Lets face it, while starting a KickStarter campaign is a small feat, raising over $8 million dollars in two months is practically unheard of but OUYA did just that and defied the odds. However, with all that money, over 63,000 backers with their product in high demand; not everything is going to go according to plan. They can get overwhelmed, information can fall through the cracks; mistakes are bound to happen.
Sadly for OUYA, that’s just what happened…
First came the late shipments, then missing controllers, the controller defects and then to top it off there were delayed responses from customer support during the console’s launch. Contributors got angry and made their voices heard with numerous emails and message boards. They were pissed and were started to feel completely out of the loop; some may argue disrespected. When you pledge over $10,000 like some backers did, your anger will heighten.
OUYA could no longer ignore the fits of rage and backlashes they faced, so they took steps to mediate the situation. They responded with their pocketbooks.
OUYA’s CEO Julie Uhrman revealed in an email to backers this week,
It wasn’t OK that some of you-our most loyal supporters-didn’t get your OUYA until after it was on store shelves. Others had an issue with our still-new customer service. Despite your frustrations, you’ve played on, putting up with our bumps and bugs as we work to get better every day.That being the case, we want to do more than tell you how much we appreciate you-we want to show it.
To show their appreciation for the support and to apologize for events occurred, they stated the following,
If you feel you’ve had any kind of less-than-OUYA experience with us (a polite way of saying at any time you felt pissed at us for whatever the reason: late shipment, missing controllers, a delayed response to a CS ticket you opened), we’d like to give you a store credit of $13.37 to use toward any purchase(s) on DISCOVER.
I, for one, am pleased with this offer. While I’m a not a backer, the fact the company not only acknowledged their missteps they finally handled the situation like true professionals. Ignoring the contributors would have only hurt the company more. While $13 store credit is small in comparisons to what OUYA made in its campaign, it’s still a peace offering and a first step to winning back people’s trust.