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