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Dissatisfied Final Cut Pro X customers receive refunds from Apple

post #1 of 168
Thread Starter 
Facing backlash from customers who are unhappy with the revamped Final Cut Pro X, Apple has issued at least some refunds for the $299 Mac App Store purchase.

Various claims of refunds have surfaced, and AppleInsider can confirm that at least one person who asked a refund from Apple had their request granted.

This person sent an e-mail to Apple in which they said they believe the new Final Cut Pro X is not a "functional application" meeting the standards of Final Cut Pro 7. "It has zero professional features that I can use in my post facility," they wrote.

In their response, an Apple advisor admitted Final Cut Pro X "does not contain properties that were highly regarded in the last version." They also acknowledged that it is "frustrating" to pay "good money" for a product that "doesn't work as expected."

The customer was promised a credit for the $299.99 purchase made on the Mac App Store. It was said that the funds should be posted to the credit card on the receipt for the purchase within five to seven business days.

"Again, I want to apologize for the inadequacy of this version of Final Cut Pro," the advisor wrote. "Please be assured that we are always looking for ways to improve your experience with the iTunes Store and Apple."

The candid nature of Apple's response and apology was surprising to the person who received the refund. "I've never seen an Apple employee apologetic over the 'inadequacies' of their software before," they wrote to AppleInsider.



The prospect of refunds for other Final Cut Pro X purchases is the latest public relations strategy from Apple in attempting to quell unhappiness with the latest version of Final Cut Pro. As of Tuesday afternoon, the software on the Mac App Store has an average user rating of two-and-a-half stars out of a possible five, and of the 1,275 ratings collected, 563 are for just one star.

One popular review posted on the Mac App Store refers to Final Cut Pro X as Windows Vista, referring to Microsoft's much maligned operating system update. "I can't believe what apple did with FCPX," they wrote, "this is no longer a professional application... this is just an upgrade of iMovie!!"

Final Cut Pro X was released along with Motion 5 and Compressor on the Mac App Store a week ago. The software was quickly met with condemnation from a group of outspoken professionals who believe the new product is vastly inferior to its predecessor.

Apple made a quick transition to Final Cut Pro X, declaring Final Cut Studio, Express and Server -- which included Final Cut Pro 7 -- as "end of life" products as of June 21. AppleInsider first reported in May of 2010 that Apple planned to widen the appeal of Final Cut Pro with features geared toward "prosumers" and more advanced home users.

A growing chorus of complaints even prompted some Apple product managers to attempt to address concerns over Final Cut Pro X late last week. A number of product managers spoke with The New York Times, and revealed that features like multicamera editing and support for RED digital cameras will be added with future updates.
post #2 of 168
Well, nice apology. Apple knows they made a prosumer app.
post #3 of 168
In a year or two, once Apple continuously rolls out added features, all the critics will be silent, and they will tout FCP as the best editing software on the planet. Every critic says its a fantastic foundation, but lacks features they need. Well, that's how Apple rolls. They are utterly unafraid to destroy the status quo if they believe in their vision for the future.

It will get better. Relax. In the meantime, nobody is ripping FCP7 out of your hands.
post #4 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronHeadSlim View Post

Well, nice apology. Apple knows they made a prosumer app.

They also only charged a "prosumer" $300 for it, not the standard $1000+
post #5 of 168
I'll just say this here, too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil on 9to5Mac

I wasn't at all upset about the removal of features in Final Cut Pro X. Apple's known for removing TONS of features in their products that receive the suffix "X". Mac OS X. QuickTime X. Final Cut Pro X. Oh, and iMovie '06 to '08. All had fewer features than the previous versions.

And that's okay. OS X added features back... and more... to become the best OS available today. QuickTime X is receiving some (not all) of QuickTime 7's features in Lion. And even more. Now QuickTime X can save audio files instead of saving an audio-only file as an MOV (go die in a fire for this, QuickTime 7). iMovie '08 sucked, but iMovie '09 was great, and iMovie '11 is even better; with far more features than iMovie '06 ever had.

Now, I've said that. That was my position on Final Cut Pro X, as well; I though that Apple was selecting a core set of features that they knew would work beautifully with this new program and leaving others out until they'd been fully tested to be included at a later date in an update.

But this is nonsense. Apple included the features. They're just turned off. They work. We just aren't allowed to use them.

This is ABJECT NONSENSE. This is tantamount to Apple including an NTFS write driver in OS X, but leaving it turned off with only the ability to read Boot Camp partitions. OH, WAIT. THEY DID THAT, TOO.

