Warner Brothers Complaints & Reviews

Warner BrothersAbsurdly long file names can prevent downloads and tech support is horrible

About three and a half months ago I purchased the first 21 episodes of "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated" through www.wbshop.com, and I encountered a problem trying to download one of those episodes. (I had some unrelated trouble trying to download a few other episodes, but fixed that myself.) When I try to download this one remaining episode, episode 14, I get the error message "Unable to download to destination. An invalid download location has been set, please check the download location in the options menu." Even though the other episodes downloaded to that same location perfectly fine, I experimented and moved the download location around, to no avail.

After some research, I'm 99.9% sure the problem is being caused by; Windows XP (my OS) only allows file pathways of up to 255 characters in length. RoxioNow Player, the program WB forces me to use to download the episodes with for DRM purposes, does not allow me to rename the files I am trying to download. By default, the episodes use absurdly long file names like "Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated - Season 01 - Episode 10 - Howl of the Fright Hound (Premium)" RoxioNow also insists on putting these files inside individual folders whose name is exactly the same as the file which they store.

This causes episode 14 to go over the Windows XP 255 character limit, even if you don't include its .wmv file extension. See for yourself:

C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersDocumentsRoxioNowScooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated - Season 01 - Episode 14 - Mystery Solvers Club State Finals (Premium)Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated - Season 01 - Episode 14 - Mystery Solvers Club State Finals (Premium).wmv

The information I can find online says that Windows Vista and 7 have a character file pathway limit of 260. So, if Windows does count the file extension, then I don't think a Windows Vista or 7 user could download it either. (It's 260 without the file extension, so maybe they could -I don't know. Wish I could test it. I'll get into why I can't in a bit.)

I can't make that file pathway any shorter. I've tried. RoxioNow won't cooperate if I try to rename the episode folder, or the RoxioNow folder, the rest of the pathway is protected from renaming because they're Windows system folders, and I can't find anywhere else to place the RoxioNow folder that would make it shorter. So, in order for me to be able to download episode 14 I need to either have RoxioNow get rid of the individual folder for the episode (the one whose name is the same as the episode), or the file name itself needs to be shortened. Neither of these are things I can do, so I need WB to do one of them.

Now, I've explained this to their tech support -multiple times. After three and half months of repeated help requests I finally got a response. It directed me to their website FAQ which I had already seen, and contained no information about my problem, but I figured once I explained that they would get back to me with better information. I was wrong.

First, I replied twice to their response. The first reply was just saying that the FAQ wasn't useful, but the second was more important. That had been when I had resolved the issues I was having with the other episodes and figured out the character limit was definitely the issue with number 14. I told them this in my second reply, and got a message back from a different person than the first tech support person to send me a response. Here's the second message I got from their tech support:

"Hi Alexander,

Thank you for contacting WB Shop.

I apologize for any incovience this issue has caused you. Please let us know what error message you are receiving and which downloads did not work. We cannot help untill we know what error message you are receiving and why. When we have this information we will look into this for you.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us again.


Seeing as how I had detailed the error message I was getting in the initial complaint I had sent them, I figured that for whatever reason this new person hadn't seen my first letter. (Actually my fourth I think, but it was the first they responded to.) So, I replied with a long copy/paste recap of the conversation up to that point. I sent it in twice, just to make sure we were all on the same page.

Then I got a message from a third person, this time replying to my message saying their website FAQ wasn't useful. This person directed me to a new website, http://www.wbdigitalcopy.com, saying I had to take the matter up with their tech support people. This seemed odd to me, because I hadn't ever seen the website when I was purchasing my episodes, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to look. Well, it may not have hurt but it sure didn't help.

The site I had been directed to was dedicated to digitial copies of MOVIES. When you go to it's support page, and select your country, it then asks you for the title of the DVD I'm having trouble with. I said 'what the hell' and typed in "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated", and got the message "That title is not recognized please check correct spelling".

I replied back to this third person, letting them know that the www.wbdigitalcopy.com website isn't relevant or useful to my problem. Then I got a reply to one of my earlier recaps of the situation, again from a completely different person, and again directing me to the http://www.wbdigitalcopy.com website. Then I got this message:

"Hi Alexander,

Thank you for contacting WB Shop. Obviously we cannot help to resolve your issue with 6 of the episodes you tried to download. I am refunding the cost of those episode back
to your credit card. If you wish to try and repurchase that will be entirely your decision.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us again.



This fifth person apparently didn't even notice that they had failed to put their name into the form letter. That sort of lack of attention and thought was characteristic of my whole experience with their tech support. I sent in a reply to this "AGENT NAME" person, explaining once again that I had fixed the issues with all but one of my episodes -so they should only refund me for that remaining episode if they can't solve underlying issue with it, what the problem was with the character limit on the that episode, even how they could potentially fix it, and how unhappy I was with their tech support so far.

That was over a day ago now, and so far I haven't heard back from them. I guess that either means they haven't read it yet, or that they ran out of form letters to respond to me with. What they have done is apparently remove episode 14 from my wbshop account's "My Downloads" section (which is why I can't test it on a family member's laptop that uses Windows 7). I checked my bank account, and I haven't recieved a refund for that episode, so I don't know what's going on there. I don't know if it's related, or some other random piece of BS they're giving me as well, but I can't redownload any of the other episodes. The reason given is that their "Viewing period has expired." This is written just across from the place on the same webpage where it says "View Period: Unlimited" next to each of the episodes listed in My Downloads. (See attached screenshot) So, AFAIK the viewing period shouldn't ever expire for them. I'll give them until tomorrow to sort all this out before I start messaging them about it.

So, that's my story up to the present. What you should take away from this is that those who are thinking of buying something for download from the WB online store should find out what their operating system's character limit on file pathways is, and figure out just how many characters a potential purchase would need. They should also not expect much in the way of intelligence from the WB's tech support people, just form letter responses.

Absurdly long file names can prevent downloads and tech support is horrible

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    • Al
      AlexanderR Oct 29, 2011
      This comment was posted by
      a verified customer
      Verified customer

      Another update: The refund finally came through, so I got my money back at least. AFAIK, WB still hasn't done anything about the length of the titles of downloadable titles. So, like I said before, be careful what you buy from them.

      0 Votes
    • Al
      AlexanderR Oct 25, 2011
      This comment was posted by
      a verified customer
      Verified customer

      Update from AlexanderR: Calling a phone number included in the customer support emails yielded some new information. Apparently, someone decided that it would make me go away if they refunded all of the episodes, not just the one I still couldn't download. The refund transfer hasn't shone up in my bank account yet, but they say it should soon. I'll give them a few more days to see if it does at least, and then decide what to do next.

      0 Votes

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