Above: When we were selling FSM CDs from our Culver City office, before I finally got fed up and sent it all to Screen Archives, we were so overloaded with stock we had boxes in the bathroom! I think I took this pic (9/8/04) right before we shipped it all out.
There was an FSM message board thread about wrinkled booklets last month—I saw it right before we went on vacation, so I didn’t have a chance to keep up with it.
I can’t spend too much time on this because it’ll make me crazy...but one of the most frustrating things as a label was dealing with defective packaging: meaning not only wrinkled booklets but cracked cases and scratched discs.
The short of it is that, as Lando said, “It’s not my fault!”
Did we check the box from the pressing plant, “Save 10% to use subpar materials”? No! (There is no such box.)
Did we say, “Hey, you know what would be fun? Let’s stomp on all the boxes to mess up the CDs, that would be hilarious!”
Did we find a bunch of cracked cases and say, “Aw, let’s sell these anyway, nobody will notice.”
I don’t like to play the “victim card,” but yeah, we were victims of it, too. Just like you.
I distinctly remember on The Prodigal, for whatever reason, the printer used a slightly too-heavy paper stock for the booklet. Consequently, all of the booklets became wrinkled on the cover between the staples.
And yeah, some customers noticed and asked for new ones.
So here I am, after hours at the office, opening box after box, looking for the rare unit where the booklet was not wrinkled, to placate a particularly disgruntled customer.
At least in that case, I didn’t have to tear off the shrink wrap to try to find a “good one.”
But sometimes the discs themselves got scuffed—probably because, despite all the technology out there, I think the only way pressing plants can get the discs inside the jewel boxes is to pay workers to do it.
And in that case, there was no recourse except to slice open one unit after another—and when there are scuffs on one, there tend to be scuffs on lots of them, because of whatever set-up the plant used.
It takes a lot for scuffs to actually affect playback (the technology is remarkable)...but some customers had OCD about it. And, you know, the customer is always right.
I do remember the occasional customer sending emails and camera pix like a lawyer suing after an airplane crash, to document the damage. It could be a bit much to take!
Anyway, like I said, I’ll make myself crazy.
But if you were ever bit by this as a customer, just know—it bit us too!