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BBB Release: Movie Rental Changes Give Consumers More Choices

Anchorage, Alaska – Oct. 1, 2010 – In the last 10 years, the way consumers rent movies has changed. There are more options now. For major movie rental retailers, that means more competition.

Recently, Blockbuster and Hollywood Video's parent company Movie Gallery have both filed for bankruptcy.

Unknown charges and late fees have been a major source of contention for movie renters and a common reason for Better Business Bureau complaints. Consumers should always read the purchasing or membership terms, charges and fees in advance. BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington explores the following options and considerations:

Movie Rental Stores: A few years ago, movie rental stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were scattered across the U.S. Consumers could just walk-in, browse inventory and rent movies—assuming they had a membership.

After filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Blockbuster is restructuring its business model to maintain operations and diversify services; in addition to in-store sales, Blockbuster has also adapted a DVD-by-mail strategy. To stay informed, read Blockbuster's terms or conditions.

Movie Rental by Mail: Services like Netflix allow users to reserve movies online and have them shipped to their homes. When finished, consumers can return movies by dropping them in the mail. Once Netflix receives it, they send the next requested movie from the user's wish list, called their "Queue." Learn more by reading the terms of use.

Movie Rental Kiosks: Find a movie, swipe a credit card, grab it and go. That's the theory behind Redbox—a "vending kiosk" usually found outside supermarkets, restaurants and stores. After viewing, movies can be returned to any Redbox kiosk. Review the rental terms online before renting.

BBB Tips: As with any business transaction, be sure to read all agreements, guarantees, and instructions before purchasing. Get all costs in writing, particularly if late fees are applicable. Understand all terms and conditions. Be wary of vaguely worded provisions, exclusions or limitations, which could pose a problem later.

Visit www.bbb.org or utilize BBB's Accredited Business Directory to find local movie rental retailers.

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About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington: Better Business Bureau is a neutral not-for-profit organization with the mission to advance marketplace trust. BBB is supported by BBB Accredited Businesses and provides ethical business standards, BBB Reliability Reports, Charity Review Reports, complaint handling, marketplace events and tips. For more information, contact BBB or visit www.bbb.org.

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