Frustrating VMware Rebate Experience (solved)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by hodgjy, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #1
    Ok, so I recently bought VMware online from VMware.com. I did so because there was a $20 rebate that could be filed online.

    Well, I tried to file it online. No dice. It said my serial number was not valid. It also said wait up to 72 hours and try again. Well, I've been trying for 8 days to get my rebate into the system. I emailed their rebate support team three times and got no response. I called their phone number twice and each time I just got an answering machine.

    Don't get me wrong, I love VMware as a product, but their rebate sure seems like a scam to me. $20 isn't that much of a big deal, but the whole experience is sure leaving a sour taste in my mouth.

    Is anyone else having these problems?
     
  2. kierasdad macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    #2
    Me too

    Yes I had the exact same thing happen to me. I was going to buy it at the store but I figured I would download it and get the rebate. IT gave me the same message
     
  3. webgoat macrumors 6502a

    webