Money Monday #3

i'm interrupting this Monday Monday post with a story of my own.

this past week i experienced my own frustrations with a business, although small on the grand scene of things, it made me think of some good things to tell you about.

on friday, i was looking at my account history (which i do every day, multiple times a day... i'm kind of obsessive.)

good thing i've obsessive because i overlooked the charge the first time.
i had a charge from redbox for $25 that i didn't any have any idea what it was for.
the last time i rented a redbox was almost a month ago and i barely remembered what movie it was.

first thing, merchants will usually list a phone number next to a charge on your account.  if you have any questions about it, call the number!
so that's exactly what i did.

the customer service rep on the other end informed me the charge was for never returning the movie i rented almost a month ago.
false.  i did return it.  two days after i rented it.

i knew we returned it, but i still checked with lincoln and asked him where and what day and what time he returned the DVD.

i also checked my account for the initial charge.  it indeed was there.  we got the first day free with a promo code and returned it the next day, so naturally they charged my card $1.07 when the movie was returned.

second important piece of info:  do your homework!  keep records.  back yourself up.

the first time i called, the rep totally made me feel like i was a liar for not returning the movie.
yes, some people may lie about this type of thing, but i feel like a company should always believe the customer otherwise the relationship with that customer could be compromised.

which is true in this case.  i'm so ticked at them right now, that i might never rent from them again.
and you betcha, i'm going to tell everyone i know about it, which then compromises their relationship with those customers as well!

bad move, redbox.  bad move.

the first rep i talked to said there was no record on his computer showing i returned the movie and said the best he could do was give me a $10 refund.

heck no!

i am not paying $15 for a movie i know i returned, just because that's the "best they can do."
they can do better.  they can refund me the full amount.

there was no way i was going to let this go down.
$15 could go a long way in my poor college student life.  i wasn't just going to let some company take that from me.

so after further investigating my end of it, i called the company back the next day and insisted i talk to a manager.

the manager wasn't very keen on believing me either. 

this was my biggest disappointment in the company--that $25 was so important (probably a multi-million dollar company) that they risked their relationship with me, the consumer, by accusing me of lying.  they shot down my suggestions that something could have gone wrong with their technology (nothing is perfect!) and never admitted that i could be right about all of this.

so they required me to fax in my statement with the initial $1.07 charge for returning the movie.  they said they would "further investigate the situation."  they did not take my phone number and made no explanations of follow through, which means i had to call them again today to see how everything was coming.  this time the rep told me that it could take up to a week for them to receive my fax and investigate!  um... excuse me???

if the company refuses to refund me the full amount, i plan to fill out a visa dispute form with my bank.  i might just do that so i don't have to wait for them to figure it out.  visa disputes are another option you can use for charges not authorized by you. 

my point is.  check your account thoroughly!!
stand up for yourself if something isn't right.
it's better to be nice and polite through the whole process even though you may be way ticked, like i was.  people are generally more willing to help if you refrain from screaming profanities.  :)

also last week, lincoln had two $12 charges for some subscription he didn't know he signed up for when he ordered me flowers for Valentines.  he contacted the company and they were prompt about refunding the money.  but he wouldn't have noticed if i hadn't said anything.

do any of you have similar experiences?

how do you feel about redbox now?

is customer service as important to you as it is to me?

so blog readers, all i'm saying is... be cautious renting from redbox.  watch your account.  how are we to know they aren't scamming 1,000 people across the nation every day?  that's $25,000!!  and maybe most people don't notice because they don't watch their account. 

thanks for listening to my rant.  i'll let you know what happens.


Michelle said...

laaameness.... and I can't believe people actually lie about turning movies in!

... I have to say though that one time blockbuster charged my sister for never returning a movie and she went there and told them that she KNEW she turned it in. They refunded her immediately I think.... then about a week later we found it... whoops? She swore she remembered taking it in though, but I guess that's just her special imagination or something.

She returned it by the way ;)

You better get your money back! You've practically earned it back again from all the hoops they are making you jump through!

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Oh my gosh... this is exactly why I always check my account.

My husband used my check card to order movie tickets awhile ago. When he was going through the motions of buying the tix online, he didn't noticed he was signing up for some kind of member rewards thing.

The next month I suddenly noticed a charge on my account from a company I'd never heard of.

My experience differs from yours though - they checked the account and saw that I'd never once signed in and there was no activity. So they promptly reimbursed me for the charges and canceled the account.

Companies seem to either go one way or another when it comes to issues like this. Obviously Redbox is just one of those companies that doesn't trust their customers.

I'd say go with Netflix. They're awesome!

kristin said...

you go get 'em jalene. GET 'EM!


Chioma said...

Way to be assertive AND proactive! I approve! I'm glad you got it all figured out!

Heather said...

After your story, I will probably never use Red Box... I can't believe they are putting up such a fight over it. I agree that you should just go with Netflix - I've had very few problems and love the instant streaming feature.

Talana said...

I love your rants!
I will check my accounts more thoroughly now!
Take them Down, Jalene! Down I say!!!

And I always liked Blockbuster better....

Jo-Anne said...

I will not be using redbox. Ever. Simply because they have not resolved this issue for you in a timely manner. And also the part where they didn't believe you. Very unprofessional. Sorry....I hope you get it all taken care of soon.
We had a similar problem with a charge on Craig's cell phone. He uses this for work calls and cannot get picture mail or anything like that. Somehow, he had "subscribed" to something and it was a $25 charge a month. We called immediatly,but the cell phone people insisted that he downloaded this "whatever it was" program. They eventually reversed the charge but billed him for it again the next month. We finally got it reversed and cancelled, but it wasn't easy.