banno, dhanno and teja in bumm-bumm-bhole-land

you are better off buying, borrowing or stealing

You click on a link and move on.
In the next few minutes, you get a sales call based on that click.
The sales representative lures you with an offer.
You, hardened, say you were only surfing.
Later you give in and join up for a 6 month scheme.
The customer representative says if you take an upgrade you will get ‘x’ discount and ‘x’ gift.
You agree since there can never be enough DVDs in your life.
All this takes half-an-hour.
Your DVDs come in regularly for 2 weeks.
You are happy.
The 3rd week, the delivery guy disappears for 4-5 days.
You complain.
You get an apologetic mail from the support team.
The ‘x’ gift meanwhile has not showed up even after almost 6 weeks and 3 reminders.
The 6th week, the delivery guy disappears again.
The customer care representative says that your movies have been dispatched, they are on the way, you will receive them in the evening.
The next day has arrived. Your movies have not arrived.
This is SeventyMM.com.
Then there is BigFlix.
It cheats customers in a Bigger Way.
One day you renew your membership.
The next week, the company announces they have stopped home deliveries.
Viewing will now only be online.
They have not seen fit to give notice of their plans on their website.
You are stuck with a membership for 6 months. Even though you don’t want to watch movies online. And the selection of online movies is not large.
In the two months before they shut down home delivery operations, you have been having trouble with deliveries.
The customer care representatives do not tell you, of course, that they are in the process of shutting down the next month, the next week, the next day.
They send you 50 used DVDs as compensation for the inconvenience caused to you.
The DVDs don’t reflect a single choice in your rental queue.
Someone has just picked them haphazardly from the nearest godown and delivered them to you.
You complain.
You get a standard formatted answer in reply.
Meanwhile, the neighborhood video rental shops have shut down.
Unable to compete with the cut-throat prices and the larger stocks of the bigger companies.
Unable to pay exorbitant rents on shop space.

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23 comments on “you are better off buying, borrowing or stealing

  1. Hariharan
    January 12, 2012

    Typical! My friend went through similar experience. Frustrating, it must be.

    • Banno
      January 12, 2012

      Hariharan, It is frustrating. Also, because the customer care representatives don’t really solve any problem. They just have standard answers, which mean nothing.

  2. dustedoff
    January 12, 2012

    So when:
    (a) You can’t borrow, because the movies you want to watch are the obscure ones nobodyowns;
    (b) There doesn’t seem much point in buying, because the movie just may be an absolutel waste of money

    …what are you left with?

    (By the way, 70mm have started acting up here too. I request for a delivery, and it doesn’t arrive – all I get is a standard mail saying ‘Customer not available’).

    • Banno
      January 12, 2012

      Dusted Off, It is a ‘what are you left with’ feeling. After all, how much can you buy? No wonder, torrent downloads are so popular, and to hell with copyrights.

      • dustedoff
        January 13, 2012

        Exactly. Especially as so many of even the more obscure films are available online, either on torrents or on file-sharing systems.

        • dustedoff
          January 13, 2012

          P.S. Sorry for those typos in that first comment of mine. I suppose I was just too annoyed – and too “Yes, you’re soooo right, Banno!” to even look at what I’d written.

  3. Unmana
    January 12, 2012

    Yeah, this sucks. We tried BigFlix a couple of years ago and ended up hating it. We still have a local video rental store not too far off, which made for a nice New Year’s Eve for us. :) On the other hand, we watch DVDs on the laptop anyway, so watching online would work for us.

    • Banno
      January 12, 2012

      Unmana, I think a lot of people now are open to watching online. What made me angry however, is the complete disregard towards the customer, there seemed to be no need to inform the customer about what was happening, so you could actually renew your membership one day, and find the service had changed the next.

  4. Nirah
    January 12, 2012

    Thank you. I was about to give 70mm a try, after being cheated twice by Bigflix. :(

    • Banno
      January 12, 2012

      That’s what I did, Nirah. I stuck on with BigFlix despite repeated bad service, just because they had a really good collection. I thought 70mm would be better. But not so much, so far.

  5. harveypam
    January 12, 2012

    jalaa do jalaa do
    ise phunk dalo yeh duniya
    mere saamane se hataa lo ye duniyaa
    tumhari hai tum hi sambhalo ye duniyaa

  6. harveypam
    January 12, 2012

    How about founding a Film Pool?
    You buy ‘em, you share ‘em!
    As it is after you watch a film, the DVD/VCD just lies around taking up space!

    • Banno
      January 12, 2012

      Harvey, luckily I do have friends with huge collections on DVD and hard disks. Even so, even so. It’s just irritating that corporates get away with cheating the customer.

      • harveypam
        January 12, 2012

        Boycotting them is the only way! And spreading the word like you have done!
        Well done!

        • Banno
          January 13, 2012

          Yes, which is why I wrote the post. I had enough of silent fuming. :)

  7. Space Bar
    January 12, 2012

    Tchah! Useless people. I got on to 70mm a couple of years ago and they were pretty good then, but one day – about two months into my 6 month subscription – they decided to pack up and leave. But! They informed everyone by mail and sent a check with the refund! And I got my gifts!!!

    That was then.

    But rentals? This place called Cinema Paradiso that had an excellent collection and that I was a member of since the day they began? After two years of not having rented from them, I went a few months ago to get some films and! They’d disappeared without a trace! There was clothes shop in place of CP. They hadn’t informed anybody, lest everyone come asking for the refundable deposit.

    Pirate Bay, hooray. (though it doesn’t make me happy to say it.)

    • Banno
      January 13, 2012

      Space Bar, I know, piracy seems to be the only option left. Sad, but true.

  8. Anu Warrier
    January 12, 2012

    And then the industry wonders why piracy is so rampant! I have been buying DVDs because I somehow don’t feel right about torrent downloads, but you are right – how much can you buy??

    • Banno
      January 13, 2012

      Anu, the industry needs to figure out a way to please the customer at the end of the day, to avoid piracy. Right now, the entire system seems to be anti-customer from highly priced multiplex tickets, to bad scripts, to bad dvds, to bad rental systems. No wonder people download.

  9. sukanya
    January 13, 2012

    We have Netflix here in the US and they are on the verge monopolizing the rental movie market. Can understand your frustration with poor customer service….it exists everywhere. and worse, its not the reps or the company but the customers who suffer at the end.

    • Banno
      January 13, 2012

      Sukanya, it is always the customer suffering at the end. Of course, their sales representatives are very smart and able, and everything seems possible while the sale is on. Once the monies are paid, it’s a different story.

  10. kateshrewsday
    January 14, 2012

    Sometimes I think we shoot ourselves in the foot rather: I never can persuade myself to stick with the local stores, I’m always after a deal: and I generally regret it.

    • Banno
      January 14, 2012

      Kate, We did continue with the local store membership even when we had the BigFlix one, though their prices were 3 times higher, and they did not have too many films on stock, just because we did not want them to be eaten up by the corporate. However, it was an unrealistic venture, given the property prices here, and they did have to shut down eventually.

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This entry was posted on January 12, 2012 by in real world and tagged , , , , .
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