How to File a Complaint (Video Competition)

mark476p

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 26, 2007
28
0
Hey everyone,

I ran into some problems with an online video competition sponsored by Ziddio (www.ziddio.com). For those unaware, Ziddio is a YouTube copycat, but differs in that they do competitions. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Ziddio sponsored a video contest called Are You WWE's Biggest Fan? (Yes, I'm a huge wrestling fan). The rules and requirements, which I have a hardcopy, are pretty basic: no copyrighted material (merchandise that you own is considered fair use); one minute or less; under 100MB; uploaded as QuickTime (H.264 recommended), Mpeg, or AVI; no defaming of other companies; and no performance of wrestling moves. Entries could be submitted til July 31st midnight. From there, judging occurs until August 3rd. Top 10 rated videos are finalists along with 5 others chosen by a WWE panel. The 15 finalists win a trip for two to New York, along with hotel accommodations, tickets to a live event, and a red carpet event.

I submitted my video on July 31st, 12 hours before the deadline. It was a QuickTime video with H.264 codec at 65MB with 95 kHz stereo audio. I received an automated message saying that the Moderators Team has to review it before uploading. If there are any problems, they will contact me and allow me to resubmit the video. In the meantime, a web page was created for my video, just with no video embedded in it. Each webpage has an ID Number. I got suspicious when other videos with higher ID Numbers were uploaded just a few hours after mines. So I emailed them, but they didn't respond. Finally, after two days, and many emails, I get a response from them. They apologized for the long wait and that they SUPPOSEDLY found audio problems with my video. They go on to say that there are other contests that I may be interested in. WTF?!!

So I complained about the following:

- Why did it take them two days to respond?
- Why aren't they allowing me to resubmit my video (I really doubt there's anything wrong with my video)
- How are videos with copyrighted materials allowed to be uploaded?

That's just a quick summary of my complaints. I plan on doing a formal written complaint to Ziddio, Comcast (parent company), and the WWE (nothing against them, I just want to inform them of my complaint to Ziddio). Each will contain a letter, emails to and from Ziddio, and a DVD of the final video (with images and some raw footage to show the amount of effort that went into it... approximately 50 hours of effort).

Anyone got advice for me? Do I have a case? My college professor said that if they don't handle my complaint well, I should get a lawyer and file a lawsuit.

Anyone else I should contact? I visited the Better Business Bureau website, but it seems like a business-customer transaction needed to take place. I'm not sure. HELP!
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
Why did it take them two days to respond?
Because they were busy running a site that just got flooded w/last minute video submissions?
- Why aren't they allowing me to resubmit my video (I really doubt there's anything wrong with my video)
Because they don't want to?

- How are videos with copyrighted materials allowed to be uploaded?
Because they haven't been sued yet or they have deals in place to share revenue w/the copyright holders.

Anyone got advice for me?
Let it go.

Do I have a case? My college professor said that if they don't handle my complaint well, I should get a lawyer and file a lawsuit.
For the thousands of dollars (not to mention time) you spend on a lawyer what do you hope to get in return?

Anyone else I should contact? I visited the Better Business Bureau website, but it seems like a business-customer transaction needed to take place. I'm not sure. HELP!
Your video got disqualified because of a technical problem. Oh well, that sucks. I'm not sure why you are turning this into such a spectacle.


Lethal
 

mark476p

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 26, 2007
28
0
I would agree with you if I was disqualified, which I wasn't. Also, I've been doing freelance video for three years, so this idea of faulty audio is ********. They were not flooded with videos at the last minute. They always respond quickly to emails. But you're right in that I probably will get over it eventually. I'm irritated right now because it just happened. You know, it's like someone telling you to get over your dead grandma the same day she died. And if she didn't croak yet, then you'll know what I mean eventually.
 

trudd

macrumors regular
May 27, 2004
206
0
Texas
I would agree with you if I was disqualified, which I wasn't. Also, I've been doing freelance video for three years, so this idea of faulty audio is ********. They were not flooded with videos at the last minute. They always respond quickly to emails. But you're right in that I probably will get over it eventually. I'm irritated right now because it just happened.
Problems happen. Incomplete upload, issues with conversion (assuming they convert it such as YouTube or other sites do), etc. It's definitely a crappy situation, but I assure you life will go on :)

You know, it's like someone telling you to get over your dead grandma the same day she died. And if she didn't croak yet, then you'll know what I mean eventually.
No...not at all. It's unfortunate, but it'll all blow over in a few days.

