DVD Talk Limited Edition
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Formerly known as "Todd B."/Honolulu, HI
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- Enrollment Codes and the Enrollment Process
- Enrollment Titles
- Fulfillment Titles
- Customer Service and Club Misc.
- Other and Links
Enrollment Codes and the Enrollment Process
- How does this Columbia House thing work?
Please go back and read the Introduction above or the Newcomers Thread for a general overview of Columbia House.
- What is an Optional Purchase?
Columbia House gives you the option of purchasing an additional title (usually for $14.95) at signup time. You can choose any enrollment title. It is highly recommended you make this optional purchase (using it to buy a more expensive title) because it reduces the number of fulfillment titles you must purchase later. If you skip the optional purchase, the deal is not as good because you will have to pay more for that title later to fulfill your membership. With some codes (example: E79) Columbia House may offer a second option title for $9.95. This title usually does not reduce your commitment, therefore you should not purchase it since it would increase the average cost of your membership.
- What is the best Savings Code to use?
Currently (Mar 2004), the best code to use is 67P, if you have a PSN. If you do not have a PSN, try DDK or 2S3.
- How do I use these Savings Codes online?
Go to www.columbiahouse.com, and click on "Join the DVD Club." Enter the code into the text box in the upper right corner that says "enter savings code". Now you'll be shopping with that code's offer.
- Why don't any of the codes work online? Why does the website look different than normal?
Is the address of the website go.columbiahouse.com? If so, you are at the wrong site. If the main www.columbiahouse.com website is down for any reason, they temporarily redirect you to go.columbiahouse.com, where the codes might not work and the selection's crappy. Come back later.
- What number do I call if I want to enroll over the phone?
Use 1-888-CHC-DVDS. Although they are open 24 hours, orders placed with operators between 8 AM-5 PM EST seem to have fewer problems with entry and processing. You may also enroll by calling any customer service number.
- Which method is better/faster, calling in or joining online?
All enrollments taken, whether by phone or website, are all processed by the same approval department. When you order online, you will usually get an e-mail confirmation and then an e-mail acceptance with your membership number. With online enrollment, you may also be able to order your fulfillment titles before receiving your enrollment package, if you so choose. Online memberships used to be shipped Priority Mail but that is no longer the case; both online and phone enrollments are now shipped Media Mail (1-4 weeks shipping time). In the case of phone enrollments, keeping track of when the charge hits your credit card will let you know that your membership has been approved and that your enrollment package is one its way.
- The CSR or website asks for a "Preferred Status Number" (PSN) with my code. What is that?
Many of the better codes (such as 67P) require a PSN to use. A PSN is simply any previous Columbia House 11-digit membership number. Membership numbers from the Music, DVD, Video, or TV Greats Clubs will all work. If you do not have a previous membership, you should be able to bluff you way through a phone order. Oftentimes on the phone, a CSR will not ask for a PSN, or you can get away with telling them that you don't have one.
- How many times can I use a PSN? Can I use a membership number of a current account?
A membership number may be used over and over again as a PSN. The membership number does not have to be from a cancelled account. It must simply exist.
- Are there more Savings Codes?
Yes, there are. But the best ones are usually found in this FAQ or on first page of the DVD Clubs Forum.
- Do these codes expire?
Yes. FVT, D7G, 47B, CYC, 7CY, 23E, and many others are officially dead. The codes seem to expire 9-12 months after they first appear. Some codes that do not require fulfillment titles tend to last only a few weeks before Columbia House kills them.
- Is this offer good outside the US?
No. Canadians can use Columbia House Canada, but it has no codes or special offers. Other International residents may want to investigate mail services that give you a U.S. postal address which then forwards the mail to your foreign address.
- How long does it take for my order to ship? When do they charge my credit card?
It usually takes about 1-2 weeks to approve your enrollment and ship it. If any of the titles you ordered are out of stock, your order may be delayed up to a month more. Your credit card is charged when your order ships.
- Can I pay with a check, rather than a credit card?
Yes, you can. You must apply online, and when you check out, there will be an option to pay by check which will let you print out your order and mail it in.
- I just signed up online, but it didn't ask me for my credit card while checking out. Did I miss something?
Some codes, for whatever reason, don't give you an option to enter your credit card information. For those orders, you will receive a bill when your enrollment shipment arrives. Or, you can log into your new account online, and choose the "Make a Payment" option in the "My Account" area.
- If I refer a friend to get 2 free DVDs, can my friend use the Savings Codes?
The person signing up for the Columbia House DVD Clubs through refer-a-friend cannot use any savings codes. Your friend will be forced to accept the standard, crappy deal.
