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Being too picky???

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View Poll Results: What amount of Package Damage is "Return Material" to YOU?
Anyhting that decreases future value/Needs to be MINT
Minor flaws..noticable shelf wear/dents
Only broken spindles/severley scratched discs
As long as it plays, I'm cool.
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Being too picky???

Old 10-30-01, 08:34 AM
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Being too picky???

I bought The Godfather at Wal-Mart and when I got it home, found a BOX CUTTING slice down the middle of the spine. I hadn't noticed it, and it was still sealed. It wasn't easily visible, but it had cut the cardboard box.

I , of course, went to take it back....

2 employees and one Manager didn't want to do the exchange.
I had the receipt...and like I said, it WAS unopened...I was lucky enough to not have ripped it open and noticed the cut only when the light came in the room the next day.

The manager's take was this...

"As long as the FILMS are fine, we see no reason for the exchange".

I explained I was VERY anal about my collection, and hey, I just shelled out $75 clams for this. If I "Just wanted the films", I could have gotten them later in Blockbuster Used cases.


I hate snappers and cardboard as it is, and even a messed up $20 disc annoys me....yes, it IS the film that is important, but how many people would pay $300 for a copy of Salo from Criterion that had water damage all over the cover and back and spine???

The package IS important..we all have COLLECTIONS.....maybe Wal-Mart is more used ot the Joe Six-Pack mentality, but please....

The net result is after much hemming and hawing, they 'agreed' to let me grab a new one...said I could look it over and then THEY WOULD OPEN IT!!!

I was pissed (My usual state these days...), but it seemed okay....
I picked a PERFECT copy....took it up to the desk, and the ..manager (Self edited because I don't want to make fun of someone's looks) then asks me , in a sarcastic but 'nice' manner...in essence, why I am so (my term is anal...hers was picky or something..)

I am explaining to her about my collection, and how I take care of my discs, an showing her my "Collection" of Wal-Mart receipts....the few kind I DO keep.because they have more than DVD on them most of the time...and then she asks me why I spend so much money on them!! She thought I should "Rent them, like normal people!"

What happened to "Hey, this is a GOOD customer..look at how much he spends??"

Again, I EXPLAIN about my collection as she STRUGGLES to open the new Godfather,( She seemed interested in all of my receipts....that is classic..they get suspicious if you DON'T have one, and then they get suspicious when you DO keep them? LOL!!!)

So, while we are talking, I can see this person is, for lack of tact, an IDIOT....and sure enough , she presses her thumb down HARD on the top of the case, causing a severe indentation on the top and some damage to the sleeves of discs One and 2(Parts 1 and 2).
This was WORSE!!!

I then pointed it out..rather meekly, to my own shock, and she got mad and walked away....

A NEW manager came up, gave HER an evil look, then gave ME an evil look and asked what the issue was. I explained, and he let me go pick another one out...and HE handed it to me unopened, but ....he made a comment about my expectations....blah, blah....and as he was explaining that you cannot walk around the store and find 100% perfect packaging, etc., he gripped it a LITTLE too tight...

He was nice, aside from the glare... but really didn't get the 'Collecter' bit, either....
As soon as I got in the car, I noticed that he had crushed the side a little.....enough to notice, but not BAD BAD....

So I took it back to ANOTHER Wal-Mart and just swapped it out..with no hassle.

Should we expect near flawles packaging, or take what we get???
At $20...this routine may have been dumb, but $75???
On packaging that CANNOT BE REPLACED???

Note-The 'Return' Wal-Mart was, for lack of a better term..in the 'hood. I was driving to the beach and it was near downtown...so maybe DVD collecting isn't as profound there...

The 'Good ' Return was in my neighborhood...a little upscale. They understood PERFECTLY!!!

When I buy a comic book, it is expected I look it over....or clothes....why not DVD?

I KNOW I am too picky, but is wanting perfect packaging on $75 -$100 UNOPENED purchases too picky???

Of course, I now have learned to check ALL aspects of packaging under good light BEFORE I buy.....and am opening discs to check them....

My return rate is going WAY down as I am getting more cautious BEFORE leaving the store....which is good.
It costs me money, too when I return a disc..gas money and my time. Not good for me OR the store!!!!
Old 10-30-01, 09:11 PM
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I understand 100%...

Personally, I HATE these stupid 3 sticker security deals on my cases!!! I always end up putting a nick in the dvd cover plasic with my fingernail while trying to get the darn things off...

And the ones at the top of a cardboard snap case often rip the cardboard with it!

