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Blockbuster, In stock or free!!

Old 12-08-03, 11:34 AM
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Blockbuster, In stock or free!!

I went to BB a few weeks ago to rent some movies. Tomb Raider 2 was a "In stock or Free" movie, and since it was out of stock, I figured I would get it for free. Here is the abridged version of what happened following:

I was at the above store last night. After browsing and making
selections I came across Tomb Raider 2, one of your "In stock or it's free" selections. To my disappointment, all of the movies on the shelf were gone. As I was checking out, I asked about this title. The girl behind the counter went to check for the movie. She returned with a VHS copy. I informed her I wanted the DVD, she looked for that version. After returning empty-handed, I then asked for our voucher for a free rental. I was then told that the title was indeed in stock, just not in my preferred format. After asking for the manager, the girl returned and said"That's just the way it is."
It is outrageous that the manager would not speak with me and your store's policy is "That's just the way it is." This is terrible customer service, and living in Lansing, I have various other options to go elsewhere, or even NetFlix. Please let me know your policy on this, and I will adjust my viewing habits accordingly.


Anyway, the store manager just called me apologized and gave me my free rental. Come to find out corporate policy is that any version of the movie in stock is enough for them not to give a rental, regardless of format."

This is the kind of B.S. loophole that I expected from one of America's beloved institutions.
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Old 12-08-03, 11:45 AM
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Re: Blockbuster, In stock or free!!

Originally posted by jon-w9
Come to find out corporate policy is that any version of the movie in stock is enough for them not to give a rental, regardless of format."

This is the kind of B.S. loophole that I expected from one of America's beloved institutions.

Totally stupid corporate policy, obviously implemented by a totally stupid corporation.
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Old 12-08-03, 12:59 PM
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Why do they assume that you're capable of playing both formats? If Blockbuster tried to tell me they only have the VHS, I would simply tell them that I don't have a VCR.
I'll bet they wouldn't try to pass off the DVD version if they were all out of the VHS.
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Old 12-08-03, 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by Movie_Man
Why do they assume that you're capable of playing both formats? If Blockbuster tried to tell me they only have the VHS, I would simply tell them that I don't have a VCR.
I'll bet they wouldn't try to pass off the DVD version if they were all out of the VHS.
I actually said that, and once again received "That's the way it is." The reason this is not included in the form is because their on-line form only accepts 1000 characters, so I had to cut down the length quite a bit to allow me to submit it. The line was changed to "I wanted the DVD." but initially was stating I did not own a VCR.
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Old 12-08-03, 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by Movie_Man

I'll bet they wouldn't try to pass off the DVD version if they were all out of the VHS.
I bet they would if it meant they dildn't have to give out a free rental.
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Old 12-08-03, 02:59 PM
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I went through the exact same thing a couple of weeks ago with Hollywood Video:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=332384

It turns out that Hollywood Video doesn't have a corporate policy, so different stores have different rules. My local one has the same policy as your Blockbuster (VHS is considered "in stock"), but some differentiate.
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Old 12-08-03, 11:26 PM
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It seems like Hollywood started making the guaranteed movies ones that will never in a million years be out of stock (Charlies Angels 2, Legally Blonde 2, Dumb and Dumberer) while they have less than half the stock of other movies that are all out such as Pirates of the Caribbean.
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Old 12-10-03, 10:48 PM
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With the decline of VHS, you can almost be certain there will be a few VHS copies of new releases left in stock that will provide the excuse they need...
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Old 01-05-04, 11:06 AM
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Blockbuster: Any format is available?

Ahh, the true irony would have come if you politely asked them for a free VHS player to play your VHS formated tape with. Afterall if they expect you to take any format they ought to at least provide the means by which to view it! I'm guessing that this little stunt would have pulled the young manager of 19 from his busy phonecall with his girlfriend to the front counter where you would have gotten a coupon for a free rental. Needless to say, this is about as sad as a motel with a VHS rental library but no VHS machines in the room (a pay per view exclusive! rent now & call the front desk when your in the room & the tv is on!) Ironically enough Summit County Jail (Apen & Vail Colorado) has an in-house Movie rental system that operates the same way and a 5 star chef for the prisoners. What a way to spend the night in the drunk tank!
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Old 01-05-04, 11:36 AM
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I actually made use of this last week--True Crime: Streets of LA for PS2 was 'Guaranteed in Stock', and lo and behold, no copies. He had one defective, which obviously didn't count as a rental copy. He said 'I was just about to come out and take the sign down,' and I was like, 'So I have good timing.' He didn't try to offer me the XBox version, which was in stock.

I don't think they have a valid reasoning at all. The DVD and VHS may be the same *movie*, but they are vastly different products. If nothing else, odds are the DVD was WS and the VHS was non-OAR, so that's different right there. Or a two-disk set with extras, like PotC [the guy spent 10 minutes explaining the two disks to the customer ahead of me.]

And certainly the things they guarantee, they're going to try to have a million copies of. I was actually surprised he gave me this free rental, it sounded like he was trying to weasel out of it, and doesn't do it very often. But just as BB would charge me late fee if I were late, thus holding me to my 'promise' [of returning it on time or paying more] I will hold them to theirs.

Secondary thought--I just got a PS2, so I am now in the market to rent games, and a free rental when it looks like they are normally ~6.50 is quite attractive. But previously, I hadn't rented a movie from Blockbuster since the Shrek rental card deal. But I do go in there occasionally to look for deals/finds on PVT things [had a few lucky finds], and to see if any of the Guaranteed things are out of stock. Does that make me a cheap bastid?
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Old 01-05-04, 11:13 PM
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I can't believe that. A few weeks ago I got a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen voucher and there were two copies of the VHS on the shelf. I guess it all depends on the Blockbuster. Too bad about all that trouble.
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