DVD Clubs Discuss & Strategize about DVD Clubs like Columbia House

Questions about Columbia House? Ask them here.

Old 07-06-06, 10:37 AM
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Questions about Columbia House? Ask them here.

We used to have a thread that was used to ask and answer questions but it appears to have been lost in the DVD Talk server change in May. Although the FAQ thread is out of date, it still has lots of useful information. Nevertheless, there are many new developments since the last FAQ update.

It would be helpful if you didn't ask questions in the "stickied" threads at the top of the forum, unless they are specific to those topics. While you are welcome to open a new thread to ask a question, I have noticed that some are reluctant to do so. So, feel free to ask questions here. There are a number of Columbia House "veterans" here who can often answer questions.


MOD EDIT: Part II of this thread here:
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=508198

Last edited by namja; 08-20-07 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 07-06-06, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by angelfeather717
Hey Lizard I have another question for you - sorry to put it in a thread but wont let me sent you a private message and I cant find in the forum were the disscussion is about opening more than one accounts with CH. Ok here goes - I tried to open 3 accounts 1 got approved and the other 2 still havent heard anything. I email CH from the emails they sent me saying that they were "waiting to approve" and CH emailed me back saying that the account has been approved and will ship on 7/3/06 (this is the account I was approved on not the other 2) So I wonder what I am doing wrong (I used the same address and credit card number for all 3 bcuz someone said you can have 2 accounts per address - so your advice what should I do - should I reorder over the phone (almost been 2 weeks since I placed the order) Do I need to have them sent to different addresses or what? I would be greatful for the help - again sorry if posting this in the wrong place. Thanks again
In general, Columbia House limits one to two open accounts per club (DVD, TV Edition, CD, etc.). CSRs report that there is no policy limit on accounts but we know from long experience that trying to have more than two open accounts at a time leads to "lost" or rejected applications.

Less well known is the experience of many here that applications placed at the same time tend to get "lost". Our experience suggests that it is better to place new account applications over a period of several days. Weeks would be better.

Even if you do spread out your applications, and get two accounts opened, after you have opened and closed more than a few accounts you will likely find that new on-line applications get "lost" (disappear without a trace) or rejected (after a few weeks you get a rejection letter). While the reason for this is unclear, we have found that phone applications have a much higher success rate.

However, the current reports in the "Better code thread" are that the best enrollment codes are no longer being accepted on the phone. If this turns out to be true, we have a problem. We would be left with trying to get on-line applications through, a frustrating process, or trying more expensive enrollment codes on the phone. But this is an issue for long-time CH customers who have had many accounts before. Newcomers should be able to get their first few applications through on-line with little difficulty.

In your situation, I would consider the two applications that didn't make it "lost". If you eventually get a rejection letter that would be great. You could then call them up using the account number on the rejection letter and get the application re-instated.

You might want to give it another week or two and then place another application to see if that one goes through. If we get the phone order code problem sorted out, it will be posted in the "Better code thread". But you are welcome to try a phone order (888-242-3837) now, if you wish.


Some answers to FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

• You can use the same name, address, and credit card number on all your accounts. As long as there are no more than two open at one time, there shouldn't be any problems with this.

• When using two addresses, home and work for example, it is best to use a different credit card. Columbia House can, and sometimes does, search out accounts by credit card number.

• Trying to get "cute" by using variations of the same name and address to have more than two accounts open can, and has, led to the blacklist. Don't do this.

