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I’m a big movie watcher, and I love taking advantage of movie deals like the popular Netflix free trial or RedBox free rental codes. But one of these almost came back to haunt me, through no fault of my own. I recently had a scare when I returned a movie to Red Box and didn’t receive confirmation the movie was accepted.

It appeared as though something was wrong because the return didn’t seem to go as it normally would. If you have ever used a Red Box machine, you are probably familiar with the process – you touch the screen and select “return movie” then place the movie into the return slot. Then the machine grabs the movie and sucks it into the inner depths of the machine where the movie is then recorded with a time stamp and your account is updated. The screen displays a message that the movie return was accepted and you usually receive a confirmation e-mail within moments.

My return didn’t quite go like that. I slid my movie into the machine and instead of the Red Box machine sucking the movie into the slot like it normally does, it seemed stuck. I gave it a little prod with my finger and it sucked in a little more, then got hung up. After a moment the door closed and the movie disappeared. I didn’t get a thank screen or a return confirmation – the screen just returned to the welcome page. Unfortunately, the temperature was in the single digits and I didn’t feel like standing around. So I went home. No e-mail confirming the return awaited me when I got home. And there wasn’t one the following day either. Then I started getting concerned.

Finally, I called customer service and explained the situation. They looked up my account information (all they needed was my first and last name, the last 4 digits of the credit card I used and the billing zip code of the card). After I explained the situation, they gave me a return exception, and explained that you can only get one of these over the life of your account. The customer service rep then explained that next time something happens, I need to call them while I’m standing in front of the machine so they can record the time, date, and other important information (as well as schedule a service call if it is necessary).

What if you lose a Red Box DVD?

So now you know what to do if your Red Box DVD isn’t returned properly… so what about if you lose a Red Box DVD? Well, there isn’t a whole lot you can do other than face the music. Here are the rental terms from the confirmation e-mail Red Box sends out when you rent a movie:

“For each day you keep a rental, you’ll be charged the nightly fee + tax. You have 25 days to return the movie before the system automatically charges you the purchase price of the disc ($25 + tax for standard DVDs and $34.50 + tax for Blu-ray™ Discs), and the movie is yours to keep.”

So basically, be prepared to pay about $50 for the DVD you lost, or $72 for a lost Blu-Ray (25 days @ $1.50 + $34.50). That’s a fairly steep price to pay when you think about what it would cost to buy a movie at Best Buy or another big box retailer. But RedBox also lost out on business because you lost their DVD, so it makes sense on their end. The best thing to do is contact RedBox customer service immediately if you lose your DVD.

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About the author: Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of Cash Money Life, a personal finance blog focusing on sound financial management to help you become a millionaire.

Article comments

Jill says:

Wouldn’t you be paying about $50 for the DVD?

$1 (first night) + $24 (each additional night up to 25 days) + $24 after 25 days?

Michael says:

Good point Jill.

I’ve done a little digging and updated the article accordingly. Looks as if the lost DVD is a bit pricier than initially thought!

Dave says:

No, you’re just paying 1$ for the first night + the $24 for additional nights. It adds up to roughly $25 total for each disc. The additional night fees just stop after 25 nights.

Alexander Carneiro says:

You’re totally wrong Dave. You pay $1.20 for each night you have the movie. Not $1 for the first day and $25 for the next. You obviously have never used a Redbox or maybe you’ve never kept a movie for more than a day. I know because I’ve had a movie for more than a day and I can also properly read their policy -__-

Biff says:

You are totally wrong Alexander. When Dave said, “$24 for additional nights” he did not say “$24 per additional night.” You obviously have never read the beginning of the conversation above his post or maybe you just like to talk down to people. I know because I did read the beginning of the conversation and I can properly read the entire thread.



MC says:

Actually you are just paying 25.00 + tax total at the end of 25 days. Just lost 3 movies (2 blu ray) and it cost me about $100.00 total.

peter says:

Dave you’re an idiot!! Lol

shawn says:

I use Redbox and encountered this issue… returned a disc and the machine did not acknowledge the return..even after having finally ingested the disc.. My solution – sent Redbox an email with the box address and the return info. The customer service folks were great – credited me with the return and I never heard any more about the issue and did not get charged any additional $$. The customer service at redbox has been really great the 2 times I have had to contact them..

Elina Dinh says:

Did u get a confirm email that the DVD had been return after you contact them ??

