Creative Sends Out Crazy Support Email/Sales Pitch

A reader sent in this funny and bizarre customer support email from Creative—it’s a weird combination of broken English, pre-written paragraphs from macros (which, oddly, still have grammatical errors), Byzantine instructions for resetting and reformatting the broken device, and then five attempts to sell other products and services at the end.

Dear Stacy,

Thank you for writing in to Creative Technical Support Services, we appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

From the description you had provided, I can see that your ZEN Player has stopped working abruptly. You mentioned on your mail that your player boot up up to Creative Logo and then it froze and it just the back lit black. You mentioned that you had tried recovery tool but it seems like your player won’t recognized by your PC. I can imagine this is a frustrating experience. I apologize that you are having issue with this product and it is causing you to not enjoy it as intended.

Initially, you were provided with some basic suggestions on how to troubleshoot the issue that you have identified. These tips have
resolved majority of the issues with your product. You may find that some of the information in this message is repetitive, but it is still helpful/beneficial in troubleshooting the issue.

To assist you further, here are some suggestions that you can try:

1. Reset the player with the little pin hole twice while connected to the computer and then 3 times while not connected to the computer.
2. After you reset it the last time, you will need to get to the recovery mode by pressing and holding the play/pause button on the player and then turning it on again without letting go of the play/pause button until you see recovery mode on the screen.
3. Then, let go of the button and perform cleanup 3 times and format twice.
4. ThenI want you to reload the firmware twice and on the second time I want you to go ahead and install the latest firmware for the player while it is connected to the computer. You can get the latest firmware for free from our web page at

– select your product MP3 Players > Zen > Zen 4GB/8GB/16GB > click NEXT
– choose a language: English > operating system: Windows XP > file type: All > click GO


I’m confident that the suggested resolutions will resolve your issue. However, if you’re still experiencing the complications, please don’t hesitate to reply to this thread with the history intact so that we can continue working with you.

Meanwhile, to enhance your listening experience with your Zen, you may want to consider buying our Creative Zen Aurvana. This is an
acoustically and ergonomically designed in-ear earphones that deliver superb audio quality, noise isolation, and comfort. For more details on this product, please refer to the link below:

If you still require assistance, please reply to this email with any previous correspondence to ensure the quickest and most accurate service.

Best Regards,

Technical Support
Creative Labs Americas

– – –

ACCESSORIZE IT — Find the accessories you crave for your Sound Blaster. Cables, gaming headsets, remotes, drive and console upgrade kits, premium speakers and headphones, and more!

PROTECT IT — Protect your ZEN, Sound Blaster X-Fi and select WebCams by extending your product’s coverage to a full 2 years with a Creative Care Protection Plan.

SAVE UP TO 80% NOW — Visit Creative’s Savings Center for sale items and big deals on clearance and refurbished products.!

LOOK AND SOUND YOUR BEST ONLINE — True plug and play Live! Cams for your desktop and notebook get you online and chatting fast.

(Thanks to Stacy!)
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    The letter feels like an automated response based on some keywords that Stacy put in her original email. As for the sales pitch, well that’s obviously tacked on to any email from Creative.

  2. pegr says:

    Apparently, their English isn’t the only thing thats broken…

  3. HeyThereKiller says:

    “Dear Customer,

    Phone receiver chup chup winkietown, hard reset hummingbird. Whatchyoutalkinbout Donna Karan, quoth the raven nevermore. Mother Teresa handjob quilt, banana cream pie.

    Thank you for you paytronage.


  4. rasbach says:

    I’m not buying one of those!

  5. homerjay says:

    Hello, chief. Let’s talk, why not?

    Hello? Why am I Mr. Sparkle?

    You like Mister Sparkle?

    Well, I am Mr. Sparkle.

    You have many question, Mr. Sparkle. I send you premium– answer question, hundred percent!

  6. econobiker says:

    Simple explanation is cut and paste instructions by a user who has english as a second language.

  7. kittenfoo says:

    maybe they hired that super articulate miss south carolina to write their response letters.

  8. Buran says:
  9. Landru says:

    Bad form email aside, that thing would be in the trash about halfway through those ridiculous troubleshooting instructions.

  10. Chairman-Meow says:

    All your grammers are belong to us.

  11. b612markt says:

    I heart that graphic.

  12. stacye says:

    So, let me get this straight. They want the user to reset it 5 times, do a “clean up” three times, and then format it 2 times?!? Why even bother doing so many clean-ups if you’re going to format it? what’s the point? And THEN load the firmware twice, then upgrade?

    Does this tech have OCD or something?

  13. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @Landru: seriously, does formatting and resetting two or three times increase its effectiveness?

    If so, that speaks volumes about how crappy the device is to begin with.