• Repeatedly ordering more than two copies of the same DVD can lead to the "blacklist" (all open accounts are closed immediately and future applications are rejected). Columbia House will blacklist those suspected of re-selling DVDs (perhaps their contracts with the studios prohibit this, or they just don't want to be in the business of being a distributor). Ordering more than two copies of a single DVD is a red flag. An exception is during the holidays when one can order extra copies of DVDs for use as gifts. Yes, some people will report that they ordered many more than two copies of some DVDs over numerous accounts. But eventually most of them get shut down by CH. Best not to do this.
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Old 07-06-06, 10:51 AM
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One other thing. Please understand that the information we have is based on experience. Now that BMG (a division of Sony) has purchased Columbia House, there have been a number of changes in offers and the like. It is possible that BMG will make it harder for us to open multiple accounts, in the way that we have been doing for so many years. This remains to be seen.
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Old 07-06-06, 01:52 PM
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I'm new to CH, have they stated their position on HD-DVD or BD discs as club selections in the future?
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Old 07-06-06, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lizard
One other thing. Please understand that the information we have is based on experience. Now that BMG (a division of Sony) has purchased Columbia House, there have been a number of changes in offers and the like. It is possible that BMG will make it harder for us to open multiple accounts, in the way that we have been doing for so many years. This remains to be seen.
Technically, BMG has made it harder...at least on paper. If you look at the Membership Agreement paper that's sent with new enrollments, on the inside of the agreement under the "Membership Cancellations" section, the last paragraph states: "We must limit memberships to one per person, per club..." This is new wording that was not included on the "Pre-BMG" agreement. (I still have a copy of each.)

At first, I thought it was just new terminology that they weren't enforcing, but I've recently had three declined enrollment applications in a row (2 online and 1 by phone.) I have one active account open and I've been trying to cycle the accounts like I've done numerous times in the past. I'm starting to think that they may be enforcing this now. Maybe I'll close my open account and try a membership and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 07-07-06, 06:56 AM
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Thank you Lizard for your apply I got an email from CH and this is what it said:

"We normally limit the number of memberships per
household, however an application will occasionally
pass through our system allowing a member to have
more than one account. As with any other membership, you are required
to fulfill the agreement as noted on the application."

So I dont know if this anwser my question wheither they are going to let me open more than one account (even tho I was told by one of their customer service reps that if I wanted to I can open more than one account I could) So I will take you advice and try in another week or two. Thanks again. (maybe I will just use my dads name and CC #)
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Old 07-07-06, 09:16 AM
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Interesting. If Columbia House limits accounts to just one that makes life a lot more difficult. I keep an old account open for research. Now I may have to close it and hope that my CH.com account will suffice. (Or, maybe that will count as the one allowed open account also.)

Thank you for the information JoeR63 and angelfeather717.
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Old 07-07-06, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bravesmg
I'm new to CH, have they stated their position on HD-DVD or BD discs as club selections in the future?
I haven't heard of anything that Columbia House has said about this yet. Since Sony is the parent company, it is possible that CH will sell only BD and not HD DVD.
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Old 07-07-06, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by lizard
I haven't heard of anything that Columbia House has said about this yet. Since Sony is the parent company, it is possible that CH will sell only BD and not HD DVD.
Ah crap, didn't know Sony was the parent company, probably won't be much help to my HD-DVD collection. Thanks for the info though.
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Old 07-07-06, 06:05 PM
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My Dad has an account with yourmusic.com and I just opened an account with BMG Music Service with no problem. I consider those two variations of the same thing. Maybe I was just lucky. I hope they don't get too restrictive on the DVD club. Currently I have no DVD account, but I'm about to start one up again. I don't know if I would try for two or not.
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Old 07-07-06, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ericjanderson
My Dad has an account with yourmusic.com and I just opened an account with BMG Music Service with no problem. I consider those two variations of the same thing. Maybe I was just lucky. I hope they don't get too restrictive on the DVD club. Currently I have no DVD account, but I'm about to start one up again. I don't know if I would try for two or not.
I believe that BMG considers their music club and "yourmusic.com" to be seperate clubs, meaning you can be a member of both. To the best of my knowledge, with their music club they only allow one membership at a time. This may be happening with the DVD club now.

