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8 July, 2007

Two ticks required

Amazon sends out each rental DVD in a slim plastic case, itself in a prepaid return envelope.  If there's a problem with a DVD, there are tick boxes on the case label, which one can tick (with a pen – remember them?) to indicate one is returning an incorrect or damaged disc, and whether one wishes to be sent a replacement.

However, it's not enough to merely mark the label and return the disc (though there's nothing on the case to indicate otherwise), as there are corresponding checkboxes on the Amazon Rental website. My recommendation is to ensure you complete them too, as that guarantees, or at least increases the likelihood of the correct automatic procedure being instigated. If you don't, and the warehouse staff fail to notice the marked case, several problems can ensue, such as:

  • Acknowledgement of receipt, but not that the DVD was flawed, requiring an e-mail to Amazon.
  • Apology and promise that the replacement won't count against one's monthly total of discs rented.
  • Logged total of discs rented increasing by one (because it's counted as the next item in the queue, not a second iteration of the earlier item), requiring an e-mail to Amazon.
  • Apology.
  • 'Replacement' disc arriving, and being precisely the same, still unplayable, DVD as was returned (because the flaw hadn't been logged, the disc hadn't been taken out of the system, and I was counted as being the next recipient in its queue), requiring an e-mail to Amazon and, this time, ticking the boxes on the case and on the website.
  • Seeing the correct procedure instigated via the Amazon Rental website, and having a degree of confidence that it'll work now.
Not that I've received the replacement yet, of course (not their fault, as I only posted it back last night) – perhaps I shouldn't speak before the whole situation is resolved.

To their credit, Customer Services have been prompt and helpful, the problem seeming to be a result of inflexible automatic systems. I almost blame myself for not logging the flaw properly on the website in the first place. Almost, but not quite – as I said, there's nothing on the packaging to suggest that more is required than marking the label and visiting a post box.

[Update 12:40: Bugger. It seems Amazon don't agree with my logic (or I was surmising from incorrect data). They're not going to send a replacement at all, merely giving me a credit for a different DVD. But I wanted to see this one! :(

Not that it's relevant, it's the final two 'episodes' of Krzysztof Kieślowski 'Dekalog'. ]

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