Black Friday cashback blackout

We want to respond to those of you who’ve commented about your problems using cashback last Friday. For a few hours on Friday, November 28, Live Search cashback experienced an unexpected outage. If you completed a purchase that day, you can follow up on a cashback rebate by contacting Microsoft at https://support.search.live.com/. Be sure to have the order number and the email address provided for the transaction.

Here are the details about Friday’s outage:

  • A significant spike in traffic caused the system to go down for several hours on Friday.
  • The downtime was partly related to investigating the issue and partly to rebuilding and redeploying the databases and indexes that support Microsoft Live Search cashback.
  • The issues that caused Friday’s problem have been resolved. We’re confident we won’t have further problems.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Rajat Taneja, General Manager, Worldwide Commercial Search

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79 comments
  1. Anonymous

    Well, when will those that could not partake of this offer and spent all day trying to buy a computer due to your website’s blackout be able to smoothly get 40% cashback?

  2. Anonymous

    "We deeply regret customer inconvenience with respect to the outage," Microsoft said in a statement provided to CNET News. "The spike in traffic in combination with a technical glitch led to the outage. The promotion will restart in the next day or so. Again, we apologize for our customers’ inconvenience."

    Can you elaborate on when exactly the 40% will be offered? Tuesday or Wednesday?

  3. Anonymous

    This "blackout" was more than a ""few hours".  I couldn’t get past the cashback search page for 10+ hours and you call that a "Few hours"?  When you reoffer this in the "next day or so" as promised how about giving customers a bit more than 12 hours to complete a purchase?

  4. Anonymous

    When u get this 40% promo going again in the next few days, how bout giving customers INSTANT cash back assurance as u did with ebay?

  5. Anonymous

    If I bought a computer on friday, will I eligible again for the new 40% that starts in the next coupla days?

  6. Anonymous

    I too was one of the frustrated ones who couldnt get past the first screen.  While I sympathize with those who had problems, I’m glad to hear you’re going to be doing this promo again shortly, and at least helpnig those who had click through problems.

  7. Anonymous

    Why not ASSURE the ones that have cash back problems that this will be resolved? You posting here doesn’t explicitly say so.  I’ll be disputing this with my Credit Card company if I don’t see my cash back by tomorrow- my order has already shipped!  At least you’ll be doing the promo again, so I can order my son the laptop I promised him for Christmas.

  8. Anonymous

    Do u guys have any idea how friggin frustrating this was for all of us who tried to order a system on friday?  A few hours- PLEASE!!!!!  Promsiing such a great % cashback then reneging on it is not expected when yer talking about a huge company like microsoft- u guys have really lost my dedication.  

  9. Anonymous

    If, by a "a few hours" you mean the duration of the promotions, then yes, it was a few hours, and since the promotion was half a day, I guess you can call it a few hours. Funny how it was working till the 40% promotion started, then instantly working again when it finished

  10. Anonymous

    u shouldve bought a few dedicated servers from hp before your website went "live" haha

  11. Anonymous

    Still haven’t received 20% cashback notification from my 11/25 Circuit City purchase…  

  12. Anonymous

    Few Hours = ALL DAY ?!!! What about the cashback for the time spent fighting to get through?

  13. Anonymous

    Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

    The outage lasted 12 hours.

    That’s not several hours.  That’s not a few hours.

    Some honesty will go a long way toward giving people confidence in your product.  Try it out sometime.

  14. Anonymous

    So has anybody that was given only 3% had their cashback amount changed to 40%?

  15. Anonymous

    I don’t mind giving suggestion even if I am not asked to!

    A sql update to change 3% to 40% for all transactions initiated from live to hp site on the black friday will take care of a major issue and make your life much easier than dealing with it case by case!

    Remember, you are spoiling HP reputation by not honoring the 40% that was announced.

  16. Anonymous

    I installed MSN Toolbar today;

    It seems I can only search with Live Search Engine that make me sick. and the toolbar is so useless. I want to have tranlate feature, bookmark, quick access my Live Service, and other service on other website.

    I can’t customiz my toolbar either.

    There are many channels on the toolbar that i don’t need, why i can’t remove them?

    do your team invite any users test your product?

  17. Anonymous

    Do you realize that some people got cashback twice while someone like me got only 3%?  Can you assure us that our 3% will change to 40%?  Should we cancel our current order and wait till you offer the 40% cashback offer again?  

    Is it so hard to tell something in plain English about your action plan?  Why dont you give the cashback out rather than spend money on those expensive lawyers to draft your statements?

