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Columbia House


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Corporate Statistics
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Columbia House

250 W. 34th St., 5th Fl., New York, NY USA



Columbia House Company is a club-based direct seller of DVDs in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Initially it was a joint venture between Sony and Time Warner. Columbia House "sells more than 8,500 motion picture titles via mail order and online. Its TV on DVD club features a variety of television programming. Founded in 1997, the company is part of Direct Brands (formerly Direct Group North America), which is owned by Arizona-based investment firm Najafi Cos."[1]


[edit] Criticism

[edit] Business Ethics

  • Fined $143 Million for Conspiring to Fix CD Prices, December 4, 2003. Columbia House along with other music clubs have been fined $143 million for fixing CD prices. A federal judge has approved a settlement that gives discount vouchers to more than 8 million people who had accused various music clubs of these practices. The class-action lawsuit was filed several years ago against Bertelsmann's BMG Music Club, Columbia House and several other CD manufacturers and distributors, alleging that they conspired to set prices of CDs sold to music club members.
  • Columbia House Telemarketers Violating No-Call Laws, 2003. If you've ever cursed when a Columbia House Co. telemarketer disturbed your dinner to see, for the 20th time, if you really wanted to cancel your membership with their record club two years ago, today is your day to smile. The record club company will pay a $300,000 fine to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission lawsuit saying it violated the federal no-call telemarketing law. In a suit filed and settled Thursday, the FTC said Columbia House violated the law "tens of thousands" of times in 2003.
  • Negative Option Billing Practice - According to customer feedback, the Columbia House company employs negative option billing, a form of commercial distribution in which services are automatically supplied to a consumer until the customer goes through the trouble of issuing a cancellation of the services.[2][3]
  • Unsatisfactory Better Business Bureau Rating - Based on BBB files, this business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB due to a failure to respond to complaints. This company also has an unsatisfactory record due to a pattern of complaints. Specifically, complainants allege receiving merchandise and/or bills for merchandise from BMG/Columbia House for CDs and/or DVDs that customers did not order. Complainants further say that they did not join BMG/Columbia House and do not know how the company obtained their information and that the company's phone line & website do not provide live customer service representatives to help resolve these complaints.[4]

[edit] Praise

[edit] Brands and Subsidiaries

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