Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The day Silhouette Support died.

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Thank you to my Facebook readers for allowing me to rant on my page today. I love y'all so much! I did not explain why I was so mad and I hope that y'all will understand after reading my story.

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I had a most interesting day today. It is only the third time that I've played with my New Cameo and already it has shown me how messed up the Silhouette Support is.

It is no secret that the level of customer service at Silhouette America has gone downhill drastically. A peek on the Silhouette Facebook page will show that many are disappointed with Silhouette Support. It all seemed to have started after they had introduced Silhouette Studio version 3. The software update had stunned many users with its numerous bugs so that Silhouette Support was inundated with calls of complaints. (You can find my reviews of the software update by clicking HERE and HERE). Since then, Silhouette Support is no longer the same.

I used to rave about the customer service over at Silhouette because they were really good at what they did. Calls were picked up fast and emails replied quickly. Nowadays, you have to leave a message on their answering machine if you want to talk to a human being. If you happened to be away from your phone when they call, tough luck! You have to do it all over again.

Emails are no better- sometimes they don't answer your question(s) at all. Back on Aug 6, I had sent them a request for an updated list of shortcuts for version 3.1. They pointed me to an outdated list that they had last updated on April 2 (For example, Ctrl+U no longer works for Ungroup in version 3.1.417). After several emails going back-and-forth, I ended up being told on Sept 11--more than 1 month after my initial inquiry--that the April 2 (outdated) list was the most up-to-date list that they have.

However, today's incident takes the cake.

While setting up my New Cameo, I was confused about a couple of things. Since I had so many questions, I thought I would call Silhouette Support instead of sending a long email. I left a message on their answering machine on Monday afternoon and was excited when a customer support representative returned my call at exactly 9am the next morning (i.e. today).

I asked if I was supposed to get 100 free digital designs with my New Cameo because only 50 was automatically added to my library when I plugged in the machine. I was told that the existing Cameo or Portrait users only get 50 free designs because we had previously received 50 when we bought the machines.

I was surprised.

screenshot from the Silhouette America website

On the Silhouette website, it is advertised that the machine comes with 100 free digital designs. It is also printed in 2 places on the box that the cutter came in that 100 free designs are included. No where did it mention that the 100 free designs are only for brand new Silhouette machine users.



The customer service rep was taken aback when I likened it to a bait-and-switch. "100 free designs" should mean exactly that and not "100 free designs to some users, and 50 to others". After checking with his supervisor, the rep offered to add 50 additional designs to my account. I asked if this was something that they would do for all existing customers who had bought the New Cameo. I had mentioned on my blog that the machine came with 100 free designs (as advertised on the Silhouette website) and if there was a process in which the existing customers need to follow, I would like to know so that they (i.e. you all, my readers!) can also get the additional 50 designs.

The rep was irate. He told me that if any users had any problems with getting only 50 designs, they should call Silhouette themselves. He angrily added that Silhouette does not need bloggers to talk on their behalf unless they are Silhouette affiliates.

Wow.

I couldn't believe my ears! Was I really getting chided for trying to share information and help my readers? I love my Silhouette machines. I am always happy to share my tutorials and show folks what they can make with their cutters. I never thought that the company whose machine I have been promoting (with no commission or credit) would be mad that I am telling everyone how much I enjoy using their product. It has never crossed my mind to talk on their behalf and if this is the way the company treats their most loyal customers, I certainly have no intention of becoming an affiliate either. In fact, I don't think I have felt prouder to be a NON-affiliate to their brand.

I was so disgusted by the rep's attitude that I requested for a callback from his supervisor. I did get that call a few hours later and had all my other questions answered. I will share what I have learned from the supervisor in a separate post.

I am sad that the Silhouette Support we once knew and loved is no longer the same. Even though I still love making stuff with my Silhouette machines, if I should ever find another machine that I enjoy even more, I would not feel bad at all if I toss my Silhouettes into the same bin as those other cutters.


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UPDATE (Nov 6) : Click HERE to see what I asked the supervisor and his response.


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This post was edited on Nov 5 for further accuracy.

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22 comments :

  1. Wow. This is sad. Sounds like that other company we love to hate. I never had to call Silhouette support as I have almost completely stopped using it since v3. (not that i was a heavy user to start with! =) )

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  2. I have the original silhouette. After seeing reports I haven't upgraded the design studio in at least a year. Cricut has apologized for past customer service issues and has promised that it is a new day. We shall see.

    My question for you and me and ALL crafters is why do we put up with bad service? Why did you buy a new machine when you were already unhappy with the company?? I'm NOT blaming you for Silhouette's bad service. But all too often we buy stuff and buy and buy when we know the company isn't reliable.

