Warner Bros. to Refund Angry ‘Veronica Mars’ Contributors

Warner Bros. to Refund Angry 'Veronica Mars' Contributors

Contributors to the “Veronica Mars’ crowdfunding campaign said they felt “ripped off” because of their struggles to download the movie

Warner Bros. will provide refunds to backers of the “Veronica Mars” crowdfunding campaign who struggled to download the movie they helped support, the studio said Friday. Irate contributors complained about their problems throughout the day, having been promised a digital download within days of the movie's release.

Most of their vitriol is directed at Flixster and UltraViolet, the services Warner Bros. used to release the movie digitally to the project's supporters. Anyone who tries to buy the movie now can do so using iTunes and Amazon, but backers had to use Flixster/UltraViolet and are incensed by their lack of choice.

Flixster is owned by Warner Bros.

“My first and last time using Flixster or Ultraviolet,” Jennifer Gottried wrote. “Not happy about what a pain the digital “download” is, but loved the movie!” Carolyn O'Neill said she felt “ripped off,” adding “I will not be supporting anything VMars related in the future, and may never support a similar Kickstarter project again.”

Also read: Veronica Mars’ Creator Talks Movie Sequel, Possible Netflix or Amazon Series Reboot (Photos)

Others labeled Flixster “unreliable,” “crap,” “slow” and “punishing.” There are those who downloaded the movie without a hiccup, and those who did have been effusive in their praise. Yet the majority expressed dismay, prompting Rob Thomas, creator of the TV show and director of the movie, to post a response on Friday.

“We know that some of you have strong opinions about the decision to provide digital versions of the movie through Flixster,” Thomas wrote. “As you'll see in the original FAQ on our Kickstarter page, we've always planned to include Flixster as a digital distribution platform. But I also know that many of you use iTunes, Amazon or other platforms, and would prefer to claim your digital copies on your favorite service, so we hoped we'd also be able to arrange for more options. Unfortunately, it just wasn't possible. In the end, Flixster was the best option for getting the digital movie reward out to all of you, worldwide, at the same time.”

Thomas then suggested people get in touch with customer support, as that is the only way to get a refund.

Dissatisfied contributors will either receive $10 or a full refund after buying the movie elsewhere. That will assuage some commenters divided over whether or not to blame Thomas. But it will not spare Flixster, a movie site Warner Bros. acquired in 2011, or UltraViolet, the cloud-based movie storage service run by a studio-backed consortium.

Movie studios conceived UltraViolet as the future of movie ownership, but adoption remains slow. This snafu won't help.

  • Charlie

    A-holes. Seriously. B*tch, b*tch, b*tch. And now Warner Bros is going to refund them? They should just be happy they got the movie. I know I am. I received my digital download, but that didn't stop me from going two hours to experience it on the big screen. I'm not even going to use my digital download. I wanted to see it on the big screen and it was an amazing experience being in a sold-out crowd of fans. Flixster was the best option for them to be able to get the movie out to everyone on release day, including the people in other countries. Had they done it differently people would have complained about that. They promised to get it to people on release day and this was the only way. I swear people just like to complain. You can't make everyone happy, but these people should be ashamed to call themselves “marshmallows.”

    • Helena

      No theaters are showing the movie in my country and the Flixster “download” had bad sound, mediocre picture and wouldn't let me watch it in fullscreen. When you've been looking forward to the movie for such a long time, it's a huge disappointment to have that marshmallow experience of watching it for the first time somewhat ruined.

    • Rach

      Isn't that so great for you that you could access your film and there was a screening near you! That is not the case for those complaining myself included who can neither access a decent stream or download of a film we paid upfront a year ago for and who has no screening of the film anywhere near them. But yeah how dare we complain about that right? I'd deal with the fact it is on flixster even though you can't connect your iPad etc to tv and watch if in full screen (can't anyway because surprise surprise the app cannot download or stream it either) if flixster actually WORKED., don't think your somehow a more loyal fan or that we are moaning for the sake of it because you got lucky in this situation by having a screening available to you to actually watch what you helped fund

      • Brittney

        Yeah but even if you aren't in place that offers a theater playing it…and even IF the digital download didn't work all that well. Couldn't you spend the money to watch it on Amazon??? I donated $50 and I drove two hours to go see it. So I paid another $10 to buy a ticket. And you know what? If it gets a wider release I will probably go to the theater several more times in order to financially support this movie.

