Moving In the Opposite Direction

I found myself wanting to let loose with a primal scream a few minutes ago. I bought four CD’s by Led Zeppelin yesterday (Yes, I still like buying CD’s). Anyway, I wanted to add them to iTunes so I could listen across all my devices so with great expectations I took them out of the plastic shopping bag and began the process of opening the CD case.

Five minutes into the process and I wanted to let the scream fly. I cannot believe that record and movie companies are still using the ridiculous seals at the top of the jewel cases that won’t come off without great effort and in many pieces. Then the tape sticks to your fingers and it becomes a game to try and transfer it to the trash. A company that sells the seals says it gives your product a professional look. Right!

Companies supposedly use the seals to stop people from stealing the CD or DVD. Think about that for a minute. If someone wanted to steal the music or movie why would they go through the trouble of shoplifting? They can download it from an unlimited number of places and not pay a cent if that’s how they live. Meanwhile, customers who actually buy the products have to put up with packaging that is bad for the environment, ugly, and guaranteed to begin the buyer/seller relationship badly!

What do you or your company do in the name of process, security, or that’s just the way we’ve always done it that is ticking off your customers?

When are you going to change it?


“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” – Albert Einstein

photo courtesy webhamster

6 thoughts on “Moving In the Opposite Direction”

  1. I have a CD opener gadget. Works pretty well (don’t remember where I got it, but I assume Amazon can come to the rescue).

    1. I’ve seen them and they sort of work. Why do we need a special gadget and how many people have one handy? The last DVD I opened had the plastic cover with the graphics glued to the packaging and ripped when we opened it.

  2. Bob, Led Zeppelin, eh? I’m very happy that your inner headbanger is still alive. But like you, I continue to be amazed at packaging that you have to use a blowtorch to open. CD cases are asinine, but they are matched by those cruel hard plastic encasements that necessitate pruning shears to open (and in the opening, have resulted in stab wounds on my hands).

    It’s so clear that these are inefficient means to present product, and even cause resentment in their users. As you ask, Why?

    Turn that Zeppelin up loud, as it’s meant to be…

    1. Cranked up loud right now, Tom. I agree with you about the hard plastic encasements. Now that I’m a grandfather of 4, I am getting lots of experience in opening toys on birthdays and Christmas. I literally had to get a pair of sheet metal cutters to open some recently because scissors couldn’t not cut the thickness.

      If we assume that 99% of the customers (there are always the masochists who must enjoy it) who encounter this type of packaging hate it and feel real resentment towards the seller then why, please tell me why, do they continue to use it?

      Come on – there must be someone reading who can tell us!

  3. Our local consumer reporter had a piece once about wrap rage (and yet another gadget to help open those blasted packages).

    I think it was something about reducing theft and safety (so the pieces didn’t fall out), but not sure.

    I too have managed to stab myself more than once!

    1. Wrap Rage! Good name for it. Here is a company that has registered the domain Of course they sell packaging – but claim that their products are safer – among other benefits. They also cite this amazing statistic:

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 300,000 people visit the hospital annually due to injuries from opening plastic clamshell packaging. As a brand owner, leaving your customer with a negative experience with your packaging has a profound impact on your product image.

      I’m surprised some law firm hasn’t filed a class action by now.

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