Warner Bros.: Majority of ‘Veronica Mars’ Downloads Were ‘Successful’

Warner Bros.: Majority of 'Veronica Mars'

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:

OPTION 1

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.

OPTION 2

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.)

OPTION 3

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!

 Best,

Veronica Mars Customer Support

 

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  1. So did you back the movie for a digital copy or to get it made? I backed it for the movie.

  2. Someguy_191 says:

    I was a backer, downloaded it successfully in via the vudu “to go” option (other options were low definition which on a computer looks crappy). Wasn’t very happy with the mobility so I also downloaded the pirated copy. I have abolsutely no complaints. I donated for the movie to be made, it was made, I have a version that I “bought”, but also have the pirated version for more devices.

  3. tbmarquisesq says:

    Reblogged this on TRACI MARQUIS, ESQ and commented:
    The Veronica Mar’s Kickstarter campaign is a perfect example of handling the business of donors. See Variety article on the download glitches to donors. This is what I like about the ordeal:
    1) The download glitches were handled quickly by Warner Bros who obviously are integrated into the campaign.
    2) We the public really see how Kickstarter campaigns are properly handled.
    3) We the public see donor campaign follow up.
    I can’t tell you how many filmmakers and musicians approach me about helping them with a Kickstarter campaign. Folks– these campaigns take work! The Veronica Mars movie may have used donor monies to produce the film, but Warner Bros’ staff is being used to handle the follow up to the campaign. In addition to the publicity (free and otherwise) the Veronica Mars movie enjoys, most campaigns are undertaken by a committee of one, maybe less than 10. The work? Doable yes, but it takes commitment. Is your campaign ready to that?

  4. digitalred93 says:

    I had absolutely no problems. Watched it on the iPad using Flixster and have since set up my xbox to watch it there, too.

  5. johntshea says:

    ‘A successful experience’!? It’s a download, not Mount Everest, for heaven’s sake! But, given no Ultraviolet or other DVD-based download seems to work in Ireland, for example, I’m not surprised.

  6. Dee says:

    I had no problem streaming or downloading the movie. Not sure what people are bitchin about!

  7. Joe Smart says:

    I had no problems activating the UV code and I watched the movie during prime-time hours in HDX on my television without any problems whatsoever. I’ve had far more problems with Netflix streaming going down or acting funky than I’ve ever had with a UV copy. I also find it pathetic when people try to bring Obama into anything they don’t like. Get a brain before you post anything else, please.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      “I also find it pathetic when people try to bring Obama into anything they don’t like. Get a brain before you post anything else, please.”

      Yes, thank you! I had no problem either. (Sorry to go off topic here: …by the way, the healthcare.gov site worked just fine for me last Fall, too.)

  8. BarbaraS says:

    I think it was just a matter of the servers being overwhelmed yesterday with all of the download requests. I got in a chat window with a Flixster tech person and they couldn’t have been more helpful in helping me get all of my problems resolved. It wasn’t that hard and certainly didn’t warrant complaining about.

  9. Josh says:

    It’s just apple users bitching. They are a vocal minority. Most people with half a brain can setup flixster, UV and vudu accounts. You can watch this through UV services like vudu on almost every device. On iTunes you’d be limited to Apple products. Fun fun fun

  10. Joe Smart says:

    I had no problem with the digital download. However, the T-shirt that was part of the rewards was another matter. I ordered the largest size and received a “large” that looks like it was made for a 13 year old anorexic girl. Repeated e-mails solved nothing. But at least the movie didn’t suck.

  11. David Thrasher says:

    Flixster the best way of providing digital download? In this case, obviously not.

  12. Yakov Yosef says:

    It “just wasn’t possible” to let people download a digital copy of a movie that they paid for on a service of their choice? That’s quite dishonest. It’s digital. Of course it’s possible. People who shouldn’t be involved in the decision at all are the ones who make these decisions. It’s arbitrary, absurd, and should be illegal.

  13. DougW says:

    Haven’t tried to download the film from Flixter, but it streamed just fine.

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