When we used to receive Digibeta downconversions from HD masters, we'd often receive anamorphic 16:9 Digibeta downconversions of 1.33:1 films (ie. correct aspect ratio film (1.33:1) but incorrectly rendered anamorphically within a 16:9 frame with pillarboxing as part of the screen information), and had to send them back and request a 1.33:1 non-anamorphic Digibeta downconversion. I heard about exactly the same thing happening with another UK label just a few months ago and luckily they dealt with it in time.
So many SD downconversions are done of 1.66:1, 1.85:1, and 2.35:1 films from HD masters that they probably just left the 16:9 switch flipped on the 4:3 stuff.
Whenever I had to deal directly with telecine and transfer houses, I'd typically be anal to the point of making Viz
's Mr Logic seem casually lackadaisical in terms of specifying exactly
what I wanted the end result to look like. Not least because if I had to ask them to do it again, I'd have written evidence that they didn't follow my original instructions.
Annoyingly, sometimes I'd find mistakes that I hadn't anticipated - for instance, I really should have flagged up in advance that Cottage to Let
has a flash of red, because the telecine house presumably thought that since it was a black and white film, they'd set everything to greyscale from the start. Unsurprisingly, they weren't prepared to do it again for the sake of a single frame - at least not at their expense - so I had to wait until BFI DVD Publishing remastered it properly for DVD and then borrow their master.