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DDD: So-called "New" DVDs with THICK BLACK MAGIC MARKER stripe? Anyone else?

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DDD: So-called "New" DVDs with THICK BLACK MAGIC MARKER stripe? Anyone else?

Old 12-30-03, 11:32 AM
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DDD: So-called "New" DVDs with THICK BLACK MAGIC MARKER stripe? Anyone else?

Hi everybody,

I could have put this inside the DDD rant thread but it's kind of targeted . . .

This was my first order with DDD and I could have forgiven the unseemly shipping time were it not for the fact that the most expensive boxed set I purchased Cleopatra 3-disk SE arrived in the following condition:

A thick black magic marker stripe across the UPC code, and then resealed! In other words, someone marked up this so-called brand new boxed set, and resealed it over the magic marker stripe! What the ~

Emailed DDD and received no response. Called DDD and got a very nice rep (Kevin) who said this was a very strange complaint one he'd "never heard of before," an "anomally" and profusely apologized, saying that he'd Next Day air a replacement Cleopatra and include a postage-paid return label.

The "Next Day" air actually arrived a week later (allowing for Christmas) (I see) and I opened it up to find . . .

Exactly the same mutilated specimen as the previously-received one, only this one had obviously had a rough life: The previous owner/handler was apparently too lazy to snap all of the snaps shut. But he managed to mutilate it with his marker; and had the audacity to reseal it in that shoddy state.

It goes without saying I'll never order from DDD again. Look, everyone is entitled to botch an order once; botch it twice, in almost exactly the same way, and you're sending out tampered merchandise. Deliberately.

All I want to know is, have any of you received so-called "new" product with this "remainder marking" (for lack of a better word) on the product, and then resealed?

And the final insult was that no postage-paid return label was included. But, oh yes, they did manage to charge my card for "2 Day" shipping something Kevin assured me would be immediately credited back. Not.

Uh huh. Never again.

MISS PEACH
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Old 12-30-03, 12:20 PM
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I have never had that problem with Deep Discount DVD. I have had only great service from them so far.
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Old 12-30-03, 12:32 PM
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I never received any used DVDs from DDD out of many orders.
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Old 12-31-03, 01:55 AM
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I think it's time for you to initiate a charge-back for the initial purchase and the additional shipping charge.
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Old 12-31-03, 02:15 AM
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Sorry to hear your plight. This hasn't happened to me, after about 50 dvd's from DDD. I'd say not to give up on them as an e-tailer, but definitely don't give up fighting them on this issue.

Good luck and keep us updated!
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Old 12-31-03, 05:53 AM
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Studios sometimes do this when they send out screeners (blacken over the UPC code)...sounds to me that DDD may be shrink wrapping them up and selling them as product - which isn't going to make the studio in question happy, since they receive no money from this sale.
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Old 12-31-03, 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Spooky
Studios sometimes do this when they send out screeners (blacken over the UPC code)...sounds to me that DDD may be shrink wrapping them up and selling them as product - which isn't going to make the studio in question happy, since they receive no money from this sale.
Hey Spooky . . . okay, when you say "screeners" does that mean that this product is something other than the identical retail version? (eg., scenes/features missing)

Geez I just don't know what to do here tsk.

I have one more (SE) set coming from DDD and it is the West Side Story Collector's set. I'm not a conspiracy nut but . . . if that one arrives with this heavy black marker mutilation and what you're saying is true Spooky then DDD is . . . (gulp) committing a fraud, aren't they? Believe me I'm not seeking to cast aspersions on the company (I don't know them from Adam) but you have to admit that this is highly unethical.

I'm afraid to open either one of them to be perfectly frank. And I'm dreading what will arrive in my mailbox when West Side Story shows up.

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Old 12-31-03, 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by dvd-fanman
I think it's time for you to initiate a charge-back for the initial purchase and the additional shipping charge.
Fanman . . . okay, I looked at my credit card statement and they did clear up the Next Day shipping charge.

But of course I've still paid for one of these Cleopatras.

As I told Spooky, I'm going to wait for my remaining title to show up and see what condition that one arrives in (groan) . . . and then I'll report back here.

