Another good customer service story

You may remember this post, the second half of which discussed the exemplary customer service I received from a Hilton HHonors phone representative. (Maybe I should have noted in that post that I’m not a Very Frequent Stayer–I’m at the base “blue” level, although I’ve had higher level one or two years. So I don’t believe I was getting special treatment.)

Here’s another one–unexpected because, given the circumstances, I really didn’t expect much of a response at all. Maybe my expectations are too low?

I’m watching the movies in the 50 Movie Pack Hollywood Legends, alternating discs with the 50 Movie Western Classics set. On April 28, I finished Disc 9 of the Western set and, on April 29, started up Disc 8 of the Hollywood Legends set. I was really looking forward to this–not for the first movie, but because the second movie is The Man with the Golden Arm, which I’ve never seen and is supposed to be excellent.

Except that, when I started Side A of the disc, the two titles weren’t what I was expecting. Instead of The Town Went Wild and The Man with the Golden Arm, the menu showed Heartbeat and He Found a Star. A little investigation showed that those two movies should be Side A of Disc 11–and, indeed, Side A of Disc 11 also had those two movies. Side B of Disc 8 was fine. Somehow, in the point in disc manufacturing where the two sides of a two-sided DVD are pasted together, the wrong Side A got matched up with the right Side B. (The hub labels were what they should be–but that’s probably a separate step.)

Well, OK. not a huge deal. I don’t have any idea how long ago I purchased the set or who I purchased it from; probably at least a year, and I probably paid no more than $15-$18 for the 50-movie set. I sure didn’t keep a receipt that long. These things happen–particularly when you’re running such a low-cost operation.

But, well, the website for Mill Creek Entertainment has a contact email. So, just for fun–and just to let them know, if it was a widespread problem–I wrote email. Not angry email, mostly amused.. I did mention the reviews I’ve been writing, and said:

Since I have no idea how long ago I purchased the set and I certainly don’t have a receipt, I’m not going to make a federal case out of this (particularly since your prices are excellent and I admire the work you’re doing in putting the public domain to use). Still, I’ll admit that I was really looking forward to The Man with the Golden Arm, one old movie that I do regard as a classic–and have never seen. So if there was an easy and affordable way to send me a replacement copy (that actually has the right movies on the disc, not just on the label), I’d be delighted.

One business day after I sent the mail, I got a response–with an apology and a note that they’d be sending off a replacement DVD and include a bonus DVD set with their compliments. I immediately responded with thanks–and with a list of all the sets I already own (since, given current prices, that’s a fairly long list).

A few days later, the box arrived. It included a replacement disc (and this one has the right movies on each side), a replacement sleeve (they’ve upgraded the sleeve text somewhat)–and, instead of a 50-movie pack, three different and fairly unusual packs, two of which probably sell in stores for $5 or $6, one maybe $12 to $15(?):

  • A two-DVD “slapstick festival” with 35 shorts from Charlie Chaplin, the Keystone Cops, Our Gang, Three Stooges, W.C. Fields, Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle, Stan Laurel, and an “all star extravaganza.”
  • A two-DVD “Legends Series” collection: “Shirley Temple: Smiles and Curls Collection”–with three movies on one disc and 11 shorts on the other.
  • A four-DVD “Legends Series” collection: “Alfred Hitchcock: The Legend Begins”–billed as “20 Movie Classics” (there are a bunch of four-disc 20-movie sets). It includes two episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 18 feature films (including six silents dating back as far as 1926), and a 55-minute set of movie trailers as a bonus.

I would have been more than satisfied just to get the replacement disc, particularly this long after the original purchase. The extras were, well, extra.

I note, as I also noted with the newest of the 50-Movie Packs that I picked up, that Mill Creek has changed its manufacturing for new sets. Instead of two-sided single-layer DVDs with hub labels, they’re now using dual-layer single-sided DVDs with full labels, which are much easier to handle. (At VHS resolution, you can get six+ hours on a dual-layer disc.) These smaller sets don’t use the one-sleeve-per-disc/multiple sleeves in a box packaging of the 50-movie packs (and, I presume, the 100-movie and 250-movie boxes). Instead, they’re in regular DVD two-disc boxes (well, the Hitchcock uses two hubs on each side with discs overlapping one another).

Anyway: Just another good service story. And maybe I’ll get a lot more familiar with Hitchcock’s early work…

2 Responses to “Another good customer service story”

  1. Brett Gladson says:

    I have read this and decided to send an e-mail to Mill Creek about problems I have had with a DVD set I purchased recently and asked them if they replaced problem discs. They sent me a reply about 8 hours later saying that if I reply with my mailing address, they would send me a replacement set plus another DVD set. I made this comment to this post about 4 months after you posted it. Do you remember how many days it took to get your replacement discs?

  2. walt says:

    I don’t really. Maybe two or three weeks, maybe longer, maybe shorter. I do know that they sent the replacement–in this case, just the one disc (and the extras), because that’s what I asked for.