We’re in this together! Stay safe with our COVID-19 guide

View
×

Melinda"May" H.

1 Level 1 Contributor
  • 4 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful Votes
  • 0 Thank Yous

Experience: Art & Design, Clothing & Fashion, Education

Member since April 2016

  • Reviews

    4

  • First Reviews

    0

  • Thank Yous

    0

  • Fans

    0

  • Profile Views

    273

Review Distribution

About Me

Artist

How I Can Help

Art, cats, plus-size shopping

Interests

Art, cats

4 Reviews by Melinda

2/5/21

I was excited to try the free trial of New Masters Academy. Signing up was easy, you get 7 days of free trial before they start charging a monthly fee, and you have access to their site. The site itself looks professional. There are many interesting courses about drawing and painting, as well as other forms of art like sculpture. I did notice that the course offerings for sculptors were considerably less than for drawing and painting. If I were primarily a sculptor, I'd be disappointed by that.
I was able to check out a few of the courses, watch them and get a sense of the style of instruction. The newer videos are well shot and high resolution, but some of the older courses were at a lower resolution. Not low enough to ruin the material but, there was noticeable blurring when I went into fullscreen mode while playing the videos. Not a deal breaker but rather annoying. I found the quality of instruction excellent. I didn't have time to check out the forums. I did check out the reference photo section, which was not bad, a good selection of figure photos. I played around with the 3D model viewer, and though the models looked sharp and clear, I found there weren't enough models I was interested in. Many of the poses seemed forced or contrived, when I was looking for something graceful and natural but still interesting. Overall though, there seems to be plenty of worthwhile content on the site.
So why only two stars from me? Because of the endless, excruciating lag I experienced while trying to watch the videos, the fact that the site crashed during my trial and was down for hours, and the really slow and poor response from customer service. I have a fast connection and no problems with streaming videos from any other site, so the problem is not on my end.
I sent a total of 9 emails to customer service, only 3 of which were ever answered, and when they did bother to answer, they only suggested things I had already tried, such as clearing my browser's cache, and argued with me that the error codes I had seen their player display were ones they had never seen before. I made screenshots of the crashed player and its error message and sent them to NMA, but got no reply.
Then I looked at their terms of service. They don't guarantee their site will be accessible, or compensate you in any way if it is not. They only claim they will make a "good faith effort" to keep it up. Considering they want $45 a month for their subscription, such empty promises are not good enough. I had so many problems with slow, lagging, crashing videos and server outages that I was only able to use 4 days of my "7" day trial. Yet NMA never offered to extend the trial period so that I could get full use out of it. I point blank asked them if they would, and got no reply. Only one free trial is allowed per customer, so I felt very cheated.
After the 7 days were up, they would start charging my credit card. I cancelled before that could happen, which was easy enough, and my card wasn't charged. A few days later I got some spam emails from NMA trying to get me to re-subscribe, and I replied to one of them to let them know that as long as their technical issues were so severe and their customer service so poor, there was no way I could trust them with my money.
I really hate to leave a review like this, because I liked the parts of the material I was actually able to watch. And I think NMA have worked hard to create good content for artists who want to learn better skills. But there's just no excuse for the way they run their site, or their slow and unhelpful customer service. The site is advertised as a premium product at a premium price, but the way it's operated does not live up to its branding. I didn't lose any actual money from this experience, but I still ended up feeling cheated. I cannot recommend this company.

Tip for consumers:
If it works for you, great. If it doesn't, you won't get any help or compensation.

Products used:
Trial subscription to artist education website, New Masters Academy.

2/3/21

I normally transfer a monthly amount of less than 1000 USD from my US bank to my Borderless account. This transaction USED to take only seconds. In recent months, there have been unexplained, senseless, excruciating delays. The latest delay is making me wait 6 business days to get MY money. It's not even being converted; it's going to my USD balance. And Transferwise always blames these ludicrous delays on the banks. They're lying. My bank can transfer the same money in seconds through other services. Transferwise lure customers in with low fees, but then sit on their money, gambling in currency futures with it (this is the REAL way they make a profit) while their customers have to make do without their OWN money. Sometimes they keep their customer's money for good: read the other negative reviews. Dishonest company. Avoid.

Tip for consumers:
Read the negative reviews. They are well earned.

Products used:
Money transfer service and Borderless account

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
12/30/18

Clothes are OK but they take forever to arrive and returns and exchanges are a nightmare. I sent in about $200 worth of clothes for an exchange in early November, waited and waited, and finally just a few days ago I contacted Woman Within to see why my replacements hadn't arrived. They said my exchange order had never been processed. That was the final straw. When I let them know how disappointed and angry I was, I got the email equivalent of a shrug and "Sorry." I eventually got a refund, but it's winter and I needed the clothes. A better company would have stepped up and made things right - expedited an exchange order and/or given a discount or something to make up for the inconvenience. But it's like these people know that if you're a plus-size woman, you're stuck with them, so they can be as incompetent as they like.

4/14/16

I ordered some clay shaper tools from them that I couldn't find elsewhere. I paid double for "UPS premium shipping." This wasn't clearly explained on the website at all, but I had the impression it would get my stuff here faster, seeing as it was premium and all. My stuff has taken over a week so far, and it's supposed to be here tomorrow - but UPS has no idea where it is. It was last seen halfway across the country, and I highly doubt it will be here tomorrow. Very disappointed with the slowness of the shipping after paying extra to get it here faster. Emailed customer service about this twice with NO reply. I won't buy from this company again.

Tip for consumers:
Don't.

Service
Value
Shipping

Melinda Has Earned 4 Votes

Melinda H.'s review of Jerry's Artarama‎ earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Melinda hasn’t received any thanks yous.

Melinda doesn’t have any fans yet.

Melinda isn’t following anybody yet.

Similar Reviewers on Sitejabber

adama544
4/23/21

For an unknown reason they said they wanted to terminate my account (that's ultimately their...

richards3041
3/31/21

The company is for big movers not the little guy. Its over for us, To much information customer...