Annie Mack says:

I have no idea why anyone would want to leave the comfort of their recliner to pick up a movie from any color box and then have to be responsible for remembering to return the darn thing within 24 hours. We have belonged to Netflix for years and we can keep movies as long as we like. If you lose or damage the movie, it only costs you what the movie would cost you in the store. Are you people nuts????

Juken Ennis says:

Yep… well I have a netflix account and usually use just that. But once in a while I used to use redbox, as it was right near where I work. Then one day I was cleaning up the car and realized I had forgotten to return a redbox dvd. Well, come to find out I had rented it over a month ago- yet redbox had never once contacted me via email or phone to tell me they were charging me daily for it! I could not believe they didn’t send an email showing a charge like they do when you first rent it. I dont begrudge them charging me each day it was out- but I do think it is slimy to not even notify me that I am being charged. And then another $25 on top of that!
Anyway, long story short- I will NEVER use redbox again.
Netflix is the best!!

Dee Bunn says:

When you do go to a Redbox they *always have the email option available before you purchase the movie (would be the same as they would at Blockbuster back when those were still around). That email option is there for that very reason contacting you. If you don’t use it you can’t expect them to contact you cause you didn’t give them your email address. They’re practically putting the responsibility in your hands.

jon says:

Are you nuts? Get up out of your recliner? Well lady I don’t know about you but I don’t like to spend all day in my recliner…. And netflix sucks they never ever update there selection.

Tyler says:

Hahhhahahhaha you guys are funny ^_^

LJ Williams says:

I only use it because I have no internet since Hurrican Harvey. This is the last time I’m using it due to the past 6 DVD’s haven’t played through the entire movie. I’ve cleaned them before playing and about 1/4 way into the move they all have stopped. DISC ERROR. I can put one of my dvds in and they work fine. Starting to really irritate me.

Pat Harwood says:

I can understand the Netflix service of comfort that it provides. But to even save you more money, use your library. So you have to drive to the library, or you can request the movie on line and it can be ready for you when you arrive at your local library. Besides, you have already paid for this service via property taxes.

Nic says:

I’m with you Pat, I stream Netflix or something else online for free, and then use my library a lot – it is just up the street about 2 blocks and they have a really great selection – I am not alone in my town – everyone I talk to is doing the same thing. I love movies! I do not have cable or satelite, it is just to expensive to turn on and I cannot see paying for all these misc things all month long. I did a little study of my spending once for a college class, I counted all the atm fees, late fees, movie rentals and any other little things that cost a couple$ here and there,, I found I was spending about $65-$80 a month on all kinds of charges for this that and the other – opened my eyes to the little bits we think we don’t miss. Anyway, we think because the charge is $1, we will be ok,, until the movie is late a few days and the clock doesn’t stop ticking,,, Pat, we seem to have some things figured out and we are letting out a big secret – sssshhh,, LOL

matt says:

I use netflix for streaming and movies that are not so new.Use redbox for new movies.Its what i do.

tERRANCE says:

My sentiments exactly Matt.

Katherine says:

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KAYE says:

What site?

Sheena says:

I have lost 2 movies due to a tornado, and they don’t charge you $1 per day plus the $25, they charge you the flat $25 plus tax… $1 per day for $25, but just charge the $25 plus tax at the end of the 25 days bringing the total for the TWO dvd’s that were lost to $54

Misty says:

This poster is correct. They do not charge you the daily rate + the cost of the DVD. They only charge you the flat rate for the cost of the DVD. I’ve lost or forgotten to return about 4 DVD’s & this is what I have been charged.

Robert Curry says:

l have never received an e-mail telling me that the Dvd’s that l rented had been received by you peoplel have rented 5 or6 d.v.d’s and would like to know if you have received all of them , the last movie that l rented was the Helper which l dropped in the box ‘am starting to get a little nervouslast week. Would you please let me know how l stand with you people. l have heard so many horror stories ,that l’am starting to be concerned. HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON THANKS; Robert Curry

Rob Berger says:

Robert, you need to contact Red Box directly to confirm whether they have received your DVDs.

Herpa Derpina says:

You are clearly an Old, Robert Curry.

lol says:

@robert curry
god help you, you are so confused. Thankyou for being a moron though. Like really? You think your the only person named robert curry that has rented from red box? Just go on some website and just leave your name. We, the people from red box (lol) know exactly who you are. Your the only person that rents from red box. The world revolves around you. And obviously, you’re too important to read anything and see that this is clearly not red box’s website. Your stupidity amazes me. You need to quit renting movies and save your money for a helmet.

Lester O says:

Cruel & cowardly is my only observation to your comments lol.

