Buyer Beware: Defective DVDs, CDs may be your problem.

I’m not quite filled with invective, so this is more a warning than a rant.

Be careful what companies you buy prerecorded media from. Amazon, BN and CD Now have adopted policies that don’t let you return a defective DVD or CD, even if all you want is the exact same recording.

I recently purchased from Amazon a copy of The Women, George Cukor’s classic 1939 picture starring Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard and just about every other actress under MGM contract. Popped it into the player and immediately noticed some problems - it just wasn’t tracking properly, with black splotches over parts of the picture. Tried an LOTR disc, and no problem. Concluded disc must be defective.

So I trundled over to the ‘puter to read Amazon’s return policies. And discovered:

BN: same policy, it appears.

CDNow (now owned by Amazon): same policy.

Best Buy, Circuit City and J and R all let you exchange for the same title. But I wonder how much longer that will continue. The entertainment industry and its retailers are so busy trying to ingratiate themselves with customers - wildly overcharging, engaging in antitrust, wielding Orwellian tactics against ISPs, and trying to bully computer manufacturers, that I rather suspect they’ll soon take the attitude that defective products aren’t their problem.

In my case, the problem with the DVD appears to be only in the menus, not in the movie itself so it’s not worth fighting about. But it just makes me wonder why I bother even trying to pay money for entertainment.

You might try double checking or asking a person. Returns for credit may be defined differently than replacement of defective merchandise.

Y’know, when you buy counterfeit, they at least warn you ahead of time that the disk may not work on your machine.


[sub]I found this out doing an investigation for work. I don’t condone buying stolen intellectual property, since I make my living off of intellectual property [/sub]