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March 30, 2005

Courts defend the brain dead (as in stupid)

From Reuters:

Blockbuster Inc. (BBI), the top U.S. video rental chain, will pay $630,000 to settle 47 states' claims that its "No Late Fees" policy deceived customers, the company said on Tuesday.

Blockbuster will also refund customers who claim they were misled and charged restocking fees or the full price of rented movies if they were returned a week after the due date, according to a statement from Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett.

The agreement, which also includes the District of Columbia, would also dramatically alter the way Blockbuster advertises its "No Late Fees" policy in the future.

Okay, be honest, who didn't get that the ad was a gimmick. I mean really -- no late fees? They couldn't stay in business if they actually did that. It was an advertising ploy. The courts are defending the brain dead in this instance because that's the only people I can think of who wouldn't have bothered to read the fine print when they rented the movie, and just assumed they could keep it as long as they wanted to.

Next question: who actually thinks this court case will benefit anyone other than lawyers?

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said the $630,000 award would cover the states' attorney fees, costs of investigation and consumer protection.

Stupid people will continue to fall for advertising gimmicks and I can guarantee you that Blockbuster made whole lot more off the gimmick that $630,000. This is just like the Publisher Clearing House class action scam a few years ago. Waste the court's time, make the gullible think they've been “protected”, pay less in the “judgement” than an ad campaign would have cost, and get tons of free advertising.

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 30, 2005 08:44 AM

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