This Spindle Of Memorex Burnable DVDs Is Full Of CDs

Stewart spent $105 on what he thought was a spindle of Memorex burnable DVDs. What he actually received was one burnable DVD sitting proudly atop a stack of CDs.

My friend Sam told me to send you my story about a recent spindle of Memorex DVD-R discs that I bought from Best Buy. It was an expensive spindle ($105) of dual-layer discs. When I got it home, I opened it up, and used the first disc. Then I tried to use the second disc, but it wouldn’t work. I struggled for about twenty minutes, trying to figure out why it wasn’t writing correctly. Finally I checked the physical disc, and realized that it wasn’t a DVD at all. Only the top disc was a DVD. The remaining 49 discs were run-of-the- mill blank CDs, which are worth about 1/8 the price I paid. At a cursory glance, though, they look exactly the same. It was just as if I had been given a roll of one-dollar bills, with a single twenty wrapped around the outside.

I don’t think this is Best Buy’s fault, since the discs were factory sealed. Presumably someone who works at Memorex thought this would be a good way to steal some expensive DVDs without anyone in the quality assurance team noticing. And I guess they were right!

Now I have to see if the folks at Best Buy will accept it as a return, or if they’ll assume that I’m the one scamming them.

See, just one DVD:memorex-roll2.jpg

memorex-roll3.jpgSurprisingly, Stewart tells us that Best Buy asked several “reasonably questions,” and then issued a refund. What a refreshing change of pace for Best Buy.


Edit Your Comment

  1. JackAshley says:

    If it wasn’t Dual Layer, I was going to say that up here in Canada, blank DVD’s are cheaper than CD’s due to the “Pirate Tax” and that Stewart got a deal. Unfortunately, Dual Layer…that’s another story. +1 for Best Buy for being nice for once!

  2. bby4l1f3 says:

    Events such as this (rocks in the box) Happens all the time, as long as the product is returned within a reasonable amount of time (24 hours or a phone call interaction with the supervisor).

    Problems occur when customers come in 2 week later with a similar claim…at this point who is to say who is telling the truth, and you can’t blame best buy for rejecting the return.

    Surprisingly, Stewart tells us that Best Buy asked several “reasonably questions,” and then issued a refund

    I don’t find it to be a surprise at all, i worked customer service at best buy for years, and 95% of the time we got the items swapped, customer left happy. You have to remember that most of the time people don’t say anything when they have a positive experience (and considering that Best Buy continues to grow as the number #1 electronics retailer apparently they are doing something right).

  3. savdavid says:

    How do we know you didn’t switch the DVDs for CDs?

  4. jamar0303 says:

    This is why I like going to my local electronics bazaar to buy DVDs. The vendors will tear open the package before I buy it to make sure it’s what I want.

  5. DeltaPurser says:

    Way to go BestBuy! For all the cr*p the’ve been getting from people on this site and others, I’m happy to hear of a good one… My first thought, admittedly, was that the poster had pulled a fast one on BestBuy, but, hey… what do I know?!

  6. goller321 says:

    @savdavid: How do we know you’re not a pedophile???

  7. privatejoker75 says:

    Even better than this is the jerkoffs who buy 5 liter jugs of Mobil 1 synthetic oil, take it home and then fill the jugs back up with dirty oil and return them. Lots of work for $25

  8. bentcorner says:

    I bet it’s not the first time that specific Best Buy has had this problem. Somebody there must be doing it. It’s not impossible to open these packages up, switch the discs and then repackage them up.

  9. bentcorner says:

    BTW – I wonder what he’s doing with all those duel-layer discs? :)

  10. @bentcorner: Backing things up? I bought an assload of CDR’s back during the .com bubble, when they were literally giving them away w/rebates, and still haven’t used half of them. It’s better to have too many than not enough.

    @privatejoker75: When I worked at a gas station, we would have to give a quart of oil if we failed to ask to check yours. Many a employee would fill empty containers w/water and putthem back on the display so the inventory count wouldn’t change.

  11. Walrii says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: Just be careful because CDs/DVDs can age and go bad.

  12. Primate says:

    He said it was still factory sealed. Put your tinfoil hat back on. The aliens have obviously been stealing your brain cells again.

  13. bentcorner says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: What do you think most people are using DL discs for that they can’t use a regular single layer disc for?