I just don't understand why DDD appears to be doing this to just me. I sure wish I could find someone else who ordered Cleopatra.

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Old 12-31-03, 03:41 PM
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The majority of screeners studios will send out are identical to the release versions...occassionally you'll see one minus the bonus features, but most are the same versions released in stores.

The difference, of course being, that you don't pay anything for the screener (it is meant for review purposes to help promote the title), so any store or e-tailer that is selling screeners is getting 100 percent of the profit from that particular sale.

Last edited by Spooky; 12-31-03 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 12-31-03, 07:58 PM
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Well guys, this is really going to be interesting now because . . . the only remaining backordered title (King Lear, Laurence Olivier) was just shipped

so there are now two very different products on their way to me from DDD to compare against the two marked Cleopatras. Frankly I didn't think Lear would ship because the price I'm getting it at is just phenomenal (and I noticed that they raised it significantly right after I ordered it).

I'll report back. Spooky, thank you for all this information while I'm trying to make up my mind what to do. It's quite frustrating when I can't depend on getting a straight answer from DDD tsk. oo and I'm just itching to see Cleopatra. And there it sits, whispering psssst. Don't wait. Go on, open me.

How on earth do I get myself into these things ha ha.
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Old 01-02-04, 08:26 PM
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I sure wish I could find someone else who ordered Cleopatra.
Hi Peach.....
Sorry to hear about your DDD difficulties.

I *DID* order and receive the Cleopatra SE 3-Discer from DDD over a year ago (November 28, 2002 order date). It shipped in one day, and was not "marked" with the black marker, such as you have experienced (twice now).

HOWEVER -- You might be interested to hear that my copy of "Speed -- Five-Star Collection" (that I received from DDD earlier in 2002) was NOT a wrapped copy. It didn't have the black magic marker on the UPC, but it does have a scratch mark over the top of the UPC barcode.

I heard somewhere that this "scratch mark" over the UPC means something --- probably that, as stated by Spooky, it was a "screener", and not meant to be sold.

I recall getting another disc with this "Scratch" on the UPC -- it was Universal's "Dragonheart SE", that I received via a free promotional offer from Universal in 2002. (Anybody else recall this problem with those slightly-damaged Dragonhearts?)

Just a coincidence that both "Cleopatra" and "Speed" are both FOX "Five-Star" multi-disc releases?? I wonder.

Sounds kinda odd to me (and that we're speaking of JUST "Five-Star" sets too). Weird.

I remember thinking when my "Speed" arrived -- Why is this not wrapped?? But, until reading this thread I never looked closely at that UPC barcode....which I now see does have that scratch on it. Both discs in the Speed 5-Star Set are in good shape, so I never tried to return it. But I was somewhat irked at DDD when I got it, because it had obviously been opened by somebody...and then sold as "brand new".

That is the only time, though, that this has ever happened to me (via DDD, or any other e-tailer); getting "unwrapped" product, that is.

Let us know how things turn out with your ongoing "Cleopatra Mystery", Peach.

(I wonder, now, whether some customers who have bought other "Five-Star" sets in the past, such as "ID4", "French Connection", the "Die Hard" series of films, and others, have had similar problems with unwrapped or marked-up product. ???? )

Last edited by davidvp; 01-02-04 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 01-03-04, 07:39 AM
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It must be a Fox thing. I bought a sealed copy of BIG MAMA'S HOUSE at Best Buy and noticed that all of the copies on the shelf had a black magic marker swipe through the top UPC like the one Miss Peach describes. This was on Black Friday when BB was running their 5 for $25 special. Gave the DVD as a gift, so I didin't get a chance to see how it looked inside.

BUt in any event, it doesn't look like DDD is the culprit.
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Old 01-03-04, 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by Doc Moonlight
It must be a Fox thing. I bought a sealed copy of BIG MAMA'S HOUSE at Best Buy and noticed that all of the copies on the shelf had a black magic marker swipe through the top UPC like the one Miss Peach describes. This was on Black Friday when BB was running their 5 for $25 special. Gave the DVD as a gift, so I didin't get a chance to see how it looked inside.

