Unbelievable Sentai Filmworks Response to Replacement inquiry.

#1
I'm so confused and shocked by the correspondence I'm having with a Sentai Filmworks representative in my attempt to get some replacement chipboard cases for the Legend of the Galactic Heroes Blu Ray set after they were damaged by the loose number plate in transit.

Due to being in the UK I was looking at trying to get replacements without sending the current scratched up cases back. I understand why this might be a problem but given the price of the set, the complete lack of fault on my side as to why the set is damaged and the widespread damage that has occurred with this release in transit to practically every customer I was hopeful of being able to solve this issue. If I was an outlier in having this damage occur then maybe not but obviously this was a fault on Sentai's side and not a one off.

Just for the record I'm not expecting Sentai Filmworks to send me replacements directly to the UK. Only to send them to the same address they sent the set previously which is a US address.

After some back and forth the representative I was talking to seemed to be willing to help me. He just wanted some pictures of the damaged sets or so I thought -

"Hi Blaize, I understand where you are coming from. I'll tell you what. If you send me a picture of all of the sleeves destroyed, I'll send replacements."

I mean how would you understand this message? So I took some pictures, explained exactly what was damaged and how the damage was caused (the number plate). I figured this would likely suffice, I mean sure they aren't completely and utterly wrecked beyond all measure but they certainly aren't in the condition that they left the Sentai warehouse, they aren't in the condition that Sentai showcased in the unboxing video and finally they aren't in the condition they would have ever ended up in while in my possession.

Well no apparently I had misunderstood what the Sentai Filmworks representative had wanted me to do, sure he wanted pictures but he also wanted something else as he explained in his response to the email with the picures -

"Hi Blaize, Thank you for your response. I'm sorry, for clarity, please destroy the existing cases. (tear them up or show me substantial damage such as marking them all up with sharpies. We don't want any existing parts circulating in the wild and superficial scratches won't suffice as I am making a deviation from our standard practice for you. Please provide me with proof that your existing cases have been destroyed. I already have your replacements boxed up and ready to ship pending a shipping label."

So yeah with no real guarantee of a replacement a Sentai Filmworks representative has just advised me to essentially Burn the sets that are in my current possession. Only then will I qualify for a replacements to be sent to a US address just because I'm not really in a position to return them.

Look I understand this set was for US buyers only and such, but this is 2018 and the internet exists etc etc. But seriously can this be considered reasonable customer service? I'm utterly baffled by this. Just what sort of contract did Sentai have to sign in order to release this set? Were blood sacrifices involved. This is not the norm and we all know it isn't. All I wanted was some empty artboxes, made out of cheap chipboard and shiny paper with the words Legend of the Galactic Heroes on it and a couple of portraits of the characters to be sent in replacement for the ones I paid for that arrived in a less than satisfactory condition. What are Sentai and probably more accurately the Japanese side so afraid of that I may have two copies of those artboxes. They aren't worth anything to anyone, I have no intention of selling them and no one would want the anyway. I'm almost at a loss for words for this. You'd think I was talking about replacing some series stuff like important documents, you know something I could potentially do some damage with by having duplicates and not some silly artboxes for an Anime set.

I feel like I'm being trolled by someone, or being made fun of by the representative. It's pretty demeaning and honestly disgraceful in my view. I'm an honest customer with an honest problem I was looking to get resolved. I'll add that I did offer to pay a small fee for the replacement cases such did I understand my position. I've supported Sentai Filmworks throughout their lifespan as a company, I literally have 130 of their releases and have even bought more that I moved on over time. I've spent thousands of dollars on their products and have even made (albeit to a very small viewership) videos about their releases including covering that solicitations each month for a year or so. Sentai isn't a giant corporation, they are a relatively niche home video label so I thought I might be able to work this out and come to an arrangement but I doubt that's going to happen now.