  14. bentcorner says:

    @Primate: Well, it took him 20 minutes to figure out that a blank cd wasn’t a dl dvd disc. Excuse me if I don’t quite believe that the packaging necessarily looked completely legit.

  15. akalish says:

    Best Buy is a waste of time. Go to for prices that are far less, amazing service, fast shipping, and acts of loving kindness. OK, the last one might be a stretch, but they really are amazing!! P.S. I’m not getting paid for this!

  16. Zimorodok says:

    @savdavid: Presumably if he did, he wouldn’t be blabbing about it here on Consumerist. He’d be too busy scamming every Best Buy in the county.

  17. EmperorOfCanada says:


    Newegg doesnt ship to Canada making them useless to me =/

  18. thirdbase says:

    This is the first Best Buy story that I have read on this blog that came out well for the customer. I hope that this is not an isolated incident and that Best Buy can keep it up.

  19. Maulleigh says:

    I hope someone at memorex gets this.

    And forget ethics courses in colleges: let’s start them in the fifth grade.

  20. howie_in_az says:

    @bentcorner: Multi-disc backups? Storing Oracle databases? OS disk images? CVS/SVN checkouts? Family photos/movies? Email backups so as to not appear like the Bush Administration? Things too large for a single DVD-R? I could go on but I don’t really think it’s anyone’s business what users are writing to their dual layer discs.

    ps Pro tip: the discs rarely fight with one another, hence dual, not duel.

  21. RottNDude says:

    I’m not sure why everyone here is rooting for best buy… so they didn’t give the guy any shit – they shouldn’t have in the first place. They’re a crappy, unethical company regardless of these actions.

  22. JasonKeiderling says:

    $105!!!. Next time use or Ebay. You’ll save around 80%.

  23. bentcorner says:

    @howie_in_az: So…. you really think people are using all those DUAL discs for making backups of their Oracle databases?


  24. howie_in_az says:

    @bentcorner: I have quite a few dual layer discs holding old Oracle tablespaces and the like. Even more holding exploded source trees of projects I’ve worked on. Still more holding family photos and movies. I fail to see what you’re getting at.

  25. Buran says:

    @bentcorner: Please explain your insane and ridiculous reasoning that using a hi-capacity disk makes you a suspected pirate. So wanting to store large files on a single disk instead of a collection of disks is a suspicious thing now? Well gee then I guess my burning of a large pile of Battlefield game mods onto a DVD-DL disk makes me a pirate too!?!

    You’re just being an idiot.

  26. Altdotweb says:

    Even suspected pirates deserve to get right items when they PAY for them.

  27. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    What’s your point, bentcorner? Tell us, why are you all bent out of shape about this?

  28. yesteryear says:

    @RottNDude: i’m with you… why on earth are people still shopping at best buy? especially people who read this blog? independent shops, costco, office supply stores, and countless internet stores are going to have dvds at a much lower price. the only way to voice your disgust for companies like best buy is to not shop there – ever!

  29. bentcorner says:

    @howie_in_az: And are you assuming that everyone is just like you? If you think most people that are buying spindles of DL discs as Best Buy are simply backing up family photos, you are smoking crack.

  30. bentcorner says:

    @Buran: When did I say that anyone was a “pirate”? I don’t call anyone a pirate unless they drink rum and walk around with a parrot on their shoulder. I just find it odd that some of you people actually think people are going to Best Buy to purchase DL disc spindles so they can back up their Oracle databases.

  31. wring says:

    @bentcorner: I still don’t see your point. Just because a person would buy an assload of Sudafeds with pseudoephedrine doesn’t mean they have a factory of crystal meth in their garage.

  32. glycolized says:

    Well, it took him 20 minutes to figure out that a blank cd wasn’t a dl dvd disc.

    And if it were me, and I had just purchased the spindle, and already used one disc, I probably would have taken 20 min. before I closely examined the disc. I probably would have picked out and tried disc #3 (and also disc # 20-something) off the spindle, but I certainly would not suspect this wacky situation. I can see that being pretty easy to overlook, even though it may be right under your nose.

    I guess we’ll all look at the label on the discs now when we get a bad burn.

  33. Buran says:

    @bentcorner: Uhm, because they want to? You have a suspicious attitude about anyone who doesn’t use floppies, from the look of it. What the hell is your problem? If you don’t want to use DL disks, then don’t, but why are you so suspicious of DL disks? You also are bitching that the guy didn’t realize he had the wrong kind of disks. Look at the picture and they look almost identical from the top, and most people don’t have reason to flip the disk over right away, and why would you expect a spindle of DL disks to contain CD-Rs?

