Maybe you have noticed on a few BluRay and DVD new releases an advertisement for a free digital copy of the movie thru the Ultraviolet service? Well, let me just warn you – run away. That service and process is an unmitigated disaster. If you really want a digital copy for your iTunes – buy it in iTunes. Or get handbrake and make your own copy.
Whatever you do – avoid Ultraviolet.
I’ve had 3 experiences with Ultraviolet. The first one had to do with Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows, Part 1. They advertised an iTunes digital copy came with purchase of BluRay. there wasn’t. It was only Ultraviolet and after thousands of complaints, they started giving away iTunes codes.
You’d think I’d learn. You’d be wrong.
My second experience had to do with The Dark Knight. I bought this in the middle of our move and when I finally got it unpacked – the digital copy code had expired. Let me just share the actual customer service email interaction.
I recently tried to download my digital copy of The Dark Knight and realized it had expired. I was in the middle of a move when I purchased this an was wondering if there was anyway to get another code.
Here’s the email I got back:
We have researched your issue and the Digital Copy offer for this title has expired. However, we are taking steps to reactivate the digital copy authorization code so that you can access the Digital Copy. Please check back on June 15, 2012 for an update.
Thank you for your continued support of Warner Home Video products.
WB Digital Copy Support Team
My reply…..on August 28th:
Dear Warner Bros.
I made this request on June 14th. It is August 28th. I have clicked on the links to get started in finding my original authorization code and it is just the same cycle of the same information that I originally went through on June 14th.
Warner Bros. wrote back:
Dear Digital Copy Customer:
Our records show that you previously contacted us about an expired Digital Copy offer. We have reactivated the Digital Copy title about which you inquired and you can now redeem the Digital Copy.
For Windows Media: Please follow the redemption instructions on the insert on which the original authorization code appears. If you no longer have the original insert with instructions, you can find information about getting started on the customer support web site.
For iTunes: Please respond to this email with your original authorization code as it appears on your insert. If you no longer have the original insert you can find information about getting started on the customer support web site. Manual issuance of a replacement code may take us a few days, so we appreciate your patience.
In addition, if you have technical problems with redemption, please contact customer service by replying to this e-mail or checking the customer support web site (http://www.wbdigitalcopy.com/support).
Thank you for your cooperation.
WB Digital Copy Support Team
Of course — none of that worked. It still showed I had an expired code. So I ended it with this email.
Dearest Warner Bros.
I went ahead and bought a non-HD digital version from iTunes. It was cheaper and less hassle than dealing with your company. I realize that you will get some money from my purchase – money that honestly I shouldn’t have had to spend again but this whole experience has soured me on your company.
I’ll pass and keep passing on your products.
You would think after all of that I would have learned, right? I mean – what idiot goes through this again? I own a couple of iPhones, Apple TVs, iPad – what bonehead buys yet another BluRay with the Ultraviolet Symbol instead of just downloading it from iTunes? Tell me?
I will tell you.
I am that idiot.
I see The Dark Knight Rises in Best Buy and I just couldn’t NOT buy it. I get it home. I realize that it is an Ultraviolet copy. I get to their website and they tell me – “This is NOT compatible with iTunes.”
So I figure – I’ll give this another try. I upload the code to Ultraviolet. They tell me that I now need a Flickster account alon with my Ultraviolet account. Why do I need two accounts to have a digital copy? I have no idea. But I get one. I try the code again.
It doesn’t work.
If you aren’t going to be iTunes compatible, if you are going to try to fight against the beast that is iTunes, the least you could do is to make sure it works AND make it easy. They have yet to accomplish either of these tasks.
So as a fool returns – I return to the customer service black hole of UltraViolet.
I start a customer service ticket telling them my problem – can not get Dark Knight Rises to stream on Ultraviolet site or Flickster site. Left them my authorization code.
I get an email with a new authorization code. Awesome. It doesn’t work either.
I send another email asking if there is anyway to get an iTunes code since their product doesn’t work. Here’s the response.
Dear Valued Customer,
Hi there, I would like to apologize for the delay you’re experiencing. We have had an overwhelming amount of requests for iTunes codes. We are working to have this resolved. Warner Bros. will be contacting you with a resolution. Enjoy your digital media, Jessica C.
I respond back…
Enjoy my digital media? Are you trying to be funny? You mean my digital media from ultraviolet that hasn’t worked one single time from Harry Potter to Dark Knight to Dark Knight Rises? It’s been two weeks and you guys can’t figure out how to issue iTunes codes for a faulty product? And why is Warner Bros. contacting me? Is it their fault?
