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The End of Late Fees at Blockbuster?

It’s probably a little early for me to declare Blockbuster’s new end of late fees campaign a snafu. But I think that they are going to have to increase their inventory (and thus, their prices) in order to sustain it.
According to the policy, you can keep your movie or game up to 7 days past the due date indicated on your receipt. So hot new releases will now potentially be 9 day rentals instead of 2 day rentals. The previous 1 week rentals are now 2 week rentals. Tammy and I don’t rent movies all that often. Amazon
and Sam’s Club sell DVDs so cheap that in many cases we could avoid the rigors of rental for only $5-7 more. It is this mentality that Blockbuster’s new policy is seeking to dismantle.
I believe they do not thoroughly understand their customer. We recently rented a few movies (3 for 1 week, 2 for 2 days) and returned all of them by their respective due dates. However, it was a pain in the neck to get the 1 week rentals back in time. And I certainly wouldn’t have made a special trip to return the 2 day rentals were it not for the consequence of paying late fees. I would’ve kept all 5 of the movies until it was convenient for me to return – a full 8 days after they were rented. While this may be the minority of their customers, I believe it is a large enough minority to have a significant impact on the availability of new releases for rental.
Once bowl week (or is it bowl month) has ended, we’ll try out the new policy. My prediction: the policy will be reworked or rental rates increased by January 1, 2006.
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