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Old 10-18-10, 12:49 AM   #1
annika27
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Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

Hello! I'm new here, and am hoping someone can help me. :-)

I bought a box set of Star Trek Voyager, Season 7, off eBay. It was advertised as being new, but I have a feeling that what I received is a bootleg.

There are a number of discrepancies between Seasons 1-6 (which I also own), and the Season 7 box set, which I've listed below. I'll also be glad to take photographs if anyone needs them.

1. The clear cover is a single piece that slides down onto the plastic DVD "pages". All of my other Star Trek Voyager season sets have a 2-piece cover. The cover also seems a bit too large.

2. There is a round sticker on the cover with a picture of Voyager on it. It's not actually printed onto the cover like the other seasons. The sticker is off-center, and seems to have bits of debris underneath it.

3. The words "Star Trek Voyager" are printed on the clear plastic cover, NOT on the plastic DVD "pages". All of my other sets have "Star Trek Voyager" printed on the first DVD "page". It shows through the clear plastic cover.

4. The pink DVD "pages" are a hot pink color (as in: neon pink), and are made of thinner material than my other box sets. The plastic is also formed a bit differently. Also, the "pages" are clumsily taped together with two strips of what appears to be clear packing tape. There are bubbles in the tape.

5. The back of the clear case is plain. There are no episode listings like on my other sets.

6. The wrap-around paper artwork that goes around the bottom of the case seems faded to me. I also noticed it was torn when opening the cellophane. The cellophane wasn't torn, so it had to have been packaged that way.

7. The DVD's themselves LOOK okay to me ... however, the episode names on my other DVD sets are printed in an italics font. The names on this box set is in a regular (non-italics) font. Otherwise I don't see any difference in the DVD's. I've only played the first disc at this point, and it seems to play okay and the disc menus look normal to me. I haven't tried any of the other discs in the set as of yet.

8. There is no electronic security device. All of my other sets have them. Not sure if that means anything or not.

I find it hard to believe that all these packaging defects and differences could have gotten past Paramount's quality control, which leads me to believe the set may be a bootleg. It does say it's the U.S. version on the artwork, and there are no foreign characters anywhere that I can find. The UPC code seems valid.

Any thoughts? I'd like to verify it one way or another so that I can file a claim and a complaint against the seller if necessary. I contacted Paramount a little while ago, but who knows when (or if) they'll get back to me.
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Old 10-18-10, 04:23 AM   #2
annika27
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

I've answered my own question. I found a DVD Decrypter program, and it tells me that these discs are actually coded for Regions 1-8, and that they're not copyright-protected.

According to this page (well, it won't let me post the link, but it's at www ehow com/how_5674828_spot-dvds-using-dvd-decrypter html ), that's a sign that they're bootlegs. Between the lousy packaging, and this, yep, it looks like it's time to file a claim.

Thanks for letting me post here. :-)

Edited to add: I went ahead and snapped some photos, if anyone's curious. Here's a link, but you'll have to add the http part at the beginning.

s423.photobucket.com/albums/pp314/pixiepunkycat/Voyager%207%20Bootleg%20Received%20from%20eBay%20Seller/?action=view&current=voyager-compare1.jpg

Last edited by annika27; 10-18-10 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 10-18-10, 07:25 AM   #3
kd5
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

There's alot of that going on, on Ebay. I was tracking NCIS, Seasons 1-6 when I noticed a disheartening trend: 99% of these were being sold by individuals who either had 0 auctions under their belts (and were from China, or Hong Kong, or somesuch), or the feedback they did have was less than satisfactory, with complaints of bootlegging (I even read some feedback regarding a seller who claimed to be from New York but that the item had actually come from China). You really have to be careful about TV Series Seasons (and all others for that matter) sold on Ebay. I would not purchase any DVDs from someone with less than about 99.8% positive feedback unless there was a dirtbag who ruined the seller's feedback for no good reason, or other extenuating circumstances.

