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CubsWoo
Bauerwurst








Since: 25.4.02
From: Chi-town burbs

Since last post: 3317 days
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#1 Posted on
I just recently quit from my local Blockbuster after a little over two years of service.

As such, I'd like to answer anyone's questions about the store, rental policies, training, anything I can remember right now (I'm more than a little upset at the company, as you can well imagine.)

So... fire away! I'll answer anything as best I can.



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kazhayashi81
Potato korv








Since: 17.6.02
From: Buenos Aires, Argentina

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#2 Posted on
Are they individual franchises, or all owned together? If the latter, why the fuck does the Blockbuster here have such a SHIT gaming section? I SWEAR, the only two GameCube games that have been added in 8 months are StarFox and Mario Sunshine. None of the new EA Sports Games, just the occassional new release.. no Resident Evil on GameCube...








Utilizing the belief system and work ethic (Mattributes) of THE Matt Hardy to create a better life for yourself by fulfilling your goals and dreams. Mattitude is a quality that can help anyone -- regardless of background or past -- to achieve success. You just have to make it a lifestyle, a mindset, a religion. Mattitude, is something that can not be taught or learned. Mattitude is something that burns within. In the ring, Mattitude is the intangible, the x-factor, that gives me an advantage over everyone else.
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 126 days
Last activity: 36 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
Better be careful, CubsWoo... as a current Blockbuster employee, I'll be right here to make sure you're not just making up shit.

I can answer Kaz's question, though:

Kaz, some Blockbuster stores (mine, for example) are corporate-owned stores, while others are franchises. Mine, actually, does have games such as Madden NFL 2003, NBA Live 2003, Resident Evil Zero, and such. You may wish to log onto Blockbuster.com, where you can check the availability of games in your area. If you find a nearby Blockbuster which carries the game you're looking for, I strongly suggest you give them a call first to verify that it's in. If so, many Blockbusters will be more than happy to hold the game for you for an hour or so, provided it's not the weekend.



“When am I gonna meet someone normal for a change?”
--Tommy Vercetti, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Two-Time, Two-Time Randomly Selected Wiener of the Day, 5/27/02 and 7/3/02

Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!

CubsWoo
Bauerwurst








Since: 25.4.02
From: Chi-town burbs

Since last post: 3317 days
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#4 Posted on
ekedolphin - heh. I'll do my best. As for holding games/videos, we were pretty lenient on the issue... as long as noone was actively looking for whatever they were asking about, we'd hold it a day, sometimes more. Except the chronic holders. I made sure we 'accidentally gave it out' on more than one occasion.

kazhayashi81 - Blockbusters don't normally make their money on games. My store's game rentals made up for maybe 10-15% of the total monthly revenue, barely beating out CANDY. As such, you don't get allocated as many games, and with a local video store closing down recently, we were no longer a 'competiton store,' and got jacked down the priority list even more. Also, know that Blockbuster release dates sometimes differ from retail store dates. A few years ago, I remember having to wait 3-4 extra weeks to get copies of Gran Turismo 2 on the shelves.



MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 3 hours
#5 Posted on
How do I get my local Blockbuster to carry old pay-per-views for RENTAL (not sale), especially the more recent ones?



Expressing myself EVERY day - but especially on July 22, 2002!
CubsWoo
Bauerwurst








Since: 25.4.02
From: Chi-town burbs

Since last post: 3317 days
Last activity: 114 days
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#6 Posted on

    Originally posted by MoeGates
    How do I get my local Blockbuster to carry old pay-per-views for RENTAL (not sale), especially the more recent ones?


All you can really do is ask. Over and over. Problem is, most wrestling/"sports" tapes get sale release dates, not rentals. I don't remember us having a PPV for rent more recent than Survivor Series '96 (though we had some late 80's PPVs and all of the WCW Hogan/Page/etc tapes for rental, along with the early UFC tapes.)

Have them check their computer for WWF/E-(name of PPV.) If they have a rental date, they can get it, but it may take awhile - if they get it at all.

That's the one thing that pissed me off about Blockbuster... their policy to return tapes to distribution. We boxed up and sent back our ONLY COPY of Citizen Kane because it "didn't rent enough," but Gator Bait had 77 rentals, so it stayed on the shelf.

Travesty.



Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 4 hours
Last activity: 4 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
my mom and pop store hasn't bought a ppv tape since takers return because they just don't rent. we've had 12 rents on that summer slam at the then price of $2.25 a rent + tax for 4 days/5 nights, now we charge $2.50 including tax.



