When I complained about this the vendor blamed the delivery company (Parcelforce, who are responsible for nearly every package I've ever received damaged) and promised that they would come round, assess the damage, and that once that was done they'd organize collection and a refund.
Parcelforce then took NINE weeks to arrive, turning up the middle of this month. Then nothing happened. And nothing happened. And nothing happened. And my last two emails to the vendor didn't get a reply.
So today, realising that the time left for leaving feedback was rapidly running out, and finally getting REALLY annoyed, I left some negative feedback. Result... fifteen minutes later they phoned and offered a full refund. Also offered to send me some laserdiscs that they had that weren't wanted free of charge. When I asked about the player they told me to keep it or throw it away as I liked.
So... once the refund came through I withdrew the negative feedback, and took the laserdisc player home - it was sitting at work all this time because I didn't want to risk trying it and damaging a disk. Put in an expendable disk and tried it, and it worked perfectly, playing well and doing everything including the side change without problems.
Then I tried to eject the disk... Result a drawer that wouldn't open, and a player that no longer knew it had a disk in it.
An hour and several skinned knuckles later I have my disk out again, but the player won't open at all. My suspicion is that something is stuck in the wrong position. The annoying thing is that I suspect it's a relatively trivial fault, given the right tools and knowledge. The next step would normally be the dreaded WD40 oil spray, but I don't want to dirty up the laser assembly and it seems to be tucked in amongst all the gears.
So.. not really defeat, since I have my money back, but not precisely a victory. If I can get this fixed at a reasonable cost it'd be good, but I suspect it'd cost more than another second-hand player. What I really need is an expert, a repairer based in the London area, and one that doesn't cost too much. Anyone know one?
copied to laserdisc_fans, apologies to anyone seeing it twice.
Later: Just tried it again after a couple of hours unplugged and it's working perfectly. Maybe it was sulking the first time... but I'll be VERY careful not to try anything I really treasure until I've had it working properly for a while.