N.J. lawsuit claims Blockbuster's new late fee policy violates consumer laws

Friday, February 18th 2005, 1:00 pm
By: News On 6

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ The state of New Jersey filed a consumer-protection lawsuit Friday against movie-rental chain Blockbuster Inc., claiming it fails to disclose terms of a new policy on late fees.

Blockbuster doesn't tell customers that late rentals are converted to sales on the eighth day after they are due, the lawsuit claims.

Stores that are not participating in the new policy also fail to make that obvious, the state said. The lawsuit, filed in Trenton, seeks restitution for customers charged late fees at those stores and for customers whose overdue rentals were converted to sales.

Blockbuster, the nation's largest movie-rental chain, said it had informed customers well. ``Blockbuster has trained store employees on how to effectively communicate the program to customers'' and has free brochures explaining the changes, a statement said.

The new no-late-fees policy started Jan. 1.