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View Full Version : Smartflix - Horrible Service



derekg
05-17-2010, 11:13 PM
I try to support advertisers in HSM as much as possible, but Smartflix has really let me down. 10 months ago I ordered a Ron Fornier 2 DVD set. After a few months went by, I completely forgot about the order. Well, 9 months later DVD 2 showed up, but no sign of DVD 1. I waited for DVD 1 so I could watch in order, and Smartflix billed me a late fee, despite me having to wait 9 months. So, I watched DVD 2, out of order, and sent them back the DVD. They billed me again, even though the DVD was sent. I contacted them and explained I had not received DVD 1. They were very nice and said they would order more. Then I asked for the late charges to be reversed and never heard back from them. I sent them another note with simple business logic that would prevent such a thing happening to other clients and even offered to write the PHP code for them as well as tell them what tables to add to MySQL. And still no response. DVD 1 showed up 3 weeks ago, but I left for an East coast trip and have just returned. In the mean time, they hit me with 3 more late fees. I dropped it in the mail, without watching it, hoping to avoid late fee number 4, and sent them a note. Again, no response. They are happy to say "sorry", but if you ask for money back, they go dark. So far I have got to pay them $25 for the rental and another $25 for DVDs that arrived 9 months late and out of order and they don't have the common courtesy to respond or even discuss how they can bear some of the burden. I wish I could say they are a great company and everyone should do business with them, but after this experience, I can only say I am very disappointed in their disregard for what was a very loyal customer (I was renting well before they changed their name to SmartFlix).

My advise is to avoid at all cost. Sorry I have to post here, but they don't seem to care and maybe HSM can at least ask them to act responsible if they want to advertise in their magazine.

Thanks, Derek (DVDless in Oakland)

macona
05-18-2010, 02:01 AM
I assume it was on a credit card? Contest the charges.

winchman
05-18-2010, 05:20 AM
What Macona said. Recent charges can be disputed with a phone call. Older ones require a letter clearly explaining what happened and a description of how you tried to get them to fix the problem.

I got a full refund of a disputed charge of $110 that was about six months old, and another for about $300 that was about a year old.

jaybird
05-18-2010, 06:00 AM
I have ordered approximately 15 from Smartflix and the one DVD I had a problem was a duplicate order. The person I talked to fixed the issue.

BillDaCatt
05-18-2010, 07:54 AM
I have dealt with them for a little over a year and I can say that they will try to make it right, but I agree that they are not very eager to give refunds. Maybe you should ask for something other than money. (in the meantime report your card as lost so the number is no longer valid and they can't charge you.);)

I can tell you that I have had more trouble getting DVD's from them in the last three months than in the previous nine. I think maybe they are much busier than they are prepared for. Plus instructional DVD's are usually $60 or more compared to the $20 or less that Netflix pays for movies.

Send an email to Laurie ( info@smartflix.com ) and explain your situation. It may take a week for her to get back to you, but she will reply.

(maybe Netflix will buy them and make it easier for everyone.):)

928gene928
05-18-2010, 08:11 AM
I had a similar experience as Derek did, however; I never did receive my video after about 10 months. I did contact then after several months, and still never did get the video I wanted. I just remembered the video I wanted yesterday, and ordered it again. It will be interesting to see if I get it this time?

Prior to this instance I did order and receive several without any issues.

laddy
05-18-2010, 09:00 AM
I ordered alot of their machining dvd's and never had a problem. I have not ordered any in a year or so. Fred

TravisCorcoran
05-18-2010, 05:36 PM
> happy to say "sorry", but if you ask for money back, they go dark. So far I have got to pay them $25 for the rental and another $25 for DVDs that arrived 9 months late and out of order and they don't have the common courtesy to respond or even discuss how they can bear some of the burden.

Derek,

Travis Corcoran of SmartFlix here.