Actually, for me, keeping a DVD membership open doesn't have as much value as it used to, when you weren't able to see the "members only" titles unless you were a member. I'm still reluctant to drop my active membership in case I can't get another one.
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Old 07-07-06, 07:07 PM
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I've had up to 4 open dvd accounts on several different occasions with the same address.

So yeah, it can vary.
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Old 07-08-06, 04:32 AM
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Hi Lizzard,

I'm having the same kind of problem as angelfeather717. I have been using DVD Talk's system to buy CH movies for about a year with no problems until recently.

In May I did the application online for the first time. I put through 2 apps with no trouble. I cancelled them over the phone and a week later tried again. When I didn't get the "thank you for your app" e-mail the following day, I called CH. I told them how the last time I received the "thank you" e-mail within 24 house of applying. They said that was how it should be. The "thank you" e-mail confirms the receipt of the app. They concluded that the app probably got lost. Then they took a new app over the phone. Went through fine.

The next week, I tried to do a second app online..no dice. Tried on the phone...no dice. All total I've applied 5 times in the last six week with no response. I've checked with CH customer service and I have no open accounts. My payment history with them is spotless. My credit is perfect. I'm still getting those "we want you back" letters and e-mails as recently as Tuesday. I used the PSN from Tuesday's mailing in my last online attempt. I changed my savings code however from D3N to DR5 (from the "better code thread"). Still no "thank you" e-mail. NOW WHAT? Am I wasting my time? I guess nothing good lasts forever. Please help, I'm only half way through my title list. I'll go bankrupt paying retail!

Thank You,
Wendy
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Old 07-08-06, 10:00 AM
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wendy_renee469. You definitely aren't alone in your experience (and, yes, I suspect many of us would go "bankrupt", figuratively speaking, buying all our DVDs at retail!).

We are still trying to figure out whether the Columbia House policy has changed on having multiple accounts. But it is typical to have on-line applications get "lost" after one has had several accounts. It has also been reported that placing applications in rapid succession can lead to them disappearing. The fact that your history with CH is spotless is irrelevant. For some reason the people reviewing applications are deleting them. What their guidelines for accepting them are, nobody here knows. The fact that you already have an open account may be enough for them to delete new applications.

I have found that just giving it a rest for a few months can lead to better results. But I already have most of the DVDs I want so having just a couple of accounts a year is no big deal to me.

When on-line applications start disappearing CH veterans here just switch to phone applications, which have had much a greater acceptance rate. But we are having trouble finding good codes that work on the phone. And it isn't yet clear whether CH memberships are now limited to one per club.

I suggest that you wait another week or two before trying a new application. It would be better to wait until you close your current account in case CH is limiting us to one open account at a time. For the record, I spoke to a CSR yesterday and she wasn't aware of a policy change limiting open accounts to one. She spent some time going through memos to see if there was one she had missed. But, as JoeR63 said above, the new membership agreement limits accounts to one per club now. So, I don't know what's going on.

Perhaps the "party" IS over. But we have had these issues before and everything has worked out eventually. It does appear, however, that BMG is tightening up the ship at Columbia House.
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Old 07-11-06, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bravesmg
Ah crap, didn't know Sony was the parent company, probably won't be much help to my HD-DVD collection. Thanks for the info though.
BMG owns Columbia House now and not Sony.
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Old 07-12-06, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by hurricane
BMG owns Columbia House now and not Sony.
BMG is a division of Sony.
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Old 07-12-06, 12:57 AM
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Why is the shipping so high?

Here is my order:
Hearts and Minds criterion
Double Indemnity legacy series
Justice League season 1
Hamlet Criterion

total is 48.66 with 10.97 in shipping and $5 tax, I don't suppose there is a way to reduce this?

