I confess - I return videos late - I'm the king of late fees

Ok…I said it.

I must have memberships at 40 video stores in 7 cities by now due to my inability to consistantly return the tapes on time. I probably owe hundreds of dollars in late fees.

Every time I get a new membership I tell myself “must return the tapes…must return the tapes”…“don’t blow this one…return the dammed tapes!” …and things go OK for a while, I concientously return the tapes on time for a while and then it starts. A day late here, a couple there…no problem…small sums…don’t like to pay them but I do…just keep that membership going baby…

Then it happens. I rent 5 new releases, watch them promptly, and then let then sit around… I’ll walk past them dozens of times and say to myself “must return the tapes”…but then I walk out and forget them again. Eventually the store calls and talks to my wife or one of the kids and sure, they give me the message…and I do return them…but it sometimes takes another day…or two…or three. Of course I chicken out and do the “dump and run”…at that point I’m trying to avoid being ostricised… guess I expect some clerk to scream “there he is!..that’s the bastard that had the movies!”

At that point I figure the late charges to be in the 25-50 dollar range…and I rarely can allow myself to pay them. I then have to find yet another store, get another membership, and start again with a clean slate. I’ve even had to drive to an adjacent city to find one that I could use.

One cool recent development is that one of my teenagers is 18 and another of them soon will be. I have resumed renting at a good store that I had previously exiled myself from under his account. I’m surprised that they don’t match the address, but hey, for now I’m in like Flynn!

What is wrong with me? Is it a character defect? Am I the only one that is this bad?

Contestant #3

Me too! Me too! And my husband is no better…We have rented movies and ended up with $40 worth of late fees…and the store is right by work. Yes, it’s a character defect. My solution? Well, I’m certainly not going to change anytime soon (apparently) so my husband and I now have a sattelite dish- all our movies are pay per view- only $3.00 apiece (same as the store) and we don’t have to return them. Thank God!

I also have library materials out that are so overdue I’m going to have to return them in the dark of night…(we’re talking a year overdue)
What can I say, I’m a total jerk.

As someone who used to work in a video store - all I can say, C #3, is that I’m glad you don’t go in and try some lameass excuse on why they are late. That’s the worst - the people that get all righteous and belligerent demanding that their late fees be cancelled. I respect the “dump and run”. At least you know you are bad.

I can’t speak for other video clerks, but if you turned on the charm, I probably would’ve cancelled the fees!!

Okay, C#3 it’s payback time! It’s spelled consistently, conscientiously, ostracized. You want to get nasty with me on spelling? Then here, have some of your own medicine. Want some sugar to help it go down? Not from me.

You then shared: Of course I chicken out and do the “dump and run”

Big surprise considering that you do that out here too. You know, where you dump a nasty comment and can’t seem to ever get back to backing it up. Wow. Real life imitates cyber world. Just like your next comment of :

“there he is!..that’s the bastard”
Oh, wait. I don’t want to buy into your persecution complex. But if the shoe fits…

You then shared “start again with a clean slate”
now there’s a novel idea! But what do I know, I’m just a sophomoric newbie!

And your final parting comment: What is wrong with me? Is it a character defect? Am I the only one that is this bad?

Gee, what can I add to that? Yes?

Eutychus55– apologies are in order here. I thought I was in the pit. My rant should be in the pit. Sorry. I thought I was posting there, I wasn’t. If you want to remove my post, please do so. I’ll take my little flame war with C#3 elsewhere.

C3 : we could have guessed.

Sounds like they need to open up a video store that delivers. And picks up! Seriously, I’m amazed that you give away your money so easily. Think of it in terms of work. You have to work, say, 2 hours to make the $50 you owe in late fees. The next time you are at work, look at the clock. After 2 hours pass, you can say, “All that work just paid for those stupid late fees. Was it worth it?”

Yep, I do it too. I’ve eventually paid all the late fees, but I always dump and run, then pay them some other time. What’s good is that at the one place I do most of my renting, Hollywood Video, they don’t charge a daily late fee. If you don’t return on the due date, they’re going to charge you another full week, so they actually tell you to just keep it another week.

