Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Southtree Follow-up

I ended up converting about a dozen old VHS recordings to digital files. The quality is about as good as I could have hoped for. The processing speed was slower than I would have liked but within the promised range. I sent the tapes to Southtree in a series of batches, which was a lot more expensive because of shipping, but I didn’t want to risk all the tapes being lost.

It turns out that this fear was partially justified because they did, in fact, lose track of one shipment. After weeks of not hearing anything, my USPS tracking information showed that the package had been delivered to Southtree, but entering my order number and zip code would not bring up my order status. It turns out that another customer had been given the same order number as me (so the zip code check was failing), and furthermore they didn’t know where my tapes were.

I got the impression that they had mailed my tapes back to that customer, but the language was vague enough that it was clear they didn’t want to explain how they were “looking” for the tapes. It was a tense few weeks waiting to see whether they would be able to find the tapes or whether the family memories were lost forever.

Finally, they said that they had found the tapes and would start processing them and notify me via e-mail when they shipped back to me. I never did get the shipping notification (as I had for the previous orders), but a few days ago the box arrived on my doorstep, and everything seemed to be in order.

I also had another minor issue where a batch of tapes was sent back to me but the converted MP4 file for one of them was missing. After a bit of difficulty proving this to Southtree, they provided free shipping to send the tape back to them for reprocessing.

Lastly, it’s been my experience that after the first order they send out a ton of 45-50% off coupons. So don’t worry if one offer is expiring; another will probably come along soon.

Previously: Converting Old Videotapes.

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