RedBox Down!

On the suggestion of my sister, and because I could get a free rental, I gave RedBox a try yesterday. The website is not bad, there is a box close by that I would pass regularly, so worth a try for at least the free shot. Got the movie, watched the movie, and today was going to return the movie while out and about.

Alas, the poor RedBox had fallen on hard times since I had been by yesterday. Seems someone had taken offense to something it had done and smashed its screen. Perhaps it did not have the movie they wanted. Or maybe they couldn’t quite get the ‘barcode must be to the rear’ trick just right (given that they were of the type to smash a big red machine, you know). Anyway, I could not return the movie. The merchant at that location knew of the demise of the box, but was having nothing to do with the returns himself other than point out where he thought the next closest RedBox might be. No blame there, that’s just the way the RedBox deal works even if it is a nuisance to me. My worst case is I am out a couple of dollars while I wait for them to replace the box at this location. The best case, as today, is that I drop off the disk at a different box along the way to doing other things. I went off to do other things and the return at the other location went smoothly.

The email notice that I had returned the disk beat me home, which I find very cool in a geeky sort of way: every RedBox is on the internet. Which also means that there should be someway for RedBox Central to KNOW that my local RedBox had suffered a vicious attack, or any other kind of system failure, and know it before a customer told the local merchant. Which might well be the case, I don’t know. Certainly if I had built a system that was networked to do inventory and billing, I would also use its alerts for faults, failures, and security breaches. I will be checking on this box to see how long it takes them to replace or repair it.

Given the number of the RedBoxes in my area, the online inventory and reservation system, the not-too-bad rental and return process, and the one-buck-a-day rate, I can easily see RedBox being on the list of movie rental services we use in the future.

Imported from an old blog. Some links might be dead. Let me know if you find dead links.