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Problems With Redbox DVD Kiosks

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Screen shot of Redbox Kiosk

Screen shot of Redbox Kiosk

Redbox DVD Rental Review

When I first heard about Redbox DVD rental, I was kind of skeptical. But then I heard you could get a DVD rental for just a dollar and then I was impressed. I was so impressed that I wanted to know if they had a movie rental franchise program. They do, but you have to be a large company with a huge amount of traffic. So I never pursued that money making option any further.

I live here in Florida and there are 4 Redbox DVD kiosks within a square mile. We have one at our local Winn-Dixie grocery store, we have a one at McDonald's, and the Walmart has 2! One at each entrance! And there are a number of Blockbuster locations as well nearby, but I haven't used Blockbusters DVD rental kiosks yet. I may soon compare DVD rental between Redbox and Blockbuster for another Hub topic.

I like having this many Redbox's available so if one of the kiosks has a long line I can just go to another one. If one of the machines is down, I can go to another one, and if a movie is not available at one, yeah you guessed it, I can go to another one. Using the Redbox website is a nice feature as well. I like being able to reserve a movie online and then go and pick it up where I choose. Plus, it's nice to get a Redbox promo code sent to my phone on the first Monday of every month. And I really like being able to take the DVD back to any Redbox, wherever I may happen to be. And you have to admit that Redbox is the way to go if you are looking for cheap DVD rental.

DVD Movie Rental Issues

Up until recently I haven't had any complaints when it came to renting a DVD from Redbox.  However, that has changed.  I have noticed a problem with the DVD's themselves.  Out of the last 6 that I have rented, I have only been able to watch 4 of them.  2 of the discs were so scratched that they wouldn't even play in my DVD player.  I really didn't care at first because I had only paid a dollar.  But then I talked to some other people and they have had the same problem.  This may be a cause of concern for Redbox.

So I started to do some research on the Internet to see if anyone else was having Redbox problems.  And to my surprise, a lot of people are starting to have the same problem as me and there have been many other complaints as well.  I read all the great Redbox reviews that have been posted, and they all were all very positive, but it seems that the longer Redbox is around, the more problems and complaints that are surfacing.

A similar problem that is being reported is in regards to the circular ID sticker that the Redbox company puts on the disc so that it can be read by the kiosk when you return it. Some say that the sticker is off-center and it causes the DVD to function incorrectly in their DVD players.  One person even reported that it damaged his machine from the imbalance the sticker caused while spinning.  I guess Blockbuster tried this before with their game discs and had to stop for the very same reason.

Redbox Kiosk Issues

Another Redbox issue is with the kiosk itself. Some complaints have been with the kiosk not working. I have had this issue once and it was irritating because I was really in the mood to watch a movie. And I was disappointed because the screen would not work. But I can imagine that it is a real pain when you are trying to return your DVD, Blu-ray, or game, and when you get to the kiosk the screen it is blank, or frozen! However, this can happen simply because sometimes things break down. But it still is frustrating when things won't work. Ugh!!

Return Problems

Another big issue with Redbox is return problems.  Some are saying that they have been returning their DVD's on time, but the machine is not recognizing the ID sticker and not giving them credit for the return.  Some people have been charged an additional dollar for every day that they thought they had the discs and then Redbox charges them for the cost of the DVD.  One site online had hundreds of complaints in this regard.

I haven't experienced the latter 2 problems but I am not happy with the quality issues that I am starting to see with the DVD's.  I wish when you returned the DVD they would ask you if you were satisfied and then if you are not, you should be able to choose the reason why.  For example, 'Were you satisfied with the quality of the DVD disc?' Yes or No.  If 'No': 'Scratched|Out of Balance|Would Not Play'

From what I understand if you have any problems, it has been difficult for people to contact them for support.  I have even come across a few people saying that Redbox is a scam and that they will never rent from them again.  They would rather rent DVD's from Blockbuster or NetFlix.

Redbox DVD Rentals Conclusion

Well I'm not at that point yet, so I will continue to rent from Redbox, but if I continue to have a problem with the scratched DVD's, or if I experience any of the other problems, I will stop using them myself. The more popular Redbox becomes, the more people are going to be renting DVD's. The more people that rent them, the more chances there are for them to get gradually damaged. They really need to service the machines more and set up a feedback feature on the machine.

