The late fees stay the same,but Blockbuster Inc. customers may be up for value redeeming certificates in 2002.
According to senior vice president of corporate communications Karen Raskopf,Blockbuster's settlement of 23 class-action lawsuits will set into motion a plan to cover the nine-year litigation and give late-fee payers a chance for free rentals.
“The allegations against us were baseless,but in the interest of the company and the legal fees,we decided to settle the cases and make the customers happy,” Raskopf said.
As of June 1 until Nov. 3,Raskopf said the company begins giving customers a printout of their extended viewing fees from the time period of April 1999 to April 2001. The amount of late fees paid during that time period will determine the number of certificates the customer is available to receive,Raskopf said.
Customers,who have paid $30 to $60 in late fees,would receive two free five-day rentals and five $1 coupons for the store. Raskopf said the package gets bigger as the amount increases,starting from a $9 to $18 value.
However,customers with certificates will have five months to redeem their certificates at any store or participating franchise. Raskopf said customers who weren't notified about receiving certificates can submit an application online at www.blockbuster.com
Although Raskopf would not release an estimate number of expected certificates to be distributed,she said Blockbuster has agreed to pay up to $9.2 million in their court and legal fees.
“This won't have any material impact on the company and we don't expect it to be a problem.” She said 10 percent of the rentals come in late,with 95 percent being five-day rentals.
Blockbuster was accused of charging the high late fees for their two-day and five-day rentals.