  14. mammalpants says:

    I think AC-lightnin bolt-DC answered this issue best many years ago.

    “Back lit Black, I hit the sack,
    I’ve been too long, I’m glad to be back”

  15. @Buran: Did you actually read the content before posting a reply?

    In Consumerist’s comment section, all URLs are reduced to its domain only.

    You may think it is “lame”, but what is even more “lamer” is the fact that YOU would leave a moronic reply just to get something off your chest without looking into the matter further.

  16. toddiot says:

    @Front_Towards_Enemy: Erm, grammars. There’s no E in grammars. Just sayin’.

    @Buran: Blah I was kind of hoping that would be a real website, like, haha

  17. mdkiff says:

    Regardless of the grammar, I love the “Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A B A Start” feel of the repair instructions…

  18. tk427 says:

    “Why can’t they just make a button that says frickin pass?”

  19. Keter says:

    Those instructions actually aren’t that bad, aside from the nonstandard English.

    Why reset and such multiple times? To clear older style registers that take multiple information pushes to completely clear. That’s normal, but says something about how old their technology is.

    And yeah, waaaaay too much advertising, but all total, not too badly done, Creative.

  20. synergy says:

    I have Creative products, a Zen V and a Zen Micro. Love ’em.

  21. MPHinPgh says:


    Thank you. I actually got a chuckle out of that.

    (Hey, it’s been a rough day…)

  22. ceriphim says:

    Creative *must* be having fun with her. I’m no Apple fanboy, but 99% of all the problems I’ve ever had with any of my ipods have required one, maybe two, resets.

    My eyes kinda glazed over after the 4th instruction, this is what I got from it: After resetting the firmware 5 times, punching it 3 times with a soft mallet, washing it in 77 degree (F) water with Dawn, using it to crack 6 eggs, and gently covering the entire thing with red lipgloss, you should be all set. And please buy our Creative LipShine ™.

  23. Unnamed Source says:

    Hmm….substitute a few words here and there and that text reads surprisingly close to lots of other companies’ “tech support”.

  24. ChristopherDavis says:

    I think I remember seeing those instructions in a movie review. Yup, definitely sounds like a case of purple monkey dishwater.

  25. TB3 says:

    It’s no fake. Check out the instructions I received to install a Creative Labs Web Cam. 17 steps and 3 reboots. It was easier to return the damn thing.

    Thank you for contacting Creative Technical Support.

    With regards to the issue, you may want to check your device manager to
    see if the webcam is working correctly.

    If the camera is not detected by Windows, try to disconnect any other
    USB device(s) temporarily to see if the camera conflicts with any other
    device on your PC. Connect the camera directly to an available USB port
    on the PC, rather than a USB hub. Verify that your system meets the
    system requirements such as Operating System, RAM, or available hard
    drive space etc.

    However if the issues persists, you may then need to perform a
    Follow the steps below:

    1. Disconnect the camera from the USB interface.
    2. Click on Start, Run, type MSCONFIG and click OK.
    3. Check the box next to Selective Startup and uncheck the box next to
    Startup Items.
    4. Select the SERVICES tab and select Hide All Microsoft Services.
    5. Uncheck all results and click Apply then OK.
    6. Restart Computer when asked.
    7. Click on Start, Control Panel, System and click on Hardware and then
    on Device Manager.
    8. Click on the plus (+) to the left of IMAGING DEVICES, OTHER DEVICES
    applicable), and UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS CONTROLLERS, and then remove
    all CREATIVE
    WEBCAM listings and erroneous items such as USB DEVICE, UNKNOWN
    DEVICE, etc.
    from these categories.
    10. Click on START, CONTROL PANEL and ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS. Remove all
    11. Click on START, CONTROL PANEL, SCANNERS AND CAMERAS, and remove any
    WEBCAM listings listed here.
    12. Close all windows.
    13. Insert the Webcam installation CD and install the Webcam Drivers,
    related software.
    14. Restart the computer once the installations have completed.
    15. Connect your camera to your computer. Windows’ Found New Hardware
    should initialize, follow the directions on the screen, and complete the
    16. If your camera is installed with Creative PC-CAM Center or Creative
    Monitor, you can use these programs to test your camera installation.
    17. Once all steps have been completed, restore your computer to Normal
    settings by following these steps:
    – Click START, RUN, and Type MSCONFIG and click OK.
    – Select NORMAL STARTUP, then click Apply, OK and reboot when prompted.

    Afterwhich, ensure that you have the latest drivers

    Below is the link for the latest drivers/applications updates.

    If you still require assistance, please reply to this email with any
    previous correspondence to ensure the quickest and most accurate

    Best Regards

  26. ceriphim says:

    @TB3: Is there a “Head Farthest Up Their Own *** Award” for 2007? It’s still 2007 right?