  18. Anonymous

    I have to take issue with your assertion that there was a system wide outage which impacted all Live.com searches and cashback transactions. Like many of the people who have already posted, I spent much the the day trying to get thru. I finally did get thru about an hour before the promotion ended and completed a purchase from HP, however my transactions have not shown up in my cashback account.

    Also interesting to note, that while many of us could not access the HP promotion via Live.com, many other users were reporting NO ISSUE at all w/ Live.com searches which were destined to other websites like eBay. Their connections were made quickly, and even transaction updates to their cashback accounts were happening within a few hours.

    It seems strange and coincidental that your outage only impacted traffic heading to HPShopping.com. It really does smell of Microsoft trying to stem the amount of promotion monies they have to pay out, and in the process, HP is getting a black eye, and going to end up w/ a lot of computer equipment which gets return and then will need to be resold as demo / refurb gear which will impacts HP’s bottom line via the associated write-off they will have to take.

    I agree that Microsoft needs to step up and quickly to make amends and keep HP’s reputation in tact.

  19. Anonymous

    Thanks for the update.

    Would like to know if the promo will be re-opened again. I was one of the thousands of users who were not able to get past the Live.com – HP Sponsored Link.

  20. Anonymous

    Great start.  

    Now step up to the plate and honor the cashback to those who actually got in, did everything right, made a purchase, and now haven’t received anything from MS Cashback.  

    You are a big company.  Fix the problem and honor your customers and commitments.  It’s not hard and is the foundational expectation of business ethics.

  21. Anonymous

    Why can’t Microsoft simply release a PR statement like this that assuages everyone’s gripes:

    Anyone who made a purchase on Friday will get 40% cashback, and we will be restarting the promotion Thursday, December 4.

  22. Anonymous

    Still looking at 3% in my account instead of 40% and still no reply (other than the canned "we’ll get back to you in 3-5 business days") to the e-mail that I sent on Saturday asking about the problem.

    I’m seriously starting to consider a switch to Mac.

  23. Anonymous

    I ordered an HP Laptop on Black Friday, went through the 40 percent off link, was told I had cashback activated, and placed the order. I received my HP order confirmation a few hours later, but have as of yet to receive my cashback.

  24. Anonymous

    Thanks for the laugh this morning.

    The outage only lasted a few hours?  If by few you mean the entirety of the promotional period with HP, then yeah, it was only a few hours.

    Funny how five minutes before and five minutes after the promotional period you could click straight through with no problems whatsoever…

  25. Anonymous

    Such a joke- when too many people started ordering, they killed the promotion.  They might as well have offered 100% cashback like cyberrebates a few yrs ago.  The only way to make good is to fix the existing problems and reopen the promo (as they have already promised, but let’s see if they take that one back too)

  26. Anonymous

    "Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:41 AM by Rolando

    I ordered an HP Laptop on Black Friday, went through the 40 percent off link, was told I had cashback activated, and placed the order. I received my HP order confirmation a few hours later, but have as of yet to receive my cashback."

    Same situation here man. Can’t believe Microsoft allow this to happen. Very disappointed

  27. Anonymous

    This entire event was a catastrophe for everyone:

    1) Microsoft, who demonstrated to their potential business clients that their server technology, data centers, and technical staff were ill-equipped to deal with even an after Thanksgiving shopping event.  If I was running a mission critical application for my business, would I want to trust Microsoft with it after they demonstrated they cannot even deal with consumer shoppers?

    2) HP, whose reputation has been tarnished because they associated their brand with Microsoft’s Cashback promotion, and now they are going to be stuck with the countless thousands of canceled orders (and worse yet returns at their expense) because Microsoft refused to pony up what was promised.  There are some customers so angry, they might never do business with HP again.  In the highly competitive notebook world, can HP afford to have their brand tarnished?

    3) Customers who literally spent hours in front of their computers trying to play Cashback Russian Roulette with this promotion.  Even if you could get in with the obnoxious pop-up and captcha system nightmare, that still didn’t assure anyone their purchase would be properly recorded by the Cashback system.  What’s worse is that at a time of economic peril, customers buying gifts for friends and family based on this promotion are now enormously inconvenienced while playing the Microsoft Cashback support waiting game.  A 40% discount screw-up is a deal breaker for most people.

    The response from Microsoft thus far has been generic platitudes and vague assurances straight out of a PR handbook.  But no specifics whatsoever.  As a customer who is tied up in this disaster, allow me to be specific, since nobody at Microsoft has been to this point.

