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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
All problems solved, all questions answered? Then return here to the rental home page
When is the store open?
- Mondays - Fridays from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. (14-23)
- Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (12-24)
- Sundays and holidays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (16-22)
- Different opening hours on holidays will be posted in the store or inquire by phone
I wanted to take a look at your stock of videos online but was not able to get past the request for a password. What should I do?
The rental area is restricted to persons 18 years of age and older; the databank is restricted to registered customers for similar reasons. Only after one has registered and received a customer card with a customer number will it be possible to access the data bank. This restriction is necessary because German laws for the protection of minors dictates that children and youths are not to be confronted with materials which have been deemed by the BPjS (the national office for the rating of materials which may endanger children and young people) to be unsuitable for minors (so-called "indizierte" or indexed materials). At the moment there are more than 2850 films, which have been given the status of "indexed." To be labelled as "indexed" means that the film in question may not be advertised in any fashion. A description on our website could be considered advertising in this sense. Further information (the law in english as a pdf) is available here.
If you are of the age of majority do come into the store and let us issue you a membership card.
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How can I get a customer card?
In order to rent films one needs a customer card, which may be acquired by anyone of the age of majority in person in the store. One needs to bring the following:
We no longer accept address registration with the Berlin Police (Anwohnermeldeamt - Anmeldebestätigung) as a form of proof for your Berlin address for several reasons. You must have these documents in the original - no photocopies - to get a customer card. We do not accept driver's licences, students IDs or similar IDs as valid identity cards.
- a valid identity card with an address in Berlin or in the near vicinity - or -
- a valid passport with proof of your Berlin address in form of a current telephone or mobile, electrical, gas or similar bill, bank statement, any form of letter from any governmental institution.
Can't I just leave a deposit of some kind in lieu of these documents?
Yes you can. We require a deposit of 50 Euro per film, regardless if it's a new release or an old classic. You can either pick up your deposit after you returned the film, or you can leave it there for future rentals.
Can't I just leave my passport or identity card as a form of deposit?
No. It is illegal for us to take your papers. Only the state and its organs are permitted to retain identity papers.
Can anyone rent videos or are there other requirements?
Basically, anyone can rent videos who can fulfil the requirements mentioned above with regards to proving their identity.
It has only rarely happened that customers have been refused service by Videodrom - this has only happened when there have been very good reasons (high debts, destruction of tapes or dvds, acts in contravention of the regulations regarding rentals) which have made such measures unavoidable.
Can one be issued a card on behalf of an institution or a company, which is then used by its members or employees?
No. Companies cannot have customer cards, only individual humans. Again in this area we have had some bad experiences, as the cards continued to be used by former employees and films were not returned. The company then refused to repay us and we were left holding the bag.
I don't live in Berlin but would like to rent films. Can they be sent to me by mail?
No. It's currently not possible to be sent films by mail. If you're temporarily staying in Berlin, you can always rent with deposit.
Are the customer cards transferable? Is it possible for my boyfriend or girlfriend to use my card?
No. If one attempts to do so the card will be withdrawn and the account will be made inaccessible until the owner of the card comes by in person and again shows us his or her passport or identity card. This is for your own protection, for you are responsible for all rentals made on your card. It is simpler for the friend in question to get a card of his or her own.
And if I give him or her my permission in writing?
No. We require your own personal signature on the rental receipt.
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What does a Video or a DVD cost? Do I have to return it on the same day?
We always rent our films out until the next day - unlike other video stores: rent today and bring it back tomorrow. You are charged when you rent. You won't have to pay again the next day, if you're in time.
What happens if I don't return the film on time?
- Generally dvds, blu-rays and videos cost 3,60 Euro each.
- Media under or around 60 minutes in length usually only cost 2.50 Euro
- You need to return the films on the next regular business day sometime during our opening hours
- The exception with regards to returns are films which are new on our shelves; these have to be returned by 8 pm and are marked accordingly with a yellow sticker.
- Sundays and holidays do not count as "regular business days" with us. In other words if you rent a film on a Saturday or before a holiday you may keep it until Monday or until the first business day after the holiday without extra charge!
- Late returns cost 2,50 Euro per day per film (Sundays and holidays are not included)
- New films (with the yellow 8 pm sticker) cost 3,60 Euro per day per film if returned late. (Sundays and holidays are not included in this calculation either).
