What would you have done?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Allan Mack, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    I was just in Futureshop tonight, and they had the "How to Steal a Million" DVD on the shelf. It was 5 minutes to closing, so I decided to buy it.

    When I got to the cashier, she told me I couldn't buy it until tomorrow! Being a non-confrontational type of guy, I meekly nodded my head and proceeded with my other puchases.

    Now, what difference would it make if she had allowed me to purchase it a few hours before the release date? (I didn't even know that this title was out, or that it was not to be released until 12/07/04.) It seems silly that I should have to drive to the store the next morning just to get this title. I mean, it's not like it was "Star Wars" or something like that. And it's not my fault they had it on the shelf for sale. Should I have asked for the manager to make an exception for me? After all, they only had two copies on the shelf! Should I have refused to buy the other DVDs I had in my hands?

    Stupid silly rules...[​IMG]
     
  2. Stephen Brooks

    Stephen Brooks Second Unit

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    I work in a video store. Every transaction I do is logged, and if someone were to see that I broke a street date by even one minute, I would get a visit from my DM the next day asking me to hand over my keys. That's what's at stake here. They don't fool around with this. You were asking that girl to risk her job, plain and simple.
     
  3. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    Re-read my post. I didn't ask that girl anything. I let her do her job. I was merely asking what others would have done in my place.

    And I wasn't blaming her--I was merely annoyed at the store's policies. But now that you have so rudely informed me of the normal policies of video stores, I will continue to let cashiers do their job without getting miffed.
     
  4. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    No offense, Stephen, but that was a little extreme. It's not like he was asking her to turn her back with her door keys laying on the counter that would amazingly disappear so he could come back and raid the place.

    In all honesty, Allen, if it were me I'd have make a small good natured plea ("aw man, don't make me come back tomorrow") but I would have assumed that she just put the stock out for the next day at the end of her shift (which is something she probably would have told me anyway) and the chance of walking out with the disc were pretty low.

    -paul
     
  5. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

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    I've seen stores break street regularly, usually not the big titles though. I've never had any problems buying them if I chose to.
     
  6. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    Although I do agree about her not breaking street date, the merchandise shouldn't be on the shelf if it's not for sale. If retail stores place SALE tags out the night before a sale, they'll honor the prices for any customers still shopping in the store. If they are going to be that strict about not breaking release dates, maybe they shouldn't put it on the shelf until it's available. I'm sure it's just as wrong to have it on the shelf as it is to actually sell it.

    I would've done the same thing, but I would have mentioned that they shouldn't have it out for sale if it's not for sale. And since you said she told you nicely, I would've purchased the other DVDs, and bought "How to Steal a Million" somewhere else.
     
  7. Rhoq

    Rhoq Supporting Actor

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    Quite honestly, they should have waited until the store closed to stock the shelves with today’s releases. The DVD should not have been put out on the shelves if they we refusing to sell it until today. If I were you, I’d bring my business elsewhere. Maybe they’ll learn their lesson for the next time.
     
  8. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    *idealy*

    first thing would be to compliment her on her knowledge of the stock then tell her "i won't say anything if you bend the rules...it would save me an extra trip tommmorrow & i would appreciate it"
    then when she declined i would ask her if i could just leave everything at the counter since i'm now going to come back tomorrow anyway.

    but be pleasant.
    no sense in pissing her off.
    maybe the next time it happens she will will remember you and then do you the favor.
     
  9. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Street date violations with video are unfortunately a common practise, but like the man said, "it's only illegal if you get caught". I believe stores that use Soundscan (or an equivalent) are in high risk of being caught violating street date, since sales are tracked immediately, and the fines that are incurred are quite high. No doubt an employee would rightly fear for their job if their store were fined because of their willingness to sell before street - they certainly couldn't afford the penalty on what they make. I prefer telling the store's department head (when I don't particularly shop there) that they are violating street date. If I feel like going back and seeing what has (or hasn't) been done about it, I'll probably buy one and report it (I tend to be loyal to one specific retailer - but I'm not an employee, just a former mom & pop video store specialty buyer, so I hate street violators).

    Small stores have to stock the shelves on the street date - they can't afford the overtime. Big box stores have overnight staff for that, and can do that on Monday nights after the stores close. Put out the big displays if you want, but the videos should only be sold on their street date
     
  10. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    Where I work, there's no way that street date can be broken. In the rare event that a product slips past me and winds up on the floor, a street-date prompt pops up at the point of sale. I've been told that a manager cannot even override the street-date block. A customer can throw a big fit and make a scene but there's no way to legitimately leave the store with street-date product before the release date.
     
