Late fees on a movie rental can be as small as $1 and as large as $100. Depending on your local movie rental chain, you can normally talk your way out of the fees incurred. Everyone forgets the movie due date at some point, so it is nothing new that there is a late fee. It may be your first late fee and in this case, you have a better chance of getting it taken off.
Walk around the store and find a video you wish to rent. If you are a returning customer, the cashier or salesperson at the counter is more likely to grant your fees forgiven to keep the return business. Take the intended rental to the counter to pay and present your rental card or identification. When informed of the late fees and asked if you would like to pay those today, answer no.
Speak in a polite but firm manner when stating your intentions. Do not be pushy or overbearing, nor do you want to make a scene. This will cause the staff to not want to cooperate with your requests and possibly get you barred or thrown out. If this is your first late fee, the store is more likely to let your fees go and not charge your account for them. If this is one of a long string of late fees, you may be forced to pay half of them on this visit.
Ask the cashier or salesperson why you are being charged a fee, when the video or videos were returned before the due date. Even if they were not, you can tell them that the videos were returned in time. Many stores have a drop off that is not checked regularly on the hour. This is how this excuse works in your favor. Normally the videos may be pulled into the store, but are not checked in until the end of the night.
Tell the cashier or salesperson that you do not want to pay these fees, and that you do not find it to be in your best interest to continue renting from them if they cannot keep their financial records straight. This is a scare tactic that is used to force the store into submission to your wishes. Most of the time, they will apologize for the inconvenience and forgive the late fees.
Ask if you can pay only half of the fees to have the rest taken off of your account. Generally a manager's permission is needed for this to happen. When the manager is present, tell him or her that this late fee is unfounded and that you are not happy with the service that is being provided. This is a manager's number one objective with the public, to give good service to ensure repeat customers. If you are a very good customer that rents on a regular basis and have never had late fees, your account will be cleared of all fees due. If you are a customer that regularly returns videos late, you may have to still pay half of the fees to get the other half forgiven.
Look at the receipt when you get your movies. There is always a return date and time stamped on them next to the name of the movie. Pay attention to the layout of your store. Know where the drop off point is, and notice when it is checked. This will help to make your story more plausible when saying it is not checked often. Hollywood Video checks their drop off only at night at the end of each shift, except on weekends, and then it is checked at midday and at night. Blockbuster Video has the drop off location on the exterior wall of the stores, and is checked about every hour. When using this as a reason, remember that the videos are due back by 11 p.m. and it is checked regularly, except on weekends. Fridays and Saturdays are busiest, so normally the staff is busy with customers, and does not have time to check in each movie that is returned unless someone asks for it specifically.