    Why should Silhouette change if we keep buying?

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  3. I'm so sorry this happened to you!!! And I totally understand, because last week I asked them a question and they answered something totally different, then I asked again and am still waiting for an answer!!!
    I asked if I could re-download the Designer Edition on a replacement computer because my current one was about to die on me. It was making noises and I was freaking out because I didn't want to be left without my software. They answered that I could back up my library. Alternatively, I could just download all my purchased files again on my new computer. That it may be the easier choice, but it's was really up to me. Helloooo!!!! OK... uhm... But what about the SOFTWARE???? So then they answered this: "Once you get the software, open the Help menu and you can activate through there." Aha!!! OK... Yes... But can I use the SAME code again????? Still waiting for an answer. Or maybe they're expecting me to purchase Designer Edition again???? Oh, no, no, no!!!!!!
    I haven't upgraded the software either. After all the bad reviews, I'm afraid to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use the same code. {up to 3 times I believe} So as long as you've saved your code you are good to go!

      Delete
  4. Wow Jin, I am gobsmacked!
    I have followed you for ages and learned a lot from your comments on the silhouette users forum, your blog and of course your tutorial videos. I am amazed at Silhouette's attitude! OMG you must have been soooooo MAD!

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  5. I asked the same question by email and by phone and got two different answers! I hope they get their act together before long or I will not be upgrading to the new business feature that is coming out. Hope you have calmed down lol because you are my go to guru. Thanks!
    Irene

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  6. I'm glad I didn't purchase the new one. Thinking of getting the new Cricut. Seems easier to use and the Cricut Support has always been helpful when I needed it. I have two Cricut machines and the Imagine is one, Expression is the other. I sold my Gypsy, never used it. But this new one really looks interesting. I have watched videos about it and it sems a lot easier than the new Cameo. Guess I'll switch back to Provo Crafts again. I have about 64 cassettes that would be handy in the Cricut.

    Dianne Bell - Sewpro02@aol.com

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  7. I'm sorry you had such a rough time and I am interested to read your post about the conversation with the supervisor. I should mention that I had a link usage problem yesterday and I sent an email inquiry. It was answered immediately with the needed information.

    Most of all Jin, if not for you, I would not own a Silhouette. I heard great things from several blogs, but I own one because you take the time to help us learn and get the most from our machines. I'm pretty sure that is true for hundreds of crafters following your blog. I cannot be the only follower (of thousands) that bought a Silhouette because of your posts. Thanks for keeping us posted and I can only hope that Silhouette wakes up and sees what's happening in customer service (good and bad). From what I am seeing at Cricut, they are on the right course for winning a lot of customers back.

    ReplyDelete
  8. WOW!! So sorry this happened to you.....unbelievable! They used to be SO great! It is a sign of the times, I supposed. Companies are rushing to get products out, but not taking the time to ensure that their CS employees are fully able to answer consumer questions. Just warm bodies....ugh..... And to think....that had the "winning hand".....great software, great machine, and top-notched customer service. Nowadays...not so much!

    And Jin, you have been of their cutters and software! Hello Silhouette America??? Is anyone home?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wonder what's happened to their customer service... :O I've only contacted them once, a few months back via email, and I got a prompt response within 48 hours. Clearly something's wrong on their end for sure. I'm really sorry you had to go through all that trouble. I hope they step up there game for sure since they could start driving some people away.

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  10. Oh No! I was afraid this would happen. I hope they get it together before everyone gets tired of being mistreated. :( So sad!

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  11. Yes sad to hear about this. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. *sigh* Jin, you need to work for them. They desperately need your help.

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  13. Hi Jin. I am so sorry about the treatment you recieved in trying to clear things up for your readers/followers. Thanks soooo much for doing this!!
    We still keep reading of all the issues users are having with V3 (first) - and now the cameo2 firmware (second) - forces an update to the very thing (SS V3) that has created the ongoing issues for months. Now I think we know what is different with this new cameo2...hardware-firmware. We have seen this before -SO Provocraft!!!!!! OMG Silhouette America! Wt* are you doing????
    Ive used SilStudio since the beginning of time and the little old SD and forward to the cameo, and never seen or read anything like what has become of this company!!
    Did they hire PC techies and management??? It sure looks like it!
    This is harsh, but this has just become crazy and peoples $$$$ OUT THE WINDOW
    I even read a post fb about a brick and morter owner defending some of this because of where people buy their cameo's and she can fix her customers issues, I laughed until I hit the floor... give me a break!
    I hope SA reads all of the blogs, fb post, and forums, and show some interest in cleaning up their mess!