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... why can't the online stores at least get dvd's without all the security crap?
Old 10-31-01, 03:30 AM
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What interests me is the poll answers that show that an alarming amount of DVDTalkers , the "Real DVD Fan" types, will accept any packaging as long as the disc plays.

This is odd, considering how many peopel complain about Snappers.

The security stickers are BAD....I ALWAYS nick the plastic..BUT...as much as I HATE them, I UNDERSTAND that they are there to keep some jerks from stealing DVDs and resealing them or whatnot, thus raising return suspicion even higher and costime ME money.

I can buy Amarays cheap...so there isn't any REAL harm done....save on the Double Disc sets...


I used to NOT understand why everyone was 'whining'.....now I do.
I have over 400 DVDs that were NEW..and many have NEVER been viewed, just sitting in my closet, and I went through them, and they look like sh**!!!

I also just had two bad 'Snapper Experiences'....
One is 'Crash'..I bought it for $25.00 at Barnes and Noble, and at the store, I DID see the white on the spine , but it matched the logo and such, so I figured it was cool...

It wasn't!!!

It was, indeed, shelf-wear, and bad.

Also, the back had a HUGE dent all the way across.

This was a take-back that I HATED becuase I just fell in love with the film HARD....and as stupid as it sounds, I just didn't want to return it....but I took it back, and Barnes and Noble were good about it..the lady was shocked to see the packaging, she said she saw the white the day before when she sold it to me, but thought it was part of the design (I did, also), and she told me to keep THIS copy and she ordered a new one. When it comes in, we'll switch cases, not discs...which is nice, cuz I like my first disc for that stupid sentimental reason.

The nicked Amarays? As long as the film is fine, and the insert....a new case isn't an issue.

My main concern is stuff like The Simpsons, Godfather,X-Files....sets that are big and expensive and the package is NOT replaceable.

As for broken spindles...in some cases, the discs are fine..NO scratches...so I just replace the case. But..I have gotten some discs that look like a Blockbuster Employee had used them as a demo on "How NOT to handle DVD Rentals"!!!!
Old 10-31-01, 09:58 AM
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I'm not particularly concerned with the "future value" of my DVDs, but I do like the packaging to remain as nice as possible. I certainly would return anything that was obviously damaged before I had even opened the item. I think most people who collect DVDs would return a $75 boxed set that the store themselves had sliced the packaging. They should have accepted the return, no questions asked (especially since it is obvious that THEY did it with a box cutter).

I've had about 5 or 6 titles arrive with box cutter slices and I returned every single one of them. Retailers (both B&M and online) simply have to be more careful when using knives around their product... I don't think the customer should be expected to pay for damaged goods because their stock boys are in a hurry to rip open boxes.

As an aside, I'm wondering if retailers are starting to get too many returns on DVD product and are getting frustrated. I'm starting to see more and more threads about people having a real hard time returning/exchanging DVDs, even when they are unopened and the customer has a receipt. I don't do many returns, but that seems amazing to me. I was under the impression that an unopened return with receipt was a "no brainer" -- they'd just refund your money or allow you to pick up a new item.
Old 10-31-01, 10:41 AM
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I do totally get what you are saying. Thanks for your well reasoned posts in this thread, and for responding to my questions in another thread.
Old 10-31-01, 12:03 PM
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If I ever get to a point in my life where a nick on a DVD case is causing me serious mental anguish, I'd be rather thankful.
Old 11-01-01, 07:18 AM
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you will never get any respect from Walmart employees unless you have no teeth and quit bathing for a few days...clean clothes are optional too..in other words maybe you dont look like a typical Walmart customer so they tend to be suspicious
Old 11-01-01, 11:33 AM
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I would tell the Wal-Mart manager it is really none of his business WHY I want to return the merchandise. The fact is he sold me defective product. Should I, as a customer, be expected to look the other way because a Wal-Mart employee damaged a product that I expected to be NEW when I purchased it. It is not my fault that it was damaged. I would not have allowed the manager to open the DVD's either. I should be allowed to open MY PURCHASE whenever I damn well want to. Also I would have gotten his supervisor's name an phone number. That is just BS.

I am getting sick of these stores who have these liberal return policies and then give you a hard time when you want to take advantage of them. I had to call the HOTLINE at Circuit City to get them to honor what should have been a no-brainer.

Though most of the time really good, Best Buy has on occasion given me a hard time or a price-match or honoring a customer appreciation weekend coupon.
Old 11-01-01, 12:20 PM
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I'm not too picky. As long as the box or case is in one piece.
It depends on the size of the rip/cut or tear. Little nicks or dents don't bother me. I don't buy dvd for investments, but entertainment.
As long as the disc plays fine I'm happy.

