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Motorola CEO apologizes for Moto X Cyber Monday fiasco

Motorola CEO apologizes for Moto X Cyber Monday fiasco
Motorola had one of the best deals for Cyber Monday - a discounted Moto X customized with Moto Maker and selling for just $349.99 off contract. A huge $130 off its original price, the Moto X was supposed to match the Nexus 5 in its extreme affordability. Yet it did not happen as planned.

Shortly after the Moto X deal went live, Motorola servers went down overwhelmed by unexpected demand. Orders did not go through and many people - despite trying to order multiple times - could not.

All of this sounds like a complete fiasco of the Moto X Cyber Monday promo, and now Motorola chief executive felt he needs to explain what happened and extend an apology to all the customers. Good news is that Motorola has now found a solution that fixes the crashing website, and it’s relaunching the $349 promo. The Moto X will go on sale once again on Wednesday and to make up there will be one more promotional day next Monday, December 9th. There will be more devices available at low prices, so it seems like Cyber Monday has officially been extended.

We owe you an apology.

I want to apologize to our customers and fans for the issues we experienced on our website with our Cyber Monday promotion. I want you to understand what happened, and what we are doing to rectify the situation.
First, we misjudged the overwhelming consumer demand for Moto X, which was far greater than we expected.
Second, our pre-sale site testing was not sufficiently extensive. Testing failed to reveal weaknesses caused by large volumes of concurrent orders flowing through the MotoMaker customization engine.
Thus, when we opened the promotion this morning, an extraordinary spike in concurrent orders caused our website to go down. We couldn’t fulfill orders. The site became unstable. While some orders were filled, many customers tried all day to place their orders, unsuccessfully. Customers were left frustrated.
We have since found a solution that we believe addresses the concurrent order issue. Motorolans are hard at work right now, implementing that solution.
Here is what we are going to do: Starting at 12 pm EST/9 am PST this Wednesday, we will relaunch the $349 promotion. To help make up for this major inconvenience to shoppers, we will also add an additional promotional day on Monday, December 9. We will double the quantity of phones available, while supplies last, to allow as many people as possible to take advantage of the promotion. We’re also extending the 30% off offer on accessories to these two days.
Please note that MotoMaker.com will open up for regular business tomorrow (Tuesday, December 3). We will stay the course on our regular sales as we restore our promotional prices for Wednesday and Monday.
Stay tuned to our Twitter, G+ and Facebook pages for more updates. We understand people want frequent communications from us so we will do a better job at keeping you informed.
On behalf of all Motorolans, I apologize for what occurred today. I appreciate your understanding as we get this fixed in time for Wednesday and Monday.

Posted by Dennis Woodside, CEO

source: Motorola

26 Comments
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posted on 03 Dec 2013, 03:47 5

1. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Motorola's response to this whole issue has been nothing short of fantastic. People couldn't buy today? No matter, give them two more days to buy, and throw in more discounted devices!

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 06:32 2

2. daveydog (Posts: 24; Member since: 01 Sep 2013)


This is awesome marketing, that's what it is... And hopefully they are testing the price point.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 06:59 3

3. PBXtech (Posts: 966; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Almost feels like Motorola forgot what it's like to be in high demand. Their servers not being able to keep up brings back memories of the huge demand for the Nexus 4 that crippled the servers when it went live. I'm surprised they didn't take the extra precautions to prepare for the inrush of people wanting the Moto Maker experience, it's one of the things that makes the X a great deal. Good to see them offering the deal for those who couldn't take advantage of the opportunity though. And I'm glad Moto is turning things around, nice to see the demand for their phones like this.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 07:44

4. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


This is why I said they should have been prepared. They should have learned from google's mistake. At least the CEO apologized and reopened the deal.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 08:16 2

5. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


I have never in my life seen someone harp on the past and bad experiences as much you.

You're like that psychotic ex girlfriend that just doesn't get it. No matter how many hints and or clues that are dropped you just keep popping back up to everyone's dismay.

The fact remains that Motorola owned up to the unfortunate incident, they are going to fix the issues and then reopen the deal that they are offering for two more days. How many other major companies or corporations wouldn't do anything about it? Let alone a public and open apology from the CEO. When they told Steve Jobs how crappy the reception was on the iPhone he told people "Just don't hold it that way" and yet you come over here and bang on your "I hate Motorola Drum" when there are other companies out there that have done far far worse. Get over yourself.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:04

8. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Someone's defensive. I wasn't harping on Motorola. I said they should have been prepared. I was actually trying to order one myself for my girlfriend.

