I think my company is ripping off customers.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DerrickRemmert, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. DerrickRemmert

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    One of my jobs is for a company called Movie Gallery. They have a product called a discount rental card. It costs 19.99 but is worth 27.00 in rentals. There is also a 50.00 card that is worth 75.00 in rentals. The deal is that the card will never expire and you use it until the balance is zero.

    The problem is, now the company is deactivating the cards if there is ever a gap of 30 days of non use. Once the card is deactivated the customer can not have it reactivated. I had one customer who still had 55.00 dollars on his card and Movie Gallery deactivated it. We were told to tell the customer(when we sold it) that the card never expires and they can use it whenever they wish.

    When I called the credit card terminal they said that all previous and future rentals cards are deactivated after 30 days of non use. The customer was furious so I credited his account for 50 dollars even though Movie Gallery said not to. Even on the back of the card it has a message stating the card doesn't expire. It states there is a 1.50 per month non use service fee if the card isn't used after 12 months. The promotional and sales training materials don't mention anything about a deactivation date. I told the credit terminal person this but she said that didn't matter they are still deactivated and there's nothing the customer or I can do. Is this legal? I don't think it should be.
     
  2. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  3. DerrickRemmert

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    No this card gets deactivated after 30 days if you don't use it. The card specifically states on the back that after a year you can still use the card but will be charge and monthly 1.50 no use service fee. My question is, are you allowed to tell a customer that a card never gets deactivated and then turn around and deactivate it after 30 days of non use. This doesn't happen after one year it is effective 30 days after buying the card. To me that's like selling someone a 1 year car warranty and then cancelling it without refund one month in to the deal because the car hasn't been driven.
     
  4. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    It doesn't sound legal to me. With Brian's example with the Gift Cards, you are told at purchase that the cards will expire after one year. As long as the terms are stated up front, they are fine.

    However, in Derrick's case, the customers are told that they never expire. It can't possibly be legal for a company to change its terms without notification without it stating upfront that it can change its terms without notification. And quite frankly, 30 days is insane! A year or two I can understand, but 30 days??

    If the customer was told the card never expires, then it shouldn't expire. Buy purchasing the card it seems he entered a contract with the company and with the 30 days policy, the company is changing the terms of the contract.

    It sounds to me like they were losing too much money on these cards and tried to pull a switcheroo in hopes to cut some of their losses.
     
  5. Trace Downing

    Trace Downing Supporting Actor

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    Check the card for small print. Is there something that says to the effect that..."changes in policy are at Movie Gallery's discretion" or something to that effect.
    With this, and your salary by ATM fee issue, I'd say it's high time for you to take a hike from this dump.[​IMG]
     
  6. DerrickRemmert

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    No there is no fine print on the card other than the part about the 1.50 non usage fee after a year of non use. There is nothing stating the policy can or could be changed. The fine print just makes what they are doing seem all the more illegal to me. I just don't understand how a company can do this and get away with it.
    I guess I should throw in the fact that Movie Gallery has an official policy to stock only full screen dvd's if separate widescreen/fullscreen versions are available. They say the overwhelming majority of renters prefer fullscreen. This of course has nothing to do with my topic but I figured I'd throw that in anyway. [​IMG]
     
  7. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    That doesn't sound right. You should report them to someone.

    ~T
     
  8. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Disgusting. [​IMG] A couple of observations: (1) the company will lose a lot of customers for good. There are always other places with which one can do business and (2) they stand also to lose a lot of employees. Who wants to work for a place that puts them in the position of having act as buffer between an angry consumer and shitty company policy.
    I agree with Thi. Report them, anonymously if you feel more comfortable doing it this way, to someone.
     
  9. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    Movie Gallery has recently bought out the local rental store in my home town. Before Movie Gallery came in, widescreen rentals were plentiful at the store. Now if there is an option only the full screen versions are available. Sigh. After reading this post I am really glad I turned down that rental card the last time I was there. Stuff like this actually makes Blockbuster look like a good place to rent!

    Brandon Smith
     
  10. DerrickRemmert

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  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Derrick,

    If the info you have provided is complete, there is something seriously wrong. I would start looking for a new job, because businesses that start doing things like this are usually not long for the world. Besides, it sounds like it just sucks working there. The BBB would be an obvious start, but the discount card issue sounds to me like something for the District Attorney or State Attorney General. Don't be intimidated by calling these offices. This is what they exist for and they are usually rather accommodating as long as you are to the point. You're basically talking about fraud here. You might also consider calling a local "Consumer Advocate" if there are any. I would call them as soon as possible. Personally, I would take it as my duty as a decent person to pursue it.

    As far as the pay policy, you might try to find a state or county labor board to see if this pay policy is legal. My gut feeling is that it probably is.
     
  12. Allen W

    Allen W Stunt Coordinator

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    It sounds like they have clearly issued the terms of the agreement to the customer on the card and are going back on their word. In my opinion they are making money off of their customers by breaking a contract. Yes, I would call the Better Business Bureau, anonymously if you want to.
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    BTW, while the BBB can put on some pressure, they are mostly impotent. They really don't have any genuine power.
     
  14. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    If you're this dissatisfied with your employer (including your vigorous complaints in another thread about how you're paid), then maybe you should just start looking for a new line of work.
     
  15. DerrickRemmert

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  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    While I agree with you, Derrick, that's really not necessary. The conduct guidelines not only apply to how someone responds to you, but how you react back to them.

    It's good to see you are interested in doing more than just walking away from the situation.
     
  17. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    I feel for you Derrick, but between this and your other thread, you need a new job. This company sounds ridiculous!
     
  18. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    depends on the state. In ND it's not legal for anything you paid for to expire, so that wouldbe illegal
     
  19. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    the customers that this has happened to need to see a lawyer and you need to contact your state's attorney general office which takes care of this kind of stuff
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I think it would be ironic if a lawyer was a victim of the early cancellation, and took them to court, maybe a minor class action suit of some sort (though the numbers would be small to insignificant to be worth the hassle, there is some principle behind it, and hell hath no fury like a lawyer screwed out of some DVD rentals!)
     

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