Now about the refunds: WHINERS. They'll come straight back once the first real update is pushed.

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post #6 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

In a year or two, once Apple continuously rolls out added features, all the critics will be silent, and they will tout FCP as the best editing software on the planet. Every critic says its a fantastic foundation, but lacks features they need. Well, that's how Apple rolls. They are utterly unafraid to destroy the status quo if they believe in their vision for the future.

It will get better. Relax. In the meantime, nobody is ripping FCP7 out of your hands.

You aren't even allowed to buy new legitimate copies of FCP7. What if you need more seats to complete a project?
post #7 of 168
So you agree with me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

They also only charged a "prosumer" $300 for it, not the standard $1000+
post #8 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

You aren't even allowed to buy new legitimate copies of FCP7. What if you need more seats to complete a project?

I fail to believe that Amazon doesn't have copies of Final Cut Studio 3.

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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #9 of 168
Mr. Jobs reportedly asked the assembled engineers and other Final Cut Pro X team members, Can anyone tell me what Final Cut Pro X is supposed to do? When one of those employees then volunteered a satisfactory answer, Mr. Jobs followed up with, So why the f*#k doesnt it do that?
post #10 of 168
I already have Premeire Pro and it is fantastic.

I am actually a prosumer level of editor.

I will buy FCP-X eventually because of it's excellent foundation but it is a prosumer type of application right now.

I will be buying a RED Scarlet as soon as they are shipping. I hope FCP-X is up to the task by then.

Thanks.
post #11 of 168
Re-release FCP 7 and call it a day. Rebrand FCP X as FCE until X is ready to replace 7. It's called a transition period.
post #12 of 168
Can all FCPX engineers, and other staff report to my office at 13:00 (yes, that's in three minutes!)
SJ
post #13 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

You aren't even allowed to buy new legitimate copies of FCP7. What if you need more seats to complete a project?

This is what the people arguing FCPX is fine don't understand. They have obviously never seen a professional edit house and simply have no clue that multiple edit suits require a known path ahead in terms of software to justify the huge cost of high end Mac Pros and trained staff. They have to know their investment is going to keep working or else they have to jump ship to Premiere or Avid

This product is a great prosumer product no question but edit houses have to have upgrade paths for ongoing projects (i.e. the same data and projects as used in 7) and training and support and as you say the ability to buy more of what they have.

I seriously hope Apple keep FCPX as a prosumer product but return 7 to the stores and look very hard at updating 7 with a workable path for professionals to move up.
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post #14 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtkane View Post

mr. Jobs reportedly asked the assembled engineers and other final cut pro x team members, can anyone tell me what final cut pro x is supposed to do? when one of those employees then volunteered a satisfactory answer, mr. Jobs followed up with, so why the f*#k doesnt it do that?

l o l
post #15 of 168
I also received a refund, no questions asked, from the Apple iTunes store.

The body of the email was:


"Greetings from Apple iTunes, before I address your issue I would just like to take the opportunity to address myself. My name is XXXX and I look forward to working with you to resolve any issues you may have. Now, I understand that you have purchased "Final Cut Pro" however it has less functionality then the previous version "Final Cut Pro 7." I can certainly appreciate your eagerness to have this issue resolved, rest assured I am more then happy to help!

First and foremost, I would like to extend an apology for the delayed response to your email. iTunes Support endeavors to send a reply within 24 hours; however, due to new product releases and features for the iTunes Store we are experiencing higher volumes than normal. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

XXX, what I have done for you is, I have gone ahead and reversed the charge for this purchase.

In five to seven business days, a credit of $299.99 should be posted to the credit card that appears on the receipt for that purchase. I sincerely apologize for any inconveniences this issue has caused.

Should you have any further questions or concerns in regards to this issue, please do not hesitate to reply to this email, and I will gladly address them for you.

Thank you for choosing iTunes as your source for online entertainment, and I hope you have a fantastic day, XXXX!

Sincerely,

XXXXXX
iTunes Store Customer Support

Please Note: I work Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12:30-9:30 pm EST

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated"


It's was a refreshing reaction by Apple to a very misunderstood and botched product launch.

It reminds me a bit of when Coca-Cola took away a product loved by millions and replaced it with a product more favored by kids. In the end of course, Coca Cola bowed to pressure from their fans and brought back the product that everyone knew and loved.

