Blockbuster’s deceptive advertising: Are direct marketers also guilty?

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in Business Management

Is Blockbuster lying to us? Some people think so.

Blockbuster’s new commercials promise, “The end of late fees.” But of course, that’s impossible: if there is no penalty for returning a movie late, you could keep it forever.

The way it really works is this: there’s no late fee when you keep a movie a few extra days. But if you don’t return the movie within 7 days, you are forced to buy it at the current retail price.

Then, you can still return the movie you “purchased” within 30 days for “a restocking fee plus applicable taxes.” After that, you’ve bought the movie permanently and it’s yours.

Does that make “the end of late fees” a truthful or deceptive claim? In my opinion, the latter — they are lying to consumers, pure and simple.

“The end of late fees” is trumpeted in Blockbuster’s prime time TV spots. But the “fine print” of the deal is printed in a little booklet you can get — at my local Blockbuster anyway — only if you ask ...(register to read more)

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