It's Halloween, and with that, Redbox responds to the trick-or-treat question with a 20% price increase at its 34,000 movie rental kiosks that starts today.
So what's the reason for the 20-cent price hike?
Congress. Specifically, Coinstar cites the recent passage of the Durbin Amendment as the reason why it has to jump its rates (in addition to any other increased operating expenses the company's faced). For those uninformed, the Durbin Amendment comes with two major provisions with which consumers have likely come into contact.
The first provision slapped a limit on the interchange fees that banks are allowed to charge – essentially, the money that they make from retailers whenever a consumer uses a debit card to make a purchase. In response, banks have started to scramble to cover the lost revenue, including going so far as to tell customers that they will soon be assessed a fee for using their debit cards to purchase items.
It seems Redbox is finally catching up with the times, as they are now offering Blu-ray rentals in 13,300 kiosks. They plan on having Blu-ray availability in all 26,000 Redbox locations by the fall, but for now it seems those on the West Coast are in luck. We’ve seen a bunch of California and Seattle-area zip code kiosks stocked and ready to serve up that high definition 1080p rental goodness. Among the launch titles available are The Book of Eli, Green Zone, and Bounty Hunter. If you want to check and see if any Redbox kiosks near you are offering Blu-ray titles, they’ve got a way for you to check for that, but it won’t tell you which specific titles are available.