Let's hope that Apple can remedy the FCP-X debacle with equal success! How about FCP 8!
post #16 of 168
I never did understand the reasoning behind releasing a supposed software upgrade that did not at least match what was being replaced. I can understand Apple wanting to rewrite something from the ground up so that it is easier to extend in the future, but they should wait for it to have the features of the software it replaces.

If they wanted to release something that had the same features but was more efficient, then charge a minor upgrade fee to existing users and the same amount as the software being replaced for new users.

If Apple expect people to change post-production workflows just to suit a new release of FCP, then they should expect to meet a lot of resistance.
post #17 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronHeadSlim View Post

Well, nice apology. Apple knows they made a prosumer app.

Or another MobileMe Steve Job's "Why the F*ck doesn't it work?" moment!

All of the FCP X should be really ashamed for letting each other down!

Steve said that Apple interviews "customers" and listens to what they have to say. Apparently, Apple needed to ask a few more people regarding these changes and maybe avoided some of this?!
/
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post #18 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Re-release FCP 7 and call it a day. Rebrand FCP X as FCE until X is ready to replace 7. It's called a transition period.

Well, just don't ditch your FCP7, is all.

What Apple should have done was to announce that FCP 7 was still release FCPX, and then keep developing FCPX. Then after a couple of years when FCPX has all the features and can talk to all the other bits of software and hardware that it needs to be able to do in order to be considered in a pro post studio app, declare FCP 7 end of life.

Apple still would have had an earful for not actively developing FCP, of course
post #19 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I fail to believe that Amazon doesn't have copies of Final Cut Studio 3.

Check. They don't.
post #20 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

They also only charged a "prosumer" $300 for it, not the standard $1000+

and Premere Elements has done the same sort of thing as FCP X for $99
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post #21 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

and Premere Elements has done the same sort of thing as FCP X for $99

Really - Premiere Elements is equivalent to FCPX? I have never used Premiere so I wouldn't know but it would really surprise me if this was the case.
post #22 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Can all FCPX engineers, and other staff report to my office at 13:00 (yes, that's in three minutes!)
SJ

HAHAHAAHAHAA, good one
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post #23 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

They also only charged a "prosumer" $300 for it, not the standard $1000+

Professionals would gladly pay $1000 had it been really powerful 64 bit 7 updated rather than a totally different and totally incompatible product. It's about work flow not price for professionals and edit houses. They are not whiners or computer nerds they are companies with multiple Mac Pros and high end media servers and many staff with on going work dependent on being able to open and use existing projects. A single production project could easily be anywhere from half a million to multi- million dollars. You have to see this in context.
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post #24 of 168
The FCPX petition was #8 on PetitionsOnline.com with over 600 signatures. I am betting there are a lot more iWeb and MobileMe Gallery users out there than there are high end professional video editors. I hope they will respond in force to Apple's decision to cut them off. Use the link in my signature line make yourselves heard.
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post #25 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

You aren't even allowed to buy new legitimate copies of FCP7. What if you need more seats to complete a project?

great point - this is a perfect example of why enterprises dont adopt apple, even if they are better, which fo general business, I argue they are not, in a professional enterprise one needs to know that their platform is going to be there - For example Office 2010 has been out for over a year and 2007 is still availible to business licensees.
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post #26 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

In a year or two, once Apple continuously rolls out added features, all the critics will be silent, and they will tout FCP as the best editing software on the planet. Every critic says its a fantastic foundation, but lacks features they need. Well, that's how Apple rolls. They are utterly unafraid to destroy the status quo if they believe in their vision for the future.

It will get better. Relax. In the meantime, nobody is ripping FCP7 out of your hands.

I am not a video producer. My exposure to things like iMovie is very limited, so commenting as an "expert" is not what I am doing. With that caveat, I can recognize a few things here, to wit:

1. It seems that the release of this product was given a go to market date and Apple management forced the date on the release team. Evidence for this is all the back-pedalling being done about the missing features that are just around the corner. Why release something that is feature incomplete and sure to be regarded as junk when you know that in a month or two a whole lot of features that are needed for the product to be properly useful will be ready, why not just wait and ship it when its really done? Real artists ship, that's why.

2. It seems that all the improvements that the program does provide are really "plumbing" type. I am sure the utilization of 64 bits etc will greatly speed up the import of clips, and will be noticed as a great asset moving forward, but all the "workflow" type issues are substantially worse off for now.

