Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So Lame

So over at Paper Vineyard, the challenge was to create a birthday project and it COULDN'T be a card.  I've personally been creating WAY too many cards lately so I was happy to try my hand at something new..... only I didn't. :(  Instead, I was busy preparing for last week's Cricut Swarm.  Now, while I missed creating a project specifically for our Birthday Non-Card challenge, I figured the cupcake box that I made would fit the bill PERFECTLY for a birthday-themed project.  The box also has an insert for a cupcake to fit inside.  I made it with my Cricut (cuz of the whole Cricut Swarm bit) and while I ADORE this box, I sort of had a little melt down making it and I decided that this is the last Provo Craft product I will ever buy.... let me share why (read through to find out the cartridge I used for this project)!

Most of you know that I DESPISE Provo Craft.  I hate that the Cricut is a one-of-kind product that I loved.  Really, it's like I have battered wife syndrome with Provo Craft!!!   For as long as I can remember, customer service at Provo Craft has been severely lacking at best, but I put up with HORRIBLE service to enjoy such a wonderful product, always hoping that Provo Craft will treat me better.

BUT THEN.....
Nifty Fifties was produced and all of the image cuts appeared on multiple pages of the handbook.  Upon calling Provo Craft (almost immediately after the cartridge release), Provo Craft's customer service said that they had their design team looking into the issue and they would get back to me with a resolution.  Of course, NO ONE EVER CALLED BACK.  The cartridge continued to be produced incorrectly and still is to this day.  Suddenly the product isn't so great.

THEN....
I discovered that Sure Cuts A Lot was shut down (for Cricut users) due to Provo Craft suing them.  Now, I don't know HOW they won the lawsuit since Provo Craft has NEVER allowed me to cut the true type fonts on my computer, but they did win and I can no longer use the $100 program that I purchased to enhance my Cricut experience.  Let me assure you, this program did not keep me from purchasing Provo Craft products.  In fact, it caused me to purchase more.  For a Halloween layout to chronicle my Geisha costume escapade, I used SCAL to cut out the title "Geisha".  RIGHT AFTER seeing the effect, I RAN out to purchase the Pagoda cartridge realizing that my layout needed the added Asian-inspired images.  I can tell you right now that if Toyota ever sues XM radio, I will no longer buy Toyotas.

NOW....
I purchase a cartridge (I will reveal in one sec) with 9 project cuts.  That's it... there are a total of 9 cuts with a tenth "bonus" cut that appears to be different inserts for the box project.  But total, there are 9 projects.  Of those 9 projects, I chose the "ice cream cone" top FIRST to use as a cupcake box only to find that a part of the project.... the cherry on top.... cannot be used on my project.  Due to the fact that the designers added slits in the cherry to make it individually 3D, I could not use it for the project it was supposed to be for.  Needless to say, this discovery AFTER wasting an entire piece of My Mind's Eye paper, sent me into a full on adult-temper-tantrum.  I BROKE AND I'M FINALLY DONE WITH PROVO CRAFT.  Out of 9 projects, the FIRST ONE I picked is not complete and after YEARS of cutting with this machine, I STILL have to do practice cuts to be sure my paper isn't wasted and the products are correct?!?!  I had to create my own cherry using a circle punch....Nope, I'm done.  I will not deal with poor service, greed and now depleting product quality.  Time to find me a new electronic cutter and free myself from this seemingly co-dependent relationship!!!  That may seem a little dramatic, but I suspect there are more of you Cricuters out there who need to break the cycle of abuse! 

But, here it is, I told you I'd reveal the cartridge I used.  It's called Sweet Tooth Boxes.... buyer beware!  The reason I waited to share the source, is that I REALLY wanted everyone to hear all of this.  You see, Provo Craft seems to think that those who have so much invested (yes, I own 78 cartridges, two cutters, one Gypsy, Design Studio and multiple rolls of tacky tape, not to mention a Cuttlebug.... and don't forget the $100 I spent on SCAL specifically to use with my Cricut) that they won't switch.  I think they are wrong.... let's see who's right.  I will keep everyone posted on my search for a better electronic die cutter.

18 comments:

Marlene said...

Please do. I feel the EXACT same way about Provocraft as you do. Horrible customer service...and all!

I knew they had won a suit against "Make the Cut", but didn't realize they'd also won one against "SCAL"??

SnowflakeDreams1 said...

I have been looking into the Craftwell ecraft but I think that provocraft is after them too. It's another die cutting machine but uses a card like the ones that you use in your camara.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I sorry that you had such a hard time with this... if it makes you feel any better?? I really LOVE your project! I think its adorable!! PS... 2 minutes till my reveal! LOL! :):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Sue said...

I am sorry and understand. A blog called underthecherrytree has reveiws of different cutters. I hope this helps.

Kelley said...