You're like the little comic book fan who spends hours on message boards defending his favorite superhero because he hates opinions.

I acknowledged that the CEO owned up to the incident and applauded them for reopening the deal. Don't get your panties in a bunch. Tim Cook apologized for Apple Maps and not only did they recommend several alternatives but the approved Google Maps.

As far as antennagate goes, which btw is over 3 years old, people literally were squeezing and holding their devices wrong. but it got fixed.

Take your advice and get over it.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 08:25 3

6. troutsy (Posts: 239; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


Brilliant analysis... "they should have been prepared".

With ideas like that, I don't know how you aren't in charge by now.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:06

9. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Your sarcasm is unwarranted and unnecessary.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 15:46

13. troutsy (Posts: 239; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


Your opinion. Likewise, I consider every post you make on PA to be unwarranted and unnecessary.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 19:53

18. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


What you consider isn't important to me at all.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 22:16

26. dwayneak (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


So neither of you care about the other's opinion? I'm calling BS.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 10:43 4

7. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1181; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


There's are quite a few differences between what Google has done and Moto.

First, last night you were alluding to launches of Google's recent Nexus devices as being a similar flop. The difference is, those were launches rather than a sale. At launch the demand is peaked, expectations are high, people have yet to experience the device in hand, and many times there are mild to wild rumors about what the final product will be. This sale is happening 4 months after initial launch and 1 month after AT&T's exclusivity deal for Moto Maker ended. Most would assume that anyone who wanted the phone had purchased it already. Plus as you have alluded to in the past, no one wanted the phone illustrated by the weak sales, bit the rumors of the phone selling at prices of anywhere from $150-$300 off contract worked against it at launch. If they'd leaked the price early on they probably wouldn't have gotten the sticker shock of the people who took those rumors as gospel.

Second, it's quite possible to believe you're going overboard on preparedness and then find you're not prepared enough. And again, it's different for Google and Moto. Google can make deep discounts on it's devices because they can recover the costs on the back end through ads and apps. Moto doesn't have that luxury, once it's sold, that's it. Now I know you've said before that it's a midrange phone, but the X8 chip was not much less that this year's Snapdragon models, but it was necessary for their always on feature. The Snapdragon 800 is supposed to have that ability but no one has tried it out yet. So with this sale cutting the profits by $130+, if they would've gone overboard on their resources to handle the sale, they could've ended up taking a loss on every phone they sold if demand was lower than they projected, again with no way to recover the loss like Google is able to.

It is a balancing act doing business, make everything bulletproof and you may end up taking a loss, try to maximize profits and you may run into issues like this. It's easy to play armchair business executive after the fact, but there are people smarter than you and I dealing with these issues with no idea what the end result will be.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:09

10. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Yes I compared the previous Nexus launches to the sale. I see the comparison as valid even if you're afraid to admit it. Why? Because both were driven by demand via a low barrier to entry. Google is a billion dollar company so there's no excuse for them to constantly botch launches and sales like this one. We're talking about the company that has a monopoly on search engine. I guess we can make excuses if that goes down.

There's no difference. That's your own perception. Motorola took a loss the moment they decided to become "Made in America."

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:43 2

12. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1181; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


And yet you completely gloss over the fact that there is a difference between something going on sale for the first time, and something that is going on sale after being on the market for months. Demand drops after time, it's not an unheard of concept. To say that there isn't a difference is living in fantasyland. And again, just because Google owns them doesn't help Motorola. As I said a few times now, Google has a way to recover from a loss on the back end, Moto doesn't. It's not like Google shares their ad and app revenue with Moto.If they did, explain how Google can show a profit and Moto is showing a loss.

It's funny how you say that they took a loss by going "Made in America". We sit now with record unemployment while companies ship those jobs overseas. It takes companies committing to this country to turn that around. While it may make sense in the short term, if enough people lose their jobs, they are losing on total device sales. If they had kept those jobs here, they would only be losing a percentage of profit per device.

Show me another manufacturer, not cell carrier, online or big box retailer, but manufacturer who offered a holiday price cut in that neighborhood. Carriers and retailers do so to hopefully get customers to buy other items while shopping or to simply liquidate existing stock. With the Moto X, it is built to order, and they don't have much in the way of accessories, which as the article stated also have a 30% discount.

