questionsis woot handling the treasure hunt right by…


What about the >200 who quit at the "sold out" message? I'm not buying the apology.


no. it was woot's decision to have the link available early, so they knew people would find it early.

if they want to make everyone ok then they could easily let the 200 orders placed stand, and sell the first 200 a new set of craps. it's not like they are specific items in each boc.


Nope. People worked together and figured out the link early- I know at least two groups figured it out around the same time.

There was no rule saying you had to wait for all the pieces to make an order and the page was available early.

As for people saying they worked hours on it- why? If you were just piecing together the map all you had to do was go through the blog and you could get all the pieces in 5 minutes.

A better solution would be to make more than 200 available tomorrow and have the page not go up until after the last clue.


If Woot did not want the chance of people guessing the address why did they make it active before the final map piece was posted? It was up for 8 and a half hours before the first sale. Isn't this making guessing the address part of the game? If it wasn't why run the risk of it occurring by having the active link on the site most of the day?


I know that I put in over 12 hours before cracking it. I don't think it's fair to cancel my order because others weren't as quick. Woot's all about being witty, and what goes better with the Pirate theme than getting the loot before everyone else?

EDIT: Also, I've been here more than 3 years and I finally successfully landed one despite trying on EVERY OTHER BOC that's been here in that timeframe. Most of the people crying foul have landed plenty during that time.


I didn't get one and i still think they should not cancel the orders. Aaarg.


And mine just got cancelled. Really woot? Way to punish me for being clever. Thanks a bundle!


@capguncowboy: Mine too. Thought this was going to be my first- I got to the confirmed thing once before and the bank robbed me of it by declining the transaction, and now woot took the second back. Looking like it's time to stop trying for me.


Mine just got cancelled as well.
bummer. I'm not angry or anything, but how did they not expect this to happen?
seriously underestimating wooters.



When the second to last piece was posted, it became obvious that the url was:


and that the -something- was a letter or two or maybe three.

I don't see how trying A then B then C, etc. then AA, AB, etc. could be considered cheating.

So, given that woot said the link was already up, and they gave us everything needed to guess at the URL as soon as we had the penultimate piece, I don't see that cancelling any orders placed before the last piece was posted is fair. (I'd say it amounts to changing the rules after the game is over because a few people with a sense of entitlement didnt' try fast enough.)

Be that as it may, there is a simple solution:

There were only 200 BoC. Add 200 more and give them to the first 200 people who were denied after the last peice was posted.

This way the whiners have no basis tocomplain and the "cheaters" (note the quotes, I don't think they cheated) get their BOC too (and woot is out 200 BOC).


There are lots of ways to handle this.

Canceling the orders is one way, but the folks that guessed the URL were true pirates. Maybe they should get rewarded? As @baqui63 notes, the fairest would be to let the first group of pirates keep their booty.

I have less sympathy for those that jumped on the leaked URL and passed it to friends.

Since the code was cracked shortly after the 11th map piece posted, about 9pm EDT/10 CDT, Woot staff could posted a notice sooner. Or they could have set up a redirect and made it live at the same time as as the last piece. But if they have the ID of the first 200 arriving after the last puzzle piece posted, they can offer a Beard of Crumbs to those. That seems fairest of all.

The point is, we can think up all sorts of solutions. Given the unexpected outcome of the puzzle and the short time to react, I think what @ThunderThighs posted is a fair compromise.


BTW- I only got to the antechamber of doom... so I've got nothing to cancel with what they plan to do.

Also, what if someone got the BOC and then used their free shipping to get other stuff. If their BOC is cancelled, do they lose the free shipping on the other item? That doesnt' seem right either.


@baqui63: According to TT's post, they stopped the sale before it was over (meaning they didn't actually sell 200 before stopping it). Her claim that they were "Very fast" is unfounded. If it were very fast, it would have sold out before it was stopped. Woot can have their BOC back. I'm not mad. I'm just frustrated that no one made a rule against it until a few complainers who thought they were entitled because they put in a few hours of work whined about not getting one and got their way. Since when is whining about not getting a BOC awarded?

The bottom line is that I put in half a day or more, and I figured it out before the race started. Now I'm being punished for that. It's not the best way to handle things but it's ultimately not my call. They can do what they want I suppose, but I wish they'd look at that decision again



I agree capgun... I also put in hours of work trying hundreds of things.

I'm disappointed that I didn't get one, but quite frankly, I never expected to and I think that anyone who did really doesn't understand what woot is all about.


@baqui63: I don't think woot knows anymore either apparently


Thanks for cancelling my order Wootazon!


I'd say everyone abstain, let Woot! know we prefer a different method and do not like the handling of the Buccaneers of Caribbean#39;s all around this time. The only way to let them know is to not participate, if everyone did it would send the message. Just sayin'.