- Which titles are available for enrollment?
bga compiles a complete list of all titles on CH's website weekly. You can also go to the CH website, and click on "Join the DVD Club." From there, any titles you can find via Search or by browsing can be ordered for enrollment.
- How do I make the most of my deal? (or, Which enrollment titles should I buy?)
The best value is to pick Deluxe, Collector's, or Special Editions for your enrollment selections (ie, titles with a MSRP of $30+). Section III has a complete list of these. Then purchase $19.95 titles to fulfill your membership. You can find the complete list of DVDs that Columbia House carries in the Updated list of CH DVDs (Data Miner) thread.
- I can't find Boogie Nights (or other titles) online! How do I order it for enrollment?
A small number of valid enrollment titles are only available via a phone enrollment order. See the Phone-Order-Only Enrollments Thread for a complete listing.
- Are Box Sets available for enrollment?
No. Generally, Box Sets (i.e. a set containing more than one movie title or multiple discs) are not available for enrollment.
- How many copies can I order of one title?
You can order up to two copies of any enrollment selection.
- How can I see the prices that CH charges for the DVDs on their website?
You cannot see the prices on the website until you become a member and use your membership number to create an online account on the website. Then you can sign on to the member site and see all the prices for the titles. Also, the spreadsheet from the Updated list of CH DVDs (Data Miner) thread contains the prices of all the DVDs that CH carries. You can find DVD MSRPs on DVD Talk Price Search.
- Will CH carry Title XYZ when it is released? Why doesn't CH carry Title XYZ?
We don't know, really. We don't make the CH policies or negotiate their contracts. The titles they carry and don't carry often times seem to follow no rhyme or reason. However, there are a few rules of thumb you can use to make a better educated guess as to whether CH will carry a particular title or not. First, check the studio list below. If studio publishing the title is not listed there, then it probably won't be carried. Second, is the title well-known? CH tends not to carry obscure or lesser-known movies. If you were to pick 10 random strangers off the street and ask them if they had ever heard of your movie, how many would say yes? The more people that would know the movie, the better the chances are that CH will carry it. Finally, does it show up on CH website as an Advance Order? For many titles, CH lists them months in advance of their release date on the member website as an "Advance Order." But just because it's not listed as an Advance Order, doesn't mean they won't carry it. The majority of titles still just show up on the member site on their release date. If the release date has come and gone, and the title still doesn't show up on the member website, then CH most likely won't carry it. Occasionally, CH will add titles months after their release date, but it is rare.
- When will Title XYZ be available for enrollment?
Artisan, Buena Vista, Columbia/Tri-Star, Dreamworks, Fox, Paramount catalog, Universal, and Warner Bros. titles usually become available for enrollment 3 months after their release dates. Anchor Bay, Lion's Gate/Trimark, New Line, and MGM titles usually become available after 2 months. Paramount new theatrical releases usually become available after 6 months. Titles from other studios will vary.
- I want Title XYZ: Super Special Ultimate Edition, but the picture on CH's website shows the old barebones edition. How can I get the right one?
CH often reuses old images and doesn't update them for new editions or reissues of the same title. If the old edition is Out of Print (OOP), and there is only one current edition in print (for example, the movie rights changed studios), then CH only carries the current edition, and that's what you'll get, regardless of the image on the website. If there are two current editions of the movie (like a bare bones and an SE), it's usually indicated which is which in the title. If not, read the description or list of features to try to determine which one is the correct one you want.
- I checked my Account History online and for one of my titles it says "Has been dropped due to policy." What does that mean?
"Has been dropped due to policy" simply means the title was out of stock, and instead of that title, you will be receiving a raincheck with your order.
- Can you tell me which titles are on backorder?
No, titles go in and out of stock too frequently to maintain an accurate list.
- Which studios does Columbia House carry?
A&E, AcornMedia, Anchor Bay, Artisan, BBC, BFS Video, Blue Underground, Columbia TriStar, DreamWorks, Fox Lorber (a few titles), Goldhill, Goodtimes, Hallmark, Image Entertainment (a few titles), Lion's Gate (some titles), MGM, New Line, Paramount, Rhino (a few titles), Royalty Inclusive, Slingshot, Sony Music, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Vidmark, Warner Bros., Warner Bros. Records, Wellspring, WinStar, Xenon.
- Where are the Disney Animation titles?
Disney has begun their own Disney Movie Club, so CH does not offer these titles. (Disney Club thread)
- Where are the Criterion Collection titles?