    Good luck Jin, thanks for everything you do!!!
    HIP-HIP-HORRAY!! YAY!! YIPPIE!! JIN!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have also had problems , my programme doesn't respond when I open it, I contacted customer support , who gave me a few suggestions, I done what they said but still have the problem, sent more emails to them, but no reply I have now been without my cameo for 6 weeks, very disappointed

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  15. I am not having a good time with Silhouette Customer Support either. I purchased an upgrade to DE and cannot get it to work - and I am very experienced with my computer. I have called and emailed probably two dozen times and have gotten one email response, but the actions they advised did not work. I checked the BBB for their town and a recurring theme among ppl complaining was "If they are selling a $200+ machine, they really need to have customer service that's worth paying that price."

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  16. After reading so many great reviews of Silhouette Cameo, I decided to purchase one during the Black Friday sale. It took 1 month for my machine to arrive (no notice from Silhouette until I asked), meaning that it was useless if I wanted to do any last minute cards/play with it for the holidays. When I complained, they just said they were sorry that there was a backlog with no remedies (e.g. extended club silhouette membership, free designs). Furthermore, I have just installed it and I still only received 50 designs (completely new user). I'm very disappointed!

    Regarding response times, however, I received most of my responses the day after my e-mail, or on their first day back after the holidays.

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  17. How do you actually get a response from them? I have been trying since December!

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  18. I just got on "LiveChat" with Silhouette. It's good, you can upload files and get immediate response. The rep I chatted with, Jessica, was pretty polite although she didn't help me solve my issue. They REALLY don't like long cutting projects - longer than 12x24"...especially using off-the-shelf contact paper. By the way Jin, thanks for the cut settings for contact paper. This MAY help solve my problem!

    Hope this helps, Kelly

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  19. I'm so frustrated with Silhouette right now that I could scream. I've spent HOURS trying to get my order corrected because of their errors. I purchased items on their site yesterday using their 40% off coupon and free shipping. Order totaled 58.13 but when I clicked "Purchase" it split my order, charged me full price plus the shipping cost. After expressing my frustration to the 2nd rep, I was offered the 40% discount (like it was a favor) but I was still going to have to pay for shipping since they are shipping from two different warehouses. As I explained, I placed my order based on $50 to be eligible for the free shipping and was only purchasing that day because of the 40% discount. Their FREE shipping over $50 is a scam (similar to 100 free design scam). I told the rep to cancel the whole order. Of course, now she need to check with the warehouse and get back to me. Not holding my breath. My next step is to contact Discover and the Utah Attorney General.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm a big fan of my Silhouette Cameo and have been using if for a year since I got it last Christmas. For Black Friday, I decided to make a purchase from the Design Store so I would have a new cutting blade and mat for Christmas projects. I also had to buy the Deluxe version of the software because I learned that the basic Design Studio doesn't allow me to open SVG files.

    My first real disappointment was the time it took me to get my order. I didn't even get notice that my order had shipped for 9 days after I placed my order so I didn't get it until almost 2 weeks from ordering. The second disappointment was the Premium Blade I bought. It would not cut through the cardstock after installing new out of the packaging on the same settings my regular blade would cut through without a problem. Then, my husband was checking over the credit card statement and noticed that Silhouette had made duplicate charges to our card.

    I called the support number and was put on hold music for 20 minutes. Finally, I could hold no longer and hung up with the intention of calling back when I had more time to sit on hold. The second time I called I was able to finally get through after being on hold for 45 minutes. The agent, Erik, was very nice and helpful and went over our issues. After not being able to see the double charge on their end, he requested copies of our credit card statement. I also sent via email 3 pictures of the blade at three different settings (0, 5, and 10) showing the tip of the blade. I hope this will get us either a working replacement or a refund. I heard from a friend that there is an aftermarket alternative to the Premium Blade that does a much better job and a longer life.

    I was really excited to learn that Silhouette was a local company from the same state where I reside. I like to support local businesses, but I must say that the company really needs to invest into a better support system if they want to compete with other companies like Cricket which has been in the craft machine business longer. If Silhouette doesn't get their act together before I need a new replacement for my machine, I will certainly not buy another Cameo or Silhouette product.

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  21. After reading all of the above comments, there is no point in repeating mine here. All I can tell you is as much as I wanted this machine...I am sending it back to the company I bought it from. I CANNOT believe the mess this Silhouette company is in. This was my first and LAST purchase from them ever again. I really don't think they'll change unless sales drop and/or people just get up in arms as a group. I have better things to do than be held hostage to this kind of customer service.

    ReplyDelete