Hope everyone has a great day!


I did not get a BOC, but the means used to solve the puzzle were within reason. By announcing that the link has been live the whole time seemed like a push to get us to figure it out before Woot just gave the answer. This aspect should've been thought out more before the release of the game.

Also, if we absolutely have to wait until the last piece rather than using ingenuity, then it is no longer an effective incentive for getting us to follow the woot-off all day.



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You will receive one last email, and maybe a creepy voicemail because we know we can work this out.

To be fair, I really don't have the spare money to be throwing away here these days anyway. This was just as good reason a reason as any to finally walk. Canceling the order because of arbitrary rules made up after the fact is one thing, being called a cheater is too much for a loyal customer.


Well, I've decided that I'm quite angry about it afterall. The more it stews, the more upset I get about it. I just got done writing an email to CMS, but I'm sure it will be swept away with all the rest of everything concerning the issue. So here's what I wrote:

I am not one to complain. I’ve put in my time in attempting to get a BOC. I have been trying for over 3 years, and have seen nearly all of them that have been posted In that timeframe. Most of them gave a 404 error, or I just wasn’t fast enough. And all the while, I never whined, complained, bitched, moaned, cried or gave anything less than a smile.


I decided that yesterday was the perfect time to finally land one. I’m great at puzzles. I’m great at figuring things out. Some friends and I pooled our resources and worked together on this puzzle. We tried everything all day long from anagrams to witty plays on words attempting to locate the URL. There was NO RULE about waiting until the last piece was posted before trying to land one. Finally, after receiving the 2nd to last piece of the puzzle, we cracked it – our hard work had finally paid off. We finally had found what we were searching for all along. We all attempted to get it and got put into the Antechamber of Doom. We waited, and finally – I got one. After 3 long years of almost getting one every time, winning one in a FF league as per Snapster AND STILL NOT GETTING IT (I have links if you’d like to see them), and scouring the site during your games, I had finally done it. I immediately got excited. I was happy!


THEN, the “we’re entitled to it because we worked hard too” crowd came along and whined. Guess what? You decided to side with them. You called me a cheater. Really!? What rule did I break? How is being witty enough to figure it out cheating? How does that compute? How can you change the rules after the game is over!? When I was growing up, the cheaters were the ones that made up the rules AFTER they lost.
I just wanted to say that I’m extremely upset about it. I’m not going to cry and say that I’m entitled to it (even though by all means, I should be). More so, I’m pissed off at being called a cheater. After all the times that your servers crashed and burned me out of getting a BOC, and your CEO announced there would be one awarded to the winner of the FF league last year and didn’t live up to his word, you’ve decided to take away what I’ve earned and deem me the cheater.


I am disgusted at that mentality. It’s disgraceful and shameful to boot. I’ve been nothing less than loyal and I’ve never cheated in my life. If there are no rules against it, it isn’t cheating – it’s finding a work-around. I thought that of all the people in the world, Woot would appreciate that the most. I suppose I was wrong. Your transformation to the Darkside is complete. Congratulations, you’ve outdone yourselves. You’ve bastardized everything you promote.

I don’t suppose I will be playing your games much anymore. I’m sure you’ll just figure out a way to keep me from winning like you’ve done for the past 3 years. Keep your crap (and your crappy attitude towards those that succeed). We don’t want it.


PS, Please be sure this gets to management. I wouldn't want to see it get swept under the rug.


@panthiest: I couldn't agree more with your "being called a cheater" comment. That enrages me. I didn't quite grasp the rashness of it at first, but the more it sets in, the more enraged I become.


I don't really care that they cancelled the orders. BOC ain't fair. Never is. Sometimes you get a confirmation screen, but no email - so you get nothing. Sometimes the Crap fairy shines on you and you score.

I am unbelievably insulted and upset at being called a cheater. I won't repost my entire comment here, but there's the link. I'd ask for an apology, but really, if you have to ask - it doesn't count. Just like my (and several other's) time and effort in this community didn't count tonight. We were all labelled as cheaters and insulted because we did what woot always encourages - we solved the riddle before the kid next to us.

@capguncowboy: Very well said, and thank you for posting it.


@capguncowboy: Applause! My sentiments are the same - as I stated on another question. (Note: I did NOT get a BOC, nor would I have been one of those who got one from those falsely retrived from valid purchasers.)

Woot's handling of this is just plain wrong. No one who won a BOC was a cheater - that's absurd. BTW: Re: Your request to make sure that managment sees your em...well, they're the one's responsible for this. Good luck w/that.

Interesting reading on this on woot A very long thread w/a LOT of very unhappy people. Rather depressing reading, in fact.

Woot, this "fix" that you've done is another too little, too late and too often. I know you don't care about those of us who have been loyal customers, actively participated on the deals side, but this may be the 'straw.' Yes, you'll get new customers. Somehow, I don't think you're going to get a lot of loyal repeat customers.