BUt in any event, it doesn't look like DDD is the culprit.
Doc . . . I can't thank you enough for posting this!!!!! This is exactly the data that I need to hear: Am I the only one.

May I please ask you . . . the BIG MAMA'S that you bought at BB's BF, was that one of the 5/$25'ers? On a different sale? Or regularly priced?

And my second question . . . (if you can remember this) was the black marker stripe under the factory sealed plastic (in other words, had the mark been made, and then the product re-sealed) or was the mark made outside of the wrapper?

This data will be extremely useful to anyone else who experiences these marked-up sets from DDD. If only we could get a straight answer from them, instead of their claiming to "never seen anything like it before" (as the rep, Kevin, told me).

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Old 01-03-04, 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by davidvp
Hi Peach.....
Sorry to hear about your DDD difficulties.

I *DID* order and receive the Cleopatra SE 3-Discer from DDD over a year ago (November 28, 2002 order date). It shipped in one day, and was not "marked" with the black marker, such as you have experienced (twice now).

Just a coincidence that both "Cleopatra" and "Speed" are both FOX "Five-Star" multi-disc releases?? I wonder.

Sounds kinda odd to me (and that we're speaking of JUST "Five-Star" sets too). Weird.

Let us know how things turn out with your ongoing "Cleopatra Mystery", Peach.

(I wonder, now, whether some customers who have bought other "Five-Star" sets in the past, such as "ID4", "French Connection", the "Die Hard" series of films, and others, have had similar problems with unwrapped or marked-up product. ???? )
David . . . thank you so much for replying, especially since you actually bought Cleopatra.

Yes, to recap: One of the Cleopatras looks to be otherwise in brand new condition; the second one had obviously been opened (a poor job of attempting to reattach the casing labels, and thus detaching themselves) and not even completely snapped shut before it was re-sealed.

You're more forgiving than I am David! If I had received a so-called "Brand New" product from DDD that wasn't factory sealed I'd cease doing business with them right then and there. There are some things that are just beyond the pale. I can go to Half.com if I want something used (well, at least for another 3 months sniff boo hoo).

I'm expecting the remaining two (separate, probably) shipments and will report when they have both arrived and what condition each is in (groan).

What a miserable purchase experience this has been.

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Old 01-04-04, 11:33 AM
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Miss Peach, I cannot recall the titles I bought, but they were Fox two packs on DDD and they also had the UPC's marked out, thise was over the plastic wrapping, not on the sticker's themselves.

It was done I believe so that those UPC's cannot be scanned as the side by sides had a new UPC code for a different price than the original two titles.

In my opinion, this is done by the studio so that you're charged the correct price (in my situtation at least).

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-04-04, 11:33 AM
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I went to my daughter's room and got the copy of BIG MAMA'S HOUSE. She had not opened it yet and I made the following observations.

The blackmark is definitely under the plastic wrap. But there's more: there's a sticker over the old UPC area with a new UPC number. The number on the new UPC sticker is: 24243-00820-0. There is also one of those black security code stickers (usually found on the inside of the keep cases) on the outside of the keep case directly under the sticker as if to obscure the old UPC number, but it actually obscures part of the picture directly underneath it (it's as of the new sticker is not big enough to cover the entire old UPC area). The last 4 digits of the obscured UPC code on the top of the box are 819-4 (or one digit off from the new UPC number, disregarding the check didgit which is automatically created). All of this is under the plastic wrap. (I'm taking pictures. If anyone wants to volunteer to host them, LMK)

THERFORE: my conclusion is that Fox created a new UPC number when they lowered the price of the disc and re-wrapped exisiting discs so they wouldn't be returned/credited at the older, higher price. They probably did the same with CLEOPATRA and other titles.

