Some of you may remember back in May 2008 when I discussed the unexpectedly good customer service provided by Mill Creek Entertainment, the company busily mining public domain (and otherwise minimal-license) flicks and TV flicks to create really inexpensive bundles of movies on DVD.
(That’s not all the company does, to be sure, but I know them most for the “50 Movie Packs”–50 movies on 12 DVDs–of which there are now 23 examples. The company’s motto is “changing the face of value entertainment!” and they’re also doing other things, including TV series and documentary compilations.)
The gist of the earlier post: When I reached Disc 8 of the Hollywood Legends 50-pack, with The Town Went Wild and Man with the Golden Arm on Side A, I found that Side A was actually Disc 11 Side A. Since I paid $15 or so for the set and had had it for a year or more, I just sent Mill Creek email to let them know, in case there had been a general production problem. I didn’t have a receipt, I didn’t remember where I’d purchased the set, I didn’t feel the need for compensation.
They responded the next day and mailed me not only the replacement disc but a couple of other (smaller) DVD collections for my trouble, along with an apology. That, I thought, was great customer service: Above and beyond the call, particularly for something so inexpensive not purchased directly from them.
(A few of you may also remember the contrasting post when one of the six discs in Angel, Season 4 proved to be utterly defective. The only way I could get a replacement disc is by sending the entire box set back to Fox, via insured mail, with a recent receipt, and waiting six to eight weeks. Oh, and the receipt needed to be dated within “a reasonable time frame,” that time frame not stated. But hey, it’s Fox.)
Getting past the preamble
So I continue to buy Mill Creek packs when they look interesting and Amazon has them at the right price–or at least I did when I was still using old movies to stay on the treadmill. (Each time I’ve seen all the movies on one disc, I review them–but I’m putting those posts on Walt, Even Randomer, since they’re too silly for ScienceBlogs.) I’m still watching the old movies, even without the treadmill…
And I was intrigued by Mill Creek’s ultimate repackaging attempts, the four 250-movie collections they produced for a while (and seem to have stopped, at least based on their website): 60 DVDs, 250 movies, selling at the time for around $50 at Amazon. Yes, of course those collections are repackaged compilations of multiple 50-movie packs (where they don’t overlap, as sometimes happens), just as the dozen 100-movie packs are simply combinations of 50-movie packs. I purchased the Mystery Collection (the link here is to Amazon, which still has this collection but at a
higher price lower price, although it was a higher price a couple of weeks ago). That was also a while back–probably at least six months.
Last week, I neared the point where I’d start alternating discs from this megapack with discs from less massive collections. So I skimmed through the 60 sleeves, partly to see how many flicks are in color (most aren’t, as I’d expect) and how many I’ve already seen (not many). And got to Disc 57. Which was actually Disc 59, both sleeve and disc. And there was also a Disc 59.
Well, hey, no big deal–but, given the quality of the previous response, I did send a quick email to Mill Creek, basically saying “don’t need to send me any extras, but if you have another Disc 57 handy, I’d be grateful.”
Next day, a reply, saying a replacement is on its way. How can you argue with service like this–where they trust me even though I’ve never had business dealings directly with the publisher? Sure, the discs can’t cost them much, but handling–preparing the shipping label and paying MediaMail–is far from free and probably eliminates any profit they make from a typical 50-pack.
That was just before ALA. When I returned, there was a bigger box than I’d expected. That box included two 20-movie packs (4 or 5 discs), both of which I’ll enjoy (one of ’em is 20 spaghetti westerns, only two of which I’ve seen: how can I go wrong?); a 50-movie pack I didn’t already own (although, as it happens, it includes 19 of the 20 Hitchcock movies they sent me as a freebie last year)–and “Action Classics Disk 9″ (in a previous incarnation, they had a problem with Disk vs. Disc, since corrected).
I sent a “thank you” email and noted that what I was missing was Mystery Collection Disc 57, not Action Classics Disk 9. And, the same day, got back a note: They’re the same thing. (As noted above, I believe MCE isn’t producing the 250-movie collections any more, so probably didn’t have extra copies of the other sleeve.)
Mill Creek Entertainment didn’t ask me to blog about it. I doubt that they’re really aware of this blog. They just seem to respond to minor problems by going above & beyond…and assuming good faith on the part of the consumer.
Oh, I imagine that if I sent them six emails in a month saying I was missing six different discs, or that I had defectives from several different collections, they might raise questions–or at least I hope they would. (I’d like to see them stay in business; I believe these collections are, on the whole, Good Things, mining the public domain and also offering in-copyright material that original producers wouldn’t deem worthwhile for DVD, always at extremely reasonable prices.)
So, on that up note, I won’t go into the details of a last-night-in-Chicago incident that could be summarized as “don’t pay cash in a lobby bar.” Mill Creek had nothing to do with that little contretemps, which still hasn’t been resolved…