The service you've gotten from us in unacceptable - that's not how we do business. We offer a 120% guarantee. I'd be happy to issue you a refund for the original amount of the order, plus another 20% (either in store credit, or in CASH (well, technically, a check)).

From your post above I can't tell your last name, or else I'd take care of this right now.

Please contact me directly at tjic@smartflix.com (I read that every single day, even on weekends), and we'll make this right for you by the end of the day tomorrow.

I apologize that we let you done, but I hope we can make it up to you.



Travis J I Corcoran, President
SmartFlix

--
http://SmartFlix.com/
web's biggest how-to DVD rental store

Alistair Hosie
05-18-2010, 05:56 PM
Is there such a service in the UK?Alistair

MrDan
05-18-2010, 08:00 PM
Derek,

Travis Corcoran of SmartFlix here.

The service you've gotten from us in unacceptable - that's not how we do business. We offer a 120% guarantee. I'd be happy to issue you a refund for the original amount of the order, plus another 20% (either in store credit, or in CASH (well, technically, a check)).

From your post above I can't tell your last name, or else I'd take care of this right now.

Please contact me directly at tjic@smartflix.com (I read that every single day, even on weekends), and we'll make this right for you by the end of the day tomorrow.

I apologize that we let you done, but I hope we can make it up to you.



Travis J I Corcoran, President
SmartFlix

--
http://SmartFlix.com/
web's biggest how-to DVD rental store[/QUOTE]

Well, that's about as good as it gets. I'm glad. I always liked dealing with them.

Black_Moons
05-18-2010, 08:36 PM
Hmmm, Heres a thought:
Considering everyone everywhere 'is recording this call for quality assurance perposes'
Should'nt netflix be able to find, and fire/retrain whoever it is who handled his calls? Id think it would be recorded somewhere who was talking to who..

MichaelP
05-18-2010, 11:25 PM
Dear Mr.Corcoran,

I'd like to take this opportunity and ask you if you find such extended waiting time acceptable at all. I used to order many titles from your company before, but those 2-4-month + waitings that became the norm make renting very unattractable. I perfectly understand the causes of it, but don't you think it's time to deal with this heads up? I'm afraid you lose a lot of customers due to this. The idea behind your business is an excellent one, and I really enjoyed dealing with Smartflix in the past. But the "poorely fit pants on the growing child" syndrome became a very serious issue. New pair of pants is long overdue, IMHO. :)

I certainly appreciate the fact that you find it possible to participate in this thread in person and look forward to deal with your company in the future.. when it starts wearing new pants. :)

Thank you.

Michael

Farbmeister
05-19-2010, 12:16 AM
They need to get DVDs with a little better license. Like make copies as needed and pay the author per rental, not 'buy each disk'.

Its 2010 for the love of god.. I should be streaming that stuff.. .not snail mailing DVDs.

Good idea, poor execution. And yes, I have rented from them.

jkilroy
05-19-2010, 08:37 AM
No ****, negotiate a fair "per viewing" license fee and stream the stuff! There used to be a great deal on the site about how it was legal to rent the dvd's and that they had been sued. Tells me they aren't making an effort to play nice.

To all the makers of DIY instructional materials, here is a tip

Stop making videos and start making software, wrap your content in a program that runs on a PC or Mac. Why you ask? You don't see AutoCad CD sets being rented out do you?

quasi
05-19-2010, 01:58 PM
I live in Canada, I have been charged late fee's once before the DVD even arrived, and twice after I had DVD'S for 3 days.

TravisCorcoran
05-19-2010, 04:23 PM
Michael,

No, I don't find the long wait times that we were experiencing earlier this year acceptable. In response to customer feedback at the time we initiated a "$1,000 per day purchasing plan", where we've been throwing about $1,000 per day at our purchasing manager Susan every week day to stock up on more inventory. Just this morning I signed a $1,200 check to one of our vendors for CNC videos.