The next day, I get this email…
“Dear Valued Customer,
Since we haven’t heard from you on this issue, we are assuming your issue has been resolved and thank you for your continue patronage.
This issue is not resolved. I was told to wait for a response from you. In fact, I just bought Bourne Legacy off iTunes because I saw the ultraviolet logo on the package and I can’t stand the thought of having to deal with your product anymore.
I would like a code for iTunes or at least the ability to have a file I could download to be able to put on my iPhone. Just like your product advertised but has yet to deliver. I did all the steps you’ve told me and I still have no Dark Knight Rises on my mobile devises.
I get this in reply…
Dear Valued Consumer,
Thank you for your email. We appreciate your interest in Universal Studios Home Entertainment products.
While Flixster does offer select Universal titles, we are forwarding on your behalf the request for details on iTunes compatibility to Universal Customer Support. You should receive an email from Universal with more information within 1 – 2 business days.
Thank you for your continued patronage and for taking the time to contact us.
– Flixster Customer Care for UltraViolet™
The next day I get an email from Universal – not Warner Bros. – with a code for the Bourne Legacy.
Once again – you have gotten this all wrong. I don’t need a code for Bourne Legacy. I already bought that off iTunes and it works great. I wanted a code for the Dark Knight Returns. Do you guys even read the emails?
Ten days later, I get an email asking for an evaluation on my recent experience with Ultraviolet. Here’s what I said…
I originally put in a complaint for a non-working code for The Dark Knight Rises on December 11th. You have my acount info. I’ve got a string of 13 emails from Universal Studios who finally told me – they can’t help me. I’m back at square one. I want to be done with your company and would just like for you to issue me a iTunes credit so I can get the Dark Knight Rises in HD in iTunes so I can watch on my mobile devices. I tried the Flickster/Ultraviolet route. My code does not work – has not worked since the day I bought the BluRay. IF a customer drops $30 on a BluRay that promises streaming and mobile digital copy – you should deliver it. You haven’t. And your customer service is horrific.
I get this the next day.
Thank you for your reply. My name is John and I’ll be happy to assist you further.
I do apologize for the experience you have had. to ensure you get a satisfactory resolution to this request.
I did want to let you know I will be escalating this to my supervisor to better address your iTunes code request as we here at Ultraviolet support are not able to provide iTunes codes. He will be responding to your request.
While that is happening, (and I understand you may be finished with us) I do want to make sure you know that while UltraViolet™ titles will not show up in the iTunes library, you can stream and download your UltraViolet™ movies and TV shows to compatible Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch as well as your Mac computer or laptop.
[He gives me the instructions on how to download to iPhone/iPad.]
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us. We’d like to keep the channels of communication open and look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this process,
UltraViolet Customer Care
I gave this response:
Thank you for the reply.
From an end-user perspective, it is not exactly user friendly to have to go through two services – ultraviolet and flickster to use your product.
But more frustrating than that – the codes that were in my blu-ray did not work from the beginning. I was willing to live with the frustration of flickster but trying to deal with your customer service people was a nightmare. I kept getting passed around and asked has the issue been resolved, I kept saying no, it hasn’t. And then nothing.
Somehow in the middle of this mess – I got an email from universal with a free iTunes code for Bourne Legacy – which was nice – but that wasn’t the movie I was having problems with.
So more than the hassle of adding another app, dealing with another place for my media, it was the complete lack of care and communication that just completely frustrates me.
Problems are going to happen with digital media. I get that. Codes don’t always work. But it is the dealing with your co-workers that has me finished with the Ultraviolet experiment.
I don’t tell you this just to be difficult but while I am having this problem, I also had a bad download from iTunes concerning their iTunes extra content. We kept getting this unique error number. I sent a screen shot, a tech sent daily emails giving me steps to do. After about 4 tries – he said – forget it. Sorry for the hassle. Here is your money back, enjoy the movie on us. The movie worked great, it was the behind the scenes stuff but they gave it to us free.
My point is this – people – me in particular – won’t mind the hassle or glitches if they are taken care of. And that is where ultimately your company has failed every time I deal with you.
That was dated December 22nd. And that was the last I have heard from John P. or Ultraviolet or Warner Bros. or whoever else they do business as. And I still do NOT have a HD digital copy of Dark Knight Rises.
Honestly, most of this is my fault. After two experiences with Ultraviolet, I should have known better. It was clearly stated on the BluRay case of The Dark Knight Rises – not iTunes compatible. At the end of the day – despite the ridiculousness of their customer service – if I wanted my media to run on my iOs products, I should have just bought it through iTunes to start with.
And I think I’ve sufficiently learned that lesson.
/end of rant.