None of the other Fox discs that I bought on the 5 for $25 sale at BB were like this (PATTON, MY COUSIN VINNIE, SAY ANYTHING). I wounder if BB got a special deal on the re-wrapped discs. Anyway, I reiterate my assertion that DDD is innocent. J'accuse Fox Home Video!
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Old 01-04-04, 11:38 AM
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Doc,

That would make sense, as when they brought out the two packs that I bought, they took two titles and rewrapped them together (side by side) then noticed that some had a UPC code on the top sticker and makred them out so that the only one that could be used is the new one they placed on the packaged.
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Old 01-04-04, 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by Erik68
Doc,

That would make sense, as when they brought out the two packs that I bought, they took two titles and rewrapped them together (side by side) then noticed that some had a UPC code on the top sticker and makred them out so that the only one that could be used is the new one they placed on the packaged.
That would also explain why the movie discs of my Jurassic Park boxed set have holes punched through the UPC's.
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Old 01-05-04, 02:46 AM
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So, will you still never order from DDD again, Ms. Peach?
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Old 01-05-04, 08:57 AM
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Guys, you have been so wonderful to help me with this, all of you!

Doc: You have mail. I'll get your pictures uploaded as soon as I get them.

Gerry let me tell you what upsets me the most about this order: It's that Deep Discount DVD couldn't answer me truthfully on why they (twice) sent me merchandise that was marked up. The CS representative I spoke with, "Kevin" who was in every way polite, courteous and even apologetic nonetheless stated "I've never had this problem before, and I've never heard of it happening."

C'mon! You're shipping thousands of titles out and you don't know the condition of what you are shipping? That's tantamount to telling the customer "It is uncertain what, exactly, will be delivered to you a marked up copy? a clean factory-sealed copy? You take your chances when you're ordering from us." If I were the CEO of DDD I'd spend 5 minutes with my sales staff to educate them that if product has a black mark over the UPC code it means that the UPC code was changed (if in fact that is what is happening; DDD remains the only one who really knows).

The Deep Discount DVD staff should be able to honestly answer a customer concern such as this; it is their product; they should know exactly the reason why any product has been marked up in this fashion.

One of the things I've learned from being in business for myself for 20 years (I'm a licensed health insurance agent) is that nothing can substitute for good communication. Most of the time when clients of mine have concerns it's almost always because the insurer has not thoroughly communicated something to them (a policy exclusion, a benefit change etc.). I can't tolerate a company for which every order is (apparently) the equivalent of a crapshoot as to what I will receive. As I said earlier, I can forgive the unseemly length of time to get my product but never never send me Brand New goods that have been marked up this way.

The business that they have lost from me is what might have been the higher-end business: I'll never order a product from DDD in excess of $10 again, of that I am sure. Boxed Sets, Collector's Sets, special editions, Criterions . . . no way. When I order something represented as "Brand New" it cannot be marked up, hole-punched, or otherwise tampered with because I expect it to be "Gift Giving" quality, and I would never give something as a gift with so obvious a blemish as a huge, ugly, thick black mark.

My feeling is that if you are going to change the UPC code, you can apply a different sticker to it I have no problem with that but to mutilate its appearance with the equivalent of a Remainder mark, such that it looks like someone's reject, is not only unnecessary, it devalues the product and you cannot in good conscious sell it as "Brand New" with that blemish. I know I know . . . some will think I'm being unnecessarily extreme. It doesn't alter the quality of the movie one bit you will (correctly) say. I can't give it as a gift and that's where I draw the line.

One last observation: I just bought The Sound of Music on Target's $10.00 special last week. A different label had obviously been applied over the original Cover-Art printed UPC code, and then the product re-sealed. If Target can manage to do this without mutilating the appearance of the DVD, then Deep Discount DVD should be able to, as well or at the very minimum be trained to respond intelligently and honestly to concerns regarding marked/altered product instead of "Gee, whaddayaknow, I've never seen that before . . ." tsk. Unnecessarily and inexcuseably inept. Someone needs to train the DDD staff to respond to these very real product mutilations.

I'll report back once the two remaining titles, West Side Story and King Lear, have arrived, and needless to say, I'm dreading what will arrive. Still no return label.

MISS PEACH
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Old 01-05-04, 10:27 PM
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Originally posted by MISS PEACH
Guys, you have been so wonderful to help me with this, all of you!

Doc: You have mail. I'll get your pictures uploaded as soon as I get them.

Gerry let me tell you what upsets me the most about this order: It's that Deep Discount DVD couldn't answer me truthfully on why they (twice) sent me merchandise that was marked up. The CS representative I spoke with, "Kevin" who was in every way polite, courteous and even apologetic nonetheless stated "I've never had this problem before, and I've never heard of it happening."