One tip that I can give is make sure that you are notified of your rentals and returns via email. This way you have some sort of proof that your Redbox DVD rental has been properly received back. Hopefully I will not experience the major problems with Redbox that some are having. It is a great idea for a profitable business and I would hate to see it crumble because of customer complaints and issues due to these issues.

If you have major issues then you may want to consider something that I just came across called DVDXpress. It is a video kiosk similar to Red Box and similar in price. They are rapidly expanding nationwide and you may be able to find one near you. This may give you a different movie rents option.

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Kimberly Jones on September 01, 2018:

Rented Deadpool 2 on Friday. Went to return it on Saturday and the Redbox was NOT working. Called the number and nobody answered. Not sure what to do. Am going to try driving around town and try and find another Kiosk.

thomas on April 21, 2018:

tried to rent a movie and the wrong video came out, this is the second time this has happened, it seems like it is a tape for testing, would not even run

TheOnlyPegasus on July 27, 2014:

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This blog and the attached comments have made me very glad that I have never rented from Redbox and have made sure that I never make the mistake of renting from them. I have been a loyal member of Netflix DVD only service since 2005. I am on the about $13 a month plan and on most month's I average 4 discs a week for a total of 16 discs in those months which averages out to about 81 cents per disc. On the months that I average 6 discs a week that works out to 24 discs that month for an average of just over 54 cents a disc. I have never had any problems with late fees or charges for discs that Netflix never received back as long as I report a problem with the return of the disc or receiving the disc. I have had one go missing in the mail in February 2005 that Netflix never reported receiving and 2 that went missing in the mail in April 2007 that were found by Netflix in May 2013. The other nice thing about Netflix is that I ALWAYS get confirmation from Netflix when they receive discs from me and they also ALWAYS inform me when they are sending out new discs to me.

jojo on May 06, 2014:

I have not been able to resolve this issue with Red Box, which is very frustrating. I received a digital e gift card and have bot been able to get the ecard to work. I made several attempts to contact Red Box customer service, Ashley and they were not able to help me. If you are thinking about giving a gift card to red box, consider sending a gift card. Its more user friendly.

Joshua on June 25, 2013:

People there are other options, Redbox is not the only dvd kiosk around. Just look around, or ask a vendor. I have good news, there is a new DVD Kiosk company just starting in Colorado USA called U-Turn Kiosks ( This is a customer first company, and will have all these issues worked out prior to placing any equipment. Not to mention Curb-Side drive up access to every kiosk. $ 1.49 flat rate all titles, no late fee's. Purchase items starting at $5.99. Look out this just may change everything.

Malia on April 02, 2013:

Trollala - Thank God for the spelling police. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have people point out others spelling errors.

Trollala on September 20, 2012:

Sounds like Redbox attracts the simple minded folk like a magnet.

99% of you can't form a complete sentence, or even spell for that matter.

I really doubt the ones complaining about being charged for DVD's actually returned them, or maybe your simple minds inserted them wrong. All I ever see is trash gathered a Redbox machine so I will never use them.

Chris (author) from St. Augustine 32084 on August 27, 2012:

Sorry to hear that Rebecca. Sad to say many are having the same problems

Rebecca on August 27, 2012:

Redbox charged me $25.97 for a movie that they say I didn't return. I returned it the next day. 100% Positive. I called cust. service and they only offered to refund $10....what? So I requested that a tech go check the machine. If they don't resolve this... I am disputing it with my bank. I am NEVER renting from redbox again.

Irate on May 24, 2012:

These reps at redbox are so rude and Nasty and charged me for movies that I returned

sherri on April 28, 2012:

I will never rent from redbox again I had two movies returned on time they saying they weren't and charged me$51.00 dollars

mack on March 15, 2012:

people you need to get new dvd players or better yet welcome to the future and pick up a blu ray player. their cheap now under 100 and not only is the image way better but the discs are harder to scratch

Judy Wilson on March 02, 2012:

I rented a movie and it stopped playing at the begining of the movieI pushed play again nothing I took it out to see if it needed cleaning No I tried it again only to stop at the same place Please take this DVD out of your redbox so no one else has this problem.