- Generally we remind you after a couple of days in case you forget. This is done by telephone, by email or by mail.
- The maximum rental period is four weeks. After that time we will begin legal proceedings against the renter and will require that the renter pay the cost of a replacement plus the rental charges for four weeks. Please don't let it go this far!
- If you need videos or dvds for a longer period, please say so upon rental. In that case of course it is possible for you to keep the film in question longer without penalties.
Is there a special rate if I rent several videos or dvds at once?
- Sure! Three dvds or videos over night cost 10 Euro. Each additional film cost only 3 Euro a piece.
Thus 3 dvds or videos cost 10 Euro all together, 4 cost 13 Euro and so on.
- We also offer cheaper rates, when you tell us in advance, if you're need one or more films for a longer period of time. This offer is however not valid for all films (e.g. it's not possible with new releases or titles in high demand), but with most of them. Please inquire at the store with regards to exceptions.
- One film for a week is 10 Euro instead of 18.60 Euro,
- one film for two days is 5 Euro instead of 6,10 Euro,
- 3 films for 3 days (well worth if you're not living close by) are 15 Euro instead of 25 Euro (each additional film is 5 Euro for 3 days). All these special offers only apply in advance.
Is it possible to save more money if one rents films frequently?
Of course! Your patronage will be rewarded! See more on this flatrate membership in the next section.
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What is the flatrate membership?
- Club members can take out one film every day for free.
- You pay 25 Euro per month for this service.
- You get a neat new three digit customer number - yeah, baby!
- You are obliged to sign up for a minimum of 6 months. Since we calculate by calendar months it makes sense of course to sign up at the beginning of the month and not at the end or in the middle.
- If you want more than one film, then you don't pay the full price for the second film but rather just 2.50 Euro for each additional film you rent.
- You can easily calculate that if you only rent 7 films a month, or a total of 42 films during the first 6 months the service will have paid for itself. The more you watch, the more you save!
And what about the details?
- If you pay in cash you must pay, in advance, for the entirety of the first 6 months (150 Euro).
- If you chose to pay by means of monthly withdrawals from your bank account you must pay the first month in cash (25 Euro). The rest will be withdrawn from the bank account monthly.
- If the account does not have sufficient funds to cover the amount of the withdrawal you will have to carry the additional bank charges incurred by us.
- After the first 6 months have passed, if you are paying by cash, you may extend the service by 3-month blocks (or more).
- If you pay by automatic withdrawal, the service will continue on a monthly basis until you cancel it.
- It is not possible to let the service "rest" for a month (in case of holidays, work etc.). You can, however, after the first 6 months, cancel at any time and restart the service whenever you choose.
- Any days on which you do not rent a film may not be saved up for later use. That is, if you have not been to Videodrom for 5 days you may not come on the 6th day and take home 6 films for free.
- It is possible to extend the rental of a film you already have at home by telephone, as long as that film is not among the new films (ie. as long as it does not have a sticker asking you to return it by 8 pm) or as long as it has not been reserved by someone else.
- A longer rental period can also be arranged in advance (depending on the film in question, of course, since this is not possible with all new films).
- If you share your household with another person, that person can also receive the authorization (by means of a Vollmacht) to rent films on your card. In order to do so both persons must come by the store with their identity cards or passports and residency papers, proving that both persons share an address, and fill out the appropriate forms.
- Further information is available at the store from the employees at the counter.
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If I have found a particular film in the Videodrom databank that interests me, how can I see if it is available at the moment or not?
Unfortunately you can't! Our online databank is not connected to our rental database. Therefore it is not possible to receive current information about the location of a given film at a given moment. Due to security issues the connection of the two databanks would be too unwieldy.
A short telephone call to the store will suffice to find out if a particular film is there at the moment. Or you could just come by yourself...
Once I have found a film that I want to rent in the databank or in the store itself, what information do you need to find it for me?
Just make a note of the number. Please always make sure that you have noted the correct number! Often a given film will be available in various language versions and/or under various titles on vhs or dvd.
Please don't bring the covers to the counter with you when you are in the store! Wherever there are gaps on the shelves other customers will be inclined to place films that belong elsewhere (and by the end of the day we won't be able to find anything anymore)! We have pens and paper available for you at the counter for you to make a note of the numbers you need.
Can I reserve a particular film for a particular day?
Yes. The reservations you make are binding and you should be sure to pick up the film on the day in question! We take reservations up to three days in advance. We cannot however guarantee that a particular film will be available at a particular hour on a particular day. If the film was rented on the day prior to your reservation, you should remember that that customer is allowed to keep it until 11pm (or 8pm if it is a new film)! That means that the film might indeed be returned only at that hour!
We also cannot guarantee that a particular film is returned on time to be back for the day in question. It does happen that people do not return their films on time unfortunately!
You can make a reservation by phone or in person at the store. Please give us your telephone number, the title of the film and the rental number of that film if you know it.
Unfortunately it is not possible to reserve films by email. Not yet, anyway.
May I rent films for other people on my card?
You may not give films you have rented to third parties. However, since we have no control over what you do with the films you have rented, once you have left the store, whatever you choose to do is your responsibility. In any case you are responsible for all late charges, should the dvds or videos be returned too late or in a damaged state.
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Can someone else return videos / DVDs for me?
Sure! You do not need to show your membership card when you return a film or be a member, and so anyone may return your film for you. You should remember however that if you give your film to another person it does not relieve you of the responsibility to return the film on time. If the person who returns the film does not pay the late charges they will be left on your account as a debt, which you must pay as soon as possible. Otherwise we will have to take legal steps against you, should those charges be above a certain amount. Unfortunately in such a case it is irrelevant whether you are responsible yourself for the late charges that were incurred or whether someone acting on your behalf was responsible. You alone must cover the late fees.
Can I send you the videos or DVDs by post?
A dangerous practice! In a small number of cases, where there is no other option, we have allowed it. But because the delivery time involved is not always clear in advance you can accrue late fees in this fashion. The postmark is not relevant here, but rather the day on which the medium reaches us. We wish to remind you again: passing on a video or dvd to a third party does not relieve you of your responsibility to return it to us on time! If the parcel goes missing, in other words, you will be held responsible for replacing the film in question!
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I rented a DVD and am having technical problems with it. What should I do?
- Regional Codes: We have a number of dvds in stock that are not code 2 (the code assigned to Europe and Japan). They therefore will not be viewable on normal dvd players (those that are not "code-free"). We ALWAYS inform a customer that they are renting a code 3 or code 4 dvd. Please always make sure in advance that your player is equipped to play dvds with those codes. Many of the more inexpensive models available allow you to switch the player to the "code-free" setting by means of the remote control. You only have to do this once and your machine is ready to play DVDs from any area of the world. Check online, if you machine is capable, e.g. at videohelp.com, or just by entering the exact brand and item number of your machine plus the word "codefree" into google. If you need further information in this regard, please send us an email. If you're watching on a computer, just download the freeware player VLC-Player (available for all platforms) from videolan.org and watch your DVDs with that.
- Black and white playback: A few of our dvds are coded for the NTSC television norm and cannot be played in colour on the normal playstation 2 players available here. Older televisions might also be affected.
- Glitches: The dvd seems to skip from time to time. Please make a note for us of the exact moment when this happens.
- The film stops in the middle: ...and won't continue: many dvds are recorded on dual layers. Few dvd players in computers are not able to deal with this feature. Sorry, but we are also not responsible if you are having this problem.
I rented a video but have technical problems with it. What should I do?
- Tracking: White squiggly lines on the top or bottom of the screen, appearing all the time or only periodically, the sound comes and goes etc. It is always helpful in this case to adjust the tracking on your player. This corrects the majority of problems. However many modern video players have automatic tracking, which adjusts older videos incorrectly. There is little that one can do in this case. This is unfortunately a problem that is caused by your player.
- Folds in the videotape: Folds such as these make themselves felt by way of horizontal stripes through the image that move from the top to the bottom of the image. One also cannot do much in this case to adjust the problem. Please let us know if you have rented such a video and make a note of the precise place in the video where you had this problem. We will check the tape ourselves once you have returned the tape in question.
- Copy Protection: If the image is darker at the top and frays to the side this is an indication of the influence of the copyright protection "macrovision" which is present on a number of tapes. This has an unfortunate influence on one's pleasure in viewing a tape, but is a choice made by the maker of the tape in question. Oftentimes it helps to adjust the fine-tuning of the video channel on the television. This is a technical problem that has to do with the manner in which the television and the video recorder communicate with each other. We cannot offer you much assistance in such a case.
