I’m Pretty Proud of My Boycott

Three-ish years ago I bought a DVD that I tried to return. The store pretty much said “screw you” when I tried to return a $5 DVD that wouldn’t work on a DVD player I bought from that (remember, that I hadn’t tried Daniel Kinney’s excellent idea about returning things – see the comment on Daniel’s idea in the old blog post). Basically, I couldn’t return $5 DVD and it certainly would have cost me more to fight about the issue, since it was only 5 bucks.

Well, couple of weeks ago I was pondering that “shite it”, I’ve been boycotting the store enough (had purchased tons of DVDs, printer, new TV and whatnot elsewhere rather from this ex-favourite store of mine). I’ll go check if they have some new anime moviews. I went to the store.

I checked out the DVDs and felt bit bad remembering how I got treated, but then got into mood for checking in DVDs. I eventually picked one movie and started walking towards the cashier.

I saw the same saleswoman who was “helping” me with that DVD return few years back and I stopped walking.

All the things got back to my mind. I turned back, put the DVD back to shelf and walked away.

I thought – I can get this DVD from somewhere else.

I haven’t counted… but I think this DVD shoppe has lost quite a bit of money, which some other stores have got. But… if that boycott shoppe want to have $5 and problems instead of a customer who has insane urge to buy stuff, then fine by me. Who am I to tell them what to do?

This reminds me about something. Going to see if I can get Samurai Champloo in my hands.

From some other store than the boycott shoppe, naturally.

Pretty crazy what $5 can lead into.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I agree with Juuso. People get too caught up sometimes in this preventing piracy business that they forget the more important issue. Customer Service.
    Sadly I can list a host of things in life that uses the same dangerous doctrine of “Stick it to the bad guys at all cost”…

    But I won’t :-)

  2. I had already tried with another copy, it didn’t work either. That’s why I wanted a refund. Well, not refund – I would have just bought another movie.

  3. I kinda don’t get how you would buy something, have it not work and then decide you’d rather get a refund than a working copy. It’s pretty standard practice and ensures you get a working copy while trying to minimise pirating. It certainly doesn’t put any barriers on actual customers, unlike DRM. Unless they refused to swap it for a working copy?

    I always have this problem at the supermarket: they will miss a special and every time it is only maybe $1, and I’d have to wait for ages while my chilled/frozens get warm, or make a trip back to the supermarket to get it. So I don’t. But it adds up. I want to do a survey of which supermarket does this the least, and then shop there.

  4. I sort of dislike how the policy to “prevent piracy” actually “prevents customers” from buying.


  5. I’m kind of in agreement with Tom on this one. It’s standard practice here in the US that if you buy a DVD or Software and you’ve opened it the only thing you can do is trade it for the exact same title or software if it doesn’t work.

    It’s to prevent pirates who buy it and then burn it on their computer to send to others or make copies for themselves. It’s to prevent pirating at it’s originating source, someone has to buy at least one copy to make it available for other people.

    While pirating online and downloading products is the most popular way to pirate it’s also not that hard to get caught and slapped with a lawsuit. Believe it or not it’s safer to buy the product, burn it and then return it saying it doesn’t work. Also with the burned copy if something goes wrong you can call the company that made the product and they are more likely to be able to help you as you have what appears to be the complete legit copy (IE the files will all be the same and not changed to unlock the software).

    Take your example it’s like someone buying the soda drinking the whole thing and making sure there is no evidence of the soda being there (ie no drops being left) then coming back and saying they didn’t receive any soda in the can and instead they want a tea or another side instead. The company is more likely to give you a soda in return because that’s what you payed for and it’s less likely to happen in 2 soda’s so if you try and get a third or fourth or fifth they know something doesn’t feel right.

    I agree there’s a line between good customer service and protecting the company from loosing money to people who steal/pirate but a company has to do both. Sometimes that means not helping people who legitimately have problems but have the same pattern as a person who means to steal from the company. They have no way of knowing which you are.

    The question about the refund was that you are just going off what he said was happening. What if your game was working fine but he said it wasn’t and wanted a refund? That’s what Tom was getting at.

    Also a small tip, make sure the firmware of your DVD player is up to date and the DVD isn’t a blue ray disk (can’t tell you how many people I know buy one and don’t have a blue ray player). Believe it or not DVD players do get firmware updates just like other devices. Your DVD player may not be able to play that DVD because the firmware wasn’t up to date. I’m guessing you already did this but still it’s worth mentioning.

  6. If I’d want to pirate their DVDs, I wouldn’t ever visit their store. No pirate will do that, since you can download all movies from the internet.

    I don’t know about practises like that in other countries but I know that if I (1) buy a DVD player from a store and (2) DVD from a store which won’t work with the DVD player I bought from the store… then something is wrong.

    I can gladly invite them to my home to check it out if they don’t believe me. If they require me to go trouble visiting their store (which takes away my time) then certainly they must be equally wanting to come visit my home – right?

    It’s like… buying a hamburger meal with a sealed mug of soda. Once you open the seal there’s no soda and when you go back to tell about this they say “sorry, company policy. shit happens.”.

    I don’t understand your question regarding refunds – of course I have given refunds promptly.

    Jeff Vogel – Spider web software – has 1 year money-back-guarantee.

    I’m here for customers. Not for pirates.

  7. Wait, you mean this is not common practice where you are from? Because at least in germany, DVDs, CDs and the like can not be returned once opened.
    It is presumably an anti-piracy measure and the only exception are stores that explicitly buy them as used.
    It’s also interesting to read because, being a developer of downloadable games, you work in an industry where refunds are virtually impossible. And for the same reasons as in media, thus I ask you: If I claimed a game not to be working on my PC, would you refund?

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