Oh yeah, as an aside - it was especially fun writing an email to my husband (who's sleeping and had to get up in 2 hours) explaining to him why he has a BOC confirmation email and a cancelled order in his history. Thanks for that woot. He's going to start his day jazzed, then immediately disappointed.


I have to say, I was upset to learn that people had forced their way to the URL using bots and violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the game, but a broad cancellation of orders for everyone is unfair to the ones who followed along w/ the rest of us and just made a lucky guess. There is nothing sinister in guessing 15 minutes earlier than everyone else and those guys shouldn't be punished. I'm disappointed I didn't get a BOC, but cancellations should be done on a case by case. The fault lies in how the game was setup, but honestly, it wouldn't have been any fun if you didn't have an opportunity to go for it. Absolutely, cancel the orders of the DBs who got on and mocked everyone who couldn't write bot code, and next time, unless there is a way to detect a forced attack on the URL, just modify the rules. No great way to fix this, but a little flexibility towards both sides of the argument seems to be appropriate.


I guess there's just so much traffic coming in they don't really have to be held all that accountable to their constituency anymore.

@capguncowboy @thumperchick @gmwhit should all be on the dang woot payroll for the many dedicated hours of contribution they've made. Even without participating myself in the proper hunt I feel not only spurned, but also belittled and chastised by these shenanigans.

"Too little, too late and too often" is almost too perfect a sentiment here.


Here's the deal... lots of people worked hard... some (who possibly don't visit other sites) went only with what woot was dishing out. Once they got all the pieces a put in the URL (I had it all typed in ready to go waiting for the last piece to show up) they didn't even get the pleasure of clicking "I WANT ONE".

-Woot should have locked down the URL.

-There is no way more than 50 people guessed the last part of the code on their own.

-Working together was against the rules as stated in forum posts by TT and Inky.

Are they cheaters? Maybe, probably not. Did they violate the spirit of the game? Probably. Is it ultimately woots fault? Absolutely.

Should they cancel the orders? Well, maybe not but they should at least do something for the first few hundred to get the code entered after the last clue posted.


how about this......stop all the nonsense and get back to real woot-off's.....sansa, todd's dirt, nascar glow sticks, roomba, energizer batteries, QUALITY MADE flying monkeys and yeah, BOC's that get put up at 5PM CST and other times.

Take a look in the mirror and say, hey, I think we are a little out of control here, were are loosing fans, members of the community and most important, PAYING customers.

File this away as BIG mistake and start over before it's too late.


I think they solved it in their usualy communistic way. I don't like it, but I didn't even try to solve it, because, frankly it wasn't worth it.

It's woot's fault and they aren't really owning up to it. Everyone, including the people who bought it out, as well as the first 200 to key in the URL after the last clue was launched, should get a BoC. Would they lose money? Probably...but with a company this big, it's respectable to grow a pair and own up to your mistakes.

As many mentioned before, those who guessed it early were true pirates. Woot plays this game with themes, but the minute a group of people best them, instead of acting like adults, they are labeled as cheaters. C'mon, woot, you're better than that.


I'm glad they cancelled the orders. They cancel them every other time anyone uses a bot or non-woot website to help get a bag of crap so why should this one be different.


Great, Woot, just great. This is ridiculous; now I'm a cheater because I managed to figure out the URL early? Do you know HOW MANY times I tries different URL's??? Do you know how many times I tried putting the letter sin different orders/tried different combinations of words that might fit for the Sea?! Way to pander, to disappoint, and to lose a customer.

Oh, and by the way, please tell me when the last time was that you were involved in a treasure hunt that the winner got disqualified if they figured out the location without one of the clues??


Seems like a pretty crappy (see what I did there) cop-out. Woot messed up and instead of biting the bullet they punish their members. Yes, some members did cheat and broke the code early, other members put in their hours into the hunt and broke the code a little earlier than everyone else, should they get punished? I don't think so.

One interesting thing to note was in TT reply, it was mentioned that the BOC was sold out way earlier than the release of the last why did they still have pieces up, why not just send a message to everyone saying GIVE UP. Seems silly in my opinion.


@studerc: My guess is that they didn't want to admit right away that they had been beaten at their own game.

Though very immature and somewhat communinistic, their actions are growing increasingly easier to read than they used to be.

1. The URL got cracked early. They'd been beaten. Kind of embarassing.
2. If they don't post the final clue, and say they are sold out, then all of the unhappy Wootians will direct their anger towards woot for not being sufficiently prepared and being beaten by pirates.
3. Woot decides that don't want to take the blame, so they continue with the clues to let the other Wootians see for themselves that they are sold out.
4. In perfect rhythm, with all the angry Wootians, TT posts an official letter stating that "it's the other guy's fault, they're the ones you should be angry with. See, we're even taking what's rightfully theirs and giving it to you!"
5. Woot avoids taking the blame for what they deserve.

