Look real close at the photo from an email that I received from Redbox. Acknowledge that the email came directly from Redbox, stating: “A gift to you for being a member”, with “Redbox Play Pass” printed on a piece of toast. So clearly I’m being offered a free movie from Redbox because of my previous patronage to them, right? So I click on the link and follow the prompts to give them my name,my address, my email address, my debit card number to keep on file so that I can go to my local REDBOX and redeem a free movie. Except once I follow their prompts to get my free movie I realize that I am now at a completely different website called ShopSmarter.com. I have also managed to just inadvertently sign up for a shopping website where I have to pay a monthly fee for their services, and in exchange they’re going to give me that free Redbox movie. Yeah, that just happened. So now I realize that I’ve just been scammed by Redbox so they could pass my information onto someone else (more than likely for a kickback). I know my debit card information is now in the hands of a company that I know absolutely nothing about. So I call ShopSmarter.com and tell them that I misleadingly gave them my information thinking it was Redbox’s website so that I could redeem the free rental that Redbox was offering me. I asked them to delete my information and close the account that was opened misleadingly. Their person tells me that they can’t find my information, and then asks me to call back within 24 hours, because my information should appear in their system by then.
I’m not okay with that. I’m not okay with going 24 hours knowing that an unheard of company (that I know nothing about) has my debit card information, and is pretending that they don’t have access to it. So now I have to make a trip to my bank where I have to close my debit card, and order another one that’s going to take up to 14 days to get to me. I also have to contact everyone of the companies whose bills I pay with that card and let them know that the card has been closed, and that a new card will be forthcoming. The entire process took me over two hours. And once my new card finally arrives in up to 14 days, I’m sure that I’ll spend another hour or more contacting all of the companies that use my card for payment to provide them with my new debit card number. I’m feeling a little frustrated at this point say the least, all because Redbox misleadingly sent me an email and tricked me into giving all of my information to some third-party company that they are getting kickbacks from. I don’t like being used this way by a company that I have faithfully given my business too. I feel as a loyal customer that I deserve a little bit more credit than that. So I got on Redbox’s website to contact them and let them know what has happened. I’m hoping to see what they’re going to do about making sure that my information isn’t being sold off and used inappropriately against my wishes. I wanted to hold them accountable, and make them assure me that this Shopsmarter.com isn’t going to take money out of my account or sell my information when all I was trying to do was redeem a free movie that Redbox offered me in an email. So I reach out to their “Contact us Chat feature” on their website and after waiting for almost four minutes I got to tell “Claire” at RedBox what has happened. When the conversation got complicated Claire started firing off generic auto responses and quickly disconnected the chat without resolving my concerns. Now this situation just became “Escalated”.
Now I have to resort to calling Redbox. While talking to the customer service representative, I explained what had happened, and what Claire had done, and that I happen to write for The Trump Times, and would be contributing an article about this situation. I went on to explain that her prompt resolution to this problem (that they created) could give me a happy ending to my story. But the best that their manager, Samantha (pronounced “Senethia”) could do was to “look into this and give me a transaction ID number, so I could call back in three to five business days and talk to another representative of Redbox to see what they can do, if anything at all”. When I asked if there was anyway to follow up directly with her, she replied, “Honestly, no there isn’t. But I promise to note the account completely.” Meanwhile an unknown third-party company has access to my debit card and all of my personal information because Redbox sent me a free movie offer. How much did this free offer end up costing me? Way more than I bargained for! Will I ever use RedBox again? Nope. Do I miss Blockbuster Video? Yep, every day. Do I think Redbox’s customer service is adequate? Uh, no! Do I think they should be held accountable for the hours that I’ve spent undoing this damage? The five dollar replacement fee for my new replacement debit card? The other companies that I’ve had to contact to stop auto pays? Should Redbox be held accountable for all of the unknown other scammers out there that my information is possibly being sold to while I wait for three to five business days to find out what (if anything) Redbox is going to do? Um, yes! All I can say about Redbox is BUYER BEWARE and nothing, including a free movie rental offer comes without a hefty price tag in the end.