questionsi wasn't following it back then, but how did woot…

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j5 j5

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@magic cave: Where Woot had the HP touchpad as a daily deal for (about) $300, then a day later (or so) HP firesaled the lot of them. Many many angry Wooters ensued, but I didn't follow what Woot did about it.

j5 j5
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"Dearest ||USERNAME||,

A businessman gets a nice thing going, makes a deal he thinks will pay off - and everything changes and he's left holding the bag. Now we know what it feels like to be Lando Calrissian.

Anyway, we feel like stupid, scruffy nerf herders about what happened in early August regarding the HP TouchPad 9.7" 16GB Wi-Fi Tablet. We know you're probably not feeling great about it either. So here are your three options:

ONE: You might have already noticed, but we've refunded $100 back to your original payment method and you can keep the TouchPad. We figure this covers all you people who are actually enjoying surfing the net and talking to their ugnauts via the built-in webcam. Consider it our way of saying "Wow, how did this even happen?"

(to be continued)

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(Woot email continued):

"TWO: If that isn't enough, we understand. We'll accept a return on your HP TouchPad 9.7" 16GB Wi-Fi Tablet for a full refund. Contact us at service@woot.com and we'll send you a label so you can send your TouchPad back to Woot HQ. As soon we get it, we'll refund your entire purchase price.

THREE: you could dress up as a palace guard, sneak into some alien crime lord's fortress, and put some mystic revenge plan into motion. You're pretty much on your own with that one.

We like to think that, in some giant and highly visible way, these options help to make you feel a little better about this summer's ridiculous events. And hey, you know what? We're sorry it happened.

And our Lobot's sorry too. Hopefully that still counts for something.

Sincerely,
Woot Member Services"

Was everybody understanding? No. Were some people royally ticked? Yes.
You can't please everybody, all of the time....

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@j5: BTW Thanks for pointing out the drama on kids.woot. I don't spend any time over there, so now when the blow-back eventually seeps over to deals, I'll have some idea what everyone is talking about.

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Crap on a cracker those people have little faith in Woot.

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@philosopherott: The initial response from Woot was not really all that favorable.
Personally, I'm taking a wait and see, since things just aren't adding up. I hope @thunderthighs is doing ok. I'd hate to see anything bad on her as a result.

j5 j5
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Can I get the TL;DNR on this Nabi situation? Thanks.

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@eraten:
1. Woot posts Nabi2 with pics of Nabi1
2. Confusion ensues
3. Woot confirms it's a Nabi 1
4. People email support for cancellations
5. Woot comes back with "No no, it's a Nabi2" Confirmed
6. Woot deletes all the posts saying "Shenanigans! It's a Nabi1"
7. People un-cancel
8. Woot sells out
9. time passes
10. Woot sends an 11th hour email saying "oops! it's really a Nabi1 and we can't cancel it. Either keep it, refuse the shipment, or email support for a return shipping label. Here's a $10 coupon for your trouble"
11. Madness ensues (both definitions)
12. Staff goes into hiding :) (witsec)

j5 j5
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@j5: I'm extremely surprised that there isn't a DW thread about this situation yet!

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@eraten: Isn't that what this is? ;)

j5 j5
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It's very worrying that woot's default response whenever there's trouble or confusion seems to be "Quick! Delete all the negative comments!"

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IRT OPs original question:

How did Woot handle the HP problem? Well, overall, rather poorly. For a while (near a week, if memory serves) Woot said nothing at all, and there was furor in the forums. Eventually, they sent out the email above, which said (in effect) sent it back, or take this credit and STFU. Keep in mind that some retailers (including, if memory servers, Amazon) gave a full refund for the difference as a measure of goodwill. I still have my touchpad, and use it from time to time. I wish the hardware was better, becuase I really believe that the WebOS had/has potential.

I just read about this Nabi/Nabi 2 furor. Wow. I mean, wow. Woot totally, completely, and utterly blew his one. After being called out on the pictures and many of the specs by the Wootizens, the official spokesavatar basically screamed in the forums in was a Nabi 2. So, people ordered, and now are stuck (cont)

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They are either going to have to
1) Refuse shipment (good luck with that)
2) Send it back for a refund.
The latter isn't a problem for me (I usually pick up my Woots at my mail drop, so I would just slam the return sticker on and give it back to the clerk) but for nearly everybody else this means a special trip at this time of year when shipping is oh, so much fun.

I do sincerely hope that Woot is going to take this as an opportunity to improve. Somebody(s) really screwed the pooch on this one. Woot needs to figure out how this happened, and make sure it never, ever happens again.

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The deleting of comments are frustrating to me, since I'm a frequently deleted commenter. Commentator? Common tater? It's definitely a new thing around Woot that came about when they started making more and more unpopular changes. I think they are hurting themselves by deleting comments, because it tends to fuel the anger and frustration and anti-woot sentiments. Woot used to be a place where you were encouraged to speak your mind, even if it was to say that the deal was crap. Have you listened to the Woot-off song? I think it would get deleted if posted by a wooter these days!

Now we have another crappy scenario, and woot comes out looking pretty bad again. Deleting comments doesn't help Woot mend the relationship with those who were affected by this deal. However, I still believe Woot has one of the very best Customer Support Departments out there, and I have no doubt they will do the best they can to make this right.