I have responded to the destroy the evidence email I got with a basic - "I was already very disappointed with the condition on my $800 investment of this set the last thing I'm going to do is completely deface it without a cast iron guarantee of a replacement"

among a few other things like explaining I'm not trying to con them or questioning whether or not I'm literally being trolled by a customer representative of a company.
 

farzam1999

Student Council President
#2
This seems really strange tbh. I could never picture myself getting a reply with getting told to destroy the item, that acutally is already faulty. This doesn't really seem something a representative of a distributor would tell me.

I'm shocked as well, because yeah, it's just a chipboard, as you mention, just a piece of cardboard with some letters on it. All the times I've asked for replacements (idk 4-5 times?), they either tell me to give it away or throw it out. Mind you, I live in Denmark, but some of the replacements I've asked for was from the UK.

As you said yourself, you aren't really guaranteed that the representative actually has some replacements ready and boxed up. And why should this be a problem? - you had even offered them to pay for it, I really don't see the problem lol. What does Sentai get from this? - litterally nothing, right?

It's a damn expensive set, I have never used that amount of money on anything in the physical media world. But if I ever did, I want it to be in damn perfect condition!
Please keep us updated on the situation. Try posting here as well, I can see you have a user on the site.
 
#3
I mean I do believe LOTGH was released via a strict contract really people in the UK having it is kinda a no one I assume. Also I guess they don’t want anyone making money of damaged sets as that may devalue the product. But yes ripping them up is bizarre would they want you to stamp on the discs as well?
 
#4
I got a response to my last email. I was provided with their return policy with a handy dandy screenshot. Along with this response -

"I provided you with a prepaid shipping label to return the items that you mentioned were defective. When you explained that you went through an international shipper for purchase, I provided you with an alternative solution.

As per our damaged item exchange process, every customer has to surrender their defective items prior to receiving a replacement. Since you mentioned that it would be costly for you to do so, I provided you with an alternative solution for "surrendering" your defective items by destroying them.

You provided us with payment prior to receiving your order and I fail to see anywhere within our email chain where I've mislead you or have provided you with any reason to believe that we won't honor our commitments. Please take as much time as you would like to consider the provided solution. This solution will be available to you for as long as supplies are available."

Firstly I would like to mention that I didn't turn down the return label, it just obviously wasn't something I could use. Upon the mere mention that I was in the UK I was informed that my return label is now VOID. Honestly I know the written word can be misconstrued sometimes but the sternness and quickness of that initial response was the equivalent of the blinders being pulled down and the sign being turned to closed you see in cartoons haha.

I will 100% agree with that what I'm asking for isn't part of their policy. Thing is I live in a world of humans and logic. So given the pretty small company that Sentai essentially are that I could still maybe figure out some arrangement, you know by talking to someone human to human and not human to mess of law documents or whatever else. I was obviously abit naive and foolish in this regard. I mean seriously "surrendering" my defective items by destroying them!? I mean if I'm not actually going to send them back at all then of what concern is it to Sentai Filmworks that they might not be in a thousand pieces. It's not like they are taking the returns they are currently getting and buffing out the scratches in order to resell them is it? If the representative thinks I'm worthy of a replacement then what does it matter if they have the defective item or not. I sincerely doubt there is some huge con going on against Sentai Filmworks that they need material evidence for each return.

As I mentioned before what do Sentai or indeed the Japanese side think I'm going to do with 4 empty chipboard cases that happen to say Legend of the Galactic Heroes on them? Sell them on the black market or something? It's so extremely bizarre. But you know my solution of destroying my $800 sets even further and then lets not forget still having to pay for any potential replacements to be shipped to me is still on the table so no worries eh? Jesus Christ what a stupid world we live in.

So yeah I surrender, not my sets of course because I'm not insane but just in any attempts to actually get them replaced. I mean the set was only $800!! it's pocket change of course. How foolish of me to think otherwise.

