Monday, June 7, 2010

When "Free" Ain't "Free"

So, occasionally I get coupons for free movies. Now, Red Box is only $1 a night. But really, how do you beat "free"?

Tonight I got a coupon on my phone. Keith and I were excited to go get our "free" movie, which almost always costs me more than it would have if I had just purchased it due to late fees from forgetting to turn it back in.

We went to the first Red Box, and low-and-behold it was broken. Being a problem-solver by nature, I called the 1-800 number on the box to see if they could remotely fix the problem. After being on eternal hold for long enough to hear their "commercial" loop six times, I finally got Ron. Ron was very kind, but could not fix the box.

Ron gave me a "free" movie rental for my trouble, though. Now we had two "free" movies, and no movie.

Next, we went to the Red Box in McDonald's, determined to get a stupid movie for "free." There was a line at this Red Box that was five people deep. I was ready to leave; Keith was not deterred.

The first people in front of the screen were like those people who only come out of the house once a year. They poured over the selections like they were studying for a test. In the end, they threw their hands up and left with no movie.

The second group had found "free" coupon codes online. They kept punching in codes, never actually getting a "free" movie. They left with a movie, happy anyway.

The next two were only returning movies, but seemed to have quite a few difficulties inserting the movie correctly. Keith did an excellent job of not ripping it out of their hand(s) and doing it for them.

Finally, it was our turn. We began making our selection. We scrolled through once quickly, then hit "go back to start" to put our movie "in our cart."

Suddenly, the computer shut down. The DOS screen came up and the cursor blinked. Then Windows flashed on the screen. Keith and I were laughing hysterically at this point.

Then, sadly, the error message from Red Box appeared on the screen. "This is temporarily out of order. We apologize for your inconvenience." Really?

So, now our score is: Two "Free" coupons for Red Box movies, Two Red Box stations, No movies.

Keith tried to convince me to stop at a third Red Box. I said, "Uhm, no. Not gonna' happen. If we have a third one break while we're around it, we may be banned from Red Boxes- no matter how many 'free' coupons we have."

So, we went home and watched some shows we had recorded on our DVR.

Maybe tomorrow we'll try our "free" coupons again...

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