Friday, March 07, 2008

Redbox Rage

Perhaps you have seen these Redbox machines at your local grocery store or McDonalds. The idea of Redbox is brilliant in its simplicity; rent a DVD for just $1 and you can return the DVD to any Redbox location. Just within 5 miles of my zip code, there are 10 Redbox locations which makes renting DVDs extremely convenient. The price of a Redbox DVD rental is much cheaper than Blockbuster, and you can select movies immediately without waiting for your Netflix DVD to arrive through the mail. Although Redbox does not have the selection of Blockbuster or Netflix, they do have most, if not all, of the new releases. As someone who does not rent enough movies to make Netflix worthwhile, Redbox makes sense financially. I don’t feel nearly as bad renting a terrible movie for $1 rather than $5 at Blockbuster.

I’ve been a little reluctant to use this giant red machine, but I finally did so recently. I wanted to rent Michael Clayton (I’m embarrassed to write that I have not seen it yet - sorry Jason), but it was completely out at Blockbuster. Although it was also out at the closest Redbox, we ended up renting another movie. The process of choosing a movie was easy. You just go through the movies, touch the screen, swipe your credit card and the movie appears out of the slot. The process of returning the movie is much more difficult. You would think it would be easy as all you need to do is slide the movie back into the slot. However, there is no separate slot to return the movie quickly; you have to wait for idiot people who are already in line to complete their transactions.

I’m sure that this has happened already but there has to have been some Redbox confrontations, particularly among people trying to return their movie just before 9:00pm. If you don’t return a movie by 9:00, you are charged for an additional night, or another $1. My personal experience in returning my DVD in the middle of the afternoon was extremely frustrating. I hoped to run into the grocery store, return the movie, and leave quickly since we were meeting some friends for dinner. I had no such luck as there were two people already ahead of me in line. The first guy was trying to select a movie and the guy next to him kept commenting on every single movie out there. I’m sure that the first guy really did not care about the second guy’s opinion of Lake Placid 2. After maybe 3 minutes, the first guy picked his movie and left. I wish the second guy moved as quickly. It took him at least 5 minutes to choose a movie even though he already saw most of the films listed. Then, he tried to swipe his credit card but it did not go through. Instead of trying to swipe it again, he stood there staring at the machine. After another 90 seconds, he repeated the same process. I was getting more and more angry watching him since I had somewhere to be. I almost yelled at the guy to swipe your "f-ing" card again. It must have been a full 10 minutes for the guy to complete his transaction. It took me only 15 seconds to return my movie.

So if anyone associated with Redbox happens to read this, please install a return slot in all of your new machines. Otherwise, I can see someone getting hurt in a case of Redbox Rage!


Anonymous said...

could always ask if you can get ahead of them for a few seconds as you just wish to return a movie.

I did that. no problems.

but yea, you'd like to think the person standing there had a f'n clue before they looked blankly at a screen with 3 people deep behind them.

Continuing the selfishness of America. Way to go Redbox users. -sigh-

Archi said...

I discovered/blogged about this a month or two ago, and when I returned my only Redbox movie there didn't happen to be anyone waiting. But this is a good point.

Anonymous said...

yeah, i was gonna say that dan talked about this a little while ago, and i'll tell you the same thing i told him: one word- netflix. nothing is better, seriously.

and you haven't seen mc yet? you can buy it on dvd and blue ray now.

Mystery Man said...

It is the same thing at the MAC (ATM) machine. Truthfully it is very simple to make a MAC transaction yet you are forced to wait for the idiots in front of you. Can we have a "what the f<>k are you doing in front of me in line, you are an idiot" suggestion box?

Sean said...

Dan - I remember that you wrote about Redbox but I couldn't remember what specifically you thought about it. I tried unsuccessfully to find it on your site.

Jason - I really will see MC soon. However, I refuse to buy anything on Blue Ray. I'm only now getting comfortable with DVDs; I'm not ready for something new!

Archi said...

And as I said on my site, Netflix is not a good deal if you only watch a movie or less a month.

honeykbee said...

If you sign up at, they'll send you a free code for monday - tuesday rentals. But, as you may guess, there's usually a line for returns so plan wisely.