Recently, I purchased seasons 1 thru 4 of House MD through a second party seller on Amazon. I paid $117.00 for these DVDs. The first season of disks were no problem. However the eighth disk of the second season was a Chinese counterfeit. It was recorded off of a Fox station on Direct TV. It says so during each of the episodes. The episodes contain no Universal Studios banner, no FBI warning and menu is bright red with no graphics and the menu choices are in English and Chinese. However the graphics printed on the physical disk are perfect.
I buy what I watch and I do not condone pirating. I sent a message to Universal studios telling them about this problem and got the following reply:
Dear Mr. XXXXXXX,
Thank you for taking the time to contact Universal Studios Home Entertainment. It appears that the "House," Season 2, DVDs that you purchased are illegal copies. The information you provided has been forwarded to our Internet Anti-piracy group for their immediate attention. Should they require further information, they will be in touch with you directly.
We suggest that you contact Amazon's Customer Service group for resolution to this issue. Amazon has a strict policy regarding bootleg DVDs and it is important that they know about such illegal activities.
We appreciate your concern and your patronage, and we hope that you will continue to enjoy our products.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
That is all I ever heard from Universal. As they suggested I contacted Amazon and related the same story. They sent me this email:
Thank you for writing to Amazon.com with your concern.
Please let me apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of this particular order.
I've checked your order #XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX and found that you purchased "House: Seasons 1 - 4 Collection" from XXXXXXXXX, one of our registered third-party sellers on Amazon Merchant.
Amazon (sic)Merchat listings are created by sellers other than Amazon.com. When you buy an item at Amazon Marketplace, the individual seller processes and ships your order.
I'm sorry to learn that the item you received was not as described for order #XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX. In a case like this, we do ask that you first contact the seller to explain the situation so they can resolve the issue.
To contact the seller:
1. Click the "Your Account" link at the top of our web site.
2. Click "Go!" next to "open and recently shipped orders."
3. Sign in with your e-mail address and password.
4. Click "View order" next to the relevant order.
5. Click "Problem with this order?" On the next page, you'll see
a button marked "Contact seller."
For your convenience here's your seller contact information:
Seller Name: XXXXXXX XXXXXX
We do want to assist you; however, please give your seller a chance to respond and resolve this first.
Please be assured that, if a transaction with a third-party seller is unsuccessful and you are unable to resolve the dispute with your seller, you can contact Amazon.com again and also note, we will reimburse you the order cost from Amazon payment under A-Z guarantee.
If you don't receive a satisfactory resolution from your seller within 3 business days, please let us know so we can help.
Please visit the following link to provide the information we
When we receive a report from you using the link above, we will investigate your order and do what we can to resolve the problem.
We can indeed understand that it is a bit frustrating to wait till that length of time. However, please understand our system does not allow us to issue a refund or take any action on any third party order until 3 business days have passed since you tried to contact the seller. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience these restrictions may cause. However, please understand that our A-Z Guarantee file system will not let us to process the refund until these three business days have passed.
I am sure you will co-operate with us.
If your seller has not help you to resolve the issue, I suggest you to submit the A-to-Z guarantee online for full reimbursement of your order cost, including shipping. Our guarantee is located online at:
Furthermore, if a transaction with a third-party seller is unsuccessful and you are unable to resolve the dispute with your seller, you may be eligible for the A-to-z Guarantee. Subject to certain guidelines, Amazon.com may reimburse the complete price up to $2,500.00.
Again, I am sorry that this experience has been a disappointment. Even though your purchase was made from one of our third-party sellers, we realize that it may influence your decision to visit our stores again. I hope that this issue is resolved to your satisfaction soon.
Thanks for shopping at Amazon.com. We look forward assisting you.
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While waiting for a reply, from the seller to reply, I watched the rest of the DVDs. All of season 4 is counterfeit. Each disk is compressed to fit on a 4.3 GB DVD and the Universal banner and FBI warning have been removed. The compression causes each disk to stutter constantly. However the graphic printed on each disk looks professional. I sent a second email to Universal about the 4th season disks and Universal bounced the email back to me. The email to Universal was entered on Universal's web site and accepted when entered. My only conclusion is that they don't want to hear about it. My question is: Why is it OK to counterfeit DVDs and sell them for $117.00 but it is a terrible crime for a student to download a $1.00 song. The downloaded song isn't being used to defraud someone but I was defrauded out of $117.00 for these DVDs on Amazon.com. Why does the studio not care from whom I bought these DVDs and where the seller obtained them. However they will try to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from a kid for downloading a few dollars worth of songs. What am I missing here?
I did as Amazon requested and the seller took two weeks to reply. He said he will refund my money. I'll return the disks tomorrow.