June 7th, 2006

marcus 2013

Am I naive...

...in thinking that an American who buys a DVD that has the following in its eBay description
"This is a Region 2 (Britain and Europe) DVD - overseas bidders,
please make sure that your DVD player can handle this format!"

should not be surprised if their player can't handle it? Here's the email I got this morning:
I purchased a DVD from you on Ebay back on April 19th, Item #xxxxxxxx, and I just put it in for my daughter but we seem to be having some problems getting it to play. Normally when we insert a DVD it boots right up, however when we put in Robots it displays a message that says "Out of Area Restrictions, Programming Prohibited". Does this mean anything to you? I've never seen this message before and was wondering if it had anything to do with the DVD coming from the UK, is there a setting on the DVD player I might need to adjust? Any assistance would be appreciated.

I know I don't have to do anything after this amount of time, but since they were reasonably polite about it I've explained about region coding, hack codes, Videolan, etc. and offered to refund the price (but not postage) if they get it back to me. Hopefully they'll sell it locally insted, or see if they can region-hack their player. But I can't help thinking that if I saw that warning I'd at least make some attempt to find out what it meant!

Update: They've decided to chalk it up to experience and don't want to send it back for a refund, which seems fair enough to me. Given the miniscule amount they paid for it and the cost of posting it back I'm not entirely surprised.