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The 7 - Random - Your Blockbuster Video questions answered.
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Scott Summets
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#21 Posted on 20.11.02 1536.00
Reposted on: 20.11.09 1537.02

    Originally posted by rikidozan

      Originally posted by CubsWoo


      And for all you current workers - if you haven't worked Christmas - DON'T. It is the single most hellish day of the year from open to close.




    maybe for the evil Blockbuster corp., but for us tiny stores, it's one of the slowest times of the year...

    unless there's a hint of snow. you all DC area people know what i'm talking about. the weather people could say that there's gonna be NO SNOW, but they hear the word SNOW and panic, and head to the store for milk, TP, and over to us for movies...




Word of warning on snow for all the Southerners out there. If a drop of snow falls on the ground in the south and you work at a grocery store, I pity you.
Torchslasher
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#22 Posted on 20.11.02 1715.19
Reposted on: 20.11.09 1717.00
It is interesting that you BB workers readily and happily give the customer a free rental/take the fee off/etc. When I worked at BB in San Diego, my store manager would not let anyone off the hook. Sometimes you could get a nice assistant or manager on duty, but we were always told to not settle late fees for any reason. Half the time the store manager would just let the customer make a ruckus, and then calmly deny them a damn thing. It is this that made me NOT want to become a manager (maybe it has something to do with me hating conflict). In fact, I remained a CSR way past the point of usefulness. I was told that after a certain point I could not get any more raises because I was still a CSR. That was still better than becoming a manager and getting yelled at.
Damn I miss the free rentals for employees though!
Karlos the Jackal
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#23 Posted on 21.11.02 0504.58
Reposted on: 21.11.09 0506.02
I own a little niche video store and I'll back up rikidozan on Xmas being one of the slowest days -- we don't even bother opening on that day anymore.

As far as customers go -- I took off a 7 buck late charge for a woman who left town because her grandmother died, but I refused to take off a one buck charge for a guy who was just being a dick about it. Once a guy threatens to never come back if I don't void his late charge, I say, "Okay, bye." I'd just as soon never have those people in my store again, anyway, and we do well enough without 'em.

--K
mskj
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#24 Posted on 21.11.02 0853.40
Reposted on: 21.11.09 0859.03
I can say in my three years working as a manager at Blockbuster, I have never taken off a late fee because someone caused a scene. I've never once given away a gift card for anything.

I take off late fees if the customer has a plausible story and as long as their history doesn't show it happening too often. Many people tend to lie to try to get out of the fees and that doesn't work. It is really easy to tell when they are making stuff up.

We do our call list every damn day, so people know when they have late movies. That cuts down on complaints more than anything else.

astrobstrd
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#25 Posted on 22.11.02 0159.49
Reposted on: 22.11.09 0200.12
Christmas can feel like the most hellish day of the year. Thanksgiving is fucking slice open your eyes and pour salt on them torture.

...On Christmas you are moderately busy with two types of customers.
1). Foreigners - They don't celebrate Christmas and everything else is closed. I have no beef with them.
2). Idiots - They walk in and loudly proclaim "I can't believe you guys have to work on Christmas, I am now going to spend money." We wouldn't HAVE to work Christmas is it wasn't for you selfish pricks.

...On Thanksgiving, people gather with their family, remember they have nothing in common and all simultaneously come to the conclusion that getting a movie is better than talking to each other.
TheCow
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#26 Posted on 22.11.02 1110.26
Reposted on: 22.11.09 1111.10
Speaking from a only semi-related position as to hellish customers...

At Kroger, we were basically encouraged not to have spines. If a customer made any kind of ruckus whatsoever, there would be at least 2 managers / supervisors out to calm her (they were normally female) down, give them whatever they wanted free, etc. It really was quite sad to watch. Those that only raised an issue quietly were dealt with, but only to the point of what they wanted.

My general policy (and that of my closest friend) was that if you were an ass, we're going to be an ass to you. See. if you know the system better than most everybody in the store at the time, then you can work around it easier. Hence, if a customer was raising hell about something or other, I had no qualms with them leaving the store without buying it. Although people say they won't go to a store again for some reason or another, it rarely lasts more than a few months, if that. The only reasons I've seen people stop going to stores entirely is if:

1) They move.
2) They can't find anything in the store.