I find it hilarious that you call out others for living in the past while doing the same thing. This same thing can happen to companies who've never had issues before. All of the sudden something becomes a hot item and the demand exceeds expectations. You call out other for being a "comic book fan" and defending their opinions, while here you are doing the same. If you're going to call someone out for their actions, try not to be doing the same thing. And "afraid to admit your comparison is valid"? I read your comparison and disagreed with it. Could your scenario be possible? Sure, but if I disagree with you, it's not because I'm afraid you're right, but because I think you're wrong. Is that a foreign concept to you? Two people can both have polar opposite views, be completely behinds those views and disagree. Not because they are afraid the other is right, but because that is their belief. Look at religion, politics, sociology, sports, or even tech. In most cases neither is 100% correct, the truth usually lies somewhere between the opposing viewpoints, sometimes closer to one side than the other. But don't dismiss someone's viewpoint as only being fear that they're wrong, it's immature and opens your beliefs up to the sake criticisms.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 16:31 1

14. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I'm not going to bother trying to shift through that essay of a comment. You're being defensive. You're basically complaining because I commented on a Motorola article.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 17:44

17. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1181; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Wow, nothing like using ambivalence and sloth to prove your point. Was that short enough for you?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 19:56

19. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Did you just accuse me of being sinfully lazy? Lol are you serious? So just because I chose not to go through your long drawn out essay of a comment I'm a sinner now?

I made my point already, there was no need to get into a typing war with you. Besides nothing I say is going to convince you otherwise since you're still harping on previous comments I said regarding motorola.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 20:12 1

21. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1181; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Where did sinfully come about. Ambivalence is apathy, or not caring. Sloth is being lazy. How do you get sinfully out of that?

Either way, it's funny how rather than reply to what I wrote, you dismiss it as being defensive. Then let me respond in kind. You seem to be vindictive and petty. I've never seen someone go after a company as much since Troll was banned. While you're not as extreme as he was, you never seem to miss an article on Moto.

I am not being defensive, I just think you're wrong. I don't have an alterior motive, it just looks to me like because of your past experiences, you can't give them a chance. Any slip up and they're just as bad as they were before. You tell others to move on, try doing the same.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 20:47

22. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Why don't you Google it since you love defending them so much. Knowledge is power.

Oh get over yourself. I didn't go after Motorola at all. You're arguing about something that never occurred here except in your head.

You are being defensive. There was nothing here about me not giving them a chance. Again all I said was that they should have been prepared for this.

Perhaps it's you that needs to move on.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 21:15 1

24. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1181; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


While sloth is one of the seven deadly sins, it was a better word than laziness for the sentence's structure.

The only articles on Motorola I haven't seen you in is ones where your pessimism is proven wrong. But, yeah you don't have any I'll will against them.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 21:14

23. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Hey man. Sometimes Mxy says some extraordinarily stupid things. Sometimes he's in need of major reality checks regarding Motorola, Google and Android. Sometimes he deserves to be pounded into submission with the force of a thousand worlds.

This comment thread is not one of those times. Mxy made a valid point that Motorola should have been better prepared, a fact which Motorola themselves acknowledged. He also applauded Motorola's response to the mess. It's time to open your jaws and let go of his ankle. And you know me; if I thought Mxy needed a verbal beat down, I would have jumped into it without hesitation with even longer comments than yours.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 21:24 1

25. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1181; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


I understand what you're saying, but while they could've been more prepared, I can also see how they dropped the ball on it.

What irks me is seeing him in almost every article on them. I have some issues with other companies, and the articles highlighting those issues are the ones I comment on. I don't go into every single article and bash them just to do it. I don't usually get into it as much with someone, but he brings that out in me.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 12:01 1

11. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


While I think that Motorola probably expected a good increase of traffic I don't think they expected so many people to simultaneously rush in. Of course, we may never know what their expectations versus actual traffic was. You and I are pretty much in agreement here though; would have been nice if the site had worked, but in the end the customer benefits due to Motorola's response.

Also, you were buying one for your girlfriend? Nice. A sign perhaps that you're allowing yourself to trust Motorola again?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 16:33

15. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


It's not a sign that I'm trusting Motorola. Just that she loved her last Motorola phone and wanted something pink. I figured why not since it's on sale.

It's all about demand. You release a phone with N4 specs and drop it down to a semi reasonable price then of course people will flock to it like flies on poo.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 17:35

16. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well, I guess it'll be a good chance for you to observe how the phone performs. Did she get it engraved?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 19:58

20. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I've already seen how it performs. I'm not really needing another phone. It wasn't engraved.

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