The company has rescinded its long-time hiatus on late fees. Customers who don’t return a film on time will now pay a $1 per day penalty. The company has also shortened the rental period from seven days to five.
The move is meant to shore up profitability at Blockbuster, as Netflix and Redbox are stealing millions of customers from the one-time market leader. Ultimate, though, the step back in time could drive more customers to the competition, which has the convenience advantage (and in the case of Netflix, the right to keep films as long as you want).
It’s an ironic twist, as previous management made a financial killing on late fees, but angered customers in the process. Of course, a financial killing would be welcome these days. Blockbuster lost roughly $435 million in its most recent fiscal quarter.