Mike on February 14, 2012:

I rented two disks and returned them the next morning. On checking my email a few days later, I found that I was charged extra days. Also, the two disks were returned to two separate machines. Neither of these machines were the machine in which I had returned them! The Redbox Customer Service Rep. refused to acknowledge the possibility of some error in their system. I have had a frequent, and clean, rental history with the company for nearly three years. My suspicion is that the machine either kicked the DVDs out to another customer or that the service technician helped his or her self. Regardless, the company would rather lose me as a customer than admit the possibility of some error in their system. I will dispute the charges, of course, and never touch their machines again.

Tont on January 22, 2012:

Rented a copy of Conan and towrds the end it would not play correctly

therese talmant on January 18, 2012:


Chris (author) from St. Augustine 32084 on January 08, 2012:

lauren, sorry to hear you are having problems. The Redbox website suggests that if you are having problems with your discs, like its damaged or it won't play, then goto Or go directly to which shows you how to contact them. You can also call the Redbox Customer Care team direct at 1.866.REDBOX3 (1.866.733.2693). Hopefully, they will help you to resolve this issue.

lauren on January 07, 2012:

My movie is skipping and won't play.. idk what to do..

David on June 17, 2011:

I learned to NEVER rent a Video Game from Redbox because of the same reason Blockbuster did with their games. DON'T waste $2 on renting a game there.

Jamie on June 16, 2011:

I have had similar problems with redbox but every time I did I called the 800 number and they sent me codes for 3 to 4 free rentals for my inconvenience. That impressed me.

michelle ellithorpe on June 08, 2011:

my card will not work

heather on May 20, 2011:

I have been using redbox for a while and i have never received the wrong disk or one that did not work. However, every time i use the free code every 1st monday of the month i still get charged like a week later. When i am checking out it even says my total is 0 and in my town all the redboxes say they must be returned by 7pm the next night and i do so i don't know what's up with that. Because of that reason I doubt i will use redbox again. I don't like being cheated my measly $1.07 when it was supposed to be free.

Cory McClure on April 09, 2011:

can't log onto redbox web site last three weekends - horrible service! upgrade your servers

Dane on February 12, 2011:

I just had the big-time return issue. I was charged 2.12 after returning the two movies I rented the next day, fine and dandy. This was a month ago. Today I see I was just charged $25 for each movie as if I never returned them. They claim that their "technicians" never relieved the two discs, and that they haven't been rented since.

Never use a redbox ever again if you value your money.

Joe on February 03, 2011:

Several days ago a hacker obtained my credit card information and drained my bank account. I truly believe my information was stolen somehow through the Redbox database system. Hence, using Redbox can be cheap entertainment initially ($1), but it can cost you dearly in the long run. Evidently, Redbox can be quite careless with credit card information.


bresjeni on January 05, 2011:

I rented two movies from redbox and was charged over and over for them. I called them and they said it wasn't their problem I paid $74 dollars for two movies due to overdraft charges after being charged so many times. Never renting from them again. I think they scam customers and don't care.

Bitter Customer on December 25, 2010:

I just rented out 4 DVDs from red box last night. I played the 3 DVDs after another. Two of those I had no problems but the 3rd one did not work at all. I think it is so scratched out that it damaged my DVD player. Now I cannot even eject the DVD out of the DVD player. I called customer service and they said that I had to pay $25 if I don't return the DVD. How could I return it if it is so damaged that it is stuck inside the DVD player. Redbox said that they are not responsible for anything including renting out damaged goods since I accepted the terms and conditions before I swiped my credit card on their kiosk. Now I have to pay $150 to get my DVD player fixed plus $25 for being unable to return their DVD since it is stuck in my machine. Do not wait for something like this to happen to you. Save your money and rent somewhere else.... I will email their Director and VP. Their supervisor will be named on that email since he was not helpful at all...

