Although we have DirecTV with dozens of movie channels and a subscription to Neftlix, I can’t walk by a Red Box kiosk without seeing what’s available. I should be able to find a movie to rent or stream at Netflix, but digesting the massive selection feels like drinking from a fire hose. With so many options I become hyper selective and often end up watching “The Smartest Guys in the Room” for the umptheenth time.
RedBox is the exact opposite. Their selection is so small that nearly every title looks fascinating. I mean, how did I manage to skip over Flicka 2 and Leap Year when they were in theaters? Oh, and there’s Glory, in case I missed it back in ‘89.
The only downside to RedBox besides their limited selection is that fact I must drive to a kiosk location to pickup the movie and do the same to return it. That means When In Rome, worth a shot for a buck, becomes a $12 investment because the DVD got separated from the container, and it took a week before I discovered it in the kid’s toy closet.
I visited the Red Box website and plugged my zip code into their “Find A RedBox” engine, and it spit out 27 locations in my town alone. Yet I wondered how I could make RedBox even more convenient. A few months back, I tried to return a DVD to a kiosk that was out of order. I called customer service to inquire when it would be operational before hunting down one of the other 26 locations. Within minutes, the RedBox came alive, and gulped down the DVD I fed it by hand, red arrow pointing the right direction and all.
Because customer service was so helpful, I decided to try my luck and see if I could convince them to setup a RedBox at my house.
Unlike Amazon, RedBox makes it easy to locate their phone number from their website. I dialed and waited a few minutes on hold. I listened to a recording that recited a few RedBox facts such as “over 20,000” locations and the ability to return DVDs to any RedBox location. Finally, I was connected with a customer service rep whom I’ll call “Lenny”.
Lenny: Thank you for calling RedBox. How can I assist you?
Me: I’m calling to inquire about having a RedBox setup at my home.
Lenny: Did you say at your home? Do you mean your business?
Me: I was hoping to get one placed just outside my home.
Lenny: We typically place kiosks in public, high traffic areas. Most are located inside or just outside of a business. Do you have a business?
Me: I don’t have a business per se, but, given the number of DVDs my family rents, I’m sure you won’t notice a decrease in usage. Besides, if rentals were down one month, I’d be willing to let my neighbors join in the fun.
Lenny: Like I said, we place them in public areas. I can’t imagine you’d want strangers trespassing on your property during all hours of the day and night.
Me: I have a stretch to the side of my home that was built for RV parking. But since I don’t have an RV it would make an ideal place for a RedBox. Plus, have you ever tried to return a DVD only to find that guy who thinks Avatar is available on release day? He’ll spend 20 minutes scrolling through every screen before leaving with Ponyo. Wait times at the kiosk would be zero if I had my own.
Lenny: I don’t know…
Me: To make it easier on you, RedBox could fill the kiosk with only kids movies and shows that don’t star Jennifer Aniston or Katherine Heigl. That would reduce the number drastically.
Lenny: What? Maybe I could take your name and number and forward your request to the department that handles business relations.
At that point, I gave Lenny my name and number. He assured me that I’ll hear from someone shortly.
The chances of getting my own kiosk are slim to none, but I’ll manage having to search out one of those other kiosks.
I’m always delighted to speak with people who are so friendly and clearly enjoy their job. I’d guess most people who call in do so to complain about something. Kudos to Lenny and RedBox for hiring such friendly employees. I’m an even bigger RedBox fan today than I was before.