I purchased Cyberlink PowerDirector video editing software from Herman Street (Hermanstreet.com) in February, 2006. Cyberlink is a Taiwan-based company whose products are sold in the USA through Herman Street and Element 5.
I installed the software on my new computer that arrived in April, 2006 in anticipation of my daughter's wedding which was June 3, 2006. I took videos and pictures and received additional footage and pictures from friends. I planned to use these to produce a DVD for the family.
After the wedding, I started up the video editing software and experienced numerous crashes. After many e-mails back and forth with Cyberlink over several weeks, I downloaded patches, uninstalled and reinstalled the software, obtained new downloads, operated as instructed without antivirus software and other potentially conflicting programs, etc. Cyberlink finally acknowledged they could not get the software to function reliably on my computer (I have a multimedia PC with more than enough memory, top-of-the-line video card, high speed processing etc.)
However, when running the software, the computer would literally repeatedly crash about every 90 seconds to 3 minutes and I never successfully produced the video. Cyberlink's technical support and customer support, which does not sell directly in the USA, recommended that I get a refund from the vendor, Herman Street, who sold me the software. I completely uninstalled the Cyberlink software and bought Adobe Premiere Elements and was successful in using this crash-free software to produce the videos.
After several rounds of correspondence with Herman Street's "customer service" they denied any responsibility for the defective software and refused to give me a refund, choosing instead to hide behind their policy that if you successfully downloaded the software, no refunds are allowed because downloaded software = opened software. On top of that, they said that any returns of "UNOPENED software" have to be done within 30 days or no refund is allowed.
So... downloaded software is not "unopened." And even if it were mailed, physical software on a CD, you can't determine if it works if you don't open and install it!!! So they are ripoff artists to the extreme.
Even the manufacturer acknowledges they can't get the software to work and that there are fatal bugs in it that prevent the production of videos lasting more than a few minutes or that contain more than a few files.
Herman Street also threatened me and said that if I file a refund claim with my credit card company and the credit card company sides with me, they will report me to credit bureaus as a bad debtor.
Here is the exact quote from their e-mail to me: "Furthermore if they [the credit card company] do side with you, we will simply file this onto your personal credit report as an unpaid debt where it will stay until you do pay the debt," AND... "your credit card will be charged to cover the full amount of our losses, including a $35 chargeback fee."
So... I'm kind of stuck. I have software that doesn't work sold by HermanStreet.com and I am out of pocket almost $100 and I had to spend more than that again ($120) on another product that actually does work. I can't get my money back through my credit card company because HermanStreet.com has threatened me that if I do they will give me an adverse credit rating, and HermanStreet.com won't give me a refund on this defective product.
The world needs to know about this Rip-off company and consumers should avoid buying any product from this disreputable company under any circumstances. I buy over $1000 of software a year and will definitely never buy from them again and will warn anyone I come in contact with to avoid them like the plague. The only hope for cunsumers is that they will go out of business and never again be reborn under any other name to rip off more consumers.
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