Fuck Blockbuster (my very first "Fuck _____" thread!)

So, despite being a member for as long as I’ve been able to drive and having spent thousands and thousands of dollars renting games and movies, I have to sever my relationship with them. I’ve always been a ‘rent first’ type of guy when it comes to games and I’ve done quite a bit of that, especially since the 360 came out.

Now, over a year after I rented the first 360 game from Blockbuster, they tell me they can’t do it because I have no credit card. I’ve used my Visa check card, which for all intents and purposes is a credit card, since forever but it’s suddenly against their policy. The clerk’s reasoning was that since they preauthorize the card and charge you for the price of the game if it’s kept 30 days past its due date, it would fall back on them if someone didn’t have the money in their bank account and they went overdraft. But I just don’t buy it.

I don’t know how all banks work, but if a charge is made to my card and I don’t have enough money in the account to cover it, the money still gets subtracted and goes to whomever is making the charge. My bank then just makes me pay a fee and obviously I have to get back into the positive in my account within a certain time frame to prevent further fees. But that’s all pretty much on me, right? Why in the hell would it affect Blockbuster in the least?

When told that they’ve kept my Visa check card on file the entire time I’ve been renting 360 games, the clerk’s response was “They shouldn’t have done that.” Um, so? Pull up my fucking account and you’ll see that I’ve never kept a game long enough for it to be an issue. Check card or credit card, you dummies will get my money regardless if I decide not to bring something back, so what’s the problem?

A lot of rental places are doing this. Sadly, with a sagging economy comes increased theft. Couple that with the unprecedented popularity of video games and, well, you get the idea.

My local video store has this one street walker looking guy come in, looking like he’s fresh from the streets of Detroit, every weekend trying to make an account and rent things without even a driver’s license. Thieves are stupid and persistent like that.

I’m sure if he did get a game it would be sold at an EBStop within the hour.

But they only do it on 360 and PS3 games. Not any of the others. Their reason for that was “These next-gen games are more expensive”. Either way, they get the money regardless of whether or not it’s in my bank account. It’s no different than it’s been since the beginning of video rental places. They’d rather lose my business than risk me keeping a $60 game? I was sort of put off when they first asked to keep my card on file when they started renting out 360 games, but I did it anyway. Now it’s not even an option. I’ll likely never have another credit card in my lifetime so I guess the only thing left to do is join Gamefly and wait a week or two between games.

I’m not familiar with Visa Check cards specifically, but for debit cards in general, whether an insufficient funds payment goes through depends on the terms of your checking account’s overdraft facility. If you don’t have one, the payment is bounced and you get dinged an NSF fee. Mind you, I haven’t worked the retail side of banking in several years, so I don’t know what the prevailing trends are (My wild guess: Fees are bigger!).

Just to play the devil’s advocate, it’s possible that the dum-dums at your Blockbuster couldn’t tell the difference between a credit and debit card, saw the ‘Visa’ logo and logged it in. New manager probably came in, freaked out over this blatant violation of company policy, and told the employees to shape up. This is pure speculation, of course.

It purely depends on the bank. The only difference between a Visa debit card and Visa credit card is the credit card is the banks money. If there’s no money in either then you’re going to be lucky for the bank to pay for you.
To see if your payment will be processed or not depends on how you use the account. If there’s enough funds frequently going into the account that covers whatever you’re going to take out the system will go “no worries” and charge you whatever fee applies to overdrawing. At the end of the day being debit or credit means fuck all to the store you’re buying from. They either get the money or they don’t. Go back and tell the clerk to tell his higher ups that the process is poorly thought out and needs to be reconsidered.

Yeah, cause that’ll work.

Just get a creditcard. You need one to build your credit score anyway. Just pay the balance every month, nothing to be frightened of.

You don’t need one to build your credit score and I was being partially facetious. My point was that the guy at the store was wrong.

What the guy meant was that people who get items unexpectedly charged to their debit card come to Blockbuster complaining about overdraft fees, not that Blockbuster would be legally liable for them. My wife was, until pretty recently, a manager at Blockbuster. Shortly before she quit they were having a renewed push to get all the debit cards off the books. She regularly came home complaining about people’s reactions to enforcement of the existing policy. She worked at a franchise store, though, not a corporate one.

Here’s my “Fuck Blockbuster” story.

I went in with a couple friends and decided I should get a card. The application took long enough to fill out that someone who already had a card went ahead and got the movies. So I ended up going home without even touching my card yet.

