The following is the text of a letter that I sent to the President of MME after receiving an invitation to join their newsletter this morning that included a chance to win a Cricut Expression – I am not looking for a response but if I receive one, I will be sure to share it.
29 March 2011
Dear Ms. Cornell,
I am writing to you today to make you aware of a situation that is ongoing within the paper crafting community – something that based upon your association with Provo Craft, you should already be aware of.
Provo Craft recently settled a lawsuit with Make the Cut, makers of an independent software application that worked with the Provo Craft Cricut machines. I am not going to get into the details of the lawsuit – the case was settled and as such no legal ruling was made by the courts.
Andy, the software engineer responsible for Make the Cut, had revolutionized the way paper crafters were able to use their Cricut machines – they were able to download free files created by others from the internet, cut true type fonts from their personal collections and even design custom cuts to suit their needs.
Provo Craft has also filed suit against Craft Edge, the makers of Sure Cuts A Lot, another software application that offers much of the same functionality. That case is still pending. There is one other software, Fairy Cut, that is being marketed by a Canadian company. At this time, there has not been any word of a lawsuit against Fairy Cut.
When word of the Provo Craft/MTC settlement reached the news, supporters of Andy and Make the Cut rallied to show Provo Craft that they will not settle for a cartridge-only machine that limits their creativity. Within days, several things happened:
- People started actively getting rid of their Provo Craft Cricut Machines, selling them at a fraction of their cost on ebay and craigslist.
- Sales of competing machines – many several hundred dollars more expensive than the Provo Craft machines – have soared! Bosskut offered a weeklong special on their Gazelle machine and sold out several days before the promotion was schedule to end. That's Scrap, the sole US distributer of Black Cat cutting machines, ordered 30 of their lower priced model ($499) and before they even left the factory, they were sold out.
- A formal boycott of Provo Craft branded merchandise has been organized on Facebook and after just over 2 weeks, has nearly 1600 members.
- A youtube video entitled "I Want my MTC" has well over 4000 views in just a few days.
Like myself, many people purchased their Cricut machines only after the release of SCAL and/or MTC. We purchased the Cricut for various reasons – lower cost, wider retail availability, local access to the necessary consumables (i.e. mats & blades), and/or we weren't aware of all of the other options available.
This situation with Provo Craft is actually the final straw for many Cricut owners. Provo craft's own message board is awash with tales from people regarding poor customer service, unfulfilled promises, and complaints about the products – at least until Provo Craft decides to delete those threads. Provo Craft has also allegedly shut down many entrepreneurial endeavors by private parties – and later used those same ideas to launch similar products and services.
So now you probably ask, why am I writing to you about all of this. This morning I received an email from your company asking me to sign up for your newsletter and as a result I would have a chance to win a Cricut Expression. I have to tell you as a big fan of MME, I did sign up for your newsletter. However, after reading your March newsletter online, I unsubscribed. I cannot in good conscience sign up for the newsletter of a company that has any business association with a company that I have chosen to boycott.
I love My Mind's Eye papers but I am very disappointed by your association with Provo Craft and will no longer be purchasing your paper packs – there are many other wonderful brands to choose from. It is a matter of choice – just as I feel what I cut with my cutting machine should be.
One final thought for your consideration: there is a whole market of crafters out there who are looking for alternatives. They will voice their approval by spending their hard earned dollars in support of companies who respect their creativity. I bet they would jump at the chance to win a machine that would work with MTC/SCAL– if you were to offer one of those machines, you'd get my attention and I would spread the word to everyone I could possibly reach. As it is, I will be posting a copy of this letter on the Boycott Provo Craft Facebook page. If you care to respond and address our concerns, I'll be more than happy to share that as well.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
A former MME customer,