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Summary:

Motorola’s website couldn’t handle the strain of customers looking to score a discounted Moto X smartphone. Various server errors and incorrect pricing have turned what should have been a big win into a bit of an embarrassment for a Google company.

Moto X front top

What could have been a big win for Motorola is shaping up to be a bigger fail. The company announced last week that it would be discounting no-contract Moto X handsets in limited supply on Cyber Monday, with prices starting at $349. However, it doesn’t appear that Motorola’s online ordering system is able to handle the transactions.

motorola home screen

I’ve been to the MotoMaker site a number of times this morning to check it out and I have yet to see the site up and running. Others have been able to get through the order process only to find their handset is costing the full, not discounted price. And even then, those orders haven’t gone through as shown by this example tweet and one of many similar threads on Google+.

I’ve seen situations such as this in the past and often the issue was that the ordering systems weren’t able to handle a discounted price for a limited or very specific time. That’s something that should be tested in advance of course. The fact that the Motorola website is completely down for myself and others, however, is inexcusable to me.

Why? Motorola is a Google company. In other words: This is a company that has built its entire operation on the premise of a faster web experience that can someday rival that of desktop environments. And yet for some reason, on the biggest online shopping day of the year, it can’t manage to keep its home page up and running.

A good hour after the sale was supposed to start, Motorola tweeted the following, offering hope for the discount later:

  1. i go through over the phone only to be told that you had to buy an unlocked moto X after Nov 16th to take advantage of this special. I asked how that makes sense that someone would want another phone 2 weeks later and the guy is transferring me elsewhere. Ridiculous.

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  2. Is anyone really surprised? The parent company (google) has shown a startling inability to handle large volumes of traffic. Perhaps they should just out source their store management to amazon.

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  3. Discounted prices are showing up correctly in cart now but I am unable to checkout yet

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    1. Yep, me too. “You cannot checkout with a Moto X right now.” Figure I will keep the shopping cart open and just hit Checkout from time to time. Maybe it will go through. I guess it’s not so easy to build bandwidth into ones order processing portal. Kinda embarrassing. These guys should have this down by now.

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      1. Dev Version (VZW) is sold out. I don’t understand. I had it in my cart and was not able to checkout! Patience proves to be useless in this case. I’ve been trying since 9am EST.

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        1. I am trying the Moto Maker but it’s down, so unable to buy. A little disappointed.

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  4. Website’s still down and strangely that Tweet’s been removed.

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  5. @Frank A NYC – does any offspring reflects his parent, although it inherits characteristic of its parents

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  6. perhaps this was all a ploy to drive up their twitter following. brilliant. disappointing but brilliant.

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  7. I have been trying to order the phone all day. I was able to add a att version and a gsm developer edition into my cart but the order could not be placed according to the banner at the top and clicking checkout did nothing but tell me to check twitter. Well I have been checking twitter all day and it still has not said ordering was open. I just checked again and now my cart has the developers edition removed. Still cannot place an order and after calling was told they are sold out. HOW CAN YOU SELL OUT WHEN YOU CANNOT PLACE AN ORDER???? AND WHY WAS IT REMOVED FROM MY CART???. Just checked twitter again and still no mention that ordering has been opened up. SO as i wait for an escalate to customer service as i write this I was just hung up on. What a VERY FRUSTRATING DAY!! I feel that I have been lied to. I was told that you could order the developers edition for 399 and that it sold out. It was in my cart but i was not able to order since I guess I had a att version in there as well. Nothing but a bunch of lies from Motorola. The same as what happened when i bought my zoom tablet. I ll leave my name off of this since if i use my Facebook name they want to grab my list of friends. Don t think so!!!

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  8. UPDATE: Motorola tweeted that the developer editions were available to order. Clicked on the link in the tweet and there they were. Ordered a GSM Developer Edition. Just checked tweets again and CDMA version is sold out but a few GSM versions were still available.
    How this went from me being told on the phone they were sold out and my cart being emptied to ordering one and receiving confirmation just tells me its been a crazy day for motorola.

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  9. Been trying since 9am Pacific Time. I have the phone in my cart, a standard 16GB version on the Verizon network. Still says “You cannot checkout with a Moto X right now.” Bummed.

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  10. When ordering my Nexus 5 Google had confirmed my order, sending me an email. Less than 24 hours later server errors cancelled my order, which was reflected in my Google Wallet, but I was not notified via email.

    Who checks their Wallet account to make sure the merchant doesn’t cancel the order without notifying the purchaser? I do, knowing Google is excellent at screwing up basic, considerate, human customer service and proper notifications.

    Sorry Google, a company of engineers with sledge-hammer efficiency in customer service, paid peanuts in the heartland, just reflects how poorly polished the purchasing experience is and, similarly, how half-baked much of your software and hardware is.

    –Nexus 5/Chromebook 11 owner.

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