I am trying to avoid writing up negative spiels on here. Browsing through hundreds of old news posts from Teenage Kyle gave me plenty of opportunities to notice it is pretty annoying. However, this experience is something I think we can all learn from and take forward into product design and life in general.
I have “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” on disc from Netflix. Last night, I viewed the whole film and enjoyed it a great deal. After the credits ran, it (without any prompting or input from me) went back to highlight the “Play With Director Commentary” menu option. I thought I’d give that a look the next day and then went to sleep because it was late. Smash cut to today where I plan to put on the commentary while doing some cleaning and work. I go into the same menu and enable the commentary. What greets me is a helpful little dialog box stating that this disc is intended for rentals and I should purchase the full movie on Blu-Ray to complete my movie experience with additional features and content.
Wait. Are you fucking kidding me?
Great. You are greedy and assholes. Way to go. There is no other outcome for a customer looking at this except to think “Wow, fuck you, Universal.” I am especially not going to go buy a product which just pulled a hilarious prankjoke on me. Keep in mind that this is the menu that the disc itself brings you back to after you have watched the movie to suggest “Hey, maybe watch it again with commentary?” You are an asshole, disc. Now I understand that huge movie companies have it pretty rough what with internet piracy and the confounding inevitable march of time and progress. I will fully allow them to have rental-only discs with a limited set of features. But do not, do not put that same menu in there with a “JK HAHA” message attached to it. Take the minuscule effort it takes to burn two different versions of the disc with the extra features removed entirely. You are already burning two versions! This is not a huge cost! The ultra dick move is showing the features and giving the impression of a fully-featured disc but then saying were actually just Joshin’. It’s childish. Be a jerk up front. Don’t be a surprise jerk.
It seems like a tiny thing, but details are important when trying to appear like a smart, competent business.