Is this a reasonable way to treat your customers?

This happens all the time. I put a DVD into my player, and the first thing I see is an ugly threat. 5 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON, it bellows at me. It’s hard to imagine a ruder way to treat the customer who’s chosen to watch your movie. Who on Earth came up with this? And how do we make them stop?

Today I was watching Where the Wild Things Are, which is from Warner Brothers; but all the big studios do something similar. Before the title, before anything, the very first thing, they’re yelling abusive language in your face — and they program the disc to disable all your controls, so they can yell at you as long as they want to. Some discs keep the controls disabled through a whole string of previews, which is kind of like what they did to that poor guy in A Clockwork Orange.

Sorry, chapter selection is temporarily disabled!

DVDs shouldn’t even have previews. They should not have any kind of advertising or marketing, especially before you even get to see the top menu. I feel like a chump when that happens. I craved this movie and paid $20 for it, and now before I get to see it you’re going to take away the controls and show me a bunch of ads, whether I want to see them or not! Should I have seen that coming? Should I have known that Warner Brothers was planning to treat me like dirt?

Well, I know now. So I won’t be buying DVDs from WB any more. I’ll be hesitant even to rent them. Paying to be insulted is not my idea of a good time.

Advertisements