Blockbuster Settles ‘No Late Fees’ Debacle
Dallas, Blockbuster Inc. will pay up to $630,000 in an effort to quell customer dissatisfaction with the video-rental chain’s “No Late Fees” policy, the company said yesterday. The sum will settle 47 states’ claims that the policy, unveiled in December, deceived customers. Blockbuster also will reimburse customers who believe they were misled and charged restocking fees or the full price of rentals that were returned a week after the due date, said Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett in a statement.
Though the settlement does not include plans to change the “No Late Fees” policy, Blockbuster said it would make policy information more available to customers in its stores. Under the program, customers were to have a one-week grace period after the rental due date. However, customers claimed they were unaware that they would be made to automatically purchase the title if returned any later.
Management Shakeup Begins at Sears
Hoffman Estates, Ill., Four Sears, Roebuck and Co. executives were terminated, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times. The shakeup comes a week after Kmart’s $12.3 billion takeover of Sears was approved.
The terminated employees include:
• Bill Bass, senior VP of e-commerce at Lands’ End and the head of Sears’ online and catalog operations. He will be replaced by Kmart’s Chris Shimojima, who becomes general manager of online and catalog sales.
• Gary Kelly, Sears CIO. Kmart’s Karen Austin will replace him as CIO.
• Bob O’Leary, head of public relations and government affairs. He will be replaced by Sears’ Edgar “Ted” McDougal.
• Greg Lee, head of human resources. He will be replaced by Sears’ Bob Luse.
In addition to these executive changes, Sears executive VP of store operations William White III will retire. Also, Catherine David, who leads Sears’ Great Indoors concept, will take additional responsibility for the Sears Essentials and Sears Grand formats, and Rob Lynch will become general manager of the Orchard Supply hardware chain.