    @Altdotweb: What is the basis for this accusation?

  34. macfoo says:

    Memorex is your issue here. I have had loads of issues with memorex discs since day 1 of owning any type of way to burn media (i.e CD-burner). I’ve also had Best Buy and Memorex refuse to take a return of most of a spindle because the first 3-5 were duds (yes oddly enough the same burn worked just fine on another brand disc).

    I’ve always known Memorex for shoddy media, but this is a new low.

  35. Antediluvian says:

    @bentcorner: How many DL DVD’s can I buy before you label me a pirate? 19? 20? 3? 49?

    I bought a bunch of DL DVD’s the other day. It was a spindle, but it only contained 20 discs. [true!]

    Am I a pirate in your eyes?
    Should I justify the purchase to you?

    What would you think if I told you it WAS actually because what I wanted to put on disc wouldn’t fit on a standard DVD? [true!]
    And that the item in question was actually a movie? [true!]

    How about now — have I achieved pirate status yet?

    Oh — even better — I charged the items to my work! [true!]
    Am I also unethical because I got work to pay for them?

    Oh, wait, sorry. Boring facts:
    A coworker needed them because the movie he was creating for a client wouldn’t fit on a single DVD. [true!]

  36. glycolized says:

    I just find it odd that some of you people actually think people are going to Best Buy to purchase DL disc spindles so they can back up their Oracle databases.

    Who are you, and why do you care what they put on the discs? Memorex is a major, reputable brand with a decades-long legacy of products, and they are being sold at one of the largest retailers in the world. How does your, or anyone else’s, speculation on the use of the product have any bearing on the fact that the buyer should expect to receive the product as it is labeled on the package?

  37. JasonKeiderling says:

    Pirated movies are not even the most common use for burnable DVDs in the US. Porn is. Check out Ebay or any adult website and you’ll find the option to buy DVDs. These DVDs aren’t rolled off an assembly line like they are at Paramount/MGM studios. They’re usually made on DVD-R disks using cheap equiptment, usually in the producers house. I don’t have any firm statistics to back this up, but I would bet that pornographic use of DVD-Rs easily dwarfs bootleg usage. I’m certainly not implying that this guy is a porn producer, I’m just saying there’s no reason to suspect him of being a pirate either.

  38. bentcorner says:

    @glycolized: But I don’t care what people are putting on all those DL discs. Really. I don’t care. I just think it’s funny that at least some of you think most people are using these DL discs to back up Oracle data files or old family photos. Some probably do, but not most of the people. It doesn’t matter what anecdotal information you can offer of.

  39. bentcorner says:

    @JasonKeiderling: I never called him a pirate.

  40. glycolized says:

    Well Bent, your second post consists of “I wonder what he’s doing…”, so we think you do care – at least enough to post here.

  41. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Wouldn’t a “duel-layer” disc be used in some kind of competition (perhaps to the death)?
    DVD-R burners at ten paces?

    Oh and it’s the consumers fault :) If this happened to me, odds are I wouldn’t know for a while. I buy ’em on sale and use ’em when I need them. I have several packs (spindles if you wish) laying around (CD-R,DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW etc) and couldn’t tell you where I bought them in the first place.

  42. Coles_Law says:

    “Duel-layer” disc: HD-DVD/Blu-Ray combo disc.

  43. RvLeshrac says:


    I lol’d.


    If you put on an eyepatch and peg leg, then walk around him in a circle with a large foam finger pointing at him, you’re not calling him a pirate, either. You’re implying it, though.

  44. crazylady says:

    That is one big ripoff for dl dvdrs. I actually went to best buy once to look for some because I couldn’t wait a couple days for newegg to ship even if I paid up the arse for next day and one of the newegg warehouses is something like a 20mi drive away (it was the weekend, and an emergency dvd reauthoring for a friend). The prices were so outrageous compared to what I was used to – shitty quality Memorex was more than double the price of the not-shittily-manufactured verbatim disks from newegg.

    I ended up reauthoring to dvd5 and it wasn’t as nice, but I wasn’t about to get massively ripped off like that.

