Feb 6, 2009

Finally-Here's all the Cricut News from CHA!! New 2009 cartridges, Design studio, Rewards Program, etc.

First let me say I’m sorry I’m late getting this posted for you. To make a very long story short, my car was involved in a fire while it was in the mechanic’s shop (minding its own business getting a tune-up!!) on Jan 20th & I’ve had to take on a full time job fighting with a lot of incompetent insurance folks ever since, just to determine the fate of my car (which was stuck up on the mechanic’s lift with no wheels when the fire started on the ground below). Because the fire was raging & had plenty of fuel around it, the firemen had to shut off the electricity to the building while fighting the fire, so my car’s been stuck up there on the lift until late last Fri, Jan 3oth, when it was finally towed late in the day to my insurance’s mechanic/body shop). So, because I’ve been just trying to get people to actually do the jobs they should have been doing, I’ve been tied up, not to mention stressed out, which is making me truthfully physically sick!!! And since Jan 20th, I’ve been trying to find out if I still actually even have a car (which I’ve had since it was brand new when my DH brought it home for me as a surprise, which BTW, is totally paid for—so I have NO car payment; plus my car only has about 36,000 miles on it & has been virtually trouble-free thru out its life) & until today, which is Feb. 6th, all this time, I’ve not known the fate of my car. The sad end of this story is that I was finally told today that my poor car has been deemed a total loss, due to not only all the cosmetic damages, but what they found yesterday when they were finally able to get a really good look underneath, where it suffered much more extensive damage than what was initially thought before they got it back up onto another lift. Apparently, the wiring & the computers underneath the car are all badly burnt up, not to mention all the cosmetic burn damage (plus the dings & dents all over it from parts of the building’s roof falling down on it!!). So while I was nowhere near my car, where it was sitting, minding its own business just getting serviced, my car & I have become total victims & now I have to figure out in this bad economy, if I really want to burden my family with a car payment, which was no where in my financial plan for at least a couple more years!!! So, again sorry I’ve been AWOL from my blog & the MB, but it’s been due to circumstances beyond my control!!!!

So I’m back now & here’s PART 1 of the interview I’ve been telling all of you about. This is the interview with Provo Craft I did at the CHA Convention where I heard all kinds of interesting information about the Cricut cartridges that are coming out for 2009, about why they’re doing so many licensed cartridges, about the fate of the much awaited (by the Cricut MB anyway!!!) Paper Dolls Dress Up-#2, about the possibility of a follow up for cat lovers to Paper Pups by David Walker & more. You will hear all that on this video clip.

Sadly, what you won’t hear is the other almost 12 minutes that were on a second video clip that I had from when I decided to continue my interview after signing off on the above clip. On the 2nd clip, I picked up asking him more questions that I’d just realized I’d forgotten, having to do with the future of the Cricut Design Studio software, about the too high shipping charges on the Cricut Rewards program & more about the push towards licensed cartridges, as well as once again, whether or not they actually pay any attention to what we have to say on the Cricut MB about the products WE’RE asking for. Somewhere & somehow (I don’t know how!!!) between transferring video clips from my desktop to my new laptop, when the transfers were done, I was missing four (4) video clips & one of those was the secondary/follow-up interview (henceforth to be called Part 2: The Missing Interview!!) with the Provo Craft rep. So although it won’t be in video form & it won’t be word for word, after watching this first video which does have a lot of good Cricut info on it, please read the text of the remainder of this post, which will follow below the clip.



PART 2: THE MISSING INTERVIEW

I asked about the future of the Cricut Design Studio Software (aka CDS, aka DS), when we might expect a new update, would it include a “SELECT ALL” or a “GROUP” feature (which we’ve been begging for since it was introduced). The answer given was we might not see those things in the “current form” we know as Design Studio. I then asked if that meant they were going to get an entirely NEW software package & although he was being a bit guarded in his answers, he did acknowledge that was the direction it seemed they were headed. So I then asked why don’t they just buy the one that’s already out there, that we KNOW already works with the Cricut interface, -- the SCAL (Sure Cuts A Lot) software?? His answer was that they didn’t want their software to enable their users to download or use any font they happen to have on their computer---that they obviously want their users to acquire their fonts by buying new cartridges. We then had a lively discussion about how many times it’s been noted on the Cricut MB that if they (Provo Craft) continue to come out with GREAT Font cartridges such as Storybook, users who have access to programs like SCAL still buy those great cartridges. I asked him (again!!) don’t they ever read the Cricut MB, because there had been lots of documentation of SCAL owners buying Storybook when it came out???!!! He once again stated they don’t want any software they put out to enable the user to download & use any fonts & they want their user’s fonts to come from buying Cricut cartridges.