C'mon! You're shipping thousands of titles out and you don't know the condition of what you are shipping? That's tantamount to telling the customer "It is uncertain what, exactly, will be delivered to you a marked up copy? a clean factory-sealed copy? You take your chances when you're ordering from us." If I were the CEO of DDD I'd spend 5 minutes with my sales staff to educate them that if product has a black mark over the UPC code it means that the UPC code was changed (if in fact that is what is happening; DDD remains the only one who really knows).

The Deep Discount DVD staff should be able to honestly answer a customer concern such as this; it is their product; they should know exactly the reason why any product has been marked up in this fashion.

One of the things I've learned from being in business for myself for 20 years (I'm a licensed health insurance agent) is that nothing can substitute for good communication. Most of the time when clients of mine have concerns it's almost always because the insurer has not thoroughly communicated something to them (a policy exclusion, a benefit change etc.). I can't tolerate a company for which every order is (apparently) the equivalent of a crapshoot as to what I will receive. As I said earlier, I can forgive the unseemly length of time to get my product but never never send me Brand New goods that have been marked up this way.

The business that they have lost from me is what might have been the higher-end business: I'll never order a product from DDD in excess of $10 again, of that I am sure. Boxed Sets, Collector's Sets, special editions, Criterions . . . no way. When I order something represented as "Brand New" it cannot be marked up, hole-punched, or otherwise tampered with because I expect it to be "Gift Giving" quality, and I would never give something as a gift with so obvious a blemish as a huge, ugly, thick black mark.

My feeling is that if you are going to change the UPC code, you can apply a different sticker to it I have no problem with that but to mutilate its appearance with the equivalent of a Remainder mark, such that it looks like someone's reject, is not only unnecessary, it devalues the product and you cannot in good conscious sell it as "Brand New" with that blemish. I know I know . . . some will think I'm being unnecessarily extreme. It doesn't alter the quality of the movie one bit you will (correctly) say. I can't give it as a gift and that's where I draw the line.

One last observation: I just bought The Sound of Music on Target's $10.00 special last week. A different label had obviously been applied over the original Cover-Art printed UPC code, and then the product re-sealed. If Target can manage to do this without mutilating the appearance of the DVD, then Deep Discount DVD should be able to, as well or at the very minimum be trained to respond intelligently and honestly to concerns regarding marked/altered product instead of "Gee, whaddayaknow, I've never seen that before . . ." tsk. Unnecessarily and inexcuseably inept. Someone needs to train the DDD staff to respond to these very real product mutilations.

I'll report back once the two remaining titles, West Side Story and King Lear, have arrived, and needless to say, I'm dreading what will arrive. Still no return label.

MISS PEACH

Two things.

1) Deep discount most likely does not make this as others have stated. These most likely come from the manufacture this way.

2) retail is different from selling insurance. These are most likely minumum wage employees who would never see what the items they are selling looks like. Some of these retailers don't even have employees at the same location as there warehouse. They rely on what a computer says and if they get a compalint about a bad item they most likely assume was a bad batch from the manutacture.

BTW apolgizing and offering to send a replacement is what a trained customer service rep should do. I also can believe a person has never encountered a certain problem before. I'm sure you have not seem EVERY thing in your line of work.

So before you start accuse them (or at least the rep) of lying to you maybe take a minute and think.

my two cents.
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Old 01-06-04, 02:46 AM
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Originally posted by strife
Two things.

1) Deep discount most likely does not make this as others have stated. These most likely come from the manufacture this way.

2) retail is different from selling insurance. These are most likely minumum wage employees who would never see what the items they are selling looks like. Some of these retailers don't even have employees at the same location as there warehouse. They rely on what a computer says and if they get a compalint about a bad item they most likely assume was a bad batch from the manutacture.

BTW apolgizing and offering to send a replacement is what a trained customer service rep should do. I also can believe a person has never encountered a certain problem before. I'm sure you have not seem EVERY thing in your line of work.