CH used to offer a few Criterion titles in 1999, but no longer carries any.
- Where are the Buena Vista (Dimension, Disney, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax, Touchstone) titles?
CH apparently lost the right to carry Buena Vista titles in Jan. 2004. All BV titles were eventually removed from their website over the next few months as they sold off their remaining stock. It is unknown if they will reappear in the future.
- Where are the HBO titles?
CH used to offer HBO titles until early 2003, when they lost the right to sell them.
- Where are Indiana Jones and Star Wars?
CH apparently doesn't have the rights to sell any Lucasfilm titles.
- Does Columbia House have DTS DVDs?
Yes, Section V has a (no longer maintained) list of DTS titles available through CH.
- What is a raincheck? When would I get one?
A raincheck can be redeemed for a free DVD title. You will receive a raincheck in your enrollment shipment if a title you select is temporarily out of stock OR if you try to select a title for enrollment which is not available as an enrollment selection (for example, a box set or a new release title or a title which is no longer available through the club).
- Which titles can I order with a raincheck?
Ignore any wording on the raincheck. Rainchecks can ONLY be used to order any title which is currently available as an enrollment selection, period.
- How do I use a raincheck?
You can either mail in the physical paper raincheck you received, or you can call in your order and redeem the raincheck with a CSR over the phone. You cannot currently redeem them online.
- Do I have to pay shipping when I use a raincheck?
No. Your shipping on this raincheck was already prepaid by you during the enrollment process.
- Can I order my fulfillment titles while I'm signing up?
No, when you enroll, your account does not yet exist. It must be approved first, which usually takes a week.
- I've ordered my fulfillment titles, but the website still says I have 2 more to buy!
The website is not updated in real time. It can take up to 2 weeks for the changes to be reflected in your account status.
- What does "Sale Price" mean? What does "Bonus Price" mean?
The Sale Price is the price you can buy a title for AFTER you purchase a title at regular price (unless otherwise specified by sale terms). The sale selection MUST be of equal or lesser value than the regular price selection. (Occasionally, CH will have a sale that does not require a regular price purchase first. Be sure to carefully read the Offer Details for each sale.)
Bonus Price is worthless. Just ignore it. Really.
- Does the DVD that I buy at the Sale price count towards my fulfillment requirements?
As long as the final price you actually, physically pay for the DVD before shipping and handling is $19.95 or more, then yes.
- What's the deal with the 10% online discount?
Columbia House periodically offers an extra 10% off any online order. A notice is posted on the website when this discount is in effect. This extra 10% discount does NOT count against the price of a fulfillment. For example, if you order a $19.95 title, after the extra 10% off is applied, you would only pay $17.96 for it, but it will still count as a fulfillment. Phone Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) may also offer a 10% sale on your fulfillment order.
- I'm buying one title at $19.95, but I don't want to take a second title at sale price, cause then it won't count for fulfillment. What do I do?
You can always order a title at its regular price. If you're on the phone, just tell the CSR you want to purchase it at regular price. If you're online, in the shopping cart, change the bullet option to regular price.
- Hey, I think I found a good deal with the current sale! If I buy Heat at regular price for $19.95, then can I take Boogie Nights (regularly $29.95) at its Sale Price of $19.95 and fulfill two commitment purchases?
NO! The sale selection must be of equal or lesser value than your regular price selection. Since Boogie Nights is the most expensive title, you have to buy that at regular price of $29.95, and then you could buy Heat (the lesser value title) at its Sale Price of $9.95. Of course, then only Boogie Nights would count as a fulfillment.
- Do higher priced titles count as more than one fulfillment selection?
If you pay $50 - $89.99 for a title (before shipping costs) it counts as two fulfillment purchases, $90 - $149.99 counts as three, $150 and over counts as four.
Customer Service and Club Misc.
- How do I contact Customer Service?
Columbia House DVD Club
1400 N. Fruitridge Ave.
Terre Haute, IN 47811-1130
Phone (pick any one): 1-888-CHC-DVDS option 3, 1-888-590-6656, 1-800-262-2001, 1-800-667-0364, 1-800-562-4046 (8 AM-10 PM EST M-F, 8 AM-4:30 PM EST Sat.)
- I can't get a hold of Customer Service on the phone. It always kicks me out. What's the best way to get a live CSR?
The phone numbers listed above are the only phone numbers available. They all ring in to the same customer service phone pool. If there is a high volume of calls (as is often the case), the system will kick you out, saying there are too many calls and to call back later. The easiest time to get through is at 8 AM EST when they first open. For the fastest way to get to the CSR queue when calling the Customer Service number, check out The Wolf Husky Phone Bypass v2.0 thread.