Then we somehow got onto the subject of the Cricut Rewards program (after some discussion about our desire for them to lower the list price for the cartridges, rather than making everyone play these games with the sale prices). In fact he actually asked me if I knew there was a Rewards program, & that the Rewards program was somehow part of what justified the list pricing--- (HUH??). Well, I told him of COURSE I knew ALL about the Rewards program, so yes, let’s talk about that. I asked him how they justify the ridiculously high shipping charges they add when we try to fulfill a Rewards item. He said he didn’t think they were too high. So I quoted him some of the shipping charges that had been documented by MB members for just a T-Shirt & I told him that in my other family business, we ship high end designer eyewear (optical & sunglasses) all over the country, so I know what those cost to ship (with their cases included), & a T-Shirt (which is virtually weightless!!) should cost even less than a pair of glasses, yet that’s NOT been the case. So he tried to tell me that they had to COVER THEIR COSTS to implement the program. As you can imagine, the journalist & business woman in me would NOT let that pass, & I gently reminded him that this was supposed to be a REWARDS program, the very definition of which means to REWARD the loyalty & the purchases of your customers for items they’ve ALREADY BOUGHT & PAID FOR!!!! And yet they want us to ALSO cover the costs for Provo Craft to implement their own Rewards program???!!!! He kept saying several times that they had to cover their costs for that program & I kept answering back that WE’D ALREADY PAID FOR THE ITEMS & this is supposed to be our “reward” for doing so!!!! Well, after trying really hard to get him to understand that & finally realizing he was just quoting the “company line” (which I understand because I had a career in a huge corporation for over 25 years myself, so I know he’s just repeating what’s been told to him by the powers-to-be), plus, I’m sure the poor guy, who BTW was a very nice man, was not at all prepared to be grilled hard about any these issues by little old blond, blue-eyed Glenda, LOL!!, I moved on to talking (again!!) about licensed cartridge content, which just ended up to be more of the same discussion that you already heard in PART 1 of the video..

So that’s the summary of the missing PART 2 interview video. So sorry you had to read a summation of it, rather than hear & see it for yourself. If by some miracle, my missing videos ever re-surface, I’ll be sure to post Part 2 right away. (I really, really hope that actually happens, because I’m missing not just a couple CHA videos, but also a couple from Christmas with my family!!!) I’m sure it all has to do with this weird thing that the software (Flip Share) does with the files—I think there were two separate destinations, etc (uh oh, my eyes are starting to roll back in my head again!!), plus this software opens automatically when I download anything from my Flip camera, so there’s not a lot I can control up front,---anyway, it’s NOT normal, just like the weird coding/file types that the Flip Ultra cameras produce (it says it’s an AVI file, but it’s really not a true AVI file—it just has an AVI wrapper around it, & in fact, it’s a motion JPEG codec instead (OK, I know, it makes MY head want to explode too---who knew I’d ever have to deal with “codecs”??!!!!!). I love using my little pink Flip video camera, but I hate trying to do anything to manipulate it outside of the bounds of the Flip Share software!!

Anyway, back to the interviews! If you have any questions or comments about the subjects in the Part 1 video, or the written summation of the Part 2 interview, please leave a comment below.

In the end, I hope you all realize that what I was striving for with my sometimes difficult questions in these interviews, was to get the most truthful information possible about the future of the Cricut product line, because I realize that each & every one of us who has any combination of (any version) of Cricut machines & cartridges has made a substantial investment in that technology & I feel we have a right to know where the product line is headed. Especially in these more difficult economic times, I believe most of us will have to become more conscious & educated buyers with the dollars we dedicate to our crafts. I think the days of buying anything & everything with the Cricut name attached to it will be gone for the foreseeable future for many dedicated Cricut owners & we’ll need to more closely examine which products will take priority for us & actually give us the most “bang for our buck”, per se. I hope in some small way, I’ve helped you start the process of sorting out those buying priorities with the answers provided in these interviews.

30 comments:

  1. Wow, thanks so much for doing this for all of us. It doesn't sound like they are listening to the MB all that much, which, I find to be pretty disappointing. After all, we are the die hards that love our Bugs.