So before you start accuse them (or at least the rep) of lying to you maybe take a minute and think.

my two cents.
I agree. The rep wasn't lying when he said it was an unusual problem. This the first time I've seen a complaint like this from DDD posted on this forum, and believe me, people complain about everything. You can't honestly expect the CSR to know the condition of every dvd in their inventory. Also, the rep isn't the one in the warehouse putting together your order, so he has no way of knowing of what it being sent.

I guarantee you that DDD didn't mark up the dvd then reseal it. What could they possibly have to gain by doing that? They received the dvds like that from the distributor. Have you called them a second time, after you received the second marked disc? From what I've read, you've only called them once. Like you said, good communication is important. A little patience doesn't hurt either.
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Old 01-06-04, 03:15 AM
  #23  
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Fox had been using different UPCs on the same product for different marketing purposes (like the type of security device inside/different retailers). They used the same cover insert but applied different UPC labels for different markets BEFORE they factory sealed the DVDs.

Now Fox uses the same UPC but has a small, secondary barcode to the right of the UPC to identify different markets. For example, the code found at Target is "20" checkpoint security device, Best Buy "50" censormatic security device, internet etailer "00" no security device.

I too ordered Cleopatra Five Star Collection from DDD during the 20% off sale and it does have the black marker over the UPC on top title sticker and an UPC label over the old UPC printed on the back cover. I don't think these DVDs have been tampered with. Fox probably repackaged them (for different market) but did a piss poor job with it. If you notice, the top sticker's UPC is different from the UPC label. So they had to mark the top sticker so that it won't scan accidentally.

Btw, MISS PEACH. Did they finally send you a return shipping label? If not, who is going to pay for the return shipping for the first Cleopatra? You mentioned that they charged you for the Next Day shipping? Did they actually charge you the replacement Cleopatra + the next day shipping? And only when they receive your return would they refund the charge? I'm confused with this. I received a DVD boxset from them a week ago and it has some dents on it. I am debating whether to get a replacement. Any insight as to how this works would be helpful. If the process is too much of a hassle (like not sure who to pay for shipping if they manage not to send a return label, etc), I might just forget about it.
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Old 01-06-04, 10:07 AM
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Strife and D-Ball please don't ever put words in my mouth. Go to the top of this thread, click the first letter in the thread (to make sure you grab the entire thread) and then do a Find on both the terms "lying" and "lie": Only you two have used that provocative word; I very deliberately did not, and here is why: A CS representative cannot lie about something he has no knowledge of. I don't mean to split hairs but the both of you have, so the rebuttal is fair game. But I'll grant you credit for one thing you've isolated the spectacular uncertainty of Deep Discount DVD's business model:

The customer cannot ever know what, exactly, is being sent to them because even the staff do not know.

It doesn't exactly engender confidence. You'll get a great price and for that you'll take a risk. The question turns on whether the savings are worth the grief: They might be for you; they aren't for me; thus I wouldn't trust DDD with any product over, say, $10.00. If their margins are that lean, they're probably making up the profit on people such as you who will accept marked-up/hole-punched product from time-to-time. It isn't a value judgment; it's what you'll settle for. That includes Best Buy and other discount retailers.

Just to put this to the test I called Barnes & Noble a considerably pricier retailer, but a truly stable distributor in every way and I asked them about this black marker business on DVD's. The rep I spoke with said "I wouldn't know about black markings because we do not distribute new DVD's with any markings on them. Period. It wouldn't even hit the shelves. Product that has been marked and/or opened is returned to the studio to be repackaged. The only "marked-up product" we have, from time to time, are on some of our remainder books."

It goes to show that the deeper your price discount, the more likely you are to get product that has been, er, handled let us say. I don't mind cheap DVD's being handled but I will not tolerate expensive ones being altered other than a new UPC code and frankly it's a good thing I posted this for the benefit of others, like myself, who expect clean, factory-sealed merchandise when it is advertised as "Brand New."

PEACH
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Old 01-06-04, 10:13 AM
  #25  
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Here, as promised, are Doc's pictures. If anyone else would like me to host their marked product, let me know. I would shoot my own but I just put in a new roll of film and I don't have a digital camera (sigh). Thanks again Doc PEACH





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