Also finally and of much more relevance to everybody is if this isn't evidence that there is never going to be a standard edition of this set I don't know what is?
 
Last edited:

farzam1999

Student Council President
#5
Just seems like a very weird and illogical (is that a word? lol) policy to me. Like oh yeah some dude is gonna purchase your damaged chipboard, and do exactly what with it?

What if the replacement was lost in the post or arrived even more damaged than the ones you already have? - and on top of that, if their supply runs out in the meantime?

It all seems stupid from Sentai’s side, even with their small consumer base, they should be treating their (top tier) supporters (you - @Blaize) much better than this.

Edit: nice to see you’ve posted in the blu-ray.com forum, let us see what the others say.
 
#6
Depends of how you look at it I suppose. You contacted Sentai for replacements because the cases were damaged, so tearing/burning/marking what you've deemed unacceptable for your collection shouldn't make much of a difference in their eyes.

Try a different rep for a potentially different response or harass the higher ups and see what that gets you
 
#7
No SE will break my heart but there is no way in hell I could afford the potential $960 cost (Due to 20% tax). So I will import A new thesis day 1 and buy the books, as yeah this does kinda confirm the contract is horrible and restrictive af
 
#8
Depends of how you look at it I suppose. You contacted Sentai for replacements because the cases were damaged, so tearing/burning/marking what you've deemed unacceptable for your collection shouldn't make much of a difference in their eyes.

Try a different rep for a potentially different response or harass the higher ups and see what that gets you
I'm honestly going to just give up, I mean spending another potential £30 or more to send the cases was something I was willing to do but not going this far. I'll live with the damaged sets, I understand what your saying but just like @farzam1999 mentioned there is no guarantee the replacements will be any better or even arrive at all. They may get lost in the transit of forwarding to me so it's a risk I simply cannot take. But I will stand by it's a risk I shouldn't have to take, in a transaction between normal people this would have been worked out. Obviously companies work on a whole different level to the rest of us, customer satisfaction be damned. And I thought America was well known for their customer service lol.
 

crashmatt

Pokémon Master
#9
Why are people providing excuses for Sentai? If Anime Limited or mvm did similar they would get torn to shreds. Bizarre behaviour by Sentai, I'm also baffled why a 30 year old show is treated like like the Crown Jewels.
 
#10
I'm honestly going to just give up, I mean spending another potential £30 or more to send the cases was something I was willing to do but not going this far. I'll live with the damaged sets, I understand what your saying but just like @farzam1999 mentioned there is no guarantee the replacements will be any better or even arrive at all. They may get lost in the transit of forwarding to me so it's a risk I simply cannot take. But I will stand by it's a risk I shouldn't have to take, in a transaction between normal people this would have been worked out. Obviously companies work on a whole different level to the rest of us, customer satisfaction be damned. And I thought America was well known for their customer service lol.
For the price I was expecting far better CS than this yeah. I mean amazon have been faultless for like £5 stuff if it gets damaged in post. For someone giving Sentai that much (maybe KR takes a lot who knows) I would expect better
 
#11
Why are people providing excuses for Sentai? If Anime Limited or mvm did similar they would get torn to shreds. Bizarre behaviour by Sentai, I'm also baffled why a 30 year old show is treated like like the Crown Jewels.
Because Sentai is the company I always mention as giving SEs on same days AL dont do that so I believe for that not to happen that JP must have said something, and its because of how it was released in japan via OVAs laserdiscs so before the internet there was no way an anime fan in the west could watch it and it was called unlicensable a few times I believe
 
#12
Far too much red tape- companies are bound by licensing terms and government legislation, staff are bound by company policies. After all from a legal standpoint the set should have never been allowed to leave the US/CA region.

I had issues getting materials from FUNimation years ago due to the red tape associated with being an international buyer. Ultimately it's going to be up to the individual CS rep to decide which policy they follow- replace what was damaged in line with good customer service or hide behind company policy in regards to licensing and distribution.
 