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  2. Thanks for the interview Glenda. I nearly fell off my chair when he said PD was NOT a big seller? HELLO??? Did he see the price of it on ebay when it was still in the bundle at ACM??? I'm a bit dismayed that DS is not going to be improved and it sounded like he was eluding to the fact they are abandoning DS and starting all over again. Users of DS are NOT going to be happy about that! (more $$ for us to spend) Thanks for you hard work...and I hope you find his business card! =~D

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  3. Thanks for the info. I still can't believe how short sighted PC is. They just don't listen to what the people want!

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  4. I will be very disappointed if PC decides to abandon DS instead of improving it. I will not be happy if I have to buy another software package in order to fully expand the horizons of the machine and cartridges, which by my financial standards, is significant. I truly hope PC doesn't turn its back on the people who have made this entire line of products a success...us. And I think PC should listen more to the threads on the message board. It seems corporate American is still not paying attention to the fact that what makes them successful is listening to the people who buy their products instead of some high-end spiel from some high paid "demographics expert" who has done "research" into future product lines probability and has yet probably never made a card or done a scrapbook LO, used the cricut, or bought the cricut, cartridges and DS out of their OWN pocketbook to realize what we are all talking about.

    Please, PC...don't forget who your products are aimed for.

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  5. I am wondering what other license products they will release besides the Sesame St. and D C comics? I will be anxious to hear about what new ones will come out. You have given me far more than my rep will, if she will ever contact me. Thanks for the update and I along with the others can not believe the comment on Paper Dolls.

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  6. I so enjoyed reading about your interview (and your poor car and the lost tapes) you are so funny Glenda. I did use the MS punch... the card turned out ugly... but punch worked great. Thank you sooo much.

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  7. Thanks, Glenda -- so sorry to hear about your poor car!

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  8. Oh! What a shame about your car! I've been thinking about you. Love your blog. TFS!!!

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  9. First of all, i am so sorry about your car; that is absolutely horrible! Wishing the best resolution for you and your family...

    Thank you for bringing this to us, glad you got this interview. I am frustrated that they don't look at their own messageboard for valueable market research information to base their business decision on. 25 NEW CARTRIDGES for 2009 sounds so excessive and wasteful in my opinion. With the economy and people watching their spending, it is hard to justify the cost; and i have to question the quality of these new cartridges if they are focusing on quantity and not quality. *sigh* i have too much invested in my darling cricut so i hope they know what they are doing more or less.

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  10. Wow, Glenda, thanks so much for doing this interview and posting it for us. That was a lot of helpful information. Although I too didn't buy the whole PDDU not being a big seller. Yeah, right. How disappointing we won't get a PDDU 2. But I can't wait to see what all comes out this year. Thanks again!

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  11. Thanks for the info--I already have a link to your blog up on mine. Thanks so much for asking Major what the future holds, we all deserve to know as it is our hard earned dollars that are going to be spent in such a stiff economy.

    --Gracie at EverythingCricut.blogspot.com

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  12. Hope things go well with the car! My sister in MI says there is a dealership there selling new '08s for half off. Hope that you find something well priced if you have to buy!
    So happy to have found your blog and the latest on the Cricut and DS. I don't understand why Cricut doesn't just buy SCAL so we can have the option cut fonts and Cricut's great shapes! Don't they realize that's why so many people buy the wishblade? They should be able to make enough with shapes and licensed items.

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  13. who is doing their market research????? thanks Glenda for bringing us up to speed - as much as PC would allow. I just cannot fathom how they can think that PDDU2 wouldn't be a good seller. Personally, how can PDDU be less generically viable on a market than a licenced product with a narrow market like Spongebob or Cars? With a licenced cart you can only really use it for a limited amount of work/time but PDDU can be used in most situation! I am sooooo frustrated, infact, annoyed that PC seem so cavalier and don't pay attention to the message board. i have e-mailed them before about possible new carts and never received a response. Great customer loyality - NOT!
    keep up the great work, Glenda

    Sarah Turner ...Yorkshire, England

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  14. Thanx Glenda ... this is great information ... you did a fabulous job ... what wonderful investigative skills you have!
    ♥Carol♥ from the Cricut MB

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  15. Wow! Thanks for sharing the interview with us! I can't believe that Provo Craft thinks PDDU isn't a big seller! I've heard many horror stories about their customer service anyway so it's no surprise that they don't read their own boards or seem to care what the customers think... sad. If it wasn't such an amazing tool I don't think they'd be doing very well as a company...

