Blockbuster in the States is not doing so well, closing another 500 locations in an attempt to straighten its ship. The latest tactic? Bringing back late fees, which they ditched back in 2005 in order to compete with Netflix.
Slashfilm says that the late fees will work on a $US1-per-day basis up to 10 days, so the most you’ll ever have to pay is an extra $US10. Blockbuster’s reasoning is that people keep new rentals an average of 4.7 days, which “[keeps]that title away from somebody else”. Which then means Blockbuster needs to buy more copies of the same movie to satisfy more customers, then try to sell those as pre-rented versions after the hype dies.
Personally, I’ve been grandfathered in on the Blockbuster Online program to still keep getting two free game/video rentals per month, and being able to exchange the online movies for a free in-store rental. That, plus having online rentals, keeps me coming back. But unless Blockbuster figures out an equivalent to Netflix streaming, it’s hard to compete. [Slashfilm]