Yep, I agree. Provo has zero concept of customer service. My Design Studio went totally wacky and was told to wait until the online program came out. What!? I don't want to wait. Don't you stand behind your product? Haven't bought a ProvoCraft product since.

Stephanie aka Nerdette said...

My hubby who is an IT Geek said that as long as you don't update your Cricut FIRM WEAR, then Provo Craft isn't able to block your SCAL from working with the your machine.

Carmen said...

Completely agree with you! We returned my Cricut to Costco and I have a Black Cat Lynx cutter on the way. When we spoke with Provocraft, my hubby called them out on the fact that they sabotaged the use of SCAL with their firmware update, and told them it was horrible to do that to their customers. They had initially blamed SCAL for the problem and told me that the machine was no longer under warranty because of it. Good thing we bought it at Costco!

Karen said...

I'm just as frustrated as you! I've spent a small fortune on Provocraft products and have been unhappy with their lame customer service and uninforative manuals. I bought their Design Studio but after realizing how much it is lacking I bought both SCAL (upgraded to SCAL2) and MTC. I still bought carts (though maybe not fonts) and mats , so they weren't losing my business. However, their cart quality started to drop (new releases being compilations of previous carts)and Provocraft just tries to push us all into projects they design and ignores our need for creativity and individuality. The lawsuits were the last straw for me. I haven't updated my firmware, and I won't buy another cart. I'm in the market for a black cat or another cutter. SVGcuts has been doing reviews of different machines that embrace (rather than sue) 3rd party software. I'll keep the Cricut until it dies, but Santa will be bringing me a new cutter, I bet.

Linda said...

Hi... there are lots of choices.. don't know if the facebook site boycott provocraft is still up, but they have good info on other cutters. The make the cut forum has info on the other cutters, it is part of the "make the cut" home site.. once you start looking you will find a whole world of options open to you!
If you go to SCAL home site you will find the cutters listed that it is still with!
I still use my cricut, can not afford to replace it right now, but I am totally done with buying anything new provocraft!

Barb said...

You took the words right out of my mouth!!!!! Well, most of them anyway! I haven't bought anything Provo Craft since they won the suit against MTC. I still own my Cricut and use it, but have since purchased other cutters.
Thanks for the commentary!!!
BarbaraJ

littlen said...

Although I have a lot invested in my Cricut and all the carts I've purchased I'm less than thrilled with Provocraft. I see them as just being a BIG BULLY. I invested in MTC to add to the Cricut experience and now can't use that program. Provocraft definitely has terrible customer service and don't seem to care about any of us. I guess as long as we keep buying their overpriced products and they keep making more money they will never change. I also think the fact that they seem to provide some very popular bloggers with all their new products which the bloggers then rave about keeps more crafters hooked on their products. I wonder if these same bloggers would be so enthusiastic about Provocraft if they had to pay for all these products themselves like the rest of us do. Just saying.

Kelly G said...

I have never dealt with PC customer service, and now I'm glad I haven't. I don't want to deal with anything PC anymore. I'm glad to know that as long as I don't update my firmware, I'll be ok. I too am looking for a new cutter to buy

FitterTwit said...

I will let everyone know when I get a new electronic die cutter. I'm trying to get my hands on a couple to demo.... we'll see how that turns out. Thank you everyone for the comments. I KNEW I wasn't alone in my frustration!!! It's too bad that they can't see the "customers for the tree"! LOL! They may win their law suits, but at what cost? I can honestly say that I regret buying the Expression.

Melissa said...

Haven't updated firmware so I can use SCAL. My hubby got me the new E2 but can't use DS with that and i can't see Gypsy screen well enought to buy it. Oh My Crafts are no longer selling PC carts because of differences with PC. Lets face it, us everyday crafters are always getting shafted because we like using different products. I have no plans on buying new carts just use my old ones.

bumblebee creations said...

I guess I am NOT the only one with issues with this company!!! Here is a link to my venting!! : )
http://bumblcreate.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-need-to-vent.html

Jamie said...

WOW.. so glad I stumbled on this post! I haven't had to deal with PC customer service yet.. (and from what I've read from all of you Im lucky lol). Luckily, I saw this post before I got around to updating my firmware so thank you everyone for all this info, you saved me a world of stress.. cuz i would be just a touch POed if my SCAL didnt work any more.. and my husband.. well he'd probably go off and break my cricut or something with PC wouldnt cooperate with him.. and lets face it.. i need my cutter lol.
-jamie

Besthobbyeva said...

What an awesome blog, I found this through Marlene!!

I have a Cricut and have the same issues.

I have a friend that uses the Silhoutte and LOVES it and they are coming out with a 12x12 machine. They are NOT Provocraft.

http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/


Laurie
serenityscrappers

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

my cricut still scares me to this day and i seldom use it. however, when i DO use it, it NEVER cuts clean and it ALWAYS gives me some kind of trouble. and i just got the baby one too! it's all about GREED! how sad.

absolutely FABULOUS post!

hugs :)