    @bentcorner: you sure do a fantastic job implying that he is a pirate. What, too hard to believe some people can’t fit some completely legal things on a dvd5? Wait, is buying spindles of those suspicious too, what would the average user have a need for those etc.? Should we be relying on hard drives that can fail? Invest in a raid? Multiple raids to get a bit of physical redundancy? Use tape (?!?!)? Buy a bunch of expensive flash drives?

  45. Angryrider says:

    I’d prefer Brick and Mortar ’cause I only buy DVD-Rs on SALE!!!! This week I can choose either Dynex 50 pack at BB or Philips at CC for $10.
    Find me a site that sells them for $11 total.

  46. TechnoDestructo says:

    “Brick and Mortar”…because that’s what you get in the box instead of electronics.

  47. SaraAB87 says:

    Those generic discs CAN and DO go bad. I have personally seen disc rot on some of my CDR’s that I had burned from friends back in the day and they have long rotted by now even though they were less than 5 years old. If you are going for long term backups you might be better off spending more for a quality brand of discs whatever type you may be using.

    If your going for an application where you don’t expect the disc to last forever or don’t need it to then yes go ahead and buy the cheap generic discs.

  48. coren says:

    @JasonKeiderling: 50 dual layer discs for 22 bucks? Show me that, I’m interested.

  49. coren says:

    lol @ the piracy argument. Everyone who thinks there are legitimate uses, and that those outweigh the illegal ones are wrong. Cuz some guy with the exact same evidence (none!) says so. Jeez guys, quit arguing. He’s a big fat doody-faced pirate.

  50. MBZ321 says:

    Cheap CD-R’s are horrible. I had a few spindles of “HI-VAL” brand I think I got for free at OfficeMax..and after about 2 years (cd’s were kept in a very heavy duty case), i flip some over and see the “data” is pretty much flaking off. What a pain. Good thing the stuff I had on there wasn’t terribly important.

  51. backbroken says:

    Arrrrrgh. Yo ho ho and a spindle o’ Dual Layers me hardy!

  52. Buran says:

    @bentcorner, and Coren: So that gives you an excuse to throw accusatory BS at everyone? SO WHAT if they’re not using them for Oracle? Do you go around accusing everyone who owns a car of using it to hurt people or commit other crimes?

    Because owning something that can be used to do something illegal is evidence that they probably do use it for that purpose?

    You two must work for the TSA. Because those people are the ones who go around spouting “well, it can be used for something bad, therefore you can’t have it” bullshit.

  53. booticon says:

    Anybody implying that people that buy lots o’ DL DVD-Rs for pure piracy is a fucking moron. (I’m talking to you bentcorner). Hard drive-based storage is much faster and cheaper.

  54. Buran says:

    @coren: Show proof, asshole.

  55. spinachdip says:

    @coren: The internet is an unregulated playground for sexual predators and their prey. Everyone who thinks there are legitimate uses for the internet, and that those outweigh the illegal ones are wrong. You are a big fat doucy (sic) child molester.

  56. howie_in_az says:

    @bentcorner: This conversation can serve no purpose anymore. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over.

    @coren: Some people are strangers to sarcasm, sadly :(

  57. dvdchris says:

    I’m glad they only asked reasonably questions.

  58. @Walrii: They’re almost all black CD’s, and I think in all of the ones I ever burned, I only had one coaster.

    @bentcorner: Anything that’s at least one meg bigger than a standard DVD

  59. Gorky says:

    I dont know why people keep saying to use Ebay or newegg or other online retailers to save lots of money. Youre only saving lots of money if youre buying cheap assed generic discs that probably dont perform as well as a good name brand such as memorex, TDK, or Sony. They also recommend crappy websites like for cables and a such youre getting crappy low grade unshielded trash cables for like 2 bucks. You get what you pay for.

  60. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Winnar!

  61. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Gorky: Monoprice is an excellent store and they stomp damn near everybody with quality cables and kick ass prices. Be that as it may, if you’re the type of guy that likes to make yourself feel better by overpaying for your “nitrogen gas-injected insulation” Monster HDMI cables at Best Buy at $100 a pop, knock yourself out, fella.

  62. Insder says:

    @Gorky: Um…for an HDMI cable..a digital signal is a digital signal. No amount of Monster-Shielding-Amazingness! is gonna change that. Since when are monoprice’s cables bad? Please, show me a case of that. (For reference, all my HDMI cables are monoprice.)