        I'm not even sure how they are offering it online but I thought some other websites (like Amazon) had it available to purchase and watch, so if the precious digital copy isn't working, spend the $6-$10 it probably costs to watch it on one of those. Don't be an ungrateful a-hole.

        • Nick

          This is not meant to antagonize, but is flixster used for the free download for the backers? If it is then i get it, but if not itunes was the most reliable.

    • BitchBitchBitch

      Really, could you be more of a cunt?

    • Brandon

      Can't you even read? We didn't get the movie you jackass, that's why we're complaining.

      • Matt Murray

        You didn't get it IMMEDIATELY. It's been out for four freaking days, and already people are complaining about being “ripped off.” When was the last time you got a movie less than a week after it came out? Warner Bros should just take the time to fix the problem, and not instantly start handing money back because the fans have so far had to wait four whole agonizing days for a free download.

    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Looks like you're getting shitted on in the replies.

      • Pludge

        Uh, he has more likes than all replies combined…

        • step right up

          right, because troll campaigns don't exist and all “likes” and “faves” are authentic online

          • Vadge

            and getting “shitted on” in the replies automatically means the poster is wrong

          • Matt Murray

            Yes, because if the opinion doesn't go your way, it's evidence of a conspiracy.

    • Joe E Dangerously

      You know, you're allowed to say “bitch.” When you do the asterisk thing you seem like a little boy who wants to talk like the big kids but you don't have the balls to go all the way through with it just in case your mommy sees.

      It does not somehow become less profane when you omit one letter. Either swear or don't. Up to you. But go one way or another. You don't want to swear? Don't swear. You're still saying “bitch.” You're still saying it. There's no point in just not writing one letter. This half-assed shit is just childish and stupid. Grow up. And grow some balls. I assume you're an adult. If you're scared of your mommy and daddy spanking you for cursing then you're not mature enough to be on the internet talking to adults.

      • Shnack

        you have a LOT of time on your hands…

        • Joe E Dangerously

          What on Earth are you babbling about? It took like two minutes to type that.

          • Matt Murray

            The spelling thing is totally pointless, but some sites won't post your comments if you spell curse words properly, and it's annoying having to retype your whole post because the electronic censor just gives you a “this won't be posted” reply instead of offering the chance to “fix” it.

          • Joe E Dangerously

            One, it's not hard to right-click and copy the text before you post just in case. Two, THIS site lets you do it. People do this everywhere. Message boards, YouTube, everywhere. It's a stupid and childish thing people do that needs to stop because it's cowardly and hypocritical. If it's absolutely necessary to make your point then say that because when you do the asterisk bullshit you look like a putz. If it's a necessity (Like you need to specify that you're talking about a certain word or something) then make that known. If a site doesn't allow swearing it's a pretty weasely thing to do to get around it by replacing one letter. It does not change what you're saying. It's still profane. So it's either dishonest, lazy, or cowardly.

    • Brittney

      I agree completely, Charlie. I (like you) donated and drove a couple hours to a city near me that was playing the movie and paid for a $10 ticket to see it. And if it gets a wider release I will definitely be going to see it at the theater here and spend even more money to financially support it. I can't really see myself watching the digital copy, but regardless even if I lived in an area where that was my only option, I would probably be frustrated and pissed for a little bit (maybe) but ultimately I wanted to donate $50 and in NO WAY did I need any of those rewards attached. I can just wait for the DVD/Bluray copy.

      Plus, aren't there other options for viewing for these people. Amazon or Itunes?? They honestly can't PAY to watch it on there (if this Flixter site is so bad) when if they had the chance they would PAY for a ticket to a theater. They should stop bitching. They are tainting the image of VMars fans and making us look like ungrateful little brats. We're really gonna get a sequel that way. Not.

      • Looneytown

        you have got to be a troll for this movie which is bad enough, but if you are a real person with this nasty histrionic insanity that is just depressing and scary…these Kickstarter campaigns have got to go…it's putting our culture in the hands of loonies and the bar for movies is going to get even lower…all the way down to Looneytown.

      • Mattie

        I'm with you, Brittney. I wasn't able to donate at the time of the Kickstarter; but if it were happening NOW, I gladly would, with very little desire for more than just the existence of the movie in return. The success of this movie could determine the possibility for future similar campaigns (Firefly, anyone?) and that's more valuable than having to wait a few extra days for a digital copy of a movie. It's not that these people DIDN'T get their movie; they just had to wait longer, and not even significantly longer.

  • Jan

    Nicely said marshmallow I agree 100%

  • Wow, really!?!