    1) What concrete steps towards Cashback resolution will Microsoft make for those of us who participated within the window of the sale, went to the site and experienced all of the same problems trying to get Cashback activated, presumably succeeded if only because we didn’t get "Oops" and "Our tentacles are tangled" error messages, made the purchase successfully and got absolutely zero Cashback.

    Multiple e-mails to customer support result in nothing but vague requests to "wait."  First it was until 12/2.  Now it’s "a few days" more.  What exactly are we waiting for?  At this point it is a safe bet if you didn’t get a Cashback confirmation e-mail, one will never be forthcoming.  It’s time for Microsoft to state, plainly and absolutely, that those who participated in this sale event during the window of opportunity who submit an order number and other pertinent information be given the benefit of the doubt and given the appropriate 40% credit.  This was not the fault of the customer.  This was an admitted mess on the part of Microsoft.  Here is a broom.  Clean it up, if only for good PR and as an indication that Microsoft is repenting for its boondoggle.

    2) For those who ended up with 3% Cashback, resolving this should not require a high level meeting.  You already have appropriate tracking information.  Simply globally adjust the reward to 40%.

    3) Don’t believe for a minute that announcing Microsoft has made up for this mess by granting instant Cashback rebates for purchases made on another website (eBay) for "select" customers somehow makes up for this mess.

    If I was burned by my experience in using Cashback for an HP purchase through Live.com, what in the world makes anyone think I’d be confident about using Cashback again for an entirely new purchase on an entirely different website?  It’s like an insurance company refusing to pay your claim, but announcing that your future premium will be discounted by 20% to make up for the earlier abdication of basic responsibility to customers.

    A more appropriate response would have been that Microsoft will grant an instant rebate to ALL customers impacted by THIS promotion, including those who never received Cashback notification, as well as those who did (be it in the wrong or right amount.)  Don’t worry.  Those of us who received no Cashback notification will be in touch with you.  Almost nobody leaves several hundred dollars sitting on the table.

    4) If Microsoft’s servers become overloaded, perhaps dispensing with an unnecessary multi-step process to finally arrive at the storefront landing/home page would be appropriate.  Dispense with the captcha at least.  Also give customers peace of mind with a clearly visible frame at the top of the storefront informing them their Cashback is still active and functioning.  And let them know about any expiring cookies to make sure they know what window of time is available for them upon entry into the store to complete their transaction before Cashback’s tracking code expires.

    5) Schedule a repeat of this event, but extend it for a 24 hour window, and clearly indicate the times for the event.  There was considerable confusion over whether the last event expired at 7pm ET or PT.  

    The time for vague promises, inconsistent Customer Service e-mails trying to simply make the customer wait longer, and generic apologies are over.  In a rebate involving, for most, several hundred dollars, specific concrete information is required today, to allow customers to get some restored confidence from what has frankly been a colossal failure on the part of Microsoft which for me creates a foundation of serious doubt about my future belief in the Live.com Cashback business model and my participation in it.

  28. Anonymous

    I tried all day to go through the 40% link without success, until about 6:50PM P.S.T….. I thought something was fishy when it just let me go to the HP.com website without having to deal with the CAPTCHA stuff that we attempted to go through for most of the day.  The link said 40% when I clicked through, so I better get the cashback!!!

  29. Anonymous

    "few hours"??  It was more like 11+ hours!! This is ridiculous!! I received my HP order confirmation but have as of yet to receive my cashback…

  30. Anonymous

    It wasn’t just HP & it wasn’t just Friday.  I ordered an item at Tiger Direct on Thursday with a 15% cashback offer.  I have received no cashback email & no response from 3 emails so far I sent to cashbk@microsoft.com.  How about answering your emails?

  31. Anonymous

    Who is the moderator for this blog?  Is is Microsoft?  Well good luck.  We are not going to hear anything in this blog from them.  Must be in a high level meeting and word smithing the next canned statement with some expensive lawyers.  Or may be kicked by HP folks.  

    Come on Microsoft – Speak up.

  32. Anonymous

    I’d also like to post and say that I spent the entire time of the deal (12 hours) trying to access the black friday 40% HP cashback deal and was not able to successfully log in and order a single time.  That’s hours and hours of wasted time.

    I saw the Dec. 1 CNET article where an MS rep. said the promotion will be "reoffered" within the next day or so.  When will that be? Am I going to have to check multiple times a day every day for weeks to ensure I don’t miss out on it?  The last thing customers deserve at this point is more time wasted waiting around on this sale/deal, without knowing the outcome.  We deserve a clear and fair official response.