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  16. Thanks Glenda for sharing this information. Really appreciate it.

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  17. HI Glenda, Thanks for making PC guy squirm :)

    He said to contact him to get the complete list of 2009 carts and he would give them to you....Have you gotten that yet?

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing this information. It's amazing to me that Provo Craft listens to its customers so seldom. Or if they're listening, they're ignoring. More licensed cartridges? There's only so much that can be done with them before they're stale! I understand the royalties thing but come on -- $90 a cartridge should cover that. And it SHOULD cover their rewards program. That "company line" is ridiculous. They don't understand the concept of rewards. Ugh! And their stance on expanding the Cricut (SCAL)...double-Ugh! They just don't get it. :-) But I know I'm preaching to the choir! Again, thanks for asking all the good questions!

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  19. Thanks for posting your interviews Glenda. Like the others have said - it's frustrating to see that PC doesn't listen to their customers. They talk about not wantig to pay royalties but they are coming out with what 10 licensed carts? DUH!!

    Hope you get the car situation figured out soon.

    SnoopyNut from Cricut MB

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  20. Hope you get your car situation taken care of soon! I cannot believe that PDDU is not a big seller. I don't make dolls, but I love that cart! I also don't understand why they are afraid to make TT fonts available with their software. For someone who wants to use TT fonts, it would be cheaper to buy a silhouette for just over $100 and cut to their hearts content! JMHO Thanks for the great job with the interview!
    Mary101, Cricut MB

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  21. Hi Glenda! Thanks for posting all the CHA Cricut info. I'm looking forward to seeing the new carts this year. I've also enjoyed reading your other posts. I just found your blog today and I will definitely be back! I can't wait to see your tutorials and technique ideas. Oh, and your blog looks great! It's the same template that I'm using on my blog. So, thanks for all the info.
    http://dianasausomecreationsetc.blogspot.com/

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  22. Have you had a chance to call him back at home to get more information on the new cartridges?
    Linda
    http://just-a-scrappin.blogspot.com/

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  23. Thanks for sharing the interview. Certainly disappointing, but since PC also owns PCcrafters, I figured they never listen to their message boards. It isn't like you can get people to boycott the licensed carts either. That's what it would take.


    BTW, the garage your car was at should have liability insurance to cover your car. It may cost you getting a lawyer, but it's probably cheaper than a new car in the long run. You have loss of personal property and loss of use.

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  24. Love the videos. so imformative. I really appreciate that. I live way out in no where, so I'd never hear about all of the new stuff until its been out for a year! thanks so much. shelly

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  25. Wow! Very informative. Thank you for sharing and taking the time to ask the tough questions! Can't wait til June.

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  26. Very interesting however those who don't believe that PDDU isn't such a big seller...
    You have to remember the message board it just a small slice of users of Cricut products and I can imagine that most people are casual users and message board people are more intensive users so if Mickey Mouse is their biggest seller that is what is going to tell them the direction to go next.
    Great job on the interview and I look forward to you follow up info

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  27. Okay if Mickey Mouse is their best seller, why didn't he mention any new Disney carts? I don't know much about Sponge Bob is it a Disney cartoon? But, I can tell you that's limited too! I bought the Disney carts,but I rarely use them. I could use another PDDU2 and A nascar cart. An mature Boy images to use. Come On PC get your act together. Thanks Glenda for everything and sorry to hear about your car. The repair shop should be buying you another car!

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  28. I'm really sorry to learn about your car. I'm thankful that you're okay though. Last Thursday I was in my first accident and my paid-for, well running car was hit by a man who ran a red light. It was a complete loss. It's emotional and a pain to deal with all the insurance issues. I hope that yours have gotten cleared up though. Hugs again.

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  29. Wow, thanks for all that info and the video, Glenda! I am ticked that this guy says they "don't want to pay royalties" when they are releasing licensed carts out the wa-zoo!! As an artist, I take that as an INSULT and I don't blame David Walker for not wanting to accept their no royalties crud-ola.

    Don't get me wrong, I love some of the licensed carts, but I use the non-licensed ones much more often. Get with the program, Provocraft!

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  30. It was a great read which was extremely helpful.
    friv 4

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Please share your thoughts by posting a comment here!!! Your thoughts / suggestions / comments will help this Blog evolve into the community of shared learning I so very much want it to be--for ALL of us!! Thanks. GLENDA

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