Roxio upgrade goes awry

Nearly indistinguishable packaging turns one reader's Creator Pro upgrade into a major headache

After several months of hearing about the great new features in Roxio's Creator Pro 2011, Gripe Line reader Mark finally decided he'd bite the bullet. He bought a copy -- or so he thought -- at his local Office Depot.

"But when I got it home, I discovered that I had received Roxio's Creator Pro 2010 software instead," Mark says, adding that it wasn't a bait and switch at the store. "To be fair to Office Depot, I didn't ask them for Creator Pro 2011 specifically. The store personnel were confused as to the current version of this software. Roxio made the packaging for Creator Pro 2010 and 2011 almost indistinguishable from each other."

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Since he had opened the package, he owned it, so he called Roxio to explain the problem and look for a solution. "They offered to upgrade my hours-old purchase for a mere $99.99 plus tax and shipping," he says.

Now he was officially unhappy.

He persisted and was told various information by tech support. In the process, the price of the upgrade dipped as low as $30, with some features unavailable, and as high as the list price on the company website. But Mark was determined not to pay a penny more for the software because of this silly mistake, so he dug in and researched the issue.

"I visited all my local Office Depot and Staples stores," he says. "They all agree that when I made my purchase, Roxio had not yet shipped the Creator Pro 2011 to either Office Depot or Staples stores. The store personnel all believed Roxio should honor a free upgrade to customers that purchase Creator 2010 during some sort of grace period."

But he could not get any of the people he spoke to at Roxio to agree to this: "They continue to claim that I return my purchase to Office Depot and have them provide Creator 2011 instead, or order the upgrade directly from Roxio."

At the end of his rope, he asked the Gripe Line for help. I contacted Roxio spokesperson Chris Taylor on Mark's behalf and he looked into the matter. Taylor found that customer service at Roxio did indeed speak to Mark on several occasions.

"Our agents outlined a number of options," he says. There were the two Mark mentioned. "He could return the product to Office Depot for a refund or send Roxio his receipt and get an upgrade to Creator 2011." And there was one Mark missed, "He could provide his receipt to Roxio, so that we could work with the retailer to get him a refund," Taylor explains.

Taylor promised to investigate why communication broke down between Mark and Roxio's support team. He also asked Mark to send his receipt to Roxio so that the customer service team could work to get him his refund. "Meanwhile, we are sending Mark a gratis copy of Creator 2011," he says.

Got gripes or questions? Send them to christina_tynan-wood@infoworld.com.

This story, "Roxio upgrade goes awry," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Christina Tynan-Wood's Gripe Line blog at InfoWorld.com.