February 18, 2005

By Lorenza Muñoz, Times Staff Writer

New Jersey wants Blockbuster Inc. to hit the pause button on its "No More Late Fees" marketing campaign.

The state sued the nation's biggest video rental chain Friday, alleging that the late-fee claim was fraudulent because customers could potentially get stuck buying movies they failed to return on time. "It comes down to truth in advertising," said Tom Dressler, spokesman for California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer.

The New Jersey lawsuit alleges that consumers aren't being told that overdue rentals are automatically charged at the full sales price if not returned by the eighth day. Even when customers return a movie within 30 days and are not docked the full amount, they are still hit with a $1.25-per-DVD restocking fee.

There is never a shortage of crooks or liars. "No More Late Fees," is supposed to mean "No More Late Fees."

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