Don’t Forget to Return to Redbox

If you’ve ever rented a DVD through Redbox, you know it is an affordable and convenient movie rental service. The big crimson kiosk offers a wide selection of revolving movie choices from action to comedy to family flicks including new releases. You can make an easy payment via credit or debit account by simply swiping your card and the machine spits out the disc of your choosing almost immediately upon order confirmation. Though I often promote Redbox as a cheaper alternative to renting movies via iTunes or through your cable provider, I don’t regularly use this service. However, last week I spotted a Redbox kiosk at the local 7-11 as I was filling up my car with gas so I decided to check it out and, surprisingly, found Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Since my husband and I were contemplating renting this exact movie just the night before for $5 more through Apple TV (Netflix wasn’t even offering this movie at the time), I decided to grab a copy. To my disappointment, the disc was damaged and the movie wouldn’t play. I logged onto my computer to email the company’s customer service team and found that it was very easy to claim the damaged DVD. Apparently, scratched and damaged movies are common as these movies pass through many consumer hands on a daily basis. I received a credit to my account for one free future rental which made me feel better about the experience. However, the Redbox experience didn’t end there.

Over the next few days I forgot to return the DVD and then somehow misplaced it during our weekend cleanup. I was convinced my dog buried the disc in the backyard, but my husband finally found it in a pile of clutter. Misplacing the Redbox rental for 15 days ended up costing me $20 for a movie we couldn’t even watch. At that price, I would have been better off buying a new, working copy of the DVD from Target and would have had a few bucks leftover.

The lesson learned here: adopt savings strategies that work for you! If you are diligent about returning the movies on time, then it’s a great way to save on rental costs. Otherwise, consider the costs of forgetting about it.

Redbox receipt

Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who regularly contributes to leading national and regional news stories. She has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Dr. OZ, Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News with Diane Sawyer, and been quoted in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Better Homes & Garden and many others. Andrea also enjoys writing articles for various personal finance and lifestyle websites and blogs. Andrea is passionate about sharing ideas and tips to help you live on less without having to sacrifice. She says making a few small tweaks to daily and monthly spending is all you need to do to achieve your dreams within your means. Follow Andrea on Facebook and Twitter for daily savings tips and check back for new videos, magazine stories and blog posts all about saving money!

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