Saturday, March 27, 2010
I love Redbox, I hate Redbox...
But a new technology is in our midst-Redbox. You just can’t beat a video rental for $1.06 (with the included tax) that you can have all day and then return by 9 PM the next night at any (yes, I said that right) Redbox machine-and if your area is anything like mine, there are Redbox kiosks everywhere, including the grocery stores. They started getting a little greedy too, raising their rental price to $2.00 a night until they began getting competition from the old video powerhouse Block Buster with their new Block Buster Express machines.
At first, Mr. Redbox and I had a love-love relationship-I could usually find a movie the kids or I liked, and we would all go home happy. Then, as more and more people started visiting our favorite kiosk locations, we would have to wait in areas not big enough for lines, while people searched the kiosk for a rental. Less and less movies were available and after waiting for 20 minutes or more, we sometimes walked away from the kiosk empty handed and unhappy. I silently cursed Mr. Redbox for letting us down until this tech savvy mom found out about reserving a Redbox movie online-now I didn’t have to waste a trip to a machine that didn’t have the movie I wanted. I could now check on that movie’s availability at a particular location, reserve that movie, and pick it up by 9 PM that night.
That incident started a downward spiral of continual evils with Redbox (“stuck” movies, unable to process my debit card, charged twice for the same movie…), and I amassed several promo codes in the process. But you can’t use promo codes when reserving online, plus offering promo codes used to be standard, but now I am just supposed to be happy that I won’t be charged for the rental, so in my eyes the company has never made things right. I am also worried I will still be charged for these movies since customer service says it takes up to 3 business days for the rental charge to be credited to my account, but there is no way to check this until I get my monthly statement.
Last night I reserved two movies (what can I say, I am the eternal optimist and movie watching is our Friday night entertainment) but when I went to get them, the one machine said it didn’t recognize my card and the other did. Once again I called customer service and here is an excerpt of our conversation:
Me: Hi, yes, I reserved two movies online and got one from machine B but machine A says it doesn’t recognize my card.
Operator: Give me the last four numbers of your account. (I did)
Operator: Ah, I see the problem.
Me: What is the problem?
Operator: Sometimes when the machine authorizes a rental it really isn’t authorizing a rental.
Operator: That machine didn’t authorize the rental and you can try to find that movie in another machine.
Is this guy from outer space or am I brain dead?
Me: It did authorize the rental-I got the confirmation.
Operator: No it didn’t really, you see it can’t authorize a rental. It didn’t authorize a rental and I would suggest using another machine.
Me: I think I follow you now-the machine is faulty?
Operator: Yes. Don’t worry because you won’t be charged (yea, I know) but it will take three business days to credit your account. (I know this too.)