  33. Anonymous

    Struggling with the HP cashback link on Black Friday for over 5 hours was frustrating, but after successfully getting through, I thought it was worth the effort.  Little did I know my frustration level would quadruple after making the purchase.

    Other than automated responses telling me to wait longer, I haven’t received any notification that I will receive cashback, even though I followed the directions to the letter.  I’ve contacted MS through email and phone….no response.  I’ve contacted HP, no response (other than it’s Microsoft’s promotion and HP doesn’t control it.)  I’ve contacted a 3rd party company who handles refunds for MS…their response was to give me MS’s main phone number.   AHHHHHHH!  Can’t someone stand up and do what’s right?  

    Do you think that other companies are going to partner up with MS cashback after this fiasco?  I’m guessing HP is going to get hundreds (if not thousands) of returns.  Are they going to take all the loss on this promotion?  

    I don’t want HP to customize a computer for me, ship it to me, only for me to return it at the company’s expense…but unfortunately that is the only option I have, because I can’t get a response about my cashback.  

    MS, stand up and do what’s right.

  34. Anonymous

    the least that microsoft and hp could do is allow people to make purchases with the 40% off promised.  I also tried to access the site all day and it was not working.

  35. Anonymous

    It’s so simple, Microsoft- fix Friday’s problems and reoffer the promo as u promised- and while you’re at it, why can’t the cashback show on the HP screen as it does with ebay? This way one would instantly know if the click went thru.

  36. Anonymous

    I did everything I was supposed to do.  Signed into cashback, it said my cashback was active, and transfered me to the site.

    Still, no cashback emails.

    At this point I just want closure one way or the other.  Either do the right thing and give the cashback or tell everyone that ordered that day that you aren’t going to honor the cashback.

    I’m sure there are some people that bought those for Christmas gifts, that now will have their credit cards tied up until they get the PC’s and then get the RMA, then return them, and then wait on the refunds.

    If those same people would have bought a different deal using those cards but are now unable to because they bought your "deal" , you very well may be the biggest Grinch’s of them all.

  37. Anonymous

    I didn’t have a problem placing my order.  I ordered as soon as the deal became available.  I received an acceptance for my order from HP at 10:34am EST.  I have not been credited with my cashback at all.  If I was one of the first to order, why haven’t I seen the cashback?  

  38. Anonymous

    The black out went on from 2pm all the way to 10pm EST. Like an idiot I wasted most of my day reloading and clicking the MS banner. Driving up click thru’s and getting shafted on the 40% off. There should be a class action lawsuit againt MS for false advertising and deceptive marketing practices.

  39. Anonymous

    Rajat,

    Can you please do something to make this right? We had HUNDREDS of customers complain about not getting through, getting 3% or no CB credit at all on Friday. I imagine the problem is much more widespread.

    I worked long and hard over the weekend trying to get answers for my readers.  Your PR team has been almost completely unresponsive to our calls and those of other tech journalists and bloggers.

    Could you at least firmly state that the 3% CB awards will be updated to 40%?

    Many of your customers (including myself) have yet to hear back from your support staff. Waiting and seeing isn’t an option since the products have already shipped in many cases.

    Thanks,

    Xavier

  40. Anonymous

    FIRST of all, please resolve the problem and honor the cashback to people who made the purchases on BlackFriday! Right now, MS cashback has the credit crisis. If people who were supposed to get the cashback receive nothing, why would anyone trust you and do it again?! Fix the problem and earn the trust back. That is what MS needs to do. Restart the "promotion" without fixing the problem is like fool-me-once-shame-on-you-fool-me-twice-shame-on-me!

  41. Anonymous

    I agree with Jay and Xavier.  If this isn’t resolved properly and quickly I will never click on Live.com again and will make every effort to spread the word about this fiasco to everyone I know.  I’m really so irritated about this that I really am considering a switch to Mac.

    This appears to be not only a disaster from an implementation standpoint, but pure arrogance in the lack of any real response.

  42. Anonymous

    The problem here is Microsoft’s total lack of communications. Everything they’ve said up till this point is what everyone already knows. Or they send out generic messages that could have been sent out before the HP debacle. Either they should start communicating with their customers or shutdown live.com.