Couple weeks or a month later, I start getting harassing phone calls about the movies that I haven’t returned. All I can figure is that some asshole employee decided to steal movies and pin it on me. I would have been less insulted if it hadn’t been crap like Save the Last Dance. I eventually managed to talk it around with them such that I wouldn’t have to pay the several hundred dollars replacing the tapes would have cost, but I would never be able to open an account there again.

So yeah. Netflix is cool.

I had/am having a problem with Blockbuster. I signed up at a location in Baton Rouge after having had a Blockbuster Online account for a while, so I could exchange online rentals for in-store rentals and use my coupons. After being billed twice two months in a row, I called customer service and found out that the employee who signed me up at the store took my information, made up a fake email address, and created an Online account for whomever.

The store, from what I could tell, took it seriously. I called customer service again to make sure I wasn’t being billed, but the person I got this time told me that my problem wasn’t serious enough to warrant a supervisor because “They’re off, you know, taking care of important things … things worth their time.” I also found out that the first person I talked to actually made the note for the account saying it was my fault I had a billing problem because I didn’t do some promotion right.

I’m now awaiting my credit card bill, prepared to continue slamming my head against the wall.

Maybe this isn’t the point, but, what is your problem with credit cards? You have this weird, cryptic quote:

But no explanation as to what that means. Are you too old for credit cards? Do you not believe in them? The word “another” implies that you already have one, or at one time had one…did you get burned?

I’m no friend of Blockbuster–I quit renting from them years ago thanks to Netflix…and Christianity–but if you like being a Blockbuster customer, and their policy is to use your credit card number, why not just give them your credit card number? And, if you don’t believe in credit cards…why not? Won’t you need one anyway if you want to sign up for Gamefly?

I’m just curious.

Oh…and Netflix rocks.

“Seriously…have you ever talked to a woman without having to give your credit card number?”


Good work on your first Fuck “_____” thread. Here’s to many more in the future!

RobotPants: You’re not alone.

In these cases, whether the staff are wrong or the processes are ill-conceived is irrelevant. It’s the company policy, and that will trump common sense and good customer service almost every time.

ryan: In my experience (not with Blockbuster, specifically), I’ve gotten better results by sending a letter -a real letter, on paper- to the customer service managers. Telephone calls can be shuffled endlessly, and emails can stay unread and forgotten, but there’s something about a filed letter that spurs folks into action.

They can’t verify the level of overdraft protection on your checking account. You could very well be giving them a card that’s tied to an account that’s overdrawn and that won’t go through if they try to bill it for the games you skipped town with.

“Suspect apprehended with the following items in his possession: Wig, mallet, diapers, Daisy air rifle, Crackdown, and Resistance: Fall of Man.”

“…and I would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t fer those meddlin’ Blockbuster kids!”


This is a load of shit on their part. You can block any charges they try to make and or challenge anything that you know isn’t right. Visa will side with you.

And to get it fixed, call back up and say you need to talk to a supervisor and after asking for their name. If they say no, explain that when you call back and get the next schmoe that doesn’t have a problem transferring them to a supervisor, you’ll have no problem telling them their name. And in most places, your local news channel LOVES to cover bullshit like this. Don’t hesitate to escalate the situation at every single point they try to rebuff you.

If need be, go down to the store and raise a stink in person. In any large corporation, the whiny wheel gets the grease. Sometimes you just have to push/whine a bit more to get ot the right people that just want to make the situation go away.

Our check card will put through any payment that goes over our balance, but only because we have a $500 overdraft account. Without that, overdrafts would just be bounced.

My check card has a $5,000 overdraft account, but there’s no way for a chain like Blockbuster to know that, and no way for them to know whether a charge made on my check card will bounce.

A check card looks like a credit card, but it simply is not. A check card is only good for pulling money from an account - a credit card pushes debt onto an account. Often this is transparent to a consumer because the mechanism for using these tools is the same. At the bottom line, however, it’s a world of difference.

I can’t fault Blockbuster on this one. If the payment bounces they’re stuck eatting it - with a credit card they don’t have to take that risk. A policy decision like this one - which they know could very well turn away some customers - isn’t made lightly. They must be getting burned to the point that they’re saying, “Enough is enough.”

Good luck renting a car or reserving a hotel room, too. Doing business with cash is problematic if you’re essentially asking businesses to trust you by loaning you stuff more valuable than the transaction cost.

If it’s credit you’re opposed to, have you considered getting an American Express card?

Er, isn’t that still credit?