  11. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the input, everyone. I'm glad to know I did the right thing and allowed the cashier to do her job.

    For what it's worth, the DVD was on the shelf for at least an hour before closing (that's how long it takes me sometimes to choose my discs). Also, the cashier didn't know the DVD was not for sale until she scanned it in, so it wasn't her fault. I blame the person who put the disc out in the first place.

    But now that I know that this store is forbidden to sell a disc before street date with no exceptions, I am no longer annoyed. They're just doing their jobs. I was just curious to know what others have done in a similar situation, and how they may have managed to obtain a DVD before the street date of sale...
     
  12. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    I prepare and recieve all the new releases at my job and even though I have an insane memory for new releases, I have recieved boxes with upcoming release product that I didn't know about that comes in a box with no street date warnings (similarly, I recently recieved a replenishment box marked with a December 7th street date. The contents were all titles that had been released, including the very recent Shrek 4-disc box set, which was released only only a few weeks before). It's easy to keep a huge display of "Star Wars" off the floor when "Do Not Sell Until 9/21" is stamped all over the box but it's easy to see how a small box with two catalogue titles and no such warning could make it's way out to the floor.
     
  13. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    I wasn't suggesting the person who put the discs out should be fired or anything. It's a mistake anyone could make--we're all human. I merely said the blame was on them because their mistake started the whole chain of events. Some have suggested I buy elsewhere because of this, but I'm a very forgiving guy.

    For what it's worth, Futureshop is a huge box-store chain (owned by Best Buy, I believe), and they should definitely implement a better method of making sure discs are not put on the shelf until street date to prevent future incidents like mine...
     
  14. Stephen Brooks

    Stephen Brooks Second Unit

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    Allen, as I wrote that post last night, I had just gotten back from a bad night at work where the exact same situation had just happened to me a couple times. I was in a bad mood and in fighting mode. In the light of day, my post did come off as a bit rude, and I apologize.

    Some of you guys have to understand, though, that putting stuff out "after close" isn't always possible. My store closes at midnight and I don't get paid for anything after 1 am, and most of that hour is taken up by straightening and paperwork. Depending on how many titles are coming out in a given week, it could easily add an extra hour on to an already long night. Video store clerks are people too, and we get tired! [​IMG]
     
  15. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, to me this one is obvious.

    It's not illegal to break street date. There are no laws concerning street date. It's just a strongly observed tradition within the industry.

    It *is* illegal, however, for a merchant to stock an item on a shelf, marked with a sale price, and no indication that it isn't on sale yet... and then refuse to sell it to a willing customer.

    Nuff said.
     
  16. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    No need to apologize, Stephen. I, too, was a little frustrated last night. I mean, I had the product in my hand and was willing to pay, and it was only 5 minutes to closing. Ah well... I'll just pick it up at a later date. I mean, it wasn't exactly a title I was dying for, anyway. I just felt like ranting last night.[​IMG]
     
  17. Stephen Brooks

    Stephen Brooks Second Unit

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    Jerry, many people wonder why retail clerks are generally surly and rude all the time. A lot of it has to do with attitudes such as yours.

    Yes, in a perfect world all product changes would be magically made while you sleep. In the real world, we have a finite amount of time to finish a set amount of tasks, and sometimes we have to start stocking a product a little bit before it actually goes on sale.

    You *could* give us a hard time, threaten to call the manager or get the law involved, make us risk getting into trouble either way we go, just so you could have your DVD a few hours earlier. Or you could be a nice and understanding guy, and realize that we're not trying to screw you out of getting your DVD, we're just trying to finish our jobs and punch the clock at night like anybody else.

    It's kinda like the breakfast line at McDonald's. Even if they are steadily busy all morning long, at some point they HAVE to switch from breakfast to lunch. One person in line is going to get breakfast and the next person in line is going to have to make do with the lunch menu. No, it's not EXACTLY fair, but the realities of life and business dictate that there has to be a cutoff at some point.
     
  18. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    Hmmm...I work at Target, and we have someone come in on Tuesday morning between 4am and 6am (depending on the release schedule) so we have all the new product out by 8am when we open. I also worked at Virgin MegaStore in Denver one summer...they did the same thing there. If it was out for sale on Monday, he should have been able to buy it.
     
  19. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    You obviously do not work in retail. Studios can fine retailers usually PER COPY SOLD prior to street date. This happens. Or worse case, studios (or other manufacturers of media such as software, etc...) can pull their entire line and refuse to do business ever again with the violating retailer.
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    That's an interesting point. Since it technically isn't illegal to break the date, you have to argue other aspects.
     

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