CONSUMER ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler/Janice Fitzsimons
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: March 30, 2005
BLOCKBUSTER SETTLEMENT CLAIM FORM AVAILABLE ON
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S WEBSITE
Settlement with Blockbuster over Advertising for "No Late Fee" Program
(Wilmington, DE): Consumers wishing to file for a refund/credit with Blockbuster, as part of a settlement over misleading advertising of their "no late fee" program, can access the claim form on the Attorney General's website, said Attorney General M. Jane Brady. "We are pleased to be able to provide a downloadable claim form on our website for the convenience of Delaware consumers." Claim forms can be accessed from the Attorney General's homepage at attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/. Consumers should take their completed claim form to any Delaware Blockbuster store for processing by April 28, 2005. Consumers who have additional questions or concerns can contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at (800) 220-5424.
Brady joined Attorneys General from around the country in the settlement with Blockbuster alleging that the "no late fee" advertising campaign was misleading because it failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose that if a consumer who rented a video or game from Blockbuster and kept the item out more than 7 days after its return due date, the consumer would be charged for the selling price of the video, and that after that, if the consumer wanted to return the video the consumer would be charged a "restocking" fee. Blockbuster began advertising the "The End of Late Fees" and "No Late Fees" on December 15, 2004, with the program starting on January 1, 2005.
As part of the settlement, Blockbuster agreed to provide a full refund or credit to any customer of a corporate store or franchise store that participated in the "No Late Fee" program equal to the selling price of any rental items converted to a sale under the "No Late Fee" program which rental items were not returned within thirty days from the sale date, upon the return in good condition of the items rented. The restitution will be on a one-time per customer basis but will cover all items rented which were converted to a sale before the customer learned on the first rental transaction that a sale would occur. If the customer already returned the item but paid a "restocking" fee, the customer can obtain a refund of the "restocking" fee.