Warner Brothers, Harry Potter 7 part 2 and UltraViolet – #Fail

I’m pretty easy-going, mostly.  I pay for things that I want and/or need, I expect value for my dollar(s), and I get angry when I feel as if I have been cheated.

Or lied to.

Or both.

In this case, I am pretty damned angry.

Like many of Jo Rowling’s fans, I have eagerly anticipated the DVD release of the eighth and final Harry Potter movie (second half of the seventh, in case you are not in the “know”).  That movie came out today.

I always like the option of the digital copy as well for several reasons; in case of disaster, I have a backup.  When I am out and about and want the movie available, it’s there, on my iPad (as are all seven prior movies).

I don’t cheat, I don’t download them for free, I don’t steal them from torrents. I buy what has been produced to support the artists, the actors, the franchise, and the possibility of future entertainment.

Now, however, I’m freakin’ mad as hell.

Why? See the email below that I sent to Warner Brothers “customer service because we care” link:

In an economy where every single penny counts, I cannot believe that Warner Brothers would treat their customers so callously and inconsiderately.

I purchased Harry Potter 7, part 2 today in part because it came with a “digital copy,” as have most of my other DVD’s of the franchise.  Imagine my anger and disappointment to discover that the “digital copy” is tied to a platform which will not allow the movie to play on my iPad or iPhone.

I have spent hundreds of my hard-earned money on the Harry Potter movie franchise, let alone evangelized it to my countless students and friends.  No more.

In an era of increasing choice and flexibility, you have chosen to limit both for me.  Warner Brothers has lost a customer.  You have traded in bad faith, you have falsely advertised what is for sale, and you have betrayed a customer’s trust.  I am one, but I have a voice.

And a blog.

And Facebook.

Therefore I have a platform and I intend to use them.

Shame on you.

Let’s add one more ingredient to the mix.  Not only did I discover that the movie is not compatible with my iPad/iPhone, when I tried to download the UltraViolet copy to my computer anyway, just ’cause, damn it I paid for it and I want it, I get this:

Warner Brothers Harry Potter 7 part 2 Fail...big time

Really? Because lying about it being a “digital copy I can use on my mobile devices” wasn’t enough, now I cannot even download said digital copy? And yes, before you ask, I tried multiple variations on the web address. Then I Googled it and discovered hundreds of other angry posts similar to mine.

Am I mad? Damned right I am.

Am I disgusted? Damned right…again.

Is it realistic to hope that Warner Brothers hears my tiny, single voice and does something? Absolutely not.

You, however, have a voice, too. Use it. Voice it. Share it.

Make some noise.

Occupy “Web street.”

Go.

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17 Comments on “Warner Brothers, Harry Potter 7 part 2 and UltraViolet – #Fail”

  1. Tammy says:

    Well, I’m embarrassed to be a WB employee today.

    I don’t even know anyone over at Warner Home Video to contact on your behalf.

    Let me know if you get a response to your e-mail.

  2. Pol says:

    I know…what can you do? (rhetorical)

  3. Shannon says:

    I’d be as mad as hell!! I was going to ask for the entire series on Blu-Ray but…

    No.

    I’ll just get it through Netflix if I want to watch it.

  4. Luis says:

    I actually had no problems redeeming my digital copy. I think that their servers were strained because everyone was logging in at once. Right now, the movie is downloading onto my pc and into my iPad. Here’s the problem, and it does truly aggravate me: you have to use flixster’s app to do it. I chose not to connect to Facebook, since I don’t need people to know what I’m watching. As soon as the downloads finish, I’ll go into airplane mode and see if I can play my video on their silly app.

    Was it naughty for Warner Bros to force into using flixster? Definitely! But I’m starting to think that Apple might have had a hand in this, since they might have wanted to charge WB a sizable sum to offer digital copies through the iTunes store. In the future, I’ll be more careful before buying combo packs.

    • Pol says:

      Let me know if it works for you in “airplane mode.” I ended up simply ripping my own m4v from the DVD. It was mostly irritating, overall. And felt very much like false advertisement. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Ivan says:

    I know I’m pissed. I just bought it as well and tried to download it to my MAC and well it won’t play in anything but the Flixster app. So what’s the point of downloading it then. I like to keep all my movies in one location(iTunes). I don’t want to have to use another app to manage my media(Flixster). If I buy the movie that states that it comes with a digital copy I should get a digital copy. Not a streamable copy. That’s not the same thing. When the industry takes actions like this all it does is promote more piracy because now people will look to ways that they can get a copy that works on their other devices without having to stream it or choose from multiple apps in order to find the movie they want to watch. Shame on you Hollywood and WB and anyone else that subscribes to this idea.