Kind of depressing when you think about it, lol


Repost from other thread:

Just to be clear, I blame Woot for this mess for not making the "prizes" available only through solving the puzzle. They could have waited to activate the link, they could have included a couple of questions that only someone with the map could have answered, they could have had more dang BOCs available than a measly 200. Treasure? That be pocket change, matey!

I don't blame the people who figured out/guessed the missing letters early, or the people who were teaming up to figure it out. I don't think ANYONE should have their orders cancelled. I do think that the Johnny-Come-Latelys who just clicked on the link posted up on SD kinda ruined it for people who actually were trying to finish the map the right way, but you know what - there's no crying in baseball or BOCs. I mean, it's CRAP people, a little perspective should always be in order.

All in all, Woot should lose its Pirate's License for the way it has been handled all the way around.


I don't know if cancelling is the right way to do it. It was a big mess up to have the link active. That is squarely woot's fault. So I see why people who guessed/brute forced are upset that they are being punished for exploiting a painfully obvious loophole. That said, they still exploited a loophole and there's no way around that, either. But I'm still not sure.

When I started guessing the URL I was literally thinking to myself "this is too easy they would never allow this", and I stopped. Turns out the first sale was well before the last puzzle piece was up. That's woot's fault. No question. A bad oversight and one that should have been accounted for. I really don't know what would be the best way to fix it. They're human, that's for sure. I hope they get it right today. That might be all they can do.


Oh my! What a debacle... Since I made a reference to "playing by the rules" last night, I feel compelled to clarify my thoughts after seeing so many people branded as "cheaters" this morning. I did not (and do not!) feel that anyone who figured out the URL early and got a BOC were "cheaters"...they were just much smarter than an old Lady who stayed up past her bedtime. Even I knew it was going to be a web address long before the last piece was posted.

I (like many others) assumed (and yes I know what happens when you ass/u/me something) that the link wouldn't go "live" until the last piece came up. My frustration stemmed from seeing that the first woot occurred 8h 36m 27669s into the sale...once again assuming it went live at midnight central time I thought it sold out a short time after 8:36am yesterday. (cont.)


Coupled with seeing a post about the "entire map" image being leaked early in the day, it did appear to my tired eyes that some dirty shenanigans had been pulled. However, looking at the percent of sales per hour tells a different story.

I would like to apologize to @capguncowboy (and all the others who were smarter than me!) if it seemed I thought they were "cheaters". (I did not) I'm afraid this falls squarely on Woot's shoulders for activating the link before the last piece was posted. (and my own for making assumptions about how the game was played.)

I don't believe cancelling all of the early orders is the right move AT ALL... essentially you are throwing out the baby with the bath-water and penalizing the smarter Wootizens for your own mistake.
If there were indeed a few people who circumvented the "spirit of the game" by using advanced methods to decifer the code, so be it! They would not have been able to do so if the link had not been live so early on. (cont.)


I am now taking a self-imposed time-out from Woot for staying up past my bedtime, getting caught up in the frenzy, making silly
assumptions and posting before thinking clearly. Bad Gramma! ()
Y'all have fun with the rest of the woot-off, and watch out for Pirates! Arrrr! ()

tl;dr version:
1. I need to apologize to some people
2. Woot, please do NOT punish loyal wootizens for YOUR mistake.


Yep. It's pretty damn stupid that those of us who really took some pirate initiative and cracked it early get punished and those who cry about it didn't. There's winners and losers and some people are simply more cunning than others. I'm not even going to try today because it just isn't worth it.

They always do this. I do the contests, never win, call it a day. I have purchased from woot and there are times when I'm wowwed (sp?) and times when I think the deals suck. But I don't bitch at them about it. Because that's life. Arrrrr matey. GTFO.


@meh3884: I know. I was confused and thought today was Talk Like a Sarcastic Pirate Day...

The many downvotes have showed me the argh of my ways.


Did they ever post the answer? I want to be sure I even did the thing right...


I think they should make up another 200 BOC and honor both groups. There's no way they can tell which of the early buyers actually guessed the answer and legitimately got there using a key and which just broke down the door. Since this problem resulted from a failure of foresight by the designers, they should honor their commitments on both ends. In customer service, the customer isn't actually always right, it's just good business to treat them as if they are.


Woot did right by rewarding the honest. It's not fair to use steroids?
These "Nerds" who say they out witted woot got out witted by good ol' Crapbeard himself... Play by woots rules. They simply want to give everyone a fair chance. Seemed fair enough. i knew what to do and ya know what? I got a bag commin. Didnt take a code at all... I just played by the rules. It was all confusing...