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Weblog Entry

Stupid Business Practices

January 31, 2003

After a week of feeling blah, this is one Friday where I just felt like being pandered to. For the first time in well over a year, almost two, I rented a movie.

I guess it’s because of my lack of a TV that I stopped. After my last move, I decided not to buy one, and I’d call that one of my best decisions to date. I have a DVD drive in my computer and a reasonably nice monitor, so I decided that I’d be okay with that and went to get something.

Rogers Video was where I ended up, the same one I use to go to frequently. I wanted to hit up the smaller independent place just down the street rather than the evil national chain, but I already had the membership so that’s where I went instead. I browsed the store, looking at the recent popcorn fare, trying to figure out what I actually could bear watching. My choice was between The Bourne Identity and Minority Report, so I chose the latter because I own Ludlum’s book and I’d rather read it first, then catch the movie. (Although sometimes it’s better to do it the other way…)

I grabbed the DVD, walked to the counter, and handed the clerk my card. He swiped it, looked up, and asked if I usually rent from another store?

Let me take a break for a second and rant, if you’ll indulge me: the Rogers Group is Canada’s largest media conglomerate, dealing with things like video and game rentals, cable and internet, and wireless communication. They’re in the communication business. So why the hell do they have such a hard time hooking their stores up to each other?? Try renting a movie at a Rogers Video with a Rogers Video rental card, and if it’s a store other than the one you got the card at, you have to go through the whole signup/verification process again!

Anyway, I’ve had this exact same problem with this exact same store. I said, no, I have rented here many times, what’s the problem? He replied that I wasn’t in the system, and had I rented recently, say in the past six months? I told him I had not. He said that was the problem — the system deletes anyone who hasn’t rented within six months, and I’d have to sign up again.

I started handing him my drivers license, then I paused to consider. Actually, nevermind, I said. This is when he gave me an incredulous look, and asked somewhat sourly, what, you’re not going to rent then? I replied I was, thank you, but not from you. Instead, I’m going to walk right across the street (pointing with my finger) and rent from the other store, because I don’t like your practice. He said all it takes is just for me to give my credit card and drivers license info again. I said I’d done it before, and since I don’t rent often, I don’t want to go through this every single time I decide to in the future. Sorry. And I walked out the door.

I walked into the smaller store, happily signed up using the exact same process I’d have had to go through at Rogers, grabbed Minority Report, and walked home. But not before detouring, tapping the window, slamming the DVD up against the glass and asking the guy at Rogers how he liked them apples.

Well, no, I lie — I only thought of that later. But the point is that stupid business practices drive customers away. Sure I haven’t rented recently, but that doesn’t mean I won’t start again at some point in the near future. And when I do? Yes, Rogers Group, you lost your chance with me. I’ll support Telus, Shaw, and the local movie shops before I give you another dime.


Reader Comments

paul says:
February 02, 09h

i’ve had the problem and same argument with rogers video. i move a lot, so i switch video stores a lot. i also rent A LOT. they should have a canada=wide system that let’s you sign up ONCE your lifetime and a system that’s smart enough to learn this.

Dave says:
February 03, 09h

And all it takes is a bit of planning and thought to make something like that a reality.

Oh yeah, and money. But they’re in the entertainment industry, they should have plenty of that.