Redbox Rocks – Brilliant!

Although it’s probably a transitional mode of movie distribution until streaming becomes the preferred mode – probably in 3-4 years, Redbox really puts conventional movie stores to shame when you want a popular title.

The friendly big movie boxes are located at heavy traffic stores like Wal Mart, and offer popular titles (as well as a limited selection of older films) at only $1.    The combination of a very intuitive and simple touchscreen interface, credit card scan, networking and the “robotics” of the Redbox are impressive to me.  The entire system seems well designed to eliminate the challenges that face other touch systems – clunky navigation and printer problems.   No printer problems at RedBox because they don’t use one – instead you are emailed both when you rent and when you return.

Another innovative solution is to avoid the frustrating and usurous “late fees” by simply charging a dollar a day – the standard low rental rate – until 25 days after which you own the movie.   This is an approach likely to get some revenues from movie sales and avoid pissing off customers who forget or keep the film for a few extra days.   I’d guess the optimal “you’ve bought it” number is lower than this – probably about $12 or so – but to know that you’d have to have information such as the cost to replenish titles in the machines, cost of lost revenue before titles are replenished, etc.    I’m assuming that RedBox’ largest long term cost is the human interaction needed to maintain and load the machines.

———- Return receipts are emailed immediately ——-


Your copy of “Cloverfield” was successfully returned on 7/11/2008 11:30 AM.
Your return was on time. You will receive a receipt via email when we process your account.

Thanks for using Redbox!

Return Details

Barcode: 0—-6
Transaction ID: 13—1
Return location: Wal-Mart (view inventory here)
300 W Valley View Rd
Talent, OR 97540-9629
Rent date/time: 7/10/2008 1:16 PM
Due date/time: 7/11/2008 9:00 PM
Return date/time: 7/11/2008 11:30 AM
Questions? Comments? Contact Redbox Customer Service

Phone: 1-866-REDBOX3

DVD rentals cost only $1.00 + tax until 9:00 PM the next evening, then $1.00 + tax for each night thereafter. After 25 days, rental charges will cease and the DVD is yours to keep.

6 thoughts on “Redbox Rocks – Brilliant!

  1. We originally liked Redbox until on my kids misplaced two dvd’s and we were charged for both – which happened to be price much higher than retail within Wal-mart. We could have actually gotten both movies for less than $25.00 and don’t forget you are being charged $25 per USED dvd.

    We have been using the vudu box and totally love it. We can rent or buy movies (including HD) right from our home anytime we want. Interface is great and it works fantastic!

  2. Hmmm – did you get any email warnings from the RedBox? If no I think they may be taking advantage of the fact they have you by your Credit Card b**ls once your rent, but if they did keep you posted then 25 would beat the normal 50+ a video store would charge for the lost DVD.

  3. The interface between Bricks and Clicks may be challenging for retailers who want physical distribution but streamlined interaction via the net. A simple email reminder would help avoid friction.

    Think of the ‘one stop’ wherein grocery stores handle books, magazines, greeting cards, flowers, baloons, banking, etc. There might be a market niche for physical distribution of goods, but I fear that streaming video will eventually end DVD rentals no matter how efficient the distribution and interaction may be.

  4. I returned a movie to the local redbox, but it never registered and I got a $27 charge for “keeping” the video. I called and emailed customer service and they asked a bunch of questions which I had answered about 3 times at that point, then sent an email saying they’ll investigate the physical box and get back in 10-15 days…. that was almost 3 months ago. I frankly forgot, because I don’t sit and wait for this stuff, but I just sent another email about this matter. Another time, my wife tried to return a video for me, and the machine was down for 3 days. I got charged $7, and even after calling, they never returned the fee. I thought this was a great alternative to Blockbuster but not if I keep getting ripped off. I’ve lost more with Redbox than I ever did with Blockbuster’s late fees. Poor customer service, bad hardware …. They get an F.

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