Unicorn says:

Omg that is so funny !!!!!! Save money for a helmet…!!!! Hahahahaha lol

AEB says:

Before you go insulting someone else’s intelligence, check your own. Just so you know, “Your” shows possession, “You’re” means “you are”. So stop trying to look cool and open a book…

MJ says:

Just so you are aware, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. Maybe you should save your money and go to a psychologist because you obviously suffer from sort of inferiority complex seeing how you feel the need to be mean to someone you do not know who has done nothing to you.

Marcy says:

Lol, what’s wrong with you, calling someone a moron even if they are old or maybe just confused? Better to be an old confused person than a hateful one. You may not have the privilege to become old but you’ ve already attained hateful.

Penelope says:

Most of you that left comments here needs to start acting your age. Im in high school and seen freshmen act more like adults than some of you retards ._.

Ronnie says:

that is true……….

Laughing at you says:

Reading these comments are more entertaining than reading youtube comments hahahaha! Wow this is sad. 90% of you fools have an inferiority complex. Please continue to display this behavior so i can come back and laugh at you.

Danny says:

Just had this happen you only get charged 24 dollars for a movie. You don’t get charged an exra 24 dollars after the 24 dollars. They charge everyday until you return the movie, or after you reach the 24 dollar mark.

Its not too hard to understand.. And I have the credit card bill to prove it if you wanna act like a bunch of babies.

Still 24 dollars is still almost double what you would pay for the movie at the store. So it still sucks. But oh well, guess should not loose movies or return them on time.

Josh says:

Just happened to me, i called them imediatly to report it and the guy said it will only cost 26 dollars… I think it depends on when you report it lost, so do this as soon as possible…

Lisa says:

The final cost of a movie if you lose it or just fail to return it after the posted maximum time varies by location. The daily rental fee, along with what each kiosk’s maximum daily rental limit is, is posted on that kiosk.

Hubby “forgot” to return some dumb movie he rented and didn’t even like, and after taxes, our charge for said movie was $27.28. We wouldn’t have even bought it from the $5 movie bin and now we’ve paid almost 6 times that. Redbox should give you the option of returning items like this that may have just been forgotten and offer at least a partial refund if returned instead of robbing consumers blind for movies they don’t pay anywhere near retail prices for in the first place.

josh says:

Why you should stick to blockbuster if there are any left in your area. You don’t have to wait in line 5-10 mins to find out movie is out, you don’t have to feel rushed cause line behind you. You get a call letting you know you have a movie out and will be charged for price of movie if not brought back by certain date, and if you are charged for movie you can return it. You get brand new movies which you have to wait for on dervish and netflix. You are supporting the econemy also, how many dervish employees do you see?

josh says:

Why you should stick to blockbuster if there are any left in your area. You don’t have to wait in line 5-10 mins to find out movie is out, you don’t have to feel rushed cause line behind you. You get a call letting you know you have a movie out and will be charged for price of movie if not brought back by certain date, and if you are charged for movie you can return it. You get brand new movies which you have to wait for on redbox and netflix. You are supporting the econemy also, how many redbox employees do you see?

Bean Oregon-USA The last BLockbuster is tourist attraction says:

Old post but funny thread

lynn says:

I just found out today that redbox charged my account $89.00 dollars for3 movies they claim were never returned and/or rented by anyone else since my transaction. I know I returned them. After about 5 calls back and forth between redbox and my bank I will owe $108.00 for the movies and overdraft fees. I am livid! I know I returned them. They offered to refund me only $24.00 but why offer to refund anything if they are in the right? Redbox should print out a receipt when you rent and return. It is their word against mine. I have to go to the retailer now and beg for them to riffle through security footage to prove I was there and when I get the proof I will take them to small claims. Do not rent from them. I usually only rented one movie at a time but it’s a little suspicious that I get this big charge the one time I rented 3movies at once. They stole money from me, no warnings these movies were missing. I work at a retail store and could of purchased these movies for less than$30.00 if they were really lost or damaged. D_ _n it!!!!!

Alison H says:

I’ve NEVER had a problem with RedBox! We use them all the time- you don’t have to return to the one you rented from, and you have until 9 PM to return them. If I don’t return them after the first night, they DO send me an email saying I’m charged for the additional nights. The new selection is better than Netflix streaming, and cheaper depending on how much you watch movies. We rent about a movie a week, so it’s only 4-5 bucks a week. And we get what want, when we want it. If you want to make sure a movie you want is there, you can reserve it ahead of time online. Love them!

