Finally …. FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Blockbuster, the flagging video-store giant that has recently resorted to eliminating late fees and waiving replacement fines for lost or damaged movies, announced Monday that it would also be doing away with its long-standing rental charges in an attempt to stay competitive in the ever-changing home-video business.
According to press releases, Blockbuster’s new nationwide program, “The End Of Fees,” promoted using $7 million of the company’s last remaining $10 million, will eliminate all costs associated with DVD rentals as well as per-unit charges for its video games, snacks, carbonated drinks, gumball machines, promotional cardboard standees, and literally anything else a customer comes across at one of its thousands of nationwide locations.
“I’m proud to announce that, starting Oct. 1, Blockbuster customers will be able to take home the hottest new releases for as little as the price of absolutely nothing,” said Blockbuster Vice President of Marketing Patricia Waters, whose company’s stock dropped nearly 50 percent last year against “On Demand” digital cable and by-mail movie services such as Netflix. “At Blockbuster, the movie-viewing experience has never been more affordable.”
“Why rent from anywhere else?” Waters added. “Seriously, let us know of any reasons you may still have for not renting from us, and we’ll remedy them immediately. Immediately.”
While two pieces of identification, a valid credit card, and proof of residence were previously required to open an account at the store, customers will now only need to walk through the door of any franchise location, whether by accident or not, and make brief eye contact with an employee to qualify for membership.