Have you gotten in the habit of renting more movies than you buy? It's certainly an easy pattern to fall into thanks to Netflix bringing DVDs right to your door and Redbox bringing their DVD rental boxes to grocery store parking lots across the country, but if you're a junkie for special features, it may soon be a habit you have to break.
A Consumerist reader recently wrote in to the consumer advocate blog to let them know that he had discovered the 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' DVD he had rented from Blockbuster contained no special features. The $3.99 price tag he paid for the rental disc got him the menus for the special features, but any attempts to access them were met with a message proclaiming, "This disc is intended for rental purposes and only includes the feature film. Own it on Blu-Ray or DVD to view these bonus features and complete your movie watching experience."
Sadly, it's not just 'Scott Pilgrim,' either. Copies of 'Get Him to the Greek' (which is also a Universal title) have been found to sport the feature-only initiative. And, according to HackingNetflix.com, Netflix copies of 'UP' have been found to be missing the option for "closed captions," (by which they most likely mean subtitles and not closed captioning for the hearing impaired). We should also note that 20th Century Fox kicked off this recent trend last year, and it made headlines after they accidentally shipped a bunch of rental DVDs minus special features to stores for people to purchase. See our original story here. Now this practice looks to be spreading to other studios.
So what do you think about all of this? Most studios have manufactured rental-only copies of films for years (it's not like they just throw away the boxes), but traditionally those discs have been identical to the retail discs. Now that that's no longer the case, do you feel like rental outlets should do a better job of disclaiming when a disc is feature-less? Netflix' page for 'Scott Pilgrim' does only list "Color; interactive menus; scene access" as the DVD's other features, but the outlet doesn't exactly go out of its way to make that clear (though it is good to know they haven't gone so far as to rent out black-and-white versions of the film). Or does this ultimately not even bother you in the slightest?
Let us know below, and, please let us know if you find any other rented movies lacking in special features.