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Blockbusted?

You may have seen the commercials that began airing last month. Blockbuster Video promises the end of late fees in an elaborate advertising campaign. The problem is many Blockbuster stores don’t honor the nationwide promotion.

Customer Pam Cooke says that’s not fair.

Pam says, "I think if you’re going to advertise to the country that you have no late fees, then you should honor that no matter what city you’re in."

The TV commercials and Internet ads do say in small print at the bottom of the screen that the no late fee policy applies in participating stores.

Tallahassee is one of the areas where stores do not participate in the program. Fewer than half the independently-owned Blockbusters around the country are participating. Now, the Florida attorney general’s office is joining with attorney generals in other states to find out if Blockbuster is breaking the rules.

Spokesman Bob Sparks says the office is concerned about violations of the deceptive and unfair trade practices act.

Bob says, "Any type of investigation into unfair and deceptive trade practices is basically categorized as someone advertising certain products or services and then not delivering on those products or services. We’re not saying that’s what’s occurred in this case, but just taking a look-see."

The attorney general’s office says Blockbuster has been very cooperative, and the office anticipates a friendly resolution. In the meantime, you might want to double check your local store’s policy before you decide to keep that video a few extra days.


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