That was the sign Shelia Crocker saw when she rented movies from the Hollywood Video on Bissonnet and Weslayan. Of course, she didn’t mean to keep the movie she’d rented in September for a full month. When she received an $80 bill in the mail for the movie that had never been returned, she searched her couch cushions, under the kid’s beds and everywhere else in her home until she found the DVD.But when she drove to the store to return the video, she found it locked up with a sign that said all movies rented after October 15th wouldn’t be assessed late charges. She called the Montrose Hollywood Video. An employee there told her she could return the movie, but he couldn’t erase her late fees. So what exactly are we supposed to make of the sign on the right?
I called the company’s corporate office on Crocker’s behalf. A company spokesman told me that most Hollywood Video stores replaced the “No Late Fees” signs with another a newly created one with an asterisk. That’s because in order to qualify for no late fees, you have to register for the subscription program “PowerPlay.”
“My point is that the huge sign outside the store says NO LATE FEES and it does not reference anywhere on the sign that it is not applicable to all rentals. At this point considering that all of their store inventory is unaccessible to them, they should be glad I have a movie to return to them. I have rented from this store for years and I know they are struggling since most people do not rent this way anymore but they used to leave a message if you had a movie past the due date but that was before the NO LATE FEE sign was put up. Sort of seems like a gimmick to get you to sign up for their auto debit program.”
Since the store’s sign wasn’t updated, Hollywood Video agreed to clear Crocker’s $80 late fee.
As for the store, who knows when it will reopen. It’s been closed for more than a month. The corporate spokesman said he couldn’t comment… but another sign on the door says the owner was locked out by the landlord for failing to pay rent.