Last edited:
#14
I'm sorry but the pure insanity of it is making me chuckle. a set you made a large contribution to for them to even get it out and they want you to make it disappear like a bag of coke at customs, I mean what!? such a shame the legal stuff makes people do this seemingly under the table stuff.
"I'm sorry, you can not bring that child across the boarder, we believe that a children's home is not a solution either. please destroy the child" I don't imagine that solution works as much as it's offered
 
#15
This is reminding me of Corky, the infamous Rottweiler of HLJ customer service.

"I had money set aside for this pre-order but our fridge has just broken down, a few weeks before Christmas and I've had to pay to replace it. I get paid next week at which time I can send payment promptly if you'll hold it. I'm a consistent long term customer."
"No! A fridge breaking down isn t my problem. You shouldn't pre order things you can't afford!"
 
#16
And I thought America was well known for their customer service lol.
Not really imo. FUNimation refused to supply me with replacement discs for their borked Code Geass R2 release, and that I should contact my "local distributor" (aka KAZE) for replacements instead...

US distributors don't want to service us in Europe its costly, and they aren't actually required to. The good customer service comes from Amazon, Righstuf, etc who do their best to come to a compremise (though I've heard Rightstuf has gotten tougher on their replacement schemes just for a few scratches, or dents)
 
#17
Destroying partially damaged items is a US norm.

If you purchase something from First4Figures and any parts decked, you have to destroy the whole thing, send it back and they give you a new one.

Albeit rather odd for dvds, it's not an unknown process or request.

Some people can and do fake stuff, can't fake something demolished. People can be that twattish and con companies you see.
 
#18
I got yet another email this morning asking me to confirm whether I destroyed the sets or not. I would like to add I had given up last night and made my peace with it, people being on my side of this lunacy helped me feel sane again after dealing with this craziness.

Anyway yeah I got another email so I just replied that yes I had destroyed them. Without the evidence of doing so because I figured well maybe that was all that was needed. But no I got a quick replay with a screenshot of a prior exchange with an arrow pointing to the word pictures. I'm not making this **** up people, this is how condescending this has become.

So anyway I decided to unfortunately give them my mind alittle bit. Using examples why what they were asking was illogical along with a full rundown of how poorly they shipped this set etc etc. I'd been restrained this whole time but honestly I didn't care anymore, I wasn't going to do what he wanted so I just burnt the bridge, or I suspect I have.

I certainly won't be buying from Sentai's store again, at least not anything that comes in packaging that isn't a basic blu ray case.

What a weird and frustrating 24 hours this has been. I'm mostly annoyed by how illogical the request is rather than the replacements not being issued. It's amazing what companies can get away with and it's equally amazing just how important 4 empty cases is to Sentai Filmworks and the Japanese side of things. 1001 sets CANNOT HAPPEN, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!! lol.
 
Last edited:
#20
So what packaging did they use? (As yes I’ve heard a few got damaged )
They put it in a big cardboard box, thing is of course the set isn't a square it's a sort of pentagon triangle thing (I'm So Smart!). Anyway they had cardboard running around the box and that was it. In the 4 empty corners of my box only two had any packaging paper in them and even then not enough to properly secure the set from sliding about all over the place. The set wasn't wrapped in plastic which is why so many of the outer boxes got damaged. But the real kicker was the numbered plate inside the set wasn't secured at all, it just sat in an indent of foam, this plate is proper metal and has extremely sharp edges. Almost all sets delivered were opened to find the plate had got loose and had been rattling around in transit, exacerbated by the fact the set wasn't secure in the cardboard box. It's honestly the boxset equalivent of putting a set in an oversized jiffy envelope pretty much. Though at least those have bubble wrap because yes this $800 set wasn't shipped with any of that at all!
  • No Bubble Wrap
  • No Plastic Wrap
  • No Polysterene
  • Not enough Packing Paper
 
Top