    So I had to wait a day, I prefer amazon anyway. Screaming and yelling wasn't my thing. Reading all the comments was interesting to see how people freaked out over something so petty.

    • Tantrums, tantrums, tantrums

      Ha, so true! How r these people going to react when something serious happens in life?

    • blahblahblah

      So you're a doormat and proud of it.

      One of the richest world conglomerates taking money from stooges to fund their movies is perverse. These funders weren't so “petty” when the studio took their money, now the studio must deliver on the one small “reimbursement” and suddenly people are petty!

      You're all dupes.

      • Rico

        Huh? All the contributors got actual merchandise for their money. How are they stooges? I got a copy of the movie, a t-shirt, and the shooting script, and together they are actually worth the value I paid. Most Kickstarters are nothing more than “prepaying” for something you were going to buy anyway.

        If anyone is a dupe or a stooge, it's someone who doesn't recognize that basic reality.

        • Vim01

          You are just sad.

          • Rico

            You are just uttering blanket ad hominem statements with no rationale, which is pretty sad in and of itself.

  • utazdevl

    I genuinely feel bad for backers who paid to support the film a year ago, but we're left unable to download and view via Flixster. Meanwhile, fans who didn't back the film could download and watch on more reliable services today with little to no issue.

    The unfortunate thing is that these issues are completely predictable and could have been anticipated by the distribution chain. Flixster (and Ultraviolet in general) is a completely unreliable service when trying to redeem a UV copy of a catalog title, so issues with redemption and viewing of a new release with an avid following is not at all shocking.

    If Veronica Mars proves to be the thing that finally bring down Flixster and Ultraviolet, it will officially be the most successful Kickstarter campaign yet.

    • jhs39

      I've never had a problem with Flixster or Ultraviolet but after you redeem Veronica Mars on Flixster you don't have to watch it on Flixster–you can watch it on any service that is connected to Ultraviolet. I watched the Veronica Mars movie in HDX on my television using the Vudu channel on my Roku box. It looked and sounded great. Cinema Now and Target Ticket are two other services that are linked to Ultraviolet that could be used to watch the movie once the UV code is redeemed.

      • utazdevl

        Yes, once you redeem (assuming you can get that done), any other UV provider gives you access to the film, but they are only nominally better providers. ITunes and Amazon are the most straight forward ways to watch and it is unfortunate that those options were not made available, though I understand that with Warners stake in Flixster, this option would be very unlikely.

    • Matt Murray

      That means that fans who did back the film could ALSO download and watch it on more reliable services. It's not like Amazon won't let you watch it if you were a backer.

      • utazdevl

        In order to watch the film using Amazon, you have to pay Amazon for it. Amazon is not an UltraViolet provider, so redeeming via Flixster would not allow you to watch via Amazon. Since backers above the $35 level were to receive a digital copy of the film for free, it seems pretty unfair to ask them to pay a second time just to watch via Amazon.

    • Mattie

      I feel for them too. Not getting what you were promised when you were hoping to get it SUCKS. But, as you said, there are upsides here and this seems like something to move on from, not something to take money away from the campaign for.

  • jhs39

    Based on some of the angry comments I really think a lot of people don't understand how ultraviolet works. Once you redeem the UV code on Flixster you are not obliged to watch the movie on Flixster–you can watch it on any ultraviolet linked service. I watched the Veronica Mars movie on my television in HDX through the Vudu channel of my Roku box. It looked and sounded fantastic. Cinema Now, Target Ticket and M-Go are other services that could be used to watch the movie in addition to Flixster and Vudu.

    • Michelle Hull

      I was unaware of that, I've got several Ultraviolet movies & I thought I could only watch them through UV on my mobile devices. Thank You for that info. I'll be using my Roku apps to watch my movies on my TV now. :-)

  • Brynna

    At the end of the day, for me the whole spirit of this thing was to support a movie I desperately wanted made. And I'd happily do it again and again. The digital copy was only worth about $10 of my backing anyways, so not a big deal to me if it doesn't work perfect. It's 20 dollars on iTunes or Amazon, so really a bargain if you think about it. I'd have given them the money either way. Luckily I caught it in the cinema last night and loved it! So worth it.

    • Hey

      I had no problems, not sure what the hold up is my digital downloaded quickly on my ipad using wifi. Loved the movie

  • ray

    I watched it fine people need to realize bugs will be worked out just enjoy what you paid for and chose to support I would do it all again ten times we got a movie in exactly one year

  • People amaze me

    I had no issues.