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Ouch, seems like the kids.woot thing was handled rather poorly. We run into a lot of, "We need an answer right now!" sort of situations where I work (tech company, with a lot of money coming in via consultation and support) and I typically refuse to throw out a quick answer because of this very thing. Plus I'm just some little peon at the bottom ranks, so nobody should even be asking me about anything important.

You need one answer, and it needs to be the right one. Time takes a backseat to accuracy, because pumping out the wrong answer quicker than the right one is rather useless.

I still think woot is pretty darn cool, though.

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Ouch. This whole situation screwed everyone. Woot will be out goodness knows how much in shipping/customer retention cash. All of those customers are now in the really un-enviable position of having neither the product they purchased or the cash with which to purchase another one until this whole thing is cleared up.
That is particularly unsavory. I understand that woot is a business and has to protect themselves as well - but really, there must be a better way to handle this that doesn't leave the customers holding the bag for a mistake that is, quite simply, woot's fault. It is their job to verify product information with their vendor. If the vendor lied (as it seems they did) then it is on woot to make it right for their customers, then go after the vendor for their losses.
Am I just way off base here? Or is this "let crap roll downhill to the customer" attitude just becoming way too prevalent nowadays?

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@wilfbrim: As I understand it, and it may have changed, Woot can't do returns because they just buy pallets of crap and sell them until they are gone. Amazon (e.g.) is a proper retailer in that they can resell or return unwanted merch. HP, not wanting their tabs back, give Amazon the difference and everyone is happy. Woot pre-paid for their pallet and are now stuck eating the diff. I'm sure it bit them just as hard.

j5 j5
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@trekmiss: I agreed with you up until your bolded statement. While in the past their CS team was outstanding recently there have been more issues then solutions. I recent problem I was dealing with took 4 e-mails, over multiple weeks, before I even received an auto-reply. A few weeks before that I had an issue I sent 2 e-mails on without response, which was solved by contacting an employee directly who then had CS handle my issue. The recent changes to CS have been horribly detrimental and unfortunately the problems do not seem to be correcting themselves as time passes.

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Also, shall we just dub this mess, "Nabigate 2012"?

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I'm not of the opinion that returning the item for a full refund is a very nice offer if that is the only option given. $10 discount on future purchases is insulting. I'd like to see Woot sending out the product promised and eating the cost, then I would consider returning the unwanted item in exchange. Is "oops, sorry but suck it up" the only response these days? And what's the deal with service@woot not responding to multiple emails.

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@whataworld: You apparently didn't get the memo.

To repeat: the correct address for customer service is now support@woot.com

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All I know about either the HP or Nabi debacle is what I've read in this thread, but in general, woot is really bad at saying, "Whoops, we messed up!" If there's enough of uproar, they'll occasionally offer a delayed half-apology in an extremely silly/sarcastic tone. I wish they would realize the power of occasionally saying "mea culpa." Taking responsibility would defuse much of the anger: it's very difficult to remain upset with a person or corporation who/that says "I/we didn't handle this right. Here's the best solution that I/we can implement." A sentence at the end of the apology about having the option to rush woot's headquarters will pikes and catapults if one doesn't like any of the possible solutions is fine and would retain woot's typical writing voice, but an insincere apology (or one that appears insincere because it is cloaked in silliness) is often worse than no apology at all.

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How is offering a full refund not good enough? That's just ridiculous. If you don't know what woot's profit margin is, then you don't really have any business expecting them to just eat whatever cost was handed down by the marketplace.

Yeesh.

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@lotsofgoats:
A few reasons
1. full refund only after items have been shipped out and then returned, since cancellation was not an option
2. Many folks are limited budget and using debit cards or similar for these things, and are out of pocket until the refund arrives.
3. As some have mentioned, the promise of these halted other search efforts on Cyber-Monday, and there is resentment over that.

Personally, I don't have an issue other than disappointment that these weren't as expected, but I like to think I'm a reasonable fellow.

eta: I agree that it's unfair to expect Woot to eat the cost on this mistake.

j5 j5
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@neuropsychosocial: Very well said!

@lotsofgoats Re: woot's profit margin. I don't know what it is; don't care to. It isn't relevant to me. If any company makes a huge error, then they should be prepared to eat their losses. The good will gained by doing this results in respect for them. And, more importantly, happy customers who will continue to buy from them. Good will, as it were. If I feel I was NOT treated fairly & w/respect, I won't return to that company to buy more. And, will pass that info on to others.

Re: 'Treated w/respect: Am not speaking to woot's normal sarcasm - I enjoy that. This particular over-exaggerated sarcasm seems to put the onus on the customer. That's never good for business.

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For what it's worth, I was thinking more in terms of the HP Touchpad price dive than yesterday's kids.woot screwup.

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:gets the pop corn: - I referred my sis to this deal for her kids.. Don't know if she ordered though. If she did, i'm bound to be held responsible, too lol.

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Wow. Woot is going to find and send the Nabi 2 out to the customers affected.

Good job woot. Good job. +1000

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And here, nobody commented on my tags for posterity.
Sadface

j5 j5