Friday, January 02, 2004

Using Our Hollywood Video Gift Card

"We got this $10 gift card from a neighbor for Christmas, and I picked out two movies. Do I rent them here? I've never been here before. We usually go to a small video rental store. " I asked the Hollywood Video clerk.

"I just need your Hollywood Video card," she replied.

"I've never been to a Hollywood Video before. I don't have a card. I DO have a gift card," I repeated.

"OK. I need your drivers license and a credit card, and you need to fill out an application."

"Why do you need a credit card? I have a gift card. Here it is."

"For collateral, but we won't charge anything on it. It's for our corporate office in case you steal the movies."

"Collateral? That sounds like you ARE charging on it."

"I got the wrong word. They just check your address."

"OK," I relented. No choice, really.

"Just a minute while I find an application." She rummaged through drawers and cabinets behind her. She ran to a back office, but returned empty-handed. She perused the same cabinets.

"I can't find any applications........ Can you go to another Hollywood Video?"

I looked out the window at pouring rain and clogged traffic. "No, I can't today."

"I'm sorry. We can't rent you any videos today, but you can BUY a video."

"No thanks. My family just wanted to use this gift card to enjoy a movie tonight" I sighed.

I remember again why we patronize small local businesses, whenever possible. Less hassle, less red tape, more concern for the customer.

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