I've actually heard people bitch about the transparent plastic on the keepcases being somewhat deformed because of the seal on top of the case.
Old 11-01-01, 05:04 PM
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Mazinger-In that type of case, we can't say we weren't warned. On 2/3 pf the cases where there has been deformation of the case due to security seal, I KNEW about it ahead of time thanks to DVD Talk, and I don't mind it.

I have done the whole reporting to the supervisor thing...after awhile, you just get burned out. I just bought a damaged disc, and I just don't feel like returning it...maybe my fiancee will...but I would rather be out the $19.99 than deal with ANY of these CSR's for 10-30 minutes.

I think the goal is to 'scare' customers away from electronic item returns by making it hard...and it is working. All fo a sudden, I am hording receipts, opening in-store...looking at boxes...i.e., being MUCH more careful.

And yes, they have me whipped. I'm too scared to go in and exchange anything!!!!!

My last exchange was last night, WITH receipt (See Best Buy thread) and that did it....I'm not in the poor house, I can afford a $20 hit, and I'll just send the disc to the manufacturer.

Am I expecting too much?
Thinking deeply on this, perhaps YES....you cannot blame a chain store for dings/dents in Godfather or other 'Cardboard' box cases or snappers.

They get them sent from a distribution center, handled by a delivery system, and then loaded on palettes, THEN they are roughly put out by night stockers in most cases....and then customer handling comes in!!!!

I'm of the opinion that maybe Box Sets should ship ala "Hard Box", like POTA, or like Criterion's Brazil..which has fallen, been beat up by shelf wear...yet still looks great.

In all fairness, the Godfather IS a sturdy box..which is why the damage is so puzzling to me.

In the end, yes, it IS the film that counts....but I also take into consideration the availabilty of the snapper/box title before complaining....with mint copies of Godfather at Food 4 Less, I can safely say there are enough around that I deserve a 'good' copy...but I just had to replace a broken (My bad,....) disc of "Get A Life". and the ONLY one I could find looks 10 years old....but obviously, how can I complain? I knew it going to the register, I can order a new one online, I just wanted THE DISC.....

I am starting to understand store policies, and am fine with them NOW...but my one complaint lies within a thread I deleted about Costco....I.E.-Don't LIE to customers (They had the ***** to tell me they didn't carry Phantom Menace! I found out my account was *tagged* only after speaking to a friend who happened to manage a store!!! Rather than confront you or warn you about your return habits, they just deny they carry the product..weak in my book!)
I am spending more (Actually, LESS) judiciously now, and while my sepnding habits at stores are down, maybe the store profit margin will go UP due to lack of returns.

I have found that while many of my movies are gifts (As explained to LightTrinity), and I USED to think I could exchange a gift....that right is gone now....

If stores want to be like this , they face two choices...

A. Lose my business.
B. I'll be cool with the 'No Return' policy IF prices are competitive. Lower theft or returns SHOULD equal lower prices...

If stores keep witht he hassling, I will go back to ordering from places liek CDNow and Buy, where the times I have had issues, they have shipped new ones out, sometimes telling me to junk the defective one....which, I guess they do if they look at your purchase history and see a LOT of postive cash flow.
Old 11-01-01, 05:09 PM
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BTW-Need ACTUAL answers here.....
To those that are cool if the film is okay, but the packaging is damaged...is your response gauged on whether it is a Limited Edition, i.e. a Tin with a big dent or a razor cut on a numbered AOD or Criterion???

I am a 'newbie' to Criterion, and while this can be discussed, or the logic of it...I baby my Criterions...I know these films are hard to get and will, at some point, go OOP to be replaced by perhaps an 'inferior' version, or at the very least, a different one.

On the other hand, a dented copy of "Bladerunner" ...uhm, who cares? Classic case of 'Movie is Important".

I just got a beat up Matrix....I won't even BOTHER taking it back, because in a year (I think..not a big fan...), I will probably be buying a nice Amaray re-release of a Box Set or Double Feature....
Old 11-02-01, 11:25 AM
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I'm one of those "if it plays, it's cool" people. My collection is for me. I've never been a serious collector so far as getting things and keeping them in thier original packaging. I loan out my dvds, and take pride in the fact that I have as good a selection(if not different) at my house as at the video store.

I've gotten damaged dvd cases(which if I could, I've just replaced,) scratched discs(due to broken spindle on the case--replaced that too.) I've even gotten discs in the mail through trades that were broken(one dvd had a crack in the center of the disc--it still plays perfectly--I was mad, but It plays, so I'm okay with that.)

I don't mind wear and tear, because I have other things to worry about. So long as it plays, I'm fine.


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