Wrestling has been rhyming with ass. I miss shows and it makes me all shades of ambivalence. WWE is starting to suck again. The crops?
Jeezum Spice! Someone stole my crops. What in the ham fat is going on. That's just poo-doo!
That's just my 2.4856 Yen.
R-D-Z
Scorpio
Boudin rouge








Since: 18.2.02
From: Laurel, MD, USA

Since last post: 3864 days
Last activity: 3815 days
#8 Posted on

Yeah, when I worked at the Blockbuster in Bowie, we had a bunch of old PPVs for rent, but they mostly sat on the shelf gathering dust.

In Maryland, the Laurel store still seems to have a few lying around.




PMMJ

"Nothing remains interesting where anything may happen." -H.G. Wells
"Show me the country in which there are no strikes and I'll show you that country in which there is no liberty." -Emma Goldman

Torchslasher
Knackwurst








Since: 17.1.02
From: New F'n Jersey

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 3 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.44
This is interesting, as I remembered signing a contract that stated that I wouldn't discuss business procedures, even after leaving Blockbuster. So Cubs, I would hope that you would just suck it up and move on, and not risk any lawsuits (I know, Ballbuster will probably never check this website, but still).



"Oh, a handful of change. I guess I can use this to go...um...buy some candy. So thank you for adding a step to my Halloween process"- homestarrunner

*I* will always remember the RFM Club!
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 126 days
Last activity: 36 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
My store also does not carry very many WWF/E pay-per-views. Maybe three or four tops, and old ones at that... I'd have to check to be sure.

For awhile we stopped getting sale copies as well... we just recently got WWF WrestleMania X-8 (VHS only, though).



“When am I gonna meet someone normal for a change?”
--Tommy Vercetti, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Two-Time, Two-Time Randomly Selected Wiener of the Day, 5/27/02 and 7/3/02

Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!

CubsWoo
Bauerwurst








Since: 25.4.02
From: Chi-town burbs

Since last post: 3317 days
Last activity: 114 days
AIM:  
#11 Posted on
After all the bullshit I went through with my SM and fellow AM's, I really don't care. The first time I had three CSR's call in sick on the same day, I thought it was bad luck. The THIRD time, I knew there were some obvious problems with the store. Not to mention every single goddamn customer swearing to high heaven that they did NOT return that tape late, or that it WAS to the proper store, blah blah blah blah...

I'd rather get back at them and risk a lawsuit (against an anonymous ex-employee at an undisclosed store, obviously) and help a few Wieners get some free rentals and whatnot. I don't know a friend of mine that hasn't gotten late fees written off PLUS GiftCards as a result of my advice :)



Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 198 days
Last activity: 198 days
#12 Posted on
I know how to get rid of late fees. Gift cards though? Feel free to private message me.

-Jag

edited because I'm stupid

(edited by Jaguar on 19.11.02 2321)


With poison running through your veins, and death marching solemnly towards you, heroic acts become more of a necessity as you see your time dwindling.

Vanquishing your enemies, making amends to those you have wronged, and leaving words of love and kindness for those around you become second nature as your own mortality looms

However, true strength lies not in these last desperate acts, but in the actions of one who has to get out of bed the next day and face the consequences of doing that which you believe is right.
CubsWoo
Bauerwurst








Since: 25.4.02
From: Chi-town burbs

Since last post: 3317 days
Last activity: 114 days
AIM:  
#13 Posted on

    Originally posted by Jaguar
    I know how to get rid of late fees. Gift cards though? Feel free to private message me.

    -Jag

    edited because I'm stupid

    (edited by Jaguar on 19.11.02 2321)



Free rentals are pretty easy - GiftCards are the next step.

Instead of politely pointing out that the CSR is wrong (which you should do every time they tell you you've got a late fee,) start a ruckus. Get visually upset, and, after a minute or two of lambasting the poor associate, ask for the manager. Re-explain the situation to that manager and express disappointment with the service and threaten to end your membership. Normally that's enough to get your fees written off and get a free rental card or a GiftCard of some sort. If the manager doesn't want to give up the goods, ask for the name and number of their Regional Manager (they basically have to give this to you if you ask) and write them a letter or leave a voicemail. You should be able to get nearly anything you want from them.

Note: Normally, after more than one or two times of trying this, they'll put a note in your customer file that you argue late fees - so don't make a HABIT of contesting them. Or go to a lot of Blockbusters. Last I remember, file notices still don't transfer between stores.

As a manager/AM, your job is to make sure an angry customer comes back, and to do that, you resolve their complaint in their favor as soon as they can. Use that to your advantage. My best friend walked out of a Blockbuster earlier this week with about $14 in late fees written off, a $5 GiftCard and 2 free Favorites rentals from doing that.



Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 4 hours
Last activity: 4 hours
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05

    Originally posted by CubsWoo
    After all the bullshit I went through with my SM and fellow AM's, I really don't care. The first time I had three CSR's call in sick on the same day, I thought it was bad luck. The THIRD time, I knew there were some obvious problems with the store. Not to mention every single goddamn customer swearing to high heaven that they did NOT return that tape late, or that it WAS to the proper store, blah blah blah blah...

    I'd rather get back at them and risk a lawsuit (against an anonymous ex-employee at an undisclosed store, obviously) and help a few Wieners get some free rentals and whatnot. I don't know a friend of mine that hasn't gotten late fees written off PLUS GiftCards as a result of my advice :)



video store customers are stupid. at my mom and pop store we have a mountain of dvd's and vhs's that blockbuster cust's have dropped in our overnight drop box. for some reason, Blockbuster doesn't come and pick them up, and we don't deliver...



Wrestling has been rhyming with ass. I miss shows and it makes me all shades of ambivalence. WWE is starting to suck again. The crops?
Jeezum Spice! Someone stole my crops. What in the ham fat is going on. That's just poo-doo!
That's just my 2.4856 Yen.
R-D-Z
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 198 days
Last activity: 198 days
#15 Posted on
I have another question for all you Blockbuster employees, because I have a feeling this might vary from store to store. What's the policy on videos returned to the wrong store? And more specifically, videos returned to the wrong Blockbuster?

-Jag



With poison running through your veins, and death marching solemnly towards you, heroic acts become more of a necessity as you see your time dwindling.

Vanquishing your enemies, making amends to those you have wronged, and leaving words of love and kindness for those around you become second nature as your own mortality looms

However, true strength lies not in these last desperate acts, but in the actions of one who has to get out of bed the next day and face the consequences of doing that which you believe is right.
Llakor
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

Since last post: 561 days
Last activity: 552 days
AIM:  
#16 Posted on
That has got to be the WORST advice on how to get good customer service that I have ever heard.

The way to really do it, and be able to keep doing it is to admit the error, have a plausible human reason why it happened, and ask politely if there is anything that they can do about it. It helps if the story is true. It also helps if you are polite to the staff ALL THE TIME, and not just when you want something. Oh and doing it EVERY time you have a late fee will cause you problems as well.

Example. "Hi. I know that there is a late fee on my account. I was freaking out studying for my finals and I forgot to return the movies that my roommate rented on my card. I know that it was wrong to bring them back late, but I wonder if there is anything that you can do to help me out."

Trust me, when I was a store manager that kind of customer would get good treatment, and I instructed my staff to do so as well, because I would rather have the honest polite customer than the rude son-of-a-bitch. And when I was a store manager, I did occasionally refuse to reduce late fees to customers right after doing it for the guy in front of them, and cheerfully tell the guy bitching at me that the other guy got the benefit of the doubt because he had been nice about it. (and basically dared him to call my district manager about it.)

If being nice doesn't work call his boss, but don't make an issue of it, don't make it a threat, and again when you speak to his boss don't badmouth the employee, just explain what you asked and the response.

This way of going about it is ten times more likely to get a positive response and also less likely to get you labeled as a whiner. If you do get a comment on your file it is more likely to be a positive one than a negative one.

The other strategy that works wonders is calling the store manager or district manager for no better reason than to praise the people that do a really good job. (Again it helps if this happens to be the truth.) It almost always gets back to the employees who gave out the praise, and your level of service will benefit accordingly.

Remember, in customer service, Karma is a killer.

(Anyone who reads True Porn Video Clerk stories will have read variants of this advice, so I am not the only one who believes this.)

(Reply to Jaguar's question. When I ran my store, we would call the cutomer to inform them of the error. 90% of the time the customer would offer to correct the error, and if they did so, I would offer to waive any ensuing late fee as long as it was returned in a reasonable period of time. If we had to do the pick-up than usually we would charge the customer for the late fee, and we would put a note in the file and be pretty firm about it. If we could tell our DM that the film in question had been returned late to a store on the other side of town, that the customer in question had refused to pick up the film and that we had picked it up ourselves promptly, he tended not to be very sympathetic to the customer if they called him. Because I lived in one end of town and worked in another, I would usually do a tour of the other stores about once a week. Sometimes that meant that I ended up returning movies from strore B to store C without picking up or dropping off any tapes for my store, store A. This would cost me about an extra hour a week, but the rest of the store managers in my district were so grateful to me for doing it that any team that I needed something they would help me out.)