Lime on December 04, 2010:

If you're account is in overdraft from $3.28 you shouldn't be anywhere near a redbox machine. You've got way more problems than complaining about a DVD rental.

mike on November 04, 2010:

2days ago I rented movie it would not play called redbox immediately , returned next morning , and now they charged me for 3 days rental , can cannot tell me why , but they say i have to wait 7 days and no perk for my inconvience , that stinks , just wait

lisa on October 19, 2010:

I rented two movies when i went to return at one box it would not accept them, so i went to another kiosk and returned them and rented two more movies , next thing you know i am charged for the original two movies stated that i never returned them and i would be refunded if i returned them. i will never rent from them again

Dave on October 16, 2010:

Just returned a movie to redbox. Got home, surprised I didn't get a confirmation email - usually I get it quickly. Called their toll free number, spoke with an agent, he pulled up my acct and the kiosk I used and said it doesn't show that I returned anything yet. Hope this turns out okay. It's not late yet but will be in 6 hours.

Redbox ftw on August 01, 2010:

Lol really? Redbox is awesome, and to be honest, I don't think they want customers like you guys :)

romo on July 21, 2010:

i rented 4 movies from recbox in june, we watched them and returned them the next day. This morning i noticed i was charged $96 from redbox. When i contacted them they said i never returned the movies and that the charge would stick and if I have a problem to dispute with my bank. Of course I am disputing the charges with my bank and will NEVER rent from them again!

Redbox hater on July 20, 2010:

Sounds like Redbox has found an easy way to make extra money for its shareholders.

Give out free codes then charge a $25 late fee. No wonder their stock doubled in the last 3 months.

DEM on July 06, 2010:

I was charged 23.34 on the july 4. The response from customer seervice was "These are charges from april" That really got on my nerves What the heck am i supposed to do about that. OK so next month will they say i owe something from may and so on? Last month i. had a scratched movie, I called them the next morning after i dropped it, so it wouldn't be late, They told i shouldve called them while i had possession of the movie so NO REFUND was given. Whatever im DONE with them!!!

joe rios on July 03, 2010:

email problem with redbox being down at circle k at the corner of russell and boulder hwy. in las vegas nv. 6490 russell circle k. i haved calle twice in 7 days. please respond. thank you

David on June 29, 2010:

I will never rent a Rebox movie again. I was charged 3.28 in late fees while the movies I rented were NEVER late. I have only charged my card once to rent from redbox and I specifically remember putting one movie in one redbox and the other movie in the other Redbox because there were two at the walgreens location. The machines took the movies and I was off to work. Now a month later they come back and say one movie was late one day and the other was late 2 days. NEVER AGAIN REDBOX. You just caused my bank account to overdraft! Idiots! Lady was no help on the phone either!

alex on June 25, 2010:

I am fairly new to Redbox, I was leary of renting from a box but my spouse and I decided to give it a try. We are about 66% satisfied. 3 out of the 15 movies we have rented from them so far seem pirated...or at least what I would think a pirated movie would look like. I rented Alice in Wonderland, and tried playing it only to have the picture fade from a normal screen to an increasingly darker screen and the go to a blue screen then back to a normal screen-over and over about every 20-30 seconds. There was never any falter in the audio, just the video was messed up. I thought there was something wrong with my dvd player (even though the other movie I rented played fine), so I popped it in my laptop and it worked fine and I watched it without any flaws. I thought no more about it until this morning I rented 4 movies, 2 of which had the exact same issue. This time it was Surrogates and Shutter Island. I decided to buy a new dvd player to be sure, and STILL they did the same thing! Since these now make 3 movies I called customer service. The man I spoke to was nice about it, but could give me no answers how 3 separate movies with really no scratches could have the exact same issue! All he wanted to do was blame it on the weather, yes he said the weather! WHAT? He also mentioned it could be the anti-piracy they put on the disc...but he has never heard of this issue. There is NO way I would get 3 movies having this same issue and it be only a coincidence! I wonder if they bootleg these things and some copy good and some dont! It just seems fishy to me. He offered to refund me, which is good but the closest kiosk is 30 mins from my home and I will spend more money taking them back than it took to rent them! We have decided no more redbox, netfix here we come! At least if there is a problem I can put it in the mailbox and that doesn't require me wasting gas!!!