Since we initiated the program a few months back we've seen wait times fall a LOT. We don't have absoluteluy everything in stock, but over 50% of our titles are in stock and ship the next day. Also, for folks who want to make sure that they've got a constant stream of metalworking DVDs without waiting we've introduced Machinist University

http://smartflix.com/store/video/6266/Machinist-University

It's a subscription plan where you pay a monthly fee and get new DVDs every month. It also works out to be a LOT cheaper than renting individual DVDs...but the main goal is not the cost savings (although folks seem to like that!), but the ability to always get fresh DVDs.

Jkilroy,

You wrote

> No ****, negotiate a fair "per viewing" license fee and stream the stuff!

We've investigated this business model. Most of the vendors that we buy from are enthusiastic about selling us DVDs (at $40-70 each), and fear that under a streaming model, they'd end up losing revenue. We tried for a long time to convince folks otherwise (we think that a streaming model would be good for them, good for us, and good for customers), but without vendor buy in, we can't do it.

Quasi,

You wrote:

> I live in Canada, I have been charged late fee's once before the DVD even arrived, and twice after I had DVD'S for 3 days.

We've got software that automatically gives Canadian customers extra time with the DVDs, but we are always willing and able to refund erroneous late fees. Contact me at tjic@smartflix.com with your name and we'll issue you a refund.


Travis J I Corcoran, President
SmartFlix

--
http://SmartFlix.com/
web's biggest how-to DVD rental store

Farbmeister
05-19-2010, 11:41 PM
Are you saying you cannot get talent to make the DVDs you rent most and make the DVD that way? Come one.... have you watched some of those DVDs? If they spend more than $300 on the camcorder I would need to see a receipt. MIT has free videos that match your basic lathe and milling... online and free.

Smartflix is a good idea, but now you are nothing more than a Blockbuster.. and they are closing stores FAST.

Free internet advice: content is king. Make content, and people will pay. You are not making anything... and in the end that is what you will be left with. I would not bet on mail order DVDs as a long and fruitful business. Hire talent, own the content, distribute it the way YOUR CUSTOMERS want (online or dvd... you own it).

I would pay $10 or so a month for streaming access to content. I do it now with netflix.

MichaelP
05-20-2010, 12:51 AM
Thank you, Travis. It's a welcome news.

TravisCorcoran
05-20-2010, 04:07 PM
Are you saying you cannot get talent to make the DVDs you rent most and make the DVD that way? Come one.... have you watched some of those DVDs? If they spend more than $300 on the camcorder I would need to see a receipt. MIT has free videos that match your basic lathe and milling... online and free.

Free internet advice: content is king. Make content, and people will pay...

I would pay $10 or so a month for streaming access to content. I do it now with netflix.

Farbmeister,

It sounds like a great plan, but the proof is in the pudding. If you want to generate 1-hour plus videos for us, we can take care of the online delivery side (marketing, website, IT infrastructure, credit card processing, database backups, customer support, etc.). After paying costs, we'd be more than happy to split the profits from the $10/month subscription fees 50/50 with you!

Contact me through this account if you're interested,

Travis

derekg
10-19-2010, 07:54 PM
Travis, I have sent you a note to your email address. I apologize for the delay, but have not been back to the board in some time.

Thanks,

derekg

(Derek Garnier)

PeteF
10-19-2010, 09:58 PM
You don't see AutoCad CD sets being rented out do you?

Well actually you do, many of these big ticket software apps are available on leasing plans. Not only that, but before advocating any software approach you may like to take a visit to places like Bangkok where you'll find the likes of AutoCAD for about a buck fifty a pop, ask nicely they'll even throw in a free cover!

FWIW I think the whole concept of this technical renting resource is an excellent one. Unfortunately since I live in Australia I'm not eligible to rent these DVDs. I contacted the company on the off chance we could make it work (since my job takes me to the US from time to time). Alas, after a few humorous emails, it wasn't going to be a starter. I had nothing but a very positive impression about the company.