  6. threbus says:

    First of all, you made the same error I did at first, which was to spell “Flixster” as “Flixter”, which will generate the not found errors. You CAN download the files to your iPod or iPad… I’m watching it on my iPod as I write, and it’s also been downloaded to my iMac; and you don’t have to do anything with Facebook to watch. I will agree that it’s a real pain to have to use Flixster to watch instead of just going to Videos on the iPod… it just adds another layer of stuff that has to be used, which takes up more space. On the other hand, I did notice that the movie file for the iPod from Flixster is about half the size of the file from iTunes (1.76gig vs 0.893gig) so there’s actually some space saving there.

  7. Michael W says:

    Your voice is not alone. I also posted a message on the WB site using RIPOFF in every other sentence. But, I also stupidly bought the movie through iTunes after finding the limitations of the “digital copy” that I paid for with the DVD combo pack (which means I am giving MORE money to WB). But, I am on vacation and so looked forward to watching the movie again on the plane ride back home.

    I have also been monitoring the Amazon reviews – so far 106 5stars and 131 1stars – all related to the “digital copy” disaster. One poster even said that WB gave them an iTunes code to download to iTunes for “free”. Wish I had waited, but wanted to get it into my iTunes.

    I agree, we sould Occupy Web Street and stop this RIPOFF immediately. What they should have done was give their customers an option of (1) Flixster (2) Windows Media (3) iTunes and LET US DECIDE.

  8. nswift says:

    I just bought my copy of Harry Potter 7 Part 2. I have an iphone and I am very angry about not being able to have the digital copy. I can not even download it to the computer. A whole bunch of BS!!

  9. deceived by wb says:

    To make matters worse their ‘customer support’ is an automated email system. If anyone finds a phone number or email address staffed with a real person please posit it. They used the same packaging as everyone else that says ‘DIGITAL COPY’ on the top. And since the standard way of doing that has been an iTunes redemption code, to say ‘DIGITAL COPY’ on the package and not be explicit that you’re not using iTunes is deceptive and false advertising. C’mon WB – at least have the guts to be honest about what you’re selling since we can’t tell until the package is opened – and therefore NOT returnable.

  10. Alicia says:

    I have just emailed Warner Bros. and Flixter about this problem. I am hoping that this is just an issue with “server overload” or something similar. I too enjoy having the digital copy, as I like to watch movies on a screen larger than an iPod or iPad. I would have waited a bit longer and paid less for a DVD without this option, since it appears that no one’s getting it anyway.

  11. Alicia says:

    Based upon your screenshot, I would have to say that the probelm is that you left the s out of flixster. My friend and I did this as well, once we fixed our spelling, we had no problem with the download! It is true that you need to have the Flixster software on your computer and the app on your iPod/iPad though.

  12. DontWannaSay says:

    I had the same reaction when I opened my blu ray and saw that you had to jump through so many hoops to get the digital copy download. You have to sign up for flixster and ultraviolet, and even after downloading the copy, you can’t load it on itunes. You also have to have a WiFi connection whenever you want to watch the movie. That is not convenient and what one looks for in a digital copy. Warner Brothers was very misleading when they advertised the blu ray combo with “blu ray + dvd + digital copy.”

    Anyway, I went online to flixster’s website to see if anyone else was pissed at the digital copy. There were so many negative comments. Same thing on Amazon.com and on this board too.

    On flixster’s message board, one poster said that she complained to flixster, and the same day they sent her the itunes code to download a copy. I did the same thing and I got my itunes copy. All you have to do is go to support.ultraviolet.flixster.com. You click on “request support” and then “submit a ticket.” You just complain about the ultraviolet system and they send you this generic message:

    “Thank you for being among the first to try UltraViolet Digital Copy. While we have received a lot of positive reaction to UltraViolet, we realize that with any new technology there is a learning curve for both creators and consumers, and this is especially true around new user experiences. It’s important to us that you are fully satisfied with your purchase. We are issuing you an iTunes code for you movie so that you can obtain an iOS-compatible download of this title immediately.”

    So if anyone wants their itunes copy, it pays to voice your opinion on flixster’s website. They sent me my iTunes digital copy code within 4 hours of my message to them. I think they are having a lot of complaints.

    • smay381Sara says:

      Thank you for mentioning submitting a ticket to get an itunes code! This is absolutely ridiculous that I had to sign up with, not only flixster, but ultraviolet as well. This was absolutely underhanded!

  13. Will says:

    I tried it and it says that I require to be in the USA, am I speaking English or not. I am really pissed