  43. Anonymous

    I finally got my order completed after hours upon hours of clicking on the link. I did EVERYTHING as described in the ad, and in the FAQ for live.com. I completed my order legitimately, however, I have not received my 40%, or even a history of my order in my cashback account. I have submitted a email to Cashback support, however I only receive a generic response. How will my case be handled? Will I have to wait and wait for this to be resolved, only to have to return it because I did not get my promised cash back? I would like this issue to be resolved.

  44. Anonymous

    Wow, cashback is sooo F’ed-up. Will anybody trust cashback after this??

  45. Anonymous

    Took me 7am to 12pm to get into the deal. Now? Waited 4 days and gotten 0 human response from email. Way to go Microsoft

  46. Anonymous

    What a bunch of chirpy happy customers. Imagine what the insanely angry ones would have said?

  47. Anonymous

    Is Rajat fired?  I hope so.  Where is he?  Cant he say something or he is still trying to pull his foot out of his mouth?  Is HP giving him some good kicks?  May be Steve B is screaming at him so loud that he cant he our screams.  

    Come on Rajat – Say something about your plans.  We wont bite you like Steve B or HP.

  48. Anonymous

    Live.com,

    You could (have), at the very least, explained why almost no one who legitimately made purchases through the overwhelmed link/server has received cash back, as well as your proposed resolution. I don’t believe there is a good reason for keeping customers in the dark; we don’t mind waiting for our money, but we don’t want to go through the hassle of sending our HP’s back and waiting for another deal.

  49. Anonymous

    I can’t change how you guys messed this up.  I’ll just have to order some computers from someone else.  I’ll probably go Mac now.

    But I think I do know my own little way to repay you.  My company has a substantial amount of pc’s using your operating system and office.  We’ve been debating migrating to linux and openoffice.

    Thank you for helping my decision on this matter.

  50. Anonymous

    you have  let so many thousands of people to suffer becuse of your HP promotion.

    please tell when you will finish the cashback confirmations ,otherwise i PITY HP.i dont understand how HP will handle 100 s of return.

  51. Anonymous

    In theory, this is a great service, but in reality – there continue to be problems and the Cashback support team is less than responsive.  I feel sorry for the BBB in DuPont, WA that has to field all these problems.  

    For those looking for legal remedies, please look at a "condition precedent" or your typical bait and switch.  By being lured to a website with the promise of an incentive (40% cash back, for example), the purchase should be able to be invalidated if Microsoft does not perform.  While Microsoft might argue they are a third party and are not involved in the transaction, I think a court (many courts like picking on Microsoft anyway) would be very interested in the fact that: (1) MS induces us to visit a site, (2) the click thru that takes place is generated on an MS server, which then takes us to the server of the business (thus, they are the ones taking us to the remote site), and (3) but for the incentive, we would not have made the purchase.

    Let’s wait and see how Microsoft rectifies this . . . or, perhaps another class action?

  52. Anonymous

    Please stop saying that it was only down for a couple hours. The site was down practically all day. I’m going to be patient with you Microsoft but if you burn me and I don’t get my cashback I will be sure to never use Live.com again and I will let everyone I know how poor your product is.

  53. Anonymous

    Thank you for contacting Live Search cashback Customer Support.  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday purchases may take extra time to show in your account.  We expect all purchases should show in your account by December 2, 2008.  If your purchase does not show on the 2nd please reply to this email and we will research your situation further.

    Thank you for contacting Live Search cashback Customer Support. We have received your service request.

    We want to assure you that your issue is very important to us.  Our agents respond to all service requests in the order in which they are received.  We appreciate your patience. Please note that submitting another ticket on the same issue will not expedite service.

    You should receive an e-mail from a Customer Support agent within 3-5 business days. In the meantime, please review our FAQ’s here

    What’s next? 3 weeks? 3 Months? A Year?

  54. Anonymous

    I did email you live.com cashback support team.  They told me I had to wait and could not help me.

    Whoever the executive is that posted this may want to visit the front line and learn what is really going on.

  55. Anonymous

    For those who ordered between ~6:50pm -7pm.

    Scenario:  

    From the live search HP link user automatically redirected to HP online store page without  captcha screen.  Part of the URL path should be similar to > MSNCashbackDirect&mscbg=1&msclkid= ’32 charactersXXX…’  

    Your shopping activity isn’t recorded and no log /data files stored on backend. Why? a) because CB App server crashed  b) someone pulled the plug allegedly for one or another reason.

  56. Anonymous

    Live.com 40% cashback offer is a big disaster. I have spent on e full day to go through the live.com link and made HP laptop purchase. I have not received cashback confirmation email till now. It brings very bad reputation for Microsoft. I don’t mean you had good reputation. You guys always SUCK. I am so pissed that I would recommend to fire all employees who are responsible for this BF live.com cashback disaster.