By the way, do you have a link to your video?
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
I would agree with you if I was disqualified, which I wasn't. Also, I've been doing freelance video for three years, so this idea of faulty audio is ********. They were not flooded with videos at the last minute. They always respond quickly to emails. But you're right in that I probably will get over it eventually. I'm irritated right now because it just happened. You know, it's like someone telling you to get over your dead grandma the same day she died. And if she didn't croak yet, then you'll know what I mean eventually.
Unless you were there when they watched the movie you have no idea if something like a random upload glitch damaged your file. I think that is a more plausible idea than someone singling your movie out and concocting an out right lie to prevent it from being entered along w/all the other videos.

While I understand the desire to vent, I do not think failing to get into an online video contest run by a 2nd rate site to see who is the biggest WWE fan is quite equivalent to having a loved one die. It's a step above having it rain after you just washed your car, but still below spilling red wine on your favorite white shirt. ;)


Lethal
 

bimmzy

macrumors regular
Dec 29, 2006
140
0
London
Anyone got advice for me? Do I have a case? My college professor said that if they don't handle my complaint well, I should get a lawyer and file a lawsuit.QUOTE]

Here in the UK we stand in awe as we look over the pond out to colonial cousins and there love of litigation.

We have 2 institutions that deal with complaints like yours.
OFCOM or the local Trading Standards office. In there way there are as every bit scary as Inland Revenue.

If a website claims as part of its business that it runs competitions and runs them fairly, then they have an obligation to stick by what they say. Essentially it’s their contract with you. I'm sure this is the case in US law as well.
But, is it worth suing ?

I think not.
 

mac's my homie

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2006
27
0
South Carolina
agree about the lawyer issue. if you go that route, your 50 hours will turn into much much more. And if you still get no where, you will have that much more time investment waisted (not to mention money$$$).

maybe just right them a formal letter telling them you're getting a lawyer and then leave it at that.

if nothing else, maybe they'll sweat a little! :cool:
 

Poeben

macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2004
346
0
I submitted my video on July 31st, 12 hours before the deadline. It was a QuickTime video with H.264 codec at 65MB with 95 kHz stereo audio.
Also, I've been doing freelance video for three years, so this idea of faulty audio is ********.
I'll give you the benefit of doubt and assume you meant 96k audio. I would imagine that could be the problem as, HD aside, 48k is still the standard audio sample rate for video production.
 

mac 2005

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2005
765
77
Chicago
I have no advice to offer, but I am always surprised at how these posts seem to invite such a flurry of meanness. If you're not sympathetic to the OP's situation and have nothing to offer by way of advice, move on. The OP obviously feels badly about what happened and isn't likely to feel any better when all s/he gets are insults that serve little more purpose than padding the poster's post count. :rolleyes:
 

mark476p

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 26, 2007
28
0
Yes, I know a video and grandparent differ, but that's what I'll say when someone makes a post in a rude manner. Two wrongs don't make a right, but it makes me feel better. Thanks mac 2005 for your comment.

I totally agree that filing a lawsuit is not worth it. It was hard to think clearly that day. However, I'm still going to file a complaint.

Poeben, I was thinking about 96k being an issue as well. If it was that important though, it should have been listed in the rules and regulations. Only video requirements were listed. Also, this problem could have been easily solved (export using 48k), and I should have been able to resubmit my video as their automated email stated I could. However, when I wanted to, they didn't respond. I know they weren't busy because they have always been quick with replies, and there weren't many last-minute entries.

The hours spent on the project was only part of it. I really felt like I had a legit chance of making the finals, which already includes prizes.
 

spacepower7

macrumors 68000
May 6, 2004
1,509
0
96k Audio

I think that the 96khz audio is the problem. The person reviewing the video probably could not playback the audio because their computer is not capable with the standard built in soundcard.

Know your audience. There is no need for 96khz audio for unless the viewer has a really good speaker system.
 

Poeben

macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2004
346
0
More 96k-isms

Sorry that things didn't work out for you in the contest... In order to help you avoid future audio related problems I would recommend that you think about what your source material was for a moment. Where did the sound come from? Built-in camera mic? Pro voiceover? Music from CDs, or iTunes? There really isn't much benefit to using 96k audio, especially if it was audio converted from a lower sample rate, such as the case is with CDs and video.

Also, this is coming from someone who works in audio post-produciton dealing with network broadcasts. I have never been asked to deliver, nor have ever been provided with 96k or 192k audio. If I were, it would likely be converted to 48k on output. Also keep in mind that the standard delivery formats for network broadcast (digibeta and ugggh D2) are not capable of recording 96k audio. As far as I know this is also true with all the pro HD formats as well (HDCAM, XDCAM.)

Stick with the industry standards and you'll be fine.
 

Kawasaki

macrumors member
Aug 1, 2007
41
0
I know a WWE fan, and they are REALLY DEVOTED, as much as NASCAR fans and maybe even more so (I am not a WWE/NASCAR fan). So, I understand why he feels like taking them on.