Lately there’s been no small amount of worry that folk who pre-ordered Valve & HTC’s future-goggles weren’t likely to get them at the predicted time – which, for the first-wave of adopters, should be any day now. With reports of payments being automatically cancelled, deliveries being delayed and express shipping add-ons defaulting back to economy, folk were getting shaky – especially as the more definite delays to Oculus Rift shipments had set something of a precedent. The future might be here, but getting it into a cardboard box and onto a lorry is another matter entirely, it seems.
HTC have now broken cover about the problems, attempting to clear things up and reassure people that they’re not looking at major delays.
“Your Vive system will be shipped in the month noted in your order confirmation email”, is probably the major line, although that may still mean that those who were hoping to get their headset bundles only a few days after the April 5th ‘launch’ will spend another month forlornly watching their postboxes. Especially as some of those who paid for express shipping got downgraded to economy shipping due to an unexplained glitch – HTC say the extra shipping cost will be refunded in these instances, however.
There was also some grumpiness that some people who ordered a little later appeared to be receiving their Vives before those who threw cash it at it the minute the doors opened. HTC admit to this, but say it won’t happen again: “We have a first in, first out policy for Vive order fulfillment. There were a small number of orders at the beginning of April that were processed out of sequential order. However, we have corrected the situation and all future shipments will be sent in the order in which they were received.”
Also distressing those who were all set to depart this awful reality forever in favour of a new, pretend one is that it appeared payments not being made via Paypal were being cancelled – thus seemingly costing credit card buyers their place in the queue. HTC now say that “There is no difference in order fulfillment based on the payment method used”, and that they’re actively working with folk affected by earlier cancellations to get their orders back on track. However, by advising that anyone else who experiences to “Please contact our customer care team with your order number and we will look into this for you”, I guess they’re leaving the door open to it happening again.
They also confess that, until now, there have been mixed messages about what’s going on, which has lead to panic in some quarters. “We acknowledge there were some inconsistencies in our communication. We have taken the steps to align all messaging moving forward.” They’re pretty bullish that all is in hand, and that “Pre-orders began shipping on April 5th, as originally communicated”, but I’m not sure whether that rules out the bulk of pre-orders all shifting back a few weeks.
We shall see. The Vive subreddit is filled with weeping and wailing about shipping issues. Anyone been affected by apparent delays? Indeed, anyone got their Vive yet?