  57. Anonymous

    I ordered a HP laptop on Blackfriday and have not received a cashback notice on the laptop. What’s going on here?

    I suggest once we receive the laptops we return them back to HP. Also, HP provides free shipping and an extended Holiday return date of 1/11.

    DO NOT CANCEL YOUR ORDERS. SIMPLY ONCE YOU RECEIVE YOUR ORDER, RETURN THEM TO HP AFTER THE HOLIDAYS, NOT BEFORE. WHY? THIS WILL CAUSE HP TO PUT PRESSURE ON MICROSOFT IN ORDER TO ACT UPON.  THINK ABOUT ALL THE COMPUTERS THAT WILL BE RETURNING TO HP, WOW.

  58. Anonymous

    I can’t understand how in the world you can even say you are going to have the promotion again soon. This first was was botched horribly and from all of the posts there’s been very little resolution. Why would you start another without resolving the first?

    If you have another 40% off sale people who haven’t received their cashback will undoubtedly cancel their original orders with HP, causing HP to create an RMA for those orders or somehow stop them in the assembly line.

    I am one of the people who bought a TV through Live.com and Circuit City with the 20% off last Wednesday. Although I’ve received one email from your support group I have not seen my 20% cashback and am considering taking back the TV I’ve already unboxed and used. Like a poster above mentioned this ties up money amounts on peoples credit cards due to your errors and lack of timely repairs.

    My recommendation would be take care of your enormous backlog of unhappy customers before you even mention runninng another Live.com promotion.

  59. Anonymous

    It is a totally unacceptable  level of customer support from Microsoft and Live.com. Similar to another comment, I ordered from circuitcity.com through a 20% link but only received 5% in my account. Numerous contact to support were not replied.

    It is absolutely unacceptable to not having a phone number for support. This will back fire. Microsoft try to use this blog to serve the ‘support’ purpose and it does not cut it!

  60. Anonymous

    Rajat – You dead or got fired?  Are you the moderator?  Who is?  Speak up something.  Come on, how many days could you possible need to finalize an action plan?  Its unimaginable that Microsoft cannot come up with a action plan and make it public.  Does this say something about Microsoft?  

  61. Anonymous

    Dear Cashback Department,

    I am looking for an answer, yes or no, whether I will receive the cashback.  I understand Microsoft has put out a PR release stating the server had issues on Black Friday; perhaps this is why it took over 5 hours for me to get through and make the purchase.  While that process was very frustrating, my frustration level has since increased tenfold.  

    I have tried contacting Microsoft and HP by email, and only have received automated responses.  I have called Microsoft, and can’t get through to the Cashback department.  I have called HP, and they claim that Microsoft is behind this promotion, so they can’t give me any update on the cashback.  I have called the 3rd party company who handles the refunds for Microsoft, and was told they couldn’t help me (quite rudely, I might add.)

    I am an ethical person, and feel bad that HP is having to deal with this mess.  I followed all the instructions for ordering the computer and monitor to get the 40% cashback, and now feel like I’m being duped.  There are hundreds (if not thousands) of people like me who have ordered from HP under the promotion, and a majority will return their computer if not given the full 40% cashback.  I don’t want HP to suffer, but since I can’t get a straight answer from any company involved with this deal, I will continue along and hope to get what is rightfully mine according to the promotion, the 40% cashback.  If I don’t get the cashback, I will return the computer to HP for a full refund.

    PLEASE let me, and everyone else, know when you are going to stand up and do what is right.

  62. Anonymous

    Ok I’m livid with Live.com now. I bought a $1299.99 Sony TV November 26th through Live.com and Circuit City, clearly stating it was 20% off when I entered the site. I’ve sent cashbk@microsoft.com and Wyatt emails with my sales confirmation along with the screen shot when I saw the 20% message. Wyatt emails me today and says he’s credited my live.com cashback account $39!?! It should be $260!!

    What kind of company is this?! This is ridiculous!!

  63. Anonymous

    Anybody knows when they will respond to the cashback email for 40% cashback offer for HP.com site. I sent the details to cashbk support team. they told to wait till 2nd dec. But till now I have not received any reply so far.

    God Only Knows

    Is there any contact info for cashback support team.

