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You might have noticed that we had a promotion over the weekend – sign up for our newsletter, and get a free Xbox avatar prop:
We thought it was a cool little incentive. You guys did too, given the number of new signups we saw, and apparently others agreed – it showed up on a variety of sites.
Then, someone abused the system, and ended up reserving all of the remaining codes for themselves so that actual users were left in the dust and when some people tried to get their avatar gear, it was already taken. We even saw the codes show up on ebay.
We are flattered that our avatar prop is so popular, but frustrated that someone abused the system to reserve a bunch of codes for themselves and shut out legitimate users in the process. We’ve now ended the promotion for the skateboard. If you signed up for the newsletter (thanks, BTW!), got the invite for the gear and weren’t able to redeem your code, we will be making it right: we will send you a code in the next few days for a different prop (a Windows Phone foam finger):
Glad to see you taking steps to correct a frustrating situation. What if you were all ready subscribed to the newsletter (for over a year), but didn't receive an email? Others asking the same question here: www.wpcentral.com/love-windows-phone-show-it-your-xbox-avatar
Another good thought from the comments on WPCentral: why even limit the number of people who can get the prop? It's great publicity for as many people as possible to have that prop on display - especially since one of the perception problems that people have with Windows Phone is that no one has them and therefore they're "not cool". As actual Windows Phone users, we know that the phone is cool, so let us show it.
I was already signed up to the newsletter do I get it? =\
Seriously? I really just wanted the longboard. The other ones are fugly. You should have either made it impossible to collect multiple codes, or just give it away for whoever wanted it. That's how advertising works. I have a windows phone since the first focus came out, but need to beg for an avatar prop? Pathetic.
So you're saying we can't get the board even if we signed up for it? :/
just sad .. i was one of the ones who got the email but no code as well .. stupid abusers .. some people though .. the internet is full of idiots .. really cool that you guys are doing this though. yay for props :)
Keep the promotions coming, and to tell the truth, these little "indecents" that involve a want for anything WP related are good, because they give the press something positive to say about WP. Well, the good, unbiased, guys will.
But, as far as shortages, like the 900, and this promotion, when are you guys going to realize that WP is BIG Potatoes now?.... Oh I get it,,, thats the plan! You sneaky snakes.. Lol!
The skateboard is sooooo much cooler than the foam finger. Just make more codes for the skateboard and send those. It can't be that difficult.
Hi folks - The original plan for the avatar gear was to encourage folks to sign up for the newsletter. For those who tried to do that, we're working to make sure everyone gets an avatar accessory. Unfortunately, we're out of skateboard codes. We've requested more, but there's no ETA on when they will be available. TechSage - I agree with you, and I would love for everyone to have a cool WP avatar item, but there is a cost associated with them, so we can't do an unlimited offer.
I signed up for the newsletter but couldnt redeem my code!!
It's indeed very sad that someone had the capacity to realize the idea of stealing *gifts*, but you guys do have to realize the promotional value of this hoopla and take advantage of the opportunity. Would it be wise to invest pennies on the dollar for unleashing various "unlimited" Windows Phone props while it is *cool* to get and show them off--or wait for excitement to die out and spend millions on an brand re-launch campaign in a few months?
We agree it's cool and we will do more avatar props in the future, but the way the system works, we got a limited number of codes from the Xbox team to start with, so we're just being up-front with folks about where we are today and the commitments we are able to make. It's always a delicate balance of "when do you publicly communicate something" - if we *might* have better news in a week, but might not, etc.
That's pretty pathetic. I have no interest in the alternate prop. This is the kind of thing that gives MS a bad name, even if it is just a stupid digital item. I did what you asked, I should get what was promised. Bad form, MS, bad form indeed.
Um, this is ridiculous. I'm glad I was able to catch this early enough to get the longboard, but I feel sorry for everyone else who got screwed out of it because of some jerks. But then all you're going to do is give away the lame foam finger prop? Why not just generate more codes for the longboard? It's digital content, reproducible to infinite. Don't be stupid. And please start making promotions that aren't so exploitable; the Free Time Machine promo was exactly the same, all instant win codes were stolen within 24 hours, although the page was left up for weeks with nothing to win.
Why not involve Xbox team to check these conversations and help this time? We , the actual WindowsPhone users, are disappointed.
And it's better to use a common code for these props next time, so it won't be abused and resold in the eBay again. Anyone who is interested in WP will get their code: a win-win deal.
We all think we'd like to wait for the skateboard even it needs more time. Not the finger. This is the way to make it right !!
Thank you WP team to think twice about this for your WP supporters and for Microsoft Fans.