- How much does CH charge for shipping and handling?
Enrollment titles cost $1.99 each for shipping. Fulfillment selections are $2.99 for the first title, and $1.99 for each additional title in the same order. Box sets are $5.99/3 disc set, $6.99/4, $7.99/5.
- How does Columbia House ship their DVDs?
Enrollment orders and fulfillment orders ship via USPS Media Mail. You may request that your shipment be sent via Expedited Shipping for an extra $4.99 per order.
- How long does it take before I can use my new membership number to register for a Member Log In on the website?
Usually about 2 weeks after your account is approved by CH.
- They sent me the wrong title or my DVD or case was damaged when I received it! How do I return it?
Call customer service or in the "Club Help" section online choose "Request a Return Label" on the left side. CH is very good about returns. They will send you a postage paid return label and a form to fill out. It takes about 2 weeks for them to receive and process your return. Then another 1-2 weeks to send you your replacement (if necessary).
- How many accounts can I have at once?
CH tracks simultaneous memberships by address. You are allowed to have TWO ACTIVE ACCOUNTS PER ADDRESS at any given time. You can use the exact same name, credit card, and address.
- How many times can I quit and re-join?
Probably unlimited, as many people have had hundreds of accounts!
- How long do I have to wait before I can setup a new account after I fulfill and cancel my old membership?
Just call right back, and you can rejoin with no wait.
- Can I cancel online?
Yes. Simply log onto the website with your account, click "Club Help", and then click "Contact Us" on the left side. On this contact form there is an option for "Cancel Membership". You will receive e-mail confirmation of the cancellation in a few business days.
- Are these DVDs the same as the ones I buy in the store?
Yes, exactly the same. You can even take them to the store, and they will scan in.
- Does Columbia House make any money off this?
Columbia House makes money even if you sign up, get your fulfillment title, and then immediately close your account. Most people won't do this, and will just stick with the club, meaning even *greater* profits for them.
- Do I have to pay the sales tax CH charges me?
Only if your state requires companies to collect Use Tax (the term for out-of-state mail order tax). Try searching your state's tax office website for your Use Tax laws. For example, Hawaii's Taxation Office publishes a brochure titled An Introduction to the Use Tax. Question 28 states that companies are not required to collect Use Tax. Thus, if CH ever charges me sales tax, I can point that out to the CSRs and get the charges refunded. Also, see the Columbia House State Sales Tax Thread.
- How did you figure out those averages for the codes? I get $X.XX per disc in my calculation.
The calculation assumes no sales tax, that you purchase the Optional Selection(s), and that the fulfillment titles are ordered together ($2.99 shipping on first title, $1.99 for additional), with no additional discounts.
For example, in a 67P calculation:
Total = $62.28 / 8 = $7.79 per DVD
|5 DVDs @ $0.49 each||$2.45|
|6th Optional @ $14.95||$14.95|
|7th and 8th Fulfillment @ $19.95 each||$39.90|
|Shipping/Handling ($2.99 + $1.99)||$4.98|
Other and Links
- What does anamorphic mean?
Anamorphic means a title is optimized for 16:9 widescreen televisions. If you want more information, visit The Ultimate Guide to Anamorphic Widescreen DVD (for Dummies!)
- Does BMG run a DVD club?
No, not yet.
- Can I use DVDs purchased from CH for Buy X, Get 1 Free offers from the studios?
Possibly. Enrollment order invoices only list the selection numbers. If you include the invoice with print-outs from the website correlating selection number to title names, some people have reported success with this. Fulfillment order invoices have the names and prices of the titles ordered so they are no problem.
- What should I do if I see some jerk selling this information on eBay or Yahoo Auctions?
Try your best to inform people this is free by giving them the link to DVD Talk. We don't need someone profiting off our hard work.
- Super special thanks to
akolang, Ashirg, bga, bhamon, Booth, bradm20, burner77, cgblack, CheapBastid, cygnet74, D-Ball, DigitalDave, evenswr, FLFireman, Godot, jbarrett, jellofan, Jobronie, JonTurner, jough, lizard, Marc G, medman2000, Mr Pink, nemein, piLOt, rdodolak, RevLiver, RicoSuave, SAShepherd, Soup Nazi, strusinsk, TK-421, Tprints, V-ism, weargle, Will-Work-For-DVDs, and many other contributers.
- Where can I get more information?
Go to the top of this thread and check out the links under Useful Threads.
Last edited by TheBang; 02-16-05 at 02:07 PM.