What saved me was when I bought my DVD player. I can rent DVD’s online at www.netflix.com . You pick your rentals (I believe they’re $3.49 for a 7-day rental), and they mail them to your home. You have 7 days from the day you receive them, and when you’re done, you pop them into a postage-paid self-mailer they include and mail them back. Easiest thing in the world.

Whew. What a relief. I thought it was just me & my husband.

My husband does the “dump & run,” but I usually just go into the store & deal with it. I’ve found that if you’re very meek about it, they sometimes will waive the fees. Not always, but I have occasionally caught a clerk in a good mood.

As for library books…well, I think there’s a “wanted” sign with my picture on it hanging at our public library.

You all are criminals of the worst kind in my mind. I use to be in the rewarding career of video store manager and I could not get over just how friggin’ stupid/lazy people could be about returning movies. Then I married my husband who can’t get a movie back on time if the fate of the world depended on it. So it is my job as " returner of the films".

As for libraries, late fees is where they make most of their mula,outside of millages, I read somewhere once.

'Round here (Boulder, CO) the biggest video store in town (locally owned, not a chain) has a no-late-fee policy. I don’t think it’s a written policy, but basically they don’t really care when you bring the movie back as long as you bring it back. I’m assuming if you really abuse this, they’ll start getting mad. But if you’re a day or two late, they don’t care. They’ve basically figured out that it takes more money to track and charge people for late fees than it does just to say “get it back sometime soon, ok?”

I think I’ve occasionally gotten a fee for a hot new release that I didn’t get back in time, but it’s been rare. I go out of my way to rent at this place as opposed to the POS Blockbuster who charges you if you’re a minute and a half late. Plus, the locally run store has the best selection by far.

I am always returning movies late too, but I pay my fees. However, I think that video stores MAKE us return videos late, by encouraging us to rent more videos than we could possibly watch in the amount of time we are allowed to have them. The last time I was at the video store, I went up to the counter with 2 movies. The clerk told me that I could get another video for free due to some promotion they were having. Now, I knew that I would never be able to watch 3 movies, but the word FREE got stuck in my mind, so I picked out another movie. Of course, I was not able to watch all three, and I ended up returning all three late. So I didn’t get anything for free, in fact, I think I ended up losing money. (I haven’t gone back to pay the fees yet, so I don’t know how much I really owe.) So it is the video store’s fault!!!

C#3, I wouldnt be too sure they wont connect you and your kid…

Around here, they post the names of folks who owe $$$ next to the cash register for all to see…

The store I use the most is really cool about late fees, you can pay a couple of bucks toward your debt and still rent a movie.

The library I work in doesn’t make much from overdue fines (I’m the one who collects them, I know). $20-$30 a day is average.

Oops, let me clarify. The above post is in reference to Shirley Ujest’s previous comment. Sorry for the confusion.

Count me among the library/video store deadbeats. I DO pay the fines eventually, though – at my Blockbuster they make you pay the late fees before you can rent another film. Hollywood Video is better – they’ll let you carry the late fees over if you want. As for my library fees – don’t ask! I have a big ol’ stack of late books sitting right here… My husband tells me that when I apply to graduate school, they’ll check my library history and say, “No, Mrs. Buchli – you can’t be a librarian, look at all these overdues…”


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

I instruct the store to call me if a video is a day late. Some wait 10 days to call you. Sneaky. You know they keep a list of whats over due.

All the stores I went to let me carry any charges if I talk to the manager. One excuse [but it was true], those aren’t my late charges they are so&so who uses the acct.

Best excuse by far [but this was true] ’ I couldn’t get the video out because the power went out in the storm.’

I’m really bad about returning the videos too, but my biggest fault is that I will keep a video for a week or so and then return it, without ever watching it.

Just did that last week. I rented “Shakespeare in Love” from Hollywood Video, which lets you keep them for five days. Well I returned it, almost a week late, so I had this video in my house for 12 days, yet I never watched it even once.


You sign an agreement to return rented videos. You don’t return them on time. And somehow this is the stores fault for not calling you, to let you know that you aren’t doing what you signed a legal document to do. Come Again?