Ouya hits retail amidst backer unrest as units fail to arrive

Ben Parfitt
Ouya hits retail amidst backer unrest as units fail to arrive

Much-hyped Android console Ouya hits retail today, yet many backers of the device are yet to receive their machine.

“I am pissed,” Ouya boss Julie Uhrman stated. “Some of you have not yet received your OUYA – and, to you, I apologise. I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you. I’ve been reading your comments, and we are working to solve this.

“We delivered your OUYAs to our partner in May, and since then they have been in their custody. We paid for shipping, yet the deliveries remain incomplete. We know everyone is getting their OUYA, but it is taking longer than we expected.”

Uhrman even claims that the company has boosted its customer service team to try and help alleviate the problem.

“We are working hard to get you answers, and more importantly, to fix this,” she added. “On our end, we have tripled our customer service team so we can respond as quickly as possible to your questions (though the answer may still be that it’s in transit). We are working with our partners to resolve any administrative issues related to undelivered boxes (errors in shipping addresses, customs holds, etc.).

“I’m told that despite our best efforts, it may take another two weeks or more for some of these units to arrive.”

Ouya’s head of operations Ken Stephens added: “As you may be aware, we manufacture OUYA in mainland China with our fulfilment partner in Hong Kong who is responsible for the individual shipments to you all.

“Over the past few months, we encountered and conquered many challenges spanning both hardware and software in order to bring the best product we could to market. We have tried to make sure that the challenges we faced did not impact our early supporters, but unfortunately we came up short.

“Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who haven’t yet received OUYA are international backers. It just takes a lot longer to ship to some countries. All of these units HAVE left Hong Kong, and you have received your tracking email. So, based on the date of your shipping-confirmation email, your OUYA will arrive within 15 to 17 days from that date.

“Please accept my personal apology for not yet delivering on our promise.”

These platitudes are doing little to pacify Ouya backers, however. Here’s a selection of reactions posted to Ouya’s Facebook page:

“Hey, you're welcome, OUYA, for being an early backer. Those consoles you sent to Best no Buy? Those are ours. You told me to "hurry" to pre order before Feb 4th so I could get my console by April, not after the fucking street launch in late June. Who knows how long I'll be waiting, too. Your customer service loves taking down information they already know about. Your company has done a piss-poor job with communication to its customers.”

“The deal was that if you helped them back it then you would get the console early. Had that not been a deal then not as many people would have backed them.”

“Still waiting for the Ouya I backed being a Kickstarter. Quite frankly I am PISSED as being one of the many people who backed you guys, but now getting NO PRIVILEGE of doing so AT ALL. If I would order it at Amazon I might already have it, but instead I'm still waiting. And yes, I know you guys apologised to your Kickstarter supporters, but from my point of view this is just a major fail. When I ordered it I thought I might use it as part of the media coverage we provide at my work, but... yeah, by the looks of it that's not going to be useful at all...”

“The journey hasn't begun until you rectify your terrible support for your backers that made this thing possible. What do we get in the end? "Sorry, here's your late console." Like that'll give you any credibility in the future.”

“I completely understand that things get caught up in transit, it happens. But I think making announcements about it being available in stores is a kick in the crotch to those who are still waiting. I would've held off on such announcements until KS & preorders were fulfilled. This is just rubbing salt into a wound, albeit a first world problem. I'm one of the lucky few who received theirs a few weeks ago so am completely speaking up for those who haven't. Honestly it's nothing to be jazzed over, the whole system is weak and it's sat gathering dust after an hour or two messing with it. Doesn't mean that people shouldn't have them in their hands already, though.”

“Early backer, still waiting with a tracking code that isn't working. And that's it - it's out in stores. I believed in you. I know it's kickstarter - for me that means it's ok if the product is late. BUT if it's in store and backers didn't get it - that's not acceptable. And we won't treat a well funded slick startup like yours the same way we treat the really small projects. We expect more and you have failed us.

“Like hundreds of others here, I will pile on and say, "Still waiting for my pre-order." Absolutely zero communication since the automated preorder confirmation. Shipping to retail first is a slap in the face to everyone who had high hopes for this "company." Good luck getting anyone to buy your next product.”

“My kickstarter console is apparently somewhere near Hong Kong if I'm to believe the tracking system. I'd moan about how Ouya really screwed the pooch on this one but, to be perfectly honest, I no longer care. In a year's time Ouya will probably be forgotten. A product like this is only a success if those who backed it can be enthusiastic about it. That moment has long passed.”

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Tags: shipments , backers , crowdfunding , Kickstarter , Ouya , backer , unrest

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