  63. xredgambit says:

    @glycolized: “Memorex is a major, reputable brand with a decades-long legacy of products, and they are being sold at one of the largest retailers in the world.”

    I’m sorry, but every single memorex disc I’ve ever used became a coaster. I even bought a dl disc spindle from them and it still was ass, I think out of 20 I got 2 to acutally burn.
    I’m sure some of their products are fine. But I’m never buying their discs again. I’ve encountered less problems from the el-cheapos then a “reputable brand.”

  64. JHoward88 says:

    There is possibly a logical reason for the error somewhere in the assembly process. I couldn’t speak in regard to this intelligently as I have not seen the factory or the process, but I do think I am correct in theorizing that there are more causes for something like this than pure thievery.

    I have personally found Best Buy to have wonderful customer service; an element which has continually brought me back to their stores.

  65. riverstyxxx says:

    I read everything and actually have something to contribute:

    Memorex discs aren’t made by Memorex. What the company does is find a manufacturer to produce discs that they can put their name onto for the lowest price to them, then reselling and using the memorex brand name so people will buy them.
    A lot of companies do this. Don’t think of it as necessarily a bad thing.

    This might explain the switch-up in some way or another. But probably not.

  66. latemodel says:

    Cinram is the big player in the north American manufacture of DVD discs and they have been haveing problems at their Huntsville,AL plant where the discs are packaged and shipped.

    Department of Homeland Security is looking for more than 100 workers from Huntsville’s Cinram plant

  67. PAroadwarrior says:

    Yesterday I bought a Wiimote/WiiPlay bundle to add to my ever growing collection of Wii flotsam. BB packages the Nintendo box in a plastic security box that has to be unlocked at checkout.

    When I opened the Nintendo package at home, I discovered that it was the proverbial brick in a box: The game disc, the rubber grip and the wrist strap were all missing. The Wiimote itself looked like it was old, and there were a couple of dead Duracell batteries with it.

    Closer inspection revealed that the bottom of the box appeared to have been tampered with, leaving the factory seal at the top of the box intact.

    I turned around, went straight back to BB. I was hoping there wasn’t going to be an issue. The BB returns guy looked at me suspiciously, but he did an even exchange for me. I made him open the new box and verify that the contents of the new package were complete.

    At one point, I asked “Isn’t the security box that you guys put these in supposed to prevent this type of thing from happening?” No reaction. It was as if I hadn’t spoken. I got what I needed, but I left wondering if I had dealt with a human or an android….

  68. guspaz says:

    What about system backups? Those are a perfect example of a possible use of a DL disc. Hopefully BluRay will come down in cost enough to make that viable.

    I guess this is a lesson, though, not to go with the cheap brands like Memorex. Buy better quality products like Verbatim, and I’d imagine you’re less likely to run into this situation.

  69. jarchie219 says:

    Boy oh Boy! Consumerist is badly in need of a monitor to tone down some of the bad feelings going on here.

    In the old days I dropped several Bulletin Boards and Newsgroups because I got tired of reading abusive and off topic messages.

  70. glycolized says:

    I’m sorry, but every single memorex disc I’ve ever used became a coaster. I even bought a dl disc spindle from them and it still was ass, I think out of 20 I got 2 to acutally burn.

    I am not judging any product as to whether it’s junk or not. It doesn’t matter here (I think I have had some bad Memorex discs in the past, actually). My point here is that Memorex is a real brand. These aren’t no-name discs from the guy at the computer show at the fairgrounds. That is what I meant by reputable.

    There is a clearly printed label identifying the contents of the package, and the consumer should expect the label to be true. Until the sale of blank DVD media is deemed unlawful, derailing a thread to speculate what the media is to be used for is pointless.

    That aside, it’s too bad that consumerist gets cluttered with so much ‘noise’, both in the posts and the derailed threads. This original story is barely worthy of it’s own post. Having a problem with a product or service, and immediately getting correction/satisfaction is not much for a story. That, in addition to open-registration, leads to posting, with fark-like abandon, any little thought that pops into someones head.

  71. awdark says:

    I had the same problem… I just burned tons of coasters which was a big waste of time, luckily I tested the before archiving them for backup.

    O_o he sure paid a lot for the spindle of disks!
    Hm ohh dual layer, but still feels absurd to pay over $2/disk