Why is the shipping so high, is it the justice league set?
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Old 07-12-06, 08:03 AM
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The set is 6.99 and the next two dvds are 1.99 each. You are currently getting the 4th DVD with free shipping due to a promotion they are running now. There isn't much you can do except hold out for a B1G1 and free shipping promotion which we havent seen for several months now.
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Old 07-12-06, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by DVDChris
BMG is a division of Sony.
Actually that is not the case. Sony is in partnership (50%)with BMG's music division but BMG solely owns the Columbia House Video Club.
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Old 07-12-06, 12:49 PM
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^Yes, "Sony BMG Music Entertainment" is owned 50/50 by Sony and Bertelsmann. I stand corrected.

"The new company will be owned equally by Bertelsmann and Sony Corp. The company will bring together the two firms’ record labels and music production. Each company’s music publishing divisions, CD and DVD productions, deliveries and the Japanese branch of Sony will not fall under the new deal."
http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2003/12/1210.cfm

While it is possible that Sony might be able to exert some influence with Bertelsmann's BMG Columbia House subsidiary, it does seem unlikely that they will be able to cause CH to carry "Blu-ray Disc" (BD) only. The Sony/BMG joint venture operates under Bertelsmann's "BMG" division. "BMG Columbia House, Inc." operates under Bertelsmann's "Direct Group" division, a separate entity:
http://company.monster.com/bertelsnm/


This is good news for those, such as bravesmg, who hope to buy the competing format HD DVDs from CH someday.

Edit: "A European court annulled the 2004 merger of Sony Corp. and Bertelsmann AG's music units, in a surprise ruling creating new uncertainty for record-industry mergers and for the credibility of European regulators who had allowed the deal to go through.

The court's decision forces the two companies to refile their blueprints for Sony BMG Music Entertainment to the European Commission. The regulators could merely improve their justification for allowing the deal that reduced the industry's big players from five to four, or require selling off some subsidiary labels, or theoretically break up the two-year-old joint venture. A breakup was widely considered unlikely, but the shadow over the venture could last for months while the commission conducts its review." WSJ 7-14-06

Last edited by lizard; 07-14-06 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-12-06, 01:52 PM
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I fulfilled two accounts using the b1g1 free. When I'm I able to cancel them and start new accounts? Do I have to wait until I receive the ordered DVDs?

Should I try and call them to cancel it, or can I do it online?

When I cancel my account, can I then use some of the better codes that needed a previous account? How do i make this work?

And last question:

Do they change the criterions that they offer? Right now I'm seeing 8 1/2, ruling class, thirdman, etc.
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Old 07-12-06, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nidreu
I fulfilled two accounts using the b1g1 free. When I'm I able to cancel them and start new accounts? Do I have to wait until I receive the ordered DVDs?
You can cancel once your account shows that your remaining committments are zero. This usually happens during the processing or shipping phase. While you do not have to wait until you receive the DVDs to cancel, many of us prefer to do so, because it is easier to resolve any problems that develop.
Should I try and call them to cancel it, or can I do it online?
Both methods work. I prefer to call because I know the account is closed right away. Others prefer to cancel on-line or by e-mail ( [email protected] ) because they consider it easier. It's up to you.
When I cancel my account, can I then use some of the better codes that needed a previous account?
Yes. Your old account numbers are now your PSNs for new accounts.
How do i make this work?
Some codes, listed in the Better Codes Thread, require a Preferred Status Number. Just use your old account number when the application asks for it.
And last question:

Do they change the criterions that they offer? Right now I'm seeing 8 1/2, ruling class, thirdman, etc.
Columbia House offers only a handful of Criterions. While they show no signs of offering any more titles, it remains a possibility.

Last edited by lizard; 07-12-06 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 07-12-06, 03:28 PM
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Thanks for the quick answers. I think you're right, I should wait until I receive the dvds before canceling.

Everything sounds great, I cant wait to get my next accounts up and running, I love CH!!

Thanks again!
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Old 07-12-06, 07:18 PM
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I had a second account approved via an online applicatin a few days ago.
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Old 07-13-06, 02:15 PM
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^Interesting. My Friday phone application is in temp charge limbo.
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