advice needed re a reminder letter

@suehan1 (4355)
Australia
April 7, 2008 3:02am CST
today i recieved a reminder letter from the local video store for outstanding late fees which occurred over 12 months ago.firstly i had an overdue d.v.d.which the kids returned,but unfortunately the kids did not put the d.v.d back in the cover ,so the video store just recieved the cover only.this d.v.d was overdue for 163 days.i was totally unaware that we still had the d.v.d.in this 163 days the video store did not contact me once,and it was only when i went to hire another d.v.d months later they told me,i must still have it.well i went home and found it,and took it straight back.i told the manager i would not pay the overdue fee as i was not informed that it was missing,and since no-one had tried to inform me in 163,it was disgusting that the store deliberately let it go so long,so as to build up fees.now this letter states i owe them $88.00 and if i do not pay they will get a debt recovery agent to collect the fees.what would you do.i feel i should not have to pay these fees,because they failed to inform me within 163 days i still had the d.v.d.i also feel that after 12 months they have a nerve to ask for it and what proof do they have.any legal people out there or has any one else experienced this with a video store.any advice gladly wanted.cheers sue
7 responses
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
7 Apr 08
It is a tricky one... They did abuse the system by not contacting you... so that they could collect the late fee. At the same time... it is your responsability to return it... not theirs. So technically... they can get away with it. You have to remember that while you were holding that DVD... they were not making any money... as they could not rent it to someone else. The least you can do... is to offer them half... $44.00 ... and see if they take it. It is going to cost you a lot more if you need to go to court about it. You made a mistake... accept it. There is no way out of it. You will be doing extremely well if they accept to take $44.00.
1 person likes this
• Australia
7 Apr 08
On the other hand... they should have contacted you when the kids did return an empty DVD box. But like I said... solicitors are expensive.
1 person likes this
@suehan1 (4355)
• Australia
7 Apr 08
firstly this is the first time i have ever heard of a video store having a debt recovery service and took people to court.secondly i am so annoyed that they let it rack up to that amount and not contact me,if i did not go to hire another d.v.d it probably would still be racking up overdue fees as we speak.i probably should have checked that the d.v.d was in the case,but i trusted my kids that they had done that.anyway i am going to fight it at the moment,its not the money that i object to paying,its the sneaky racking up of the fees that i am mad about.i will probably calm down and pay it in the end,but not before i let them know how underhanded they are.i have rung the store and apparently i amone of many who are up in arms about it.cheers sue
• Australia
7 Apr 08
It is very common... it happens every day. People forget about the video store... because they think their own little life is far more important. You see it in the movies... just about in every television serial going back 15 years. And nobody gets away with it. Everyone has access to debt recovery these days. The debt recovery business is booming... as they charge you their own fee on top of what you own to the store.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
8 Apr 08
I don't know where you live or what the laws are in your area to governed that, it is different everywhere, for example most video stores here like block buster (canada) no longer charge lates fees as someone took it to court and won. So I suggest you contact a lawyer and ask if you have a case or not.
1 person likes this
@suehan1 (4355)
• Australia
9 Apr 08
i actually spoke with the store manager and challenged him and asked why he did not tried to contact me ,and it was wrong to rack up late fees like that.he actually dropped the late fees and admitted he was in the wrong.yipee.cheers sue
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Apr 08
wow that is absolutely wonderful
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@suehan1 (4355)
• Australia
10 Apr 08
yes i thought that was great also.i told him that i actually had worked in the industry for my friends shop and i knew how the computer generates the late d.v.d s daily ,so was no excuse for him not to have contacted me.cheers sue
@p1kef1sh (45640)
18 Feb 09
I am only replying to this to say hello Sue. Are you back from wherever you have been? I have missed you hugely.