DixieDargon (that's somewhere between Darlin' and Dragon) says:

I’m going to find out very soon.
My darling fiance, who insisted I go stand at the Redbox to get the movies while he waited in the car, said he would return them (even though a few days late). He particularly liked one of the movies and wanted his parents to see them. I asked about the movies and got “didn’t you already take those back?” sigh…… I finally located two of them and returned them — 15 days later.
The thank you email (which somehow counts a rental done on evening of 16th and returned evening of 30th as 16 nights) cleverly neglects to say how much I was charged. And while it’s not identified, a random charge appeared on my credit card for $43.33. That’s a lot, especially since one of those two movies (The Hangover Part II) I wasn’t able to get to play at all when Mom and I tried to watch.
So the third movie is still out there. Did I mention it just happens to be Blu Ray? He thinks he took it to the fire station for the guys to watch. Good thing HE liked that movie cause I have a feeling it’s about to cost ME a bundle.

sonia says:

I just read on their website the max they charge is 24.00, maybe i read that wrong?

Jerseycop says:

Well I can tell you that it seems only Alison got it right. I rent from redbox constantly. I believe they offer the best deal and have great customer service. Seriously I know it sucks to forget to return a movie and have to pay extra. This is not the redbox fault. They are a business and business’s stay in business by making money. They would be losing money if they did not charge you for a movie they cannot rent out because you had it. Just be responsible and return it. They have sent me an e- mail everytime I have rented and returned a movie. The offer many fee rental offers too. Solution to all this. If you don’t like them, don’t rent from them. End of story.

nick says:

Waste of money!! They have no new movies then when they get some u won’t see any more new movies on There on there for months at a time! I love redbox just remember to return the movie and your fine! And oh no have to get up out of the recliner? Sounds like some people need to use redbox more often helps them get exercise! Lol

nick says:

Netflix waste of money!! They have no new movies then when they get some u won’t see any more new movies on There on there for months at a time! I love redbox just remember to return the movie and your fine! And oh no have to get up out of the recliner? Sounds like some people need to use redbox more often helps them get exercise! Lol some people these days

nick says:

Netflix is a waste of money!! They have no new movies then when they get some u won’t see any more new movies on There on there for months at a time! I love redbox just remember to return the movie and your fine! And oh no have to get up out of the recliner? Sounds like some people need to use redbox more often helps them get exercise! Lol some people these days

C J s Video says:

Our video store is failing after putting in alot of love into it, meeting and making friends, getting to know nice families. Thank you Redbox and Netflix. We cant compete with your multi-million dollar business.

C J s Video says:

My apologies for my comment earlier. I know this isn’t the place to post that. I just wanted to let you guys know that brick and mortar video stores are still attempting to survive despite the backdoor internet access to new release movies, red box and Netflix. Its not so bad going out on a nice cloudy cool day, a little rain drizzle and having the kids enter the video store with eyes wide open looking at all the rows of artwork on the covers of all the movies. I could go on and on but ill stop. Just a few last words from my failing American dream. C J s/ Dilley TX.

Ken says:

I must say I am so thankful I stumbled upon and read this thread or gem should I say. VERY Entertaining. Once I started I couldn’t stop reading. Thank you all!! 🙂

jennifer says:

Anyone have the customer service number?

allen steel says:

“What Happens If You Lose a RedBox Movie Rental?” ????

You did not lose the DVD!! You returned it to Redbox kiosk and it took possession of the DVD. Redbox’s kiosk failure or computer glitch to record the transaction is their responsibility. Redbox owes you an apology.

allen steel says:

“What Happens If You Lose a RedBox Movie Rental?” ????

You did not lose the DVD!! You returned it to Redbox kiosk and it took possession of the DVD. Redbox’s kiosk failure or computer glitch to record the transaction is their responsibility. Redbox owes you an apology.

I had the same thing happen to me when returning 4 DVD’s. The kiosk accepted each DVD with the prompt “are you finished” which I affirmed. I did not know that there was a problem for several days when I received an email receipt confirmation for return of one of the DVD’s to another kiosk located several miles away and several days of rental charges. Two days later, another email receipt with 4 days rental charged to yet a third kiosk.

It has been six days and 2 DVD’s are still unaccounted for. The day after the first email receipt, I emailed Redbox support and then called support and explained the situation. They could not confirm the return’s because that kiosk was not communicating with their servers. Redbox said that they would send out a tech to check and fix the kiosk….seven days later the kiosk is still offline and my Redbox account shows that I still have 2 DVD’s out. I wonder if Redbox sent out a tech to check to kiosk. I was told that each kiosk is checked once each week….probably to add new movies.