And Scott... yeah, you're right. Man, are you right... *shudders*
MoeGates
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#27 Posted on 22.11.02 1131.16
Reposted on: 22.11.09 1131.43
I've spent almost every Christmas working either the gas station or the video store for friends (being that I'm of that certain tribe). With the gas station, it was for free cigs, and the video store (small one) for free rentals. I can definitely back up the "Christmas people" at the video store post. I've notice that usually the foreigners (Chinese mostly) will always rent Christmas movies, while the other (presumably Christian) folks will usually rent either stupid action movies or (much more likely) pornos.

EDIT: As for the "leaving the store and never coming back," I think with big, impersonal stores like Blockbuster that's true, people always come back. But with mom and pop stores, it gets personal. Once you tell the guy who actually owns the place "you're losing my business asshole!" you can't go back, even if you have to walk half an hour in the snow to get to Blockbuster.

(edited by MoeGates on 22.11.02 1233)
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#28 Posted on 22.11.02 1951.24
Reposted on: 22.11.09 1951.46
Hello, former Hollywood Video manager here, I figure I can chime in with some horror stories...

-Christmas Day 2001: I called the store twice to see what the numbers were because corporate said if we were at less then $500 in the tills by 6pm, we could go ahead and close up, but no one answered the phones. Well, the assistant manager didn't know about this, It was supposed to be a surprise for stores, but since no one answered, I had to go up there to see what's up. The asst. decided to close on his own and was having a block party IN the store. Yep, he was fired immediately on the spot.

-Thanksgiving Day 2001: It was really dead all day long, not a cloud in the sky. I had scheduled 2 CSRs to work with me cause they really needed the money. By 8pm we had $400+ in the register so I was gonna send them on home. 10 minutes after they leave, it starts pouring down rain. Between 8:30 and 12:00 I did $6000 in sales. By myself.

...there were numerous times I had to work all day shifts cause idiots not showing up or what not. My favorite was this one sunday, I was scheduled to be at the store or anything, and I get a call from the district manager telling me the store wasn't open and it was 1pm. I went up there and there were 20 standing around waiting for someone to open the doors... like idiots! I think I did $2200 that day on my register alone. The really shitty part about that was that the DM had keys for the damn store and the bitch was sitting in her car waiting for ME to get there!

Sad Ending: I had hired a guy as an asst manager, and he was stealing the store blind; he was taking cash, videos and dvds, candy cases, soda flats... but he was VERY good at it. He made it look like everyone BUY him was doing it, even me. I found out this out AFTER I had quit, because in the 2 months after I quit the company, our store dropped from 3rd in the country to 48th! I was told that the 2 inventorys after I left were the worst in the state. On average, $50 to $100 buck a DAY would be missing out of the registers and people were getting fired faster then they could hire them. All this shit happened because of 2 things: 1#) They wouldn't give me the raise I deserved so I quit, and 2#) The asshole was fucking the district manager! She was in on the whole thing. Hell, She came in one night and had disconnected the security cameras for him, supposedly, which is why they never got the shit on camera.

I love it when stupid shit happens to stupid, cheap ass companys.
CubsWoo
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#29 Posted on 22.11.02 2010.18
Reposted on: 22.11.09 2017.54
Here's my Xmas horror story, for those who care.

2 weeks before the holiday, we needed to put down if we could work Xmas Eve, or the day itself. I was the second person to sign the list, and I signed Eve. The day before isn't THAT bad (as holiday times go) with a lot of smart parents preemptively renting and buying games and DVD's to use with their Christmas presents. Most of the people were friendly and not really in huge rushes, until about 11pm or so, when you get the last-minute people just remembering they needed this DVD or this video, or whatever. That wasn't the problem.

When I came in at 3:00 that afternoon (extended working hours were in effect, I had the 3-close shift), I was told "Look, Matt, we need you to open tomorrow. Erica can't be in tomorrow, she's flying out to Topeka to see her family." Why this happens RIGHT NOW is beyond me, but I've said before how unreliable our employees are. If I had known better, I'd have said no... but I didn't.

Fast forward to Christmas Day. The store opens at noon instead of 10AM, so I had to be there at 10 to open the doors and check everything in. My family was upset, obviously, but it had to be done. When I get there, about 15 people are standing by the doors, wondering why noone is there to let them in (DESPITE THE FACT the holiday hours are RIGHT THERE on the door.) When I say we don't open for another 2 hours, a near-riot ensues with the basic "But it's Christmas! I just need ONE THING," etc, etc. So I turn them away, for the time being, and get to opening. No less than 50 people tug at the doors for that two hours, pounding and shouting to be let in. My CSR comes in around 11-ish, just as upset to be there as I was, and soon enough the day begins.

