A lot of people, including myself and Notebooks.com readers, were unable to take advantage of Live.com and HP’s 40% Black Friday Cash Back program. Microsoft has yet to offer an explanation of what went wrong or taken proactive steps to address the matter. Instead, its issued a “drawer statement” to Notebooks.com and others who’ve inquired about this issue.
For those of you who’ve never worked in or around a PR department, a drawer statement is a standard response to potential issues- kinda like a form letter for when things go bad. It’s called a drawer statement because there’s not a whole lot of thinking/approvals that it has to go through before issuing it- you just pull it out of your desk drawer, fill in the blanks and fire it off.
I do appreciate that Wagner Edstrom (Microsoft’s PR agency) emailed me the below response, but it’s inadequate considering the impact its had on HP customers
Microsoft Live Search cashback experienced an unexpected outage for several hours on Friday, November 28. If you are interested in following up on a cashback rebate for a qualifying HP purchase that you completed Friday at HP’s Home & Home Office web site, we kindly request that you contact Microsoft at https://support.search.live.com/. To ensure the best possible support from Microsoft, please have available your order number and the email address you provided prior to transferring to the HP site. We apologize for any inconvenience that this issue caused.â€
There are too many unanswered questions. Why did I, and so many Notebooks.com readers get a 3% cash back credit instead of the 40% promised or the standard 5% the program offers on HP products.
The statement assumes that all of their customers had the ability to even enter an email address prior to transferring to HP’s site. Many of us clicked on the 40% Cash Back ad hundreds of times and the only time we got through was when the email address entry form was absent.
This statement also fails to explain what remedies Microsoft is prepared to make. I was alerted that my HP Black Friday order shipped this morning. I don’t want it if I don’t get the 40% off, but I’ll probably have to pay return shipping since it’s already left HP’s warehouses.
Will Microsoft put their money where their mouth is and make things right? There’s no telling….until they start getting back to customers who left support requests several days ago.