- Tape salad: The video is stuck in the recorder and doesn't want to come out again. Oh dear! That is a bad sign. The tape will be damaged with folds. It may even tear. Usually this is a sign of malfunctioning VCR player. Keep an eye out for similar problems. If they occur, have the machine inspected or simply throw it out.
I have lost a film or broken it - what should I do?
Oh damn! Just come in to the store or give us a call. Sometimes tapes can be saved, if the problem is at the beginning or at the end of the tape. Please do not try to repair the tape yourself! The dismantling of videotapes is prohibited, as is any damage to the security stickers on its sides! If the video or dvd proves to be irreparably damaged we will be forced to bill you for the replacement costs and for the missed rental fees. Your insurance may cover such things (eg. a Haftpflichtversicherung). If the video or dvd is no longer available we will bill you a reasonable amount for the loss, which has been set in advance for such eventualities. The same thing holds true for lost or stolen tapes or dvds, even if they have been lost or stolen while in the possession of a third party. We are, however, not liable for damages to your player by tapes or dvds rented from us.
Für Schäden, die durch entliehene Medien von Videodrom an Deinen Geräten entstehen sollten, haftet Videodrom keinesfalls.
My dvd is scratched, broken or cracked - what should I do?
Damn again! If the dvd is just soiled (eg. by falling to the floor) one can use a lint free cloth to carefully wipe it clean. Do not use chemical cleaning fluids. Do not polish it. Always wipe in a straight movement from the centre outwards. Never rub it across or in circles! You will create even more scratches in this fashion! Leave the cleaning of the discs to us!
If the dvd is scratched one can probably have it professionally sanded - please let us know, therefore, when you return it, that it has been scratched! Minimal charges are involved.
Cracked or broken dvds must be replaced at your cost.
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Are the films at Videodrom all uncut?
We can't guarantee that. We always try to offer the longest, best, most accurate version available, whether in the horror film genre, which has often been censored in Germany, or in any other. In certain cases this is not possible, either because no such version is available, or because German law prevents it (Paragraph 131 or 184 of the German criminal code). We do however do our best to find the best versions. We do not, however, have films that are forbidden in Germany. This would be illegal.
I am looking for a certain film but have not been able to find it in the databank by means of the quick search option.
Then use the professional search option ("Profisuche"). Sometimes we have a film registered in the database under a certain title, which may or may not be the title you are looking for. In Germany films are often renamed in surprising ways, and if we have it in the English language version you may not recognize the title. We are always working to improve the efficiency of our databank, but there are still may gaps with reference to the titles under which foreign films were released in Germany, the titles of foreign films in the USA or England or alternative titles. Just look for the name of the director in such a case and you might find what you are looking for. Or simply browse through the listing for the genre in question.
If all else fails, send us an email.
Can I look for the name of the actor?
I'm afraid not. So far it is not possible to enter the name of key actors in films into a search in our database. It would not be possible to add this category at the moment, since it would mean a great deal of work. A tip that might help you find what you are looking for in such a case is the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). There you can find entries for actors and then look up the film titles in question in our database afterwards.
Can I make suggestions for future acquisitions?
Certainly! Please do so by email to email@example.com. We will see what we can do. We will, of course, add new films as soon as they are available on dvd or video, so don't make suggestions for films that have not yet become available, please!
There is a film that is a particular favourite of mine. Can I buy it?
Sure! If it is still available for sale we will order it for you. Please go to our online shop or stop by the pop culture media store (Oranienstrasse 195, at Heinrichplatz, Tel. 612 87 223). Some brand new films might not yet available for sale to the general public, but only for rental stores initially.
If the film is no longer available can I buy your copy?
Sorry, no! We see our stock as an film archive and hope to keep all our films available for the public. If we were to sell all of our most interesting films to the public we would soon have a very poor collection. You can understand this, can't you?
If you're after VHS however, let us know, what you're interested in. Usually we sell them for around 2 Euro only (cheaper than rental), unless they're rare titles. If you want to buy huge amounts or whole TV-series for example, we'll discount you even further. Don't hesitate to ask. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tel. (030) 692 88 04
Monday - Friday 2 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Sunday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
U-Bahn U7 (Gneisenaustrasse)
Bus 248 (Jüteborgerstrasse)
(You need a map? click here...)
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