(edited by Llakor on 20.11.02 0139)

"Don't Blame CANADA, Blame Yourselves!"
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 4 hours
Last activity: 4 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    I have another question for all you Blockbuster employees, because I have a feeling this might vary from store to store. What's the policy on videos returned to the wrong store? And more specifically, videos returned to the wrong Blockbuster?

    -Jag



i don't know about BB, but after 28 days, we mail a bill/reminder about the unpaid late fees or late movies, and after 3 of those [ 1/month ] we send them to CPA, the Credit Protection Ass'n and they give you bad credit, and report the amount that you owe the store [cost of items + 20 days worth of lates, the max Maryland will allow, supposedly] and it will be reported to all credit agencies until they pay us, plus the fee that CPA tacks on. some lady paid her CPA tonight, it was $46.58 and $13.51 of it was the CPA charge, the rest was her late fees she never paid.

if at all possible we try to call all people w/ movies 3+ days overdue, but i haven't had a spare moment to call since June...


oh and Llakor, we have people who politely ask about forgiving lates at our store, but we still make a note of it and if it's habitiual the head manager will put a stop to it...

but ya, i'm 10x more willing to help nice people than assclowns...

(edited by rikidozan on 20.11.02 0135)


Wrestling has been rhyming with ass. I miss shows and it makes me all shades of ambivalence. WWE is starting to suck again. The crops?
Jeezum Spice! Someone stole my crops. What in the ham fat is going on. That's just poo-doo!
That's just my 2.4856 Yen.
R-D-Z
CubsWoo
Bauerwurst








Since: 25.4.02
From: Chi-town burbs

Since last post: 3317 days
Last activity: 114 days
AIM:  
#18 Posted on

    Originally posted by Llakor
    That has got to be the WORST advice on how to get good customer service that I have ever heard.

    The way to really do it, and be able to keep doing it is to admit the error, have a plausible human reason why it happened, and ask politely if there is anything that they can do about it. It helps if the story is true. It also helps if you are polite to the staff ALL THE TIME, and not just when you want something. Oh and doing it EVERY time you have a late fee will cause you problems as well.



Obviously. The idea is not to just walk around like a general jackass and get all your fees written off every time. For every angry customer, there's another quota of rude CSR's who like to announce your fees to the entire store, make comments on how many times you've been late, etc, etc. I had a CSR tell someone who was asking why something was late: 'I don't know, and I don't care. The computer says it was late, and the computer doesn't make mistakes.' The manager (me, at the time) got immediately summoned and I had to do a lot of damage control (I wrote off their fees and gave them their movies free of charge.)

The way I was trained, at least, was to resolve every complaint in the customer's favor unless they were:

a) violent
b) have a long history (by long they meant 20+) of unreturned tapes that had to go to collections

Otherwise, you just calm them down, promise to remove their fees, and send them on their way - at least they'll come back. And sure, I'd have liked more polite, 'Oh, I'm sorry I was late, I had... (reason xyz.)' But they're the exception, not the rule. I can't tell you how many people threw their rental cards at me or across the store, saying they'd 'never rent again' and all of that. The pay, to me, was not worth the constant abuse.

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.



Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 4 hours
Last activity: 4 hours
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05

    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...





Wrestling has been rhyming with ass. I miss shows and it makes me all shades of ambivalence. WWE is starting to suck again. The crops?
Jeezum Spice! Someone stole my crops. What in the ham fat is going on. That's just poo-doo!
That's just my 2.4856 Yen.
R-D-Z
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 126 days
Last activity: 36 days
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
Comments from another Blockbuster employee:

Obviously, I'm well aware that the “computer is always right” thing is complete and utter B.S.. The computer only tells us what we do, after all, and there's more than enough room for human error. I go under the assumption that a goodly number of my co-workers are stupid, so I'm never disappointed. LOL...

If ever a customer insists that a movie was brought back on time, and I feel that it's probable, I tell 'em not to worry... I'll remove their fee for 'em. Most of the time I do put a note on the account stating that I've done so, however.

If someone admits that they have a balance and offers a legitimate reason (mother in the hospital, or whatnot), I tell them that I'll gladly remove their fees for them. I still most of the time put a note on the account, however. (Just in case).

With rude customers, my general rule is to try and do whatever I can for them first before escalating it to the manager on duty. I think I do a pretty good job...

There are customers who simply won't listen, but after they leave I wait until no one's in the store. Then I simply rant and blow off steam for a minute or two, and then I'm fine. I'm not one to let a rude customer ruin my day, really.



“When am I gonna meet someone normal for a change?”
--Tommy Vercetti, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Two-Time, Two-Time Randomly Selected Wiener of the Day, 5/27/02 and 7/3/02

Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!

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