3. From the reviews, a place like Pixar where most or all of their work is digital from start to finish, this software will be tremendously better for them and their workflow, but other older analog/digital mixed production houses will see a lot of pain if they attempt the transition. Jobs' Pixar movie production roots may have driven some of the "Its OK to go with it right now" attitude that seems to be biting Apple in their butt, leg, neck, nose, toes and, well, you get the point.

4. It seems that a more rational solution to the introduction of the new software would have been to wait until the things they supposedly are going to get done soon, the 3rd party drivers that are waiting to be finished were and the truly hardline not-going-to-ever-update-this-or-that issues are fully demarcated and then say this stuff is it moving forward, but for the next "X" where X is 6 or 12 or 18 months, the old version will be sold and fully supported, and even when they stop selling the old version don't give it the EOL treatment, just kind of let it slide away.

I really don't have a dog in this particular fight, I just hate to see Apple give itself such a huge (and really unnecessary) black eye. There have been other times where Apple has EOL'd certain technology, and in the final analysis, they have been proved right, I just think that this is one area that maybe they should have taken a little more time to finish cooking both the product and the transition plan.
post #27 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

This is what the people arguing FCPX is fine don't understand. They have obviously never seen a professional edit house and simply have no clue that multiple edit suits require a known path ahead in terms of software to justify the huge cost of high end Mac Pros and trained staff. They have to know their investment is going to keep working or else they have to jump ship to Premiere or Avid.

Yes but the edit houses didn't have a 'known path' with regards to FCP7. And jumping ship to Avid or Premiere would be a far more drastic move than sitting tight with FCP7 and working with Apple to iron out the problems.

I wonder if FCPx gains the required feature set and works as well with peripherals as FCP7, or Avid, will the editor community accept it?
post #28 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

great point - this is a perfect example of why enterprises dont adopt apple, even if they are better, which fo general business, I argue they are not, in a professional enterprise one needs to know that their platform is going to be there - For example Office 2010 has been out for over a year and 2007 is still availible to business licensees.

I agree and I am very disappointed that Apple made this mistake ... I hope they will see the light and prove you wrong.
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post #29 of 168
Apple apologized as well and stood by their phenomenal customer service. Got refunds for both FCX and Motion 5.
post #30 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Yes but the edit houses didn't have a 'known path' with regards to FCP7. And jumping ship to Avid or Premiere would be a far more drastic move than sitting tight with FCP7 and working with Apple to iron out the problems.

I wonder if FCPx gains the required feature set and works as well with peripherals as FCP7, or Avid, will the editor community accept it?

Agreed IF Apple start selling 7 and supporting and updating it again. Else there will be some head scratching going on, there is no easy path here. Apple can recover this, I have faith ... (holding breath).
The last question is IMHO that if X opened 7 projects and had full support for plug ins etc and possible a switch to old view to aid the transition ... just a few thoughts.
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post #31 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Professionals would gladly pay $1000 had it been really powerful 64 bit 7 updated rather than a totally different and totally incompatible product. It's about work flow not price for professionals and edit houses. They are not whiners or computer nerds they are companies with multiple Mac Pros and high end media servers and many staff with on going work dependent on being able to open and use existing projects. A single production project could easily be anywhere from half a million to multi- million dollars. You have to see this in context.

I agree, but you speak as if a post production company might jump to FCPx only to discover its incompatible. I am very surprised at the lack of backward compatibility, but at the same time, the introduction of a FCPx needs to be treated like a migration to a new platform. It clearly isn't ready but can you see the day that it might be? Or do you think it stands no chance of ever becoming the new FCP?
post #32 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

This is what the people arguing FCPX is fine don't understand. They have obviously never seen a professional edit house and simply have no clue that multiple edit suits require a known path ahead in terms of software to justify the huge cost of high end Mac Pros and trained staff. They have to know their investment is going to keep working or else they have to jump ship to Premiere or Avid....

Agreed. The non professionals posting comments here are clueless. My shop was due to upgrade edit suites next month; I sent a letter to management asking them to pull the plug and do a rethink.

The harm may be beyond repair already even if Apple does major damage control this week -- that's assuming Apple even wants to continue in the pro market, which is not clear at this point.

If and when FCP X (iMovie Xtreme) ever becomes a professional application (and it won't be this year, because the app is way too far away from being usable), many post-production facilities will have moved on to Adobe or back to Avid. It would take years for Apple to climb back into the pro market if they lose it this year. Right now, a business person / editor would be nuts to trust Apple with his or her livelihood.
post #33 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdematos View Post

Apple apologized as well and stood by their phenomenal customer service. Got refunds for both FCX and Motion 5.

