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I spent the $400 to buy my own licensed version of Maya, since on my laptop I was using a borrowed version. I decided to come clean and do things the right way. Maybe my two years of using a “borrowed” version came back around to bite me in the ass. I don’t know, but here’s my story.

I received the program about a week ago. Totally excited, I got it open and looked through all the CDs, all new and shiny! Last night I went to install it, and when I did I realized that there was no Serial Number. Further investigation only showed the remains of where a sticker once stood with the IMPORTANT INFORMATION label and the serial number. Now, why the heck would I rip off something that was highlighted and read IMPORTANT INFORMATION. I admit, it does sometimes take me a while to understand things, but I am not that dumb!

So, I go on the support website to see what I can do to recover the serial number. What do I find? A cute little explanation which states, Do not lose this number or throw away the box. If you lose the serial number prior to installation – there is no way to recover the serial number and you will have to buy another copy.” I seem very calm now, but I’m not ashamed to say I was a mess last night. I spent $400! And because the serial number is missing I have to spend another $400?? I don’t think so.

The boyfriend had to talk me down from the ledge, let me tell you, but he did and I finally got to sleep. I woke up at 9:07, and realized that the office hours had started so I could finally call someone to get some answers! I call the support number on the back of my product. Their solution: “Ma’am, we are just support for installing the program, you can get in touch with whomever you bought it from and they should be able to help you out.”

Still cool as a cucumber, I call Studica. The man on the line seems friendly enough, but then he tells me I must mail back my product to make sure the program was not damaged by me. So I ask how will they know if I ripped it off or if someone else before me did. He explains there is a sticker holding it shut that was attached to the sticker with the serial number and unfortunately this sometimes gets ripped off. Now I didn’t say it, but this is just poor packaging, but I know this is not Studica’s fault, they got it from Autodesk.

I try to make this man understand that if it was ripped off by the delivery man or whatever, it would look the same as if I had done it myself so I will probably have to go buy another copy. “Unfortunately, we cannot refund the product without that bar code and the sticker was a round sticker which holds the case shut.” I heard this line, I don’t know, maybe about 40 times in the 20 minute conversation.

I finally lost it, “Look, I just spent $400 on this product and $20,000 on my class and you’re telling me, ‘Whoops! You’ll have to buy another copy!’ Well, like most people I don’t have another $400 to spend on this product AGAIN!”

“Well, we just cannot refund it without that bar code.”

So I ask, “Is there someone else I can talk to? I know this isn’t your fault, but I really just can’t afford to buy this product again and I need to figure out how to fix this.”

He puts me on hold and all of a sudden I hear this, *CLICK* “MA’AM WE CANNOT TAKE IT BACK. I’M TRANSFERRING YOU TO AUTODESK SUIPPORT” *CLICK*

I kid you not. So rude. Didn’t even say hello, or I’m sorry, or have any sympathy for me. I am totally outraged. And once again I break down. Sucks. It’s hard to not be upset when you may have just thrown away a sticker worth $400.

The Autodesk support didn’t open until 10, so I waited another 15 minutes and called them back. While on hold, I start looking at my e-mail and I see a new one from about ten minutes ago with the subject: “Studica Order 20461 – Serial Number” It read: “I have the serial number for your product. It should be XXX-XXXXXXXX.”

My jaw dropped. My phone almost did too. Somewhere in the incompetent Studica offices in Sanborn, NY, resides an angel named Maria Bykowski. Apparently there was a lot more that Studica could have done, but no one wanted to help me. Until Maria.

In conclusion, if you’ve even made it through this entire rant, this post is dedicated affectionately and entirely to this saint of a woman sitting in a cubicle in Sanborn, NY. Maria, I love you!


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