The late fees are back at Blockbuster.
According to the trade journal Home Media Retailing, the floundering movie-rental giant has quietly started to re-institute the punitive charges at its brick-and-mortar locations.
Starting Monday, customers who pay the $4.99 for a new release DVD will have five days to return it instead of seven. A $1-per-day late fee will be assessed for every day the disc is late, for up to 10 days.
“The cool thing about it is that theoretically you could return a movie up to a year later and only be charged that $10,” said a local Blockbuster store employee, when asked by Home Media Retailing about the changed policy.
Of course, back in its heyday – i.e. before Netflix came along – Dallas-based Blockbuster made about 10 percent of its revenue from late fees. The company got rid of late fees in 2004.
Blockbuster reported nearly $45 million in adjusted net losses in the fourth quarter of last year.