The line at noon was around 25 people waiting to get in... everyone just got their new toy (DVD player, Gamecube, Xbox, PS2, whatever) and needed things to do with them. The shelves are pretty much bare at this point, half to do with it being a holiday and the other half due to the smart people who were there the night before. So, I have to field dozens of requests, calls to the store across town, all of that for things I know won't be there. And everyone with a late charge had the same retort: "It's Christmas, can't you look the other way?" No. If Christmas was so important, what the hell are you doing here?

Thankfully, I only had to be there until 3. I came back around 8:00 to see how things were going and pick up a few pre-streets from the back counter. It was madness. The checkout lines stretched all the way to the back of the store and curled around the new releases. I remember the final tally being some kind of record for the district. You'd think the employees would get a bonus for that. *shrug*
Zeruel
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#30 Posted on 22.11.02 2258.28
Reposted on: 22.11.09 2259.01
the only reason i love working for an independent is that on hollidays, he give me double time.

but he does it in a cool way. instead of paying me double for the holliday hours, he just tacts on double the hours worked. last new years, we had a computer upgrade, and the machines were down for a few hours and had to do everything manuel. well, i was there longer because we checked everything in after the computers were back up.

i worked 9 hours, he put 18 in the fax to paychex.

also, x-mas fell in to the same 2 week pay window, and i worked 8 hours then, pulling double time there too

that put me at 60 for the week, meaning that i got 20 hours overtime...

so, instead of getting 26 at regular, and 17 at double, i got 40 at regular, and 20 at time and a half.

i worked it out one night and got $150 more by him recording double hours and not maying me double pay...

good ole' overtime

Freeway
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#31 Posted on 24.11.02 1524.12
Reposted on: 24.11.09 1526.28
Well, I have a couple somewhat related X-Mas horror stories. I worked at Mac's, and the boss booked me for Boxing Day...8am until 4pm. Not bad, right? Well, EVERYONE IN THE WORLD came into the store, trudging snow it, making a huge mess, and then leaving. It was nuts.

And at the movie theatre, I was working Christmas Eve, tearing tickets. My shift was SUPPOSED TO BE noon until 8 (we were open 11 until 8). So, I foolishly get to work at 10:30 and have a nap in the staff room before my EVIL MANAGER bursts in, shouts at me to "get on door" (tearing tickets), and rushes out. I sluggishly swipe my card in the I.D. scanner, and then go out to notice the HUGE HUGE LINES. It was nuts. 9 hours of STANDING, tearing tickets and getting the usual "you're here on Christmas EVE?" questions.

Hopefully this year is better...
IPowerbombedKidman
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#32 Posted on 24.11.02 1748.51
Reposted on: 24.11.09 1753.44
Getting free stuff from blockbuster always intrigued me. Ekedolphin and CubsWoo, I found an article on a website and would like to know if any of this is true. (I am not plugging this site.)

http://whatever-dude.com/posts/71.shtml
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#33 Posted on 24.11.02 1852.15
Reposted on: 24.11.09 1853.18
Pretty much everything that he said would work once or twice. Going back to the well wiil get you in trouble eventually.

The putting the film back on the shelf is particularly good, but stores have a couple of ways around this:

1) They call to remind you that the film is late. If you are using this scenario, you'll have to explain why you didn't respond to any of the phone messages. If they don't call, you're in like flynn.

2) Most stores, once or twice a day, do what's called a FOS report or Found on Shelf, where they look for ALL the late films just in case of the scenario that was suggested. A store that does this religiously is MUCH less likely to fall for this, and certainly won't fall for it twice.

In either case, I am convinced that Karma's gonna get ya.
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#34 Posted on 24.11.02 2301.39
Reposted on: 24.11.09 2301.55
Just about every time I remove a fee, I note it on the account. You may be able to fool me once or twice with the “putting the film back on the shelf” routine, but eventually... I'm gonna get'cha. Especially because that idea actually has occurred to me, and I'm constantly looking for scenarios in which that may have taken place.

If someone has a massive late fee, like $20 or so, no amount of needling and pleading is gonna make me take it off. I'll maybe take off $10 tops, but when I do that I definitely note the account. So that will only work once.

Speaking of bitching about late charges, here's a stupid customer story from yesterday:

A woman walks into the store, and I pull up her account. $4.19 balance. I checked her history, and it said she brought her movie back on the right day, but at about 10:30 that night. She didn't even bother feigning ignorance about the noon policy, she instead tried to invent her own dictionary term.