I am still waiting for Redbox to resolve their losing 4 DVD’s. If they charge my credit card for the missing DVD’s I will sue them in small claims court, taking my friend who saw me return the DVD’s.

Any future Redbox DVD returns will be video taped with my smart phone, showing the title, it going into the kiosk return slot and the kiosk screen acknowledging the return.

brian m says:

RED BOX (customer service number) 1-866-733-2693

I had $20.51 charged to my account.. realized i had never returned a movie so i called them to see if i had already paid for the movie and might as well keep it. They said $4.49 will be charged making it $25.00 and that i should just keep it.

Kang says:

I just lost a movie and was told I had up to 20 days including each day late payment or keep the movie after and pay $28

Emily says:

So, I lost mine in a move like 2 months ago and have no idea where they are. I just paid $54.57 to them, I was just wondering will I have to keep paying them, or did I just buy the movie from them?

Angel Moreland says:

You own it now

Sonia says:

Straight from redbox.com- to clear up the confusion:

How long is the rental period?
Your rental period ends at 9:00 p.m. the day after you rent.

Want to hold onto your disc for longer? No problem. For each extra day you keep it, you’ll be charged for another rental period + applicable tax. If you hold onto your disc for the maximum rental period (21 days almost everywhere for DVDs), you’ll be charged the maximum charge and the disc is yours to keep. In most areas, those fees are $25.20 + tax for DVDs ($26.67 in Maryland), $34.50 + tax for Blu-ray Discs ($35.51 in Maryland) and $60 + tax for video games ($61.48 in Maryland).

christine says:

What if lost the DVD then charged at day 21-25 the $34 fee and later found it….can I still return it and get refunded the $34 charge since I didnt intend to keep it?

Kaylee says:

I rented Hansel and Gretel about 6 days ago. I fell asleep before I could watch the end. Still have been too busy to watch it and it is at my friends house. If I take it back tomorrow I will be charged about $10 for it… should I just keep it and pay $15 more or is that stupid? Does anyone think its a good enough movie to keep ? Lol

lah says:

Well Redbox does not lose money on you losing a DVD.

They make money. It costs them 11 cents to replace it the dvd and it takes less than a minute (burn it and print the cover).

Zach Swinehart says:

I just got off the phone with Redbox, since I am fairly certain I lost my two DVDs. The woman on the phone told me that you’re not charged extra fees after the 21 days — you’ve just been charged what would amount to ~$25 total or whatever it was. So in other words, they just stop their daily fees and let you keep it after 21 days.

Angel Moreland says:

I have lost two dvds on two seperate occasions and i was only charged the replacement, not the added time the dvd was out. Each time it was roughly $26.

Michael says:

This post is wrong. I spoke to customer service on the phone, and I lost a movie. What they do is charge you the rental amount every day until it is returned, but if it is not returned after a certain number of days, they instead charge you ~$25. You will not see a charge show up every day. You will see the total charge show up when you return it, or the $25 charge after the allowed time period.

dillon says:

I returned 2 movies yesterday then later on Redbox took $55 from my account. When I had returned them yesterday morning

Hawk says:

So funny reading people on here arguing about the difference between $24 and $25. And get so intellectual while being indignant with each other.

Terwsa Brown says:

It is not just the 24 or 25. What it boules down to is that redbox os Ripping people off, they tell you that you will be charged a flat fee of a 25 for the movie, well petter rabbit is being sold at 10.00, so redbox charged me 1.75 + 28.00 .29 + 4.62 and for blocked 1.75 + 28.00 total 64.41. Do you see a single charge for 25.00. How is it right that they can sell the movie for 10.00 and charge me the roughly 30.00 for 1 movie er

Brittany says:

Redbox Customer Service has always been so great when I’ve called due to excess charges for being late. Unfortunately even though I’ve been massively late I’ve never been charged the flat rate fee everyone is talking about. I’m always charged the daily rate. This has happened 3 times where I’ve been charged over $100.00. I call an let them know what happened and why I was so late and they refunded the charges no problem. Very very considerate of them. I guarantee no one else would do that. That’s what I consider great customer service. Love Redbox but do feel horrible for the little movie stores that suffer because of them. 🙁

Susan says:

Well I’m glad that worked out for you which is probably why the charge people like me. I had a very unexpected charge on my debit card for a movie I never rented. When I called redbox, the were pretty ugly. They were insistent I rented this particular movie. I was positive I didn’t. The movie was a blue ray, and I don’t have one. I had to file with my bank.