1 person likes this
@suehan1 (4355)
• Australia
18 Feb 09
i missed you as well pike,i am glad to be back.cheers sue
@shefair (90)
• United States
8 Feb 09
Okay to finish what I was saying earlier. My policy on late fees is that we charge per night what it would cost to rent it. So if its $4.00 for 2 nights we charge $2.00 a night late fee or if its $4.00 for 5 nights we charge .80 cents a night late fee. After about 5-7 days late I call - alot of people will bring them back at that point - that is assuming the number they gave me is good and not bogus. 3 days later I call again - if I have spoken to them twice then I send a letter requesting the movie and the full late fee. If they do not respond to that then after about 2 more weeks my attorney sends a letter with the new late fee amount and requesting the fees and movies by a specific date - usually a week and a half later plus charging an extra $175.00 for him to send a letter. Then the letter states that we will sue for the movies and the late fees if they are not returned by that date. Currently we have about 8 people at that point - but we can't find at least 6 of those and if you can't find them you can't sue them. The ones left have just one or two movies out and they are old so we have not taken the time to actively pursue suing them. A few months ago we added a new thing to our rental contract that the member initials - and if it is initialed and movies are not brought back we can then have the sheriffs department go to thier home and pick up our property - the police can also press charges because it is theft...so that is where we are right now... So to sum it up - the store should have called you to tell you your movie was still out - assuming your number on file was good - it is not thier job to track you down if your information is bogus (although I do my best - I even do somewhat of a background check on people - for instance not renting to people with bounced checks or arrests for theft, etc). In the same light, it IS your responsibility to make sure you return someone else's property and pay for the fees you accrue. The same with the library, rent to own, etc. So should you pay $88.00 on a late movie - probabaly not - infact if you had come in my store willing to pay it I would have at least if not more, cut that in half as long as you returned the movie. It is amazing what a business owner will do for a customer if the customer just shows a little bit of respect and willingness to the business - I cut fees left and right for those people - if you call and harass me as some have - or give me bogus info - or refuse to pay - then things get ugly and my attorney gets involved...that pretty much sums it up! lol Have a good day! Happy mylotting!
1 person likes this
@suehan1 (4355)
• Australia
18 Feb 09
thanks for your reply.i can see how hard it would be for the owners of video stores to get back videos etc,but i think a phone call would have been good from them to have let me know what was happening.glad to see that you do the right things for your customers and they will keep on coming back.cheers sue
@maezee (32559)
• United States
8 Feb 09
I would just pay it off, honestly. This would avoid all of the hassle in hiring a lawyer, fighting it, or having to deal with their "debt recovery agent". I would just pay it, because $90 isn't worth all that trouble. Have a talk with your kids, and remind them that when returning videos, they have to do it properly otherwise this is what happens - and make sure you never go to that video store again. :/
1 person likes this
@suehan1 (4355)
• Australia
18 Feb 09
thanks for your response.this ahs been sorted out a while ago and i di end up paying them only about $20.00 ,so all is well.cheers sue
@shefair (90)
• United States
8 Feb 09
This is something I know something about as I own a video store. I have been in business 1 year and let me tell you late fees and unreturned videos are the most frustrating thing ever in this business. First, why do we charge late fees? Late fees are charged because every night you have that video is a night that someone else can't rent it and another night we can't make any money on it. When it comes to new releases we have sooooo many people that will rent it the day it comes out for $4.00 after we just paid $15 -$20 for it and then never bring it back. We not only lost the cost of the dvd but we also lost all the income from not being able to rent out that dvd. Second, you are renting the video. You did not buy it. If you intend on keeping it you should buy a copy. I will sell them off the shelf. I have no problem with that but please do not keep my rentals. Next, you took the dvd AND the case. Those lock cases cost us money as well. Plus when you have a small store like mine we can not afford to buy a bunch of the same title. I buy 1-5 depending on how popular the title is. So if you rent a movie and don't bring it back and people are waiting for it then people get mad at me because I don't have that movie available which in turn will get me mad with you because you won't bring my videos back. The video belongs to me, it is my property and if you rent it and don't bring it back you are literally stealing from me which is a crime. I often have people return the case without the disk. The way I handle this is I give the person the benefit of the doubt and believe that they did make an effort to return it on time and for this I will often not charge them late fees at all or will significantly reduce the fees. I wait a day or two before calling because most people notice within 24 hours that they didn't return the disc (most people find them in thier dvd player). Then I call and tell them. Most people bring it in immidiately but I have had about 4 people who have had them for months. I do not continuously call as it gets me nowhere...I have to go to church now...I will write more on my late fee procedures and how I feel about the what that video store did to you Sue later today...
1 person likes this
@suehan1 (4355)
• Australia
18 Feb 09
hi thanks for your response .i have not been on mylot for about 4 months and it was nice to get your response.this was sorted out months ago and i only ended up paying them around $20 ,after i pointed out that they neglected to try and contact me.all well that ends well.cheers sue
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
8 Apr 08
Wow. Most places would make you pay the cost of the DVD itself, but I suppose they could argue the fact that since you had the DVD that long, they lost out on other rental fees because they couldn't let it out to anyone else. I've never heard of a company doing something like that, though. Even library books that have been overdue forever usually max out at the cost of the book. Have you read their terms? If it's included in the fine print, you're probably out of luck.
1 person likes this
@suehan1 (4355)
• Australia
9 Apr 08
i actually challenged him about it would be cheaper to pay for the d.v.d.it was a old one and i doubt that they would have made much money from it.he admitted he was in the wrong about not contacting me.i actually worked in a video store many years ago for my friend and i know the computer generates daily all those that are late and i would phone and remind people to bring them back.cheers sue