Over the past week I became quite frustrated with the Zune Originals order process and after reading the same story from many folks on the Zune forums I decided to write this blog post yesterday along with a Zune Forums post and was am EXTREMELY pleased (see UPDATE #2 below for the continuing saga) to tell you that the person from Microsoft who actually oversees the program responded in the forums with a sincere post.
The following is what JRaindrop (Zune tag) posted on the Zune Forums:
My apologies for the delays you are experiencing. We encountered several unforeseen glitches in the system last week which have caused this situation. Normally, you would have received a confirmation email just after you completed your purchase with a mechanism for tracking your order. Then you would have received a shipping notice with package tracking. For a number of customers, this obviously didn’t happen.
Later today (tomorrow morning at the latest) anyone affected by this delay will be getting an email from Zune Customer Support telling you that orders will start shipping tonight. We’re giving everyone affected a $15 Zune Marketplace token to make good on the expedited shipping you paid for. We’ve put on extra FEDEX trucks and brought more staff into the facility to clear the backlog as fast as possible. You’ll get a ship notice when your order leaves the barn.
My apologies - the ZO team has been working around the clock for the last week to get things fixed.
WOW, now this is a response I can sincerely appreciate. I really did not expect such a fast response from someone so closely related to the Zune Originals program and think they went above and beyond with the $15 Marketplace token (now how many Microsoft points is that?). As you can see, it sometimes pays to make people aware of situations so they can get corrected and everyone can be happy in the end.
Stay tuned for my updated Zune HD review with my FC Sounders custom Zune HD.
UPDATE: The following was posted on the Zune Forums and should help you redeem you code for the $15 credit:
Hi Folks - this is Jason Reindorp, manager of the Zune Originals business. We sent out an email blast to customers affected by shipping delays today and gave them a code worth $15. Instructions in that email instruct you to enter the code into the Zune client account management pages.
Turns out that you actually need to redeem the code through Zune.net. Here are the instructions:
1. Go to http://www.zune.net and sign in using the link on the upper right hand navigation bar
2. Click on the drop down menu by your Zune tag name in the upper right and choose 'My Account"
3. Then click on 'Prepaid / Download Code' link and enter your code there.
Sorry the confusion.
I haven't yet received my shipping confirmation email and I ordered my Zune HD the morning they were announced on the 15th so I should be one of the first to get my Zune Originals, but I am still not too optimistic about that.
UPDATE #2: So we are now on day 10 since the Zune Original site went live and NOT A SINGLE Zune HD has yet been shipped out to buyers. I think buyers have been pretty patient and it is really quite a mystery what the heck is going on. Maybe there is a monkey in a dark closet somewhere etching these Zune HDs one-by-one, but even then I think he would have been done with at least one custom Zune. Below is the latest response posted by Microsoft, but I wouldn't put much faith in it actually meaning anything since the previous post said that order would start shipping a couple of days ago.
Hi everyone - Jason Reindorp, the Zune Originals business manager...again.
I've been monitoring all of your posts over the last 24 hours and I very much understand your frustrations. I wanted to wait until I had concrete information to pass along to you. Since my last post, we've processed a couple thousand orders and are continuing to work our way through the remaining backlog with extra staff at our fulfillment center, additional Fedex pick-ups, etc. I believe that a lot of you will receive shipping notices throughout the night tonight. If you don't, it is coming very soon.
As you've no doubt been reading, a lot of retailers are out of stock and ZO has also been experiencing the same sort of demand. We made plenty of players but the demand has simply exceeded our forecasts. There are lots more Zune HD players in the pipeline which is fine for future customers however our attention is currently focused on getting you the products you have ordered as quickly as possible.
My sincere apologies again for the delays.
PS> I noticed some people still having issues with the Zune Marketplace codes. Please note that you have to access your account through www.Zune.net (not through the Zune software). Once you get into your account, click on the redemptions link and enter the code. If it doesn't work, I want to know about it so send me a note directly with the code (please do not 'reply all' or post your code publicly). We can check your code in the system and give you a new one if needed.
Unfortunately for myself and apparently many others we received the below response only after we each emailed the Zune Originals email address.
Thank you for providing that information. We have confirmed that your order has been accepted by our Order Verification Team but is currently not shown on our database. This issue has been immediately escalated for further investigation and will be resolved shortly. Once we have further information, we will contact you back. We apologize for the inconvenience but we appreciate your patience.
This was followed up this morning by another cryptic email.
Thank you for your inquiry. We apologize for the amount of time it's taking to resolve this issue. We are still working on obtaining further information regarding your order. Once we have further information, we will contact you back with an update. Your patience is appreciated.
Wow, talk about online ordering incompetence! I have bought hundreds of items online and have NEVER had such a poor buying experience as this. At this point I have no idea if they even have an order from me, I received a confirmation a week ago, and the blue Zune HD is not even shown as available to order anymore. If my order has been blown away, I am seriously considering returning my standard Amazon ordered Zune HD and just forgetting the entire device. While it is quite slick, I am finding that I don't really NEED it and have a very capable iPhone 3GS, iPod nano, and even a 4GB Zune that could meet my music and media needs just as well. Maybe I should thank Microsoft for such a bad experience as they may save me over $300, plus accessory costs, on the Zune HD.