“You charge late fees for movies that were brought back on the right day?”

“Sorry, it was brought back that day after noon.”

“But it was brought back on the right day!”

“Yes,” I replied, “but it was due that day by noon, and we're showing it checked in at 10:30 that evening.”

“I'm not even gonna argue with you,” she snapped angrily. “I am the customer.”

Well... if you think I took off her fee after that particular exchange, you're wrong. I was seething, but completed her transaction to give myself time to cool down. Definitely didn't trust myself to press the issue further.

After completing her transaction, I handed her movies to her, and reminded her of the due date-- by noon next Saturday. She kind of glared at me and left.
Zeruel
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#35 Posted on 25.11.02 0000.42
Reposted on: 25.11.09 0002.05

    Originally posted by Llakor
    Pretty much everything that he said would work once or twice. Going back to the well wiil get you in trouble eventually.

    The putting the film back on the shelf is particularly good, but stores have a couple of ways around this:

    1) They call to remind you that the film is late. If you are using this scenario, you'll have to explain why you didn't respond to any of the phone messages. If they don't call, you're in like flynn.

    2) Most stores, once or twice a day, do what's called a FOS report or Found on Shelf, where they look for ALL the late films just in case of the scenario that was suggested. A store that does this religiously is MUCH less likely to fall for this, and certainly won't fall for it twice.

    In either case, I am convinced that Karma's gonna get ya.




we do FOS's and our anti theft scanners will go off if one tries to smuggle in a late tape/dvd
Karlos the Jackal
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#36 Posted on 25.11.02 1532.31
Reposted on: 25.11.09 1533.52
I found an article on a website and would like to know if any of this is true.

Geez, it's too bad that his ideas for "striking back at Evil Blockbuster" don't include anything like, I dunno, say, patronizing a DIFFERENT STORE so that you're not handing over your money to some evil corporation.

--K
cfgb
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#37 Posted on 25.11.02 2204.00
Reposted on: 25.11.09 2212.46
Oh god, PLEASE don't encourage the idea that angry people will get better customer service, because it's a crock...

I work for Bell Sympatico as a first line Business Office rep, and if I get called by someone IMMEDIATELY yelling at me, they will get nothing... You can go to a supervisor who may be willing to compromise a little, but I'm not going to give you a positive review while alerting them ahead of time, so your chances of getting anything will continue to drop.

If you call in and you're polite and are willing to discuss where the errors were possibly made, I am more likely to speak to you like a human being.

Do NOT plead ignorance, because stupidity is never an excuse not to pay your bills.

Make DAMN sure you have previous calls to back up your story that the service hasn't worked for a month... If I get a call stating that it hasn't worked, and I see NO calls and bandwidth usage, take ONE guess what your answer is going to be.

I average a return of about $50 per 100 customers, which is way below the company average, for the simple reason I don't care about your sob story. You wanted the service, we provided the service, it is not my fault you did not enjoy the service.

People are really uptight creatures about saving a couple bucks, and at times it'll really open your eyes about people.

As far as Blockbuster goes, you KNOW the rules when you rent, so pay the bills, and if you're late - accept it.

Ripping them off is not your god given right, it's a crime...

You may figure I take it too seriously, but I take 120+ calls a day, and after a while it grows a little thin....
Zeruel
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#38 Posted on 25.11.02 2356.11
Reposted on: 25.11.09 2359.06
you're preaching to the choir cfgb....

i imangine Karlos and I hear the most of it...[him being an owner, and me working 40+ hours a week]

(edited by rikidozan on 26.11.02 0056)
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#39 Posted on 28.11.02 0122.35
Reposted on: 28.11.09 0123.02
I miss my mom and pop video store. The people that worked there knew me and my family by name (being steady customers for 10+ years helps with that), and would let a late charge slide till our next trip in, because they knew that we'd be in again within a week to rent again. Now that he's gone out of business (which allowed me to acquire many old Wrestlemanias) we hit up the nearest blockbuster ALOT less.


Edit: What is really funny is one of the employees from said indy movie store now works at the nearest blockbuster. Still not the same.

(edited by Whitebacon on 27.11.02 2326)
ekedolphin
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#40 Posted on 28.11.02 0150.30
Reposted on: 28.11.09 0151.04
Whitebacon,

It's funny you should mention that, 'cuz it's actually something of a matter of pride with me that I remember the names of a lot of my regular customers. I'm a very social creature at heart...
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