  64. Anonymous

    I logged on to HP’s website via my live.com’s 40% HP discount with my live.com email, and typed in the scrambled password.  My cashback was activated and I bought a laptop before 7pm PST.  I took screen shots of my URL when I got into HP’s website through live.com and it contained the MSNCashbackDirect in the URL.  I also took a screen shot of when I placed my order through live.com (6:50PST 11/28/2008).  I did not receive any cashback and emailed live.com’s cashback email forwarding my order acceptance as well as my screen shots.  Where is my cashback?  I have yet to hear back and every email I get it just tells me to wait a longer period.  What is going on?  I want my cashback.

  65. Anonymous

    made a purchase on Thangs giving through live.com and still haven’t receive any notification on my 40% cash back. I got a response to my mail to cashbk@microsoft.com saying i didnt purchase through the below login ID. I do not have screen shot of my transaction or anything to prove that i did go through live.com. I spent almost 5-6 hrs trying to get through and feel really bad being denied. I hope that you can look in to his matter and provide instant assistance.

  66. Anonymous

    I am one of those who spent hours (9+) clicking and re-clicking to get the HP 40% cashback "deal".  I finally got through in the last 45 minutes of the promotion, received the "cashback activated" screen and auto-redirect to HP – but still NO cashback email or balance for my notebook purchase.  And WORSE, no effective customer support from Microsoft.  

    I’ve had a long career as an executive in new product development, and in 30 years I have never seen such poor crisis management.  Or what should be addressed as such.  

    Obviously from the MS (lack of) response, this is NOT being addressed as a crisis by them.  It WILL be one for HP when they receive all of the product returns that now will become discounted clearance items.  It IS a crisis for those of us who were effectively robbed of hundreds of dollars in promised cash rebates.  And there seems to be no consideration by MS as to the continuing loss of goodwill and customer loyalty they have totally squandered by their lack of communication and by their seeming unwillingness to honor ther commitments to customers who already suffered through their server crash nightmare.

    What a great testimonial to the reliability of their servers, the performance of their software, and the integrity of their managers and executives.

    Microsoft, you should IMMEDIATELY notify EVERY affected customer that their purchase cashback will be honored in full, but also that a consolation award (in $$ or product) will be added for the time wasted and frustration shouldered so far by your customers – those who believed you would actually effectively conduct, fulfill and honor your promotions.  An apology wouldn’t hurt (too much) either.

    Do I think this will happen?  No, because MS doesn’t ever seem to act like it really cares about (or even trusts) its customers.  They must be TOO BIG to care.  Any other corporation that screwed up so massively and so publicly, would take rapid and effective steps to communicate and to not further anger its customer base.  

    In any other corporation, Mr. Ragat Taneja would be fired or demoted for this debacle.  But at MS, he will merrily hide behind this blog and his worthless empty statement, and probably get promoted.  

    If a rebate promotion is TOO popular, just pull the plug on the servers, refuse to honor the promised deal, dump the problem onto your partner (HP), and let your customers fume.  Where else can they go?  To Linux?  To Apple?  Who (at MS) cares?   We are waiting………….

    Way to go, Microsoft.  Bah Humbug!

  67. Anonymous

    First Issue: Check supposedly mailed 11/7 never arrived

    Second Issue: Cashback never assigned for a Target 20% purchase 8 days ago.

    I emailed and they said the were "investigating" and I would hear back in 3-5 business days. When I did not hear anything, I emailed again. I received a horrid  response that requesting help again would not speed up my answer. I was told my complaint would be investigated in the order it was received. WHAT A LIE! Nothing after 8 days. I feel really scammed and upset since I am out  a great deal of money with shipping fees and the "missing" Cashback check. I also missed some other great deals last week, thinking I had already purchased the items I needed. It should be illegal to advertise something that does not exsist or will never be received.

  68. Anonymous

    On thanks giving day, I spent most of my time on the fiasco 40% HP-MS cashback deal.

    I started trying to get into HP website through MS Cashback since 10am EST.

    After several hundreds of attempt, finally at 9:45pm EST, I got into MS cashback, HP and placed an order for a loptop.

    After that I never received the cashback confirmation email from MS cashback. I contacted MS cashback and HP by email. No proper response from those big companies.

    Hello Microsoft, I want to know when will I get my cashback? If you can not keep up your words, jet let us know soon. So that we can return the HP product soon.

  69. Anonymous

    How much cash will be back? Is this 100% refund?

  70. Anonymous

    I am waiting for 20% cash back for my purchase on 11/26 from Circuitcity.com too. It showed 20% off when I was transfered to circuitcity.com from search.live.com. However, I only got 5% cash back showing up in my cashback account on 11/28. What a hell! I emailed MS cashback customer service several times but only got automatical response. No live person is handling this till now!!!!