If you're certain this is bootleg, I would send the seller a message letting them know you're on to the bootleg, and demanding a full refund (including shipping if you can get it). If you don't get a refund I would report the matter to Ebay (file a claim). Remember, "the devil is in the details", if they specifically stated this was a Region 0, Region All, or Region Free DVD, and it was anything other than a genuine bonafide US Factory Sealed DVD, then you didn't read the fine print and you agreed to buy the DVD under those conditions. -kd5-
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Old 10-18-10, 08:11 AM   #4
annika27
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by kd5 View Post
There's alot of that going on, on Ebay. I was tracking NCIS, Seasons 1-6 when I noticed a disheartening trend: 99% of these were being sold by individuals who either had 0 auctions under their belts (and were from China, or Hong Kong, or somesuch), or the feedback they did have was less than satisfactory, with complaints of bootlegging (I even read some feedback regarding a seller who claimed to be from New York but that the item had actually come from China). You really have to be careful about TV Series Seasons (and all others for that matter) sold on Ebay. I would not purchase any DVDs from someone with less than about 99.8% positive feedback unless there was a dirtbag who ruined the seller's feedback for no good reason, or other extenuating circumstances.

If you're certain this is bootleg, I would send the seller a message letting them know you're on to the bootleg, and demanding a full refund (including shipping if you can get it). If you don't get a refund I would report the matter to Ebay (file a claim). Remember, "the devil is in the details", if they specifically stated this was a Region 0, Region All, or Region Free DVD, and it was anything other than a genuine bonafide US Factory Sealed DVD, then you didn't read the fine print and you agreed to buy the DVD under those conditions. -kd5-
Yep, I've been on eBay since 1998, both buying and selling, with over 17,000 positive feedback comments (100% positive), and can normally spot a scammer a mile away. I did read the fine print in the ad. I always do. ;-)

However, there was nothing in the listing that sounded warning bells. The seller has 99.7% positive feedback, which is decent for a DVD seller, and has over 2,300 feedback total. There was only one neutral comment in the last 30 days, disagreeing on the amount of wear on a used DVD case.

The set I bought was listed as being "Region: DVD: 1 (US, CA)", and described as being "Brand New: An item that has never been opened or removed from the manufacturer’s sealing (if applicable). Item is in original shrink wrap (if applicable)."

The seller is in the U.S. I'd never buy DVDs from China/Hong Kong/etc. (at least not knowingly). The price was reasonable, as well. If it had been "too good to be true", I would've clicked the back button right away. The seller had a stock photo of the set in the ad, but that's not unusual because eBay automatically fills it in as a convenience.

I've already initiated the PayPal claim process, asking nicely for a refund. If the seller doesn't respond very soon, I'll escalate it to an actual claim.

In a way, I'm probably lucky that this is the only time in 12+ years that I've gotten a bootleg, because I buy DVDs on both Half.com and eBay quite often. :-)

Last edited by annika27; 10-18-10 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 10-18-10, 08:54 AM   #5
kd5
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

I bought all 9 seasons of The X-Files (a mix of the older style slim sets and 3 Collector's Editions) from Ebay, as well as countless other DVDs both from Ebay and from Half. I've only had complaints about very few of the ones I've purchased (Like New that should have been listed as Very Good or Good - in which case I probably would NOT have bid on them - and they were always resolved to my satisfaction). Sometimes you can find some fantastic deals on DVDs at Ebay if you know how to look for them. -kd5-
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Old 10-18-10, 09:16 AM   #6
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

Over the weekend I was "Garage Sailing" looking for (what else?), CHEAP Movies and TV Shows on DVD and VHS, and one House had boxes loaded with DVDs that had the lable written in both Chinese and English on them. Needless to say I did not purchase any of them, since I have heard nothing but bad things about them!
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Old 10-18-10, 04:04 PM   #7
Mr. Salty
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by annika27 View Post
they're not copyright-protected.
While the discs you bought may not have copy protection, I can guarantee you that Paramount indeed has copyrighted anything related to "Star Trek"!
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Old 10-18-10, 05:51 PM   #8
annika27
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

The seller declined my initital request for a refund, so I escalated it to an actual claim. The next step is to send the DVDs back to him, and once PayPal confirms that he's received them, I should get a refund.

The conversation thus far has been:

Me: "This is a bootleg. I would like a full refund please."

Shortly afterwards, the "refund declined" e-mail came through, with a note from the seller saying "Hi,I don't sell bootlegs. This item was purchased directly from an authorized distributor for Paramount. If you do not want the item, please send it back for a full refund. eBay says it MUST be in the same condition as when it was sent out.Thank you"

I responded: "It is definitely a bootleg. I am VERY familiar with both eBay's and PayPal's policies, and I will be returning it according to PayPal's guidelines. Both you and PayPal may wish to review these photos that prove the DVD set is indeed a bootleg: (link to PhotoBucket as listed above)"