  • Miriam Breslauer

    It was confusing at first to use Flixstar and Ultraviolet, but the Veronica Mars movie was worth the effort and Kickstarter money for me.

  • Tracy Gibson

    We had problems attempting to use flixster so we went to itunes and rented it. Afterward, I went to Amazon and bought it so my kids away at college could see it. I'll be purchasing the DVD and would go to the theater and buy a ticket were it somewhere local. People getting angry and blaming Mr Thomas are ridiculous. The women quoted as saying she'll not support anything involving Veronica Mars..really? Is your life that sad that you will hold a grudge for something that had nothing to do with cast or crew? Perhaps you didn't read the rewards carefully. We were promised it within a few days of the Release. Not the day OF. Letting something so petty ruin all the wonderful, positive moments and records set is a sad, pathetic thing. We got the conclusion we were shortchanged on. Finally. Perhaps we'll get some more. I will gladly support another VM project. I'll even kick in on another Firely movie, should Mr. Whedon follow where Mr. Thomas led us.

    Get over yourself. Life is too short.

  • Roxie

    If it didn't download, then why didn't these people stream it instead? I streamed it on Flixster and it worked fine. It was also only $4.99 to rent on Amazon, if people really wanted to see it bad enough, that's not very much to pay. I rented it on Amazon because I wanted to see it around midnight, and I hadn't received my download code for Flixster yet. If Warner Bros having to refund these complainers leads to us not getting a Veronica Mars 2, I am going to be pissed!

    • K

      I did not ask for a refund. But I can't understand why people would. Because some of the people, myself included, paid well upwards of $20 to get this movie made and were excited to watch it. Some people paid hundreds, and a few paid thousands. We weren't thrilled with Flixster obviously, but the kicker was that people who did not support the film got to buy it at 12:01 and watch it any way they pleased, on any device they chose, while we were stuck either forking over even more money for something we'd already paid for, or watch a low quality, lagging video on a service that made us jump through hoops and had poor results even when working properly. It felt like Warner Bros. trying to get 91,000 new Flixster users instead of rewarding our support with the convenient options available to iTunes and Amazon users.

      And, I guarantee you, the refunds are not coming out of WB pockets or VMars profits. They'll be comped by the distribution services as costs of doing business or written off entirely. Otherwise, they wouldn't do it. Think about it. Warner Brothers refunding $10 to 90,000 backers? Come on.

      • K

        **I can understand. lol makes a big difference

  • Lea Lynn

    No problem redeemed then watched on Vudu. Loved it!

  • Political Atheist aka Javaman

    Dear Kickstarter contributers, you have been had.
    you funded something that timewarner didn't have to pay for.
    now that they are making money off of it, they don't need you.
    get it now?
    only fund independants, funding studio based films is silly.
    hope you all learned your lesson.

  • Matt Murray

    Christ, people are whiners. I love the show, but I'd rather spend a day locked in a room with a rabid wolverine than spend two minutes with one Veronica Mars fan. So you couldn't download the movie mere days after it hit theaters? So you knew in advance what platform these downloads would utilize but moan because it's not your preferred format? Oh, boo-hoo. I waited four years for Empire Strikes Back to finally come out on a badly panned-and-scanned VHS tape with no bonus features, which cost eighty bucks. But these people, they've just got it so hard. “I want it a week before the script is written or you are RIPPING ME OFF!” Excuse me, I have to go cry for you now….

  • Mattie

    I think going so far as to say you would never support something else related to Veronica Mars is overdramatic and thoughtless. Yes, it would have been nice if they could have used another platform, but the platform issues have very little to do with the crew and cast of the show. By not using Flixster, you are directly targeting the platform with the issue. By not supporting VMars, you are directly targeting the people who put so much time and love into making the show and the movie. Does that make sense?

  • Anestis Kozakis

    Flixtser is awful. Poorly coded, the PC version installs and runs from Appdata, No option to choose where to install it like a real program, and mine got screwed up. Instead of only being able to download it once and synchronise to all devices you are forced to download the file to each device separately, so if you have three devices that's 3 x 1.6 GB downloads, or 4.8 GB downloads total, or in my case 5.4 GB as it screwed up on my PC the first time. Not everyone in the world has unlimited downloads.

    So, yeah, they screwed up the digital distribution by using Flixster, so I'm asking for an iTunes code because Flixtser is awful.

    BTW, Viruses like to install themselves and run from Appdata, so it is a very insecure and horrible place to run an application from.