Ultraviolet, Flixster apps blamed for complicating user experience
UPDATED: Warner Bros. issued a statement Saturday in the wake of complaints about technical issues experienced by Kickstarter donors to “Veronica Mars” attempting to redeem free digital downloads of the movie.
“The vast majority of ‘Veronica Mars’ backers who attempted to redeem their code had a successful experience,” the statement read. “A communication was sent to all backers yesterday from Rob Thomas telling them to get in touch with ‘Veronica Mars’ technical support if they were experiencing problems.”
The statement also outlined options for disgruntled customers to receive refunds if they were unable to complete their transaction (see full text below).
“Backers who had technical issues were assisted directly by the ‘Veronica Mars’ customer support team while those who expressed a preference to have the film on a different format received the communication below offering to reimburse them for the cost of purchasing the film in that format,” the statement went on to explain. “We are, of course, working diligently to ensure that all the ‘Veronica Mars’ backers have a great experience.”
Fans who donated $35 to get “Veronica Mars” into theaters this weekend in exchange for perks including a free digital download of the film complained loudly enough about technical problems receiving the movie that the film’s director acknowledged the difficulties Friday.
“Please know that Warner Bros. have given Customer Support a lot of freedom to help make things right, so if you’re having issues, please let them know,” he wrote to the film’s ardent fan base–known as Marshmallows–on the movie’s Kickstarter page.
Various media reports late Friday suggested Warner Bros. was issuing refunds to donors dissatisfied with the digital downloads. The studio has yet to issue a statement on the matter.
Fans took to Kickstarter and elsewhere on the Internet to grouse about all sorts of glitches that made downloading a copy of the film difficult or impossible. Doubly embarrassing for Warner Bros. was the crux of the problem stemmed from restricting the free downloads to Ultraviolet, a digital locker system that counts the studio as one of its earliest backers, and Flixster, a movie app owned by Warner Bros.
Thomas defended the choice of Flixster in his response to fans.
“As you’ll see in the original FAQ on our Kickstarter page, we’ve always planned to include Flixster as a digital distribution platform. But I also know that many of you use iTunes, Amazon or other platforms, and would prefer to claim your digital copies on your favorite service, so we hoped we’d also be able to arrange for more options. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t possible. In the end, Flixster was the best option for getting the digital movie reward out to all of you, worldwide, at the same time.”
Here’s the full text received by Kickstarter donors who had download issues:
Dear Kickstarter Backer,
Thanks for getting in touch!
If you’re contacting us about your digital download of Veronica Mars, we apologize for whatever difficulties you’ve experienced.
Right now, we want to make sure that you have a great experience, and are able to watch YOUR movie as soon as possible, so here are the options:
If you want to download Veronica Mars through Flixster, and just need help with technical issues, let us know the problem. We’ll do our best to help ASAP.
If you prefer to download Veronica Mars through another service (such as iTunes or Amazon), go ahead and get it RIGHT NOW!
Then, email us the receipt for your purchase, and we’ll refund the full amount that you paid*. (Or, if you ALREADY purchased it somewhere else, send us that receipt.)
We can give you a $10 refund* — the amount of your Kickstarter pledge that was used for the digital download.
*All refunds will be handled through Amazon Payments, and could take about a week to show up on your card, but we’ll get the process started immediately.
Most importantly, thank you for being a backer on this project.
If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you’ll be able to soon — and when you do, we hope you’ll be proud that you made it possible!
Veronica Mars Customer Support