He then added an additional comment: "One more note...we are wondering if you are an authority on DVDs, because one does not reach over 2,300 feedback with a 99.7% feedback rating by selling copies and bootlegs. We don't appreciate being blamed for doing something that we don't condone and despise in the first place. Before you go around throwing unfounded accusations at people, you need to get your facts straight. Anyway, according to PayPal and eBay, especially for DVDs, due to the ability to copy DVDs these days, you must send any unwanted items back to the seller in the same condition as they were sent to you if you want a refund. Please send the item to: (address omitted) Thank you"

I had to laugh. He's so "full of it". For one thing, he gave me an address with a different zip code than the one PayPal has on file for him. If I send it there, he knows that PayPal will refuse to refund because I didn't return it to the address PayPal told me to (which is also the return address on the envelope). For another thing, my feedback is way, way higher than his ... but he doesn't know that this is just my buying ID. I've got several ID's, just one of which is over 14,000 by itself. LOL!

I'll be leaving negative feedback for him shortly.
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Old 10-18-10, 08:29 PM   #9
kd5
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by annika27 View Post
I'll be leaving negative feedback for him shortly.
I would hold off on the feedback until it's all over & done with, just to see how it all unfolds. Just an opinion, -kd5-
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Old 10-19-10, 10:39 AM   #10
BryKasch
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

I would just file your claim, if they ask why you feel that way then explain the information you found. I can see someone selling a set not knowing they were bootleg. it can happen some are very good fakes. But for someone that specializes in dvd's I would be highly suspicious. You will get your money back just document everything and you should be good.
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Old 10-21-10, 06:05 PM   #11
annika27
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

Update: The DVDs were delivered back to the seller this afternoon, and PayPal refunded my money a little while ago.
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Old 10-21-10, 10:11 PM   #12
TheBang
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

So, you were out-of-pocket for the return shipping? I always hate that.
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Old 10-22-10, 04:50 PM   #13
neverAcquiesce
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

The old adage applies to cheap DVDs (especially TV sets) on eBay: if it's too good to be true it probably is. I bought the first three seasons of Dexter for $40 and they were knockoffs. The packaging was identical but looked like it was laser-printed. The discs themselves looked fine at first but would pixelate every few minutes to an annoying degree. Now I always ask before bidding if I'm suspcious; I found an unopened Blade Runner briefcase edition for the Buy It Now price of $30. I couldn't believe it but I didn't pick it up until I got confirmation from the seller as to it being genuine and why it was priced so relatively low (he just picked up the Blu-ray and wanted to dump this one). You also want to look for "real" pictures of the item, not stock photos, and ask specificially for them if they're not readily displayed. I just sold extra copies of The Office I had and I went out of my way to note my obsessiveness with collecting DVDs to assure potential bidders that these were genuine.
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Old 10-23-10, 04:39 AM   #14
annika27
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd B. View Post
So, you were out-of-pocket for the return shipping? I always hate that.
Yep. That's how it works, unfortunately. But I did get a refund for the original shipping, from the seller to me. At least it costed him a bit as well. ;-)
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Old 10-23-10, 04:53 AM   #15
annika27
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

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Originally Posted by neverAcquiesce View Post
The old adage applies to cheap DVDs (especially TV sets) on eBay: if it's too good to be true it probably is. I bought the first three seasons of Dexter for $40 and they were knockoffs. The packaging was identical but looked like it was laser-printed. The discs themselves looked fine at first but would pixelate every few minutes to an annoying degree. Now I always ask before bidding if I'm suspcious; I found an unopened Blade Runner briefcase edition for the Buy It Now price of $30. I couldn't believe it but I didn't pick it up until I got confirmation from the seller as to it being genuine and why it was priced so relatively low (he just picked up the Blu-ray and wanted to dump this one). You also want to look for "real" pictures of the item, not stock photos, and ask specificially for them if they're not readily displayed. I just sold extra copies of The Office I had and I went out of my way to note my obsessiveness with collecting DVDs to assure potential bidders that these were genuine.
Sorry that happened to you.

The price on the Voyager DVDs wasn't "too good to be true", though. It was reasonable. There was nothing in the ad that gave off any alarms ... nothing that even "hinted" that it might be anything but the real deal. The seller just flat-out lied. :-(

I'll re-buy the Voyager DVDs soon ... this time from a regular retailer. :-)
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Old 10-24-10, 12:57 PM   #16
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Re: Help Please! Bootleg? Star Trek Voyager 7th Season

looking at the pics of the season 6 and bootleg season 7, it sure looks fishy.
if that is the best the bootlegger can do for their cover artwork they need to find a new hobby.
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