Ulead and Element 5  See Update at the Bottom

I've done business with Ulead and their processor people Element 5 for many years.  I'll list some of my products so you can get an idea just how long I've done business with them.   Ulead Media Studio Pro 5, Cool 3D 2, PhotoImpact 7, Movie Maker 3.  Those are old programs and I followed them all the way up through Ulead Media Studio Pro 8, Cool 3D Studio, Photo Impact 11 and Movie Maker 5 Plus.

Recently I upgraded from Movie Maker 5 to Movie Maker 5 Plus because of an ad they sent me in Email.  During the transaction I wanted to order the CD on demand backup for Movie Maker 5.  Every time I clicked on the thing to buy the CD on demand the form would reprocess and select Video Studio 10 Plus.  I closed the page and reopened it 3 times and then finally in a fit of frustration when I had the correct CD on demand selected I hit the process button thinking it would take it.  I was aware that it might not however and figured what the heck, it's only a few bucks.

When I got the PDF from Element 5, you guessed it, it showed the wrong product was sent to me.  When it came in the mail you guessed it, wrong product.  I Emailed both Ulead and Element 5 telling them of the mix up and just asked them for the key to unlock the product.  Ulead didn't even bother to respond to me and when Element 5 did respond they told me their computers didn't show that I had ordered the product.  So I file attached the same PDF document they sent me to show them.  The guy responds to me telling me the file attachment was deleted by their mail server.  I then did a screen capture of the PDF showing that I had ordered the product and they had not sent me a key for it.  Since then they have not responded to my messages asking for a key to a product I paid for and they sent me but I can't use it because they refuse to send me a key for it.

I'm the director for the old Independent Software Consultants group and for years tested software, companies service and wrote reviews to tell the public how these products worked and how well the companies supported their customers.  I still sometimes write reviews for here and for Epinions.com.  Ulead and Element 5 were at the top of the list for good products and support and I recommended them to everyone and family members including my brother who bought Video Studio 10 plus and had so many problems with it that he finally gave up on it.  If I remember right they refused to send him a key also and he had to call them to get help.

Something went wrong with Ulead and Element 5 a year or so ago.  Now their service and a support has become so bad the last 3 or 4 times I've needed help from them that I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.  If you click on the images they will enlarge to full size.

Until now I can't remember writing one for Ulead or Element 5 but I think it's about time.  So I've put this page up with the pictures of the disk that Element 5 insists they didn't send me along with the envelope it came in.  In time I intend to write full product and service reviews for Ulead and Element 5 for Epinions.com.

I am aware that somewhere during that time Ulead corporate moved to an over-seas location.  At that time I needed help with one of their products and after a month of trying to get help one of the techs in their office in LA told me on the phone not to waste my time trying to get help from the Ulead Corporate HQ because they were in Thailand I think he said and most of them didn't even speak English or care about customers in the USAThis coming from a Ulead tech in CA that is a serious statement.  Coming from me to you it's just "hear-say" but I will tell you that's what he told me and I believe him.  But he did help me solve my problem at that time so I appreciate it.

The more our corporations move to oversea locations the less they are held responsible by American Better Business Bureau or American legal systems.  They can basically do what they want without being held accountable.  If their products and service become terrible they just don't care as long as they can still get our money.  I am afraid this is what has happened to the Ulead products and service.  I am not certain why Element 5 has become they way they are but I know they work for Ulead so there's no telling what the deal is with that.  If I figure it out I'll post it in my reviews pages.

I have been known to contact the president and vice president as well as CEO's of corporations I've had problems with
.  Ask the Vice President of the Sony corporation in New York if he doesn't know who I am.  If that doesn't work I contact the Better Business Bureau and send them all the info I have on the situation.  That usually gets me results, but not always.  Sometimes the best thing to do is just to stop doing business with companies who produce shoddy software and products who won't support their customers and just tell everyone you know what kind of outfit they are.  My problem there is that I've been doing business with Ulead and have thousands of dollars invested in their software!  All of that software is graphic or video related.  For me to switch to another company would cost me several thousand more that I can't afford to spend at this time.  Eventually I hope to switch to a Mac and Adobe Final Cut video editing software.  I might consider Sony's newest professional video editing software.

Ulead Media Studio Pro 8 has some problems, like it frequently locks up causing the loss of all the editing I've done since the last time I've saved it.  The title element in the software when set to scroll the characters vanish and you can't edit them.

Latest Update
After phone calls to Element 5 and Emails and them telling me it can't happen and if Ulead's website didn't give them a key they can't send it to me so they sent me the same key for Movie Factory 5 Plus 3 times.  I tried to explain to them at first how the website messed up and I wasn't trying to order VideoStudio 10 Plus at all but they sent it.  Since I couldn't make them understand I decided perhaps they would understand the PDF file they sent me and perhaps I could get a key for VideoStudio 10 Plus instead.  There's no way they could understand it even with me showing them.  Finally I gave up and called Ulead and the Ulead guy being much smarter than the Element 5 guy looked at the PDF file and the disk on this page and figured out what had happened.  I told him all I wanted was the disk I ordered and he said it will take a little bit but he would see to it that it was sent to me.