  Is it any wonder?

They have been struggling against cable, NetFlix, and RedBox for years. This competition was the impetus for them to waive the late fees several years ago.  In what appeared to be a last ditch effort to grab some cash from the remaining few customers they had (like me) they re-instituted the late fees.

One only needs to be stung once by the revised onerous fees to be very careful about returning movies late.  Several weeks ago, I returned three movies at the Blockbuster in the Bay Ridge Plaza at the corner of Hillsmere and Forest Drives in Annapolis. They were returned through the drop box on the day that they were due.

Last night, I was shocked to hear that there was $3 (something) due for each movie being “late”. I explained that they were indeed returned the day they were due; but I was told that I must have returned them after the store had closed. True enough. But the store also recently shortened its hours and the receipt says nothing about being returned before they decide to close.

A simple policy of checking in the drop box movies first thing in the morning before opening the store would solve the issue.

The manager overheard my discussion with the clerk and did nothing to intervene. I asked that the fees be waived and the clerk refused. So, we left. And the clerk had three melting ice cream bars, and 4 movies to figure out how to void.

If it is Blockbuster’s intent to alienate all of the few remaining customers to make closing all of their stores easier–they are well on their way. There used to be a time when the customer was right. Even the times when the customer was wrong, usually a business who appreciated their customers would make an attempt to amicably resolve the issue.

Plain and simple Blockbuster does not care and they can now officially add me to the “former customer” list.  As to the manager and the clerk, I hope that the unemployment office will be able to help them find a job–but based on their actions, I am not so sure.

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