    I am telling my friends to be careful when using MS cashback because it is not reliable! Some fraud advertisements are floating around MS live search website and MS will not honor what it promised!

  71. Anonymous

    When will you raise the allowed transactions? I used up my 12 months ago. If you really want me to keep coming back to Live.Com — dont put a ceiling over my head and let me buy things as I normally would!

  72. Anonymous

    I was trying to complete my order most of the day Friday for the 40% off promotion, which didn’t happen and I am concerned with how this is going to be resolved.  If this online services business is supposed to be "building trust" with the customer and "delighting" them one experience at a time, then they need to reissue  the 40% off promotion once they correct the amounts credited to customers who already made a purchase.  

    The idea of them just thinking this will go away or not be on every news channel is not the smartest move.  This is killing their combined ad spending this half to gain goodwill and enable trust and show percieved value in their search engine.  

    Also, the amount they will need to credit HP for their ad buys/cashback promotion and the impact that will have with their long standing partnership alone should have motivated a more substantial and resolute response.  Anything short of fulling honoring and rerunning this promotion as promised earlier this week and credited all purchases made on Friday with the 40% is sure to not only spurn consumers but busniess partners as well when weighing upcoming opportunities to partner and or contine long standing arrangements given the decreased brand value of the live search and the online services business at Microsoft.  

  73. Anonymous

    Made a purchase Friday November 28th through MS Live Cashback at the HP site. Was lucky enough to get in after repeated effort.

    HOWEVER, I have not received my Cashback notification and the laptop I ordered has just shipped.

    I will NEVER use another Microsoft product again.

  74. Anonymous

    Same here. I have not received my Cashback notification and the laptop I ordered has just shipped.

  75. Anonymous

    I made a HP purchase on Nov 28 but your support tech said my order was on Nov 27.  I sent all supporting emails including HP and Paypal receipts but receive NO answer.  Now it is another week passed.  Please advise.  Thanks

  76. Anonymous

    I tried all day due to purchases I was trying to make. Could not even sign in for an Account.

    I made two purchases on Saturday with no rebate. Will you honor those purchases with the 20% off?

  77. Anonymous

    I finally received the 40% cashback pending in my cashback account. I sent a 3rd email yesterday to the cashbk@microsoft.com address and this morning I had an email from one of their employees saying I received the rebate and sure enough, it is now showing in my cashback account. I am not sure if my 3rd email spurred them to take action of if I was simply in queue waiting to be helped, but either way I am very happy to have this resolved. This morning’s reply and subsequent cashback rebate were the first time I received any feedback from Microsoft (except for the canned automated reply). Prior to today I never had 3% or any other amount pending in my cashback account. Now I don’t have to return the HP items I purchased as a Christmas gift for my wife. This has left a bittersweat taste in my mouth about the live.com cashback program, but I can’t say I wouldn’t use this service again should such a sweet deal come around again (40% off your HP order is hard to turn down). For those still waiting, hang in there, you have until after Christmas to return your laptops, and if you can I suggest waiting a while longer before sending back your hardware (assuming you really want the hardware and aren’t itching to stick it to HP by returning your purchases).

  78. Anonymous

    well, still missing two cashback submissions and no response from my claim. It’s been three days (84hours now) since I put in a claim with the support team and no response. It’s been 10 days since I placed my orders and nothing is listed.

    Since my systems were left on my doorstep without a signature, I can probably return it to sender without paying for shipment back at HP’s cost.

    Will MS reimburse HP with all the costs of shipments. I think MS should really honor everything — even if it costs them money — since they did bring this upon themselves for not planning adequately.  They should have been smart enough (especially with all the Ph.D and high education) that Black Friday and Cyber Monday would bring any server farm to their knees.

    As the saying goes, your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part. And it is an emergency, it’s my financial emergency and hp’s emergency and UPS/Fedex emergency.

  79. Anonymous

    Hi

    I also have been having problems with the Live.com Cashback program.  I have been waiting now for 5 months and still not received the Cashback.  Some how my live.com account was deleted and their is no way to log into that account and click the Cashback icon so Microsoft can deposit the money into my Paypal account. I previously  added my PayPal account to my Live.com account.  I even have all the original emails Live.com sent me and the Ebay files that show as proof I used the Cashback program.  If anyone knows a telephone number I can call I would appreciate.  Thanks

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