Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Taking Aim At Target

Or.... "Why the Music Industry Needs To Wake Up" Awhile ago, I got some nice new speakers for my work computer (Logitech X-530 if you want to know, thanks for asking). Wanting to have some fun with the 5.1 speakers, I thought "Hey, why not grab a music DVD and see how it sounds?" So off I head to my local Target, and pick up a recent DualDisc with 5.1 audio on one side, and regular CD audio on the other. Bring it in to work, pop it into my external DVD drive... uh, oh... what's that funny noise? Not music, that's for sure. Thus, I found out the hard way that DualDiscs aren't compatible with all DVD players. Sigh... no 5.1 audio goodness for me. Luckily I kept the receipt, so I truck back into my local Target (yeah, ok, so I'm not entirely naive here - I'm expecting some problems). Local clerk, says "Sorry, we can't refund an opened CD, I'd be happy to replace it". Says me, "Spiffy, but a DualDisc is a DualDisc, and a new one won't do me any good. If you can't fix this, can I talk to someone higher up?" Next person, "Sorry, the State of California says it's illegal to accept returns on CD's for copyright reasons." Says me, "Next please. Preferably someone who won't start spouting lies?" Next person, "Yup, sorry, you're screwed. Take it up with the company if you like." Ok, let's give that a shot. Here's an excerpt from my first response:
I'm sorry for any disappointment, but we don't make returns or exchanges of music once they've been opened, unless the item is defective. Defective music items can be exchanged for another copy of the same title. In order to prevent fraudulent returns and keep prices low, we can't make any other return or exchange if the item has been opened. Great products. Great value. And a great shopping experience - every time you visit our stores.
Hmmm.. the product is clearly defective, but they'll only exchange it for defective product. So much for "great value". Did I mention that it's a lot easier to just download the tracks from the internet than trying to buy/rip/return a CD? For Pete's sake (Hi Pete!) if I was trying to steal the music, I wouldn't have bought the disc in the first place. I fire one more email off, including the following rant, among others: "I can appreciate your concerns, but the simple reality is you have sold me something that will not work, and you are not willing to stand behind the product. In this case, we have a Poor Product, with a Poor Value." And back with the response:
Problems relating to the width of DualDiscs is a known issue, and for help with your DVD, you'll want to call the manufacturer, Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
So we have a confirmation that they sold me defective product, and intend to do nothing about it, because I might in fact be a criminal trying to steal something from them. Who's the criminal now? Seriously, could the record labels try any harder to make me not want to give them my money?

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