Luisa on June 04, 2010:

My first experience with RedBox was a nightmare. I rented a DVD and which I needed to return the next day. This was one of those killer busy days, full with appts from the minute I got up till the minute I fell asleep, because the day after I would leave town. I snuck away for a few minutes to return the DVD and went to the box I rented from but that machine wasn't working. I was now late for an appt and didn't really have time to go anywhere else, but nonetheless the cust service agent, after a long wait, told me to go to another box. That one too was not working. Now VERY late for an appt I didn't know what to do as I didn't have time to keep searching for boxes and was leaving town and had no idea where I would find a working box on the was or at my destination. I called Cust Service again who made a big deal about refunding me the 1 dollar I paid for last night's rental. That certainly did not make up for the time I wasted. Cust Service also said to me: our boxes are technology and well, and I can't expect it to work all the time. What? What kind of flip, dismissive statement is that from a customer service agent? They obliviously do not have any respect for inconveniencing their customers. I imagine they are not worried about losing customers because with $1 rentals they will just attract more. But eventually enough customers will be turned off from their faulty service. Beware of RedBox.

Brad on April 28, 2010:

Come on people. Redbox can't control how customers take care of the movies when there taken home and you let your 3 year old son play with them. If you don't take care of the movie the next person who rents the movie will have issues as well. 90% of the time when there is a scratched DVD you don't call customer service and let them know. Instead you throw it back into a kiosk and the next person gets a scratched DVD as well. In my opinion redbox is a great company and revolutionizing the DVD industry. How can you complain about a $1 DVD. Would you feel better if they sold them for $4?

nel on March 22, 2010:

I have been charged $129.69 for 5 dvds, that they claim I did not return. I honestly returned every single one, the very next day. However, 2 problems occurred, I ordered star-trac, didn't get it. I got some Hell on North movie, which I didn't even watch. While returning them all 5, they would go in, then popped right back out. They all went in; so I did not call anyone to let them know my problem. But, when I called them back everyone was so rude;except some supervisor name Carlos. He refunded back $64.97 the nextday. Now I have to wait for them to send a tech to locate the 5 dvds. Because I just spoke to some Rep name Charles who said Im screwed thats all Im getting back. I told him my case is NOT closed, I will be getting back the other $64.95 as soon as they detect that the machine in euless, tx at Walgreens did mess up.

hrhasuki on November 30, 2009:

Well when I rented a movie from red box the wrong movie came out. I immediately put it back in and forgot all about it. A month later I get a call from my bank saying that I owe them almost 100 dollars because I overdrafted, I'm like no I had enough on my card to buy what I needed...turns out, red box took money off my card saying that I didn't return the movie that I SHOULD HAVE HAD, but didn't get. I had to go through calling red box 6 times before I could get someone to give me my money back. It has been 5 days and still no money and now I have to worry about the bank also...

brandon dauphin on November 10, 2009:

I would never rent a movie from red box again..I got charged over 40 dollars on false late fees and movies that I turned in on time only to find out that red box claimed that they never received them.I'm sick of fighting with them over this and I don't like the fact that a scratched movie mean that the consumer get screwed out of their money.It's a bad idea that will end when the buzz get out

Tim on October 25, 2009:

We have been renting from Redbox for about 2 years and have not had any issues until recently. Now they have a real problem with their DVDs. Some of them don't work...disc errors. These DVDs were not excessively scratched and we are in the habit of cleaning them before we play them. One appeared to have a ghosty solvent pattern on data side. I hope this isn't some kind of third-party mischief, but customer service does not seem too concerned about keeping us coming back. It's not going to take too many more disappointed Sunday nights for me to go elsewhere.

Traci on October 14, 2009:

I have always had great success when renting DVD'S from a Redbox location but I recently was double charged for two movies that were returned on time (before 9:00 pm). I had receipts from stores where I had purchased items after I had returned the movies showing the movies were returned when I said they were. Initally the Redbox rep. simply stated that I could dispute the charge w/my credit card company. I decided to call back to see if I could find someone more helpful and I did....because of the proof that I had and the fact that my Redbox renting history showed I had never returned any movies late before; the best she could do was offer me promotional codes to make me whole again. I am very leary of renting from Redbox again!

NateSean from Salem, MA on September 23, 2009:

Of course I won't touch Redbox with a ten foot pole. There are some things that just don't go together with vending machines and DVD rentals is one of them.

Sure, Netflix has it's moments. But at least with Netflix if a DVD goes wrong I can get it replaced fairly quickly. Plus Netflix has a better selection.

The only thing I've seen in a Red Box selection is made for DVD "movies" and cartoons I've never heard of before.

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