When did a refund for being less than satisfied with a product become "phenomenal customer service" rather than just "doing business"
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post #34 of 168
That's what happen when you under-deliver and do not provide a way to try a software before buying it... you finally need to give a refund :-s
Maybe this will impact future of Mac app store where you no longer have the ability to try a software during 30 days. As a non professional video maker, I'm interested in this FCP X version but will never buy it at 299$ without having a chance to try it!
post #35 of 168
Not sure if they were able to verify the authenticity of this email, but it's overall tone somewhat calls that into question. First of all, the email keeps referring to the department as 'iTunes" or the 'iTunes Store". Obviously, as a Mac product, this purchase was handled by the Mac App store and not the iTS. They might be the same team internally, but Apple doesn't usually mince words when it comes to product identification.

Further, I simply can't believe that any Apple employee would be given license to describe their own product as "inadequate", even if it was. After all, this is the same company that designed the hockey puck mouse, which Steve Jobs summarily described as "the best mouse ever created", despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When Apple does admit to mistakes - such as the iPhone 4's antenna-gate fiasco - it's usually preempted by a 20 minute presentation explaining how much better the new product still is than it's competition, followed by somewhat begrudging attempts at keeping everyone happy (and quiet). This email made no mention of Apple standing by the redesign or how great the new features were, etc. Either they've turned over a new leaf or someone is going to be having a long conversation with their manager tomorrow.

So for their sake, I hope this is fake.
post #36 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

This is what the people arguing FCPX is fine don't understand. They have obviously never seen a professional edit house and simply have no clue that multiple edit suits require a known path ahead in terms of software to justify the huge cost of high end Mac Pros and trained staff. They have to know their investment is going to keep working or else they have to jump ship to Premiere or Avid.

It's not like FCP7 suddenly ceased to work or suddenly became obsolete.

From my experience, you NEVER upgrade immediately on a major release. You finish your mission critical stuff on your current pipeline. If you need to start a new project, you use that pipeline.

Then slowly on the side, you start building up your new workflow. It takes a while. By the time you get comfortable with it, the software is more mature and bugs/features have been addressed.

These things take a few years anyways. Look at the original FCP conversion. Everyone was calling it "prosumer-at-best", and now, FCP7 is a pretty complete Pro App.

That being said, they redesigned the software to make it more user-friendly and possibly decrease the learning curve. That will increase the user base, and possibly eat at Premiere's designer/prosumer marketshare.

By the time it's fully mature, it will have a much larger user base, and be used by amateur cinematographers and pros alike.

Oh, also, what Teejaysplace24 said. :-) The email looks fake, or someone's getting fired.
post #37 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

In a year or two, once Apple continuously rolls out added features, all the critics will be silent, and they will tout FCP as the best editing software on the planet. Every critic says its a fantastic foundation, but lacks features they need. Well, that's how Apple rolls. They are utterly unafraid to destroy the status quo if they believe in their vision for the future.

It will get better. Relax. In the meantime, nobody is ripping FCP7 out of your hands.

For the most part I agree. The thing that really gets me though, it that it's not backwards compatible. That really sucks and unfortunately will never be addressed.
post #38 of 168
They obviously blew it but what do I care, I don't do video anyway.
post #39 of 168
Good Work Apple. Professional don't have 2-3 years for FCP-X to get better, they need hardware and software that is production quality to do work and make money today.
post #40 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

In a year or two, once Apple continuously rolls out added features, all the critics will be silent, and they will tout FCP as the best editing software on the planet. Every critic says its a fantastic foundation, but lacks features they need. Well, that's how Apple rolls. They are utterly unafraid to destroy the status quo if they believe in their vision for the future.

It will get better. Relax. In the meantime, nobody is ripping FCP7 out of your hands.


My questions are how many sales have there been and how many complainers are there. What features are they freaking about and how many folks need them. And are they features you can get some other way

As for Apple admitting anything. Of course they will. To shut these folks up. Because you can explain to someone like that that no one said every feature would be there at all much less day one etc. Better just to say 'yeah you're right', give them their money back and be done with them


Quote:
Originally Posted by PBRSTREETG View Post

Good Work Apple. Professional don't have 2-3 years for FCP-X to get better, they need hardware and software that is production quality to do work and make money today.

Guess I missed the memo that all other programs were magically kill switch with this release

True pros don't start using a program day one cause they need to learn in etc.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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