Friday, February 18, 2005

Skippy of the Day: Blockbuster

Blockbuster can't win for losing, these days. At any rate, I was afraid this was going to happen when they unveiled their new policy. Here's their statement in response to the lawsuit:

"The fact is there are no longer late fees at Blockbuster," the company said. "We're disappointed he (Harvey) took this action, because we believe our end-of-late fees program is a terrific program and we've received tremendous feedback from both our customers and employees."
Guys, I'm not saying that the new policy is a bad one, although I personally didn't go into orgasmic fits like in the commercial. I'm also not saying that the new policy isn't more than fair. But allow me to quote Penn & Teller when I respond to your "restocking fee": Bullsh*t!

Yes, rational people are not going to actually believe that once they rent a video, they can keep it for months on end and not incur some kind of fine. Yet the simplicity of your great new slogan was not reflected in the details of the policy itself. The fact is that, contrary to your direct statement, there are still late fees, just not as stringent as before. A "restocking fee" and the 30 day retail price tactic are late fees by any other name.

Imagine if George Bush held a news conference tomorrow and loudly proclaimed that the income tax was abolished and that no one ever again would have to pay an income tax, ever. Then imagine Scott McClellan announcing in a press briefing the next day that a new "percentage-of-the-money-you-make" tax would be going into effect starting immediately.

I'm still somewhat baffled that the PR people at Blockbuster let this thing go through. Would it have killed them to create a slogan around the concept of a week's grace period. Not only is the time period easy to grasp, but it also tells the actual truth of the policy. There's no wiggle room.

Oh well, they can take solace in the fact that I still rent from them once a week or so. Unfortunately for them and their soon to increase lawyer fees, I'll be turning in mine on time.

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