To be honest I wanted that longboard, I've seen the prop on ebay for $9.99 and I feel terrible about it. I signed up early for it and found out later that the code was behind a link, not in the email itself and the codes were gone... Very sad.
Not one of your better moments here. The foam finger - really?
Wow! I seem to have serious bad luck when it comes to things like this. I'm not sure how I missed this one either. I follow just about every MS thing I can on twitter and Facebook and I didn't see this. I understand the concept of enticing people to the newsletter but, I have to lend my voice to those who question why it seems so easy for people who do not care for MS to exploit something, while genuine fans who spend money with you on a regular basis get the cold shoulder. I know I'm a member of insider and idea lab, and a whole bunch of other MS stuff. I have an Xbox, a Zune HD, a 360, a Kinect, a windows pc, (if I had a MS store near me, id by a signature pc. Even when I bought my windows phone at Verizon and had to fight three different companies to get my copy of reach, I'm still here and ready to keep going. I want to be clear. I'm not posting this to say look what I've got. There is no doubt in my mind many here could say the same. I'm posting this to ask why loyalty seems to be an uphill battle here.
I joined the newsletter, got the email saying that I was entitled to the prop, and only after that I was informed that the promotion was no longer valid. Hope you can work more closely with the xbox team next time. From what you wrote in the comments, it makes it look like windows phone and xbox divisions belong to different companies.
anyway, right after finding out I went thru the trouble for nothing, i simply unregistered from the newsletter. Yes, maybe it is interesting on its own, but i don't care anymore.
I'm already subscribed to the newsletter as well. Will i get an invite????? Why limit this??? People want to use this stuff and help promote your products and services. But limits on this stuff only hinders that, and only pisses off loyal users and take away from us HELPING you promote Windows Phone....Which I Love..... Hell i've been asking for a 'I Love Windows Phone' t-shirt for two years.....
wait... why are you limiting props?
Don't you want to flood Xbox live with Windows Phone supporters? That would be a good thing.
Thank you for your openness and forthright explanation of this matter. Things happen; we understand. I apologize for tyring to second-guess the decision of your team. However, I would like to throw out a nutty idea that I had: make the longboard a free item in the Xbox gear marketplace. By doing so, (1) you completely eliminate any profitiability for any person(s) who are selling these codes on eBay, (2) you don't take longboards away from folks who obtained them honestly, (3) you provide longboards to those of us who were left in the lurch. I know this is out-of-the-box thinking here and a radical departure from what has already been decided but my suggestion has some merits that your team may want to consider. Just thought I would suggest my silly idea.
You all do realize you're complaining about a cartoon, right? I means, seriously, it's a free snippet of software that actually produces......nothing. This seems like an awefully trivial thing to get any kind of upset about. It's almost like buying a happy meal at McDonalds, expecting it to come in a bag with Star Wars pictures on it only to get the meal in a plain McD bag. Silly.
Regarding the other ideas that were tossed out here, we are investigating those in parallel (and already were before we posted this yesterday)... but we don't own that part of the system, we have to discuss with the xbox team and can't make any commitments, and we didn't want to wait in order to communicate about this, so we went with the above.
It's a challenging balance sometimes - say nothing because you might have better news in a few days, but then get people yelling at you about being silent, or say something now and possibly change it later (and maybe not reach all the same people), etc.
I signed up but didn't even get a code that I couldn't redeem - not sure if that's doubly shafted or just one and a half shaftings.
Facebook Is History! Its time for something more, well, "Metrosoft".... http://www.so.cl/
Now, WP, W8, and X box are taking over! Well, in the near future......
Lol.you said it.
I just don't get why and how people get upset about this
The SOCI looks pretty interesting just that i'm not a big fan of social networks(I joined Facebook in 2010)
BTW,the KR is to avoid you make typos :)
There were quite a few system abusers for this promotion some did good with it while others were more in it for themselves. I will freely admit that I generated more than one code but all of the extra ones were for Xbox community members that were just in it for the prop.
just signed up and never got a code.
Let me be the first to thank you, just got a second mail with a code. Thanks!
Glad to hear it MoonRaven. :-) Thanks in part to the feedback on this article, I worked to get more skateboard codes, so that folks who signed up during the campaign thinking they'd get the skateboard wouldn't have to settle with the foam finger. It's still cool, but I agree that the skateboard is cooler. :-)
Well, I love it that you did that, I ranted a bit about it on my blog because I felt a bit cheated (updated it now with love). To be honest, when thinking back I don't know if this was entirely deserved. Abuse is always a problem and I think it was handled well, a bit slow but well. It is hard to claim you owed me the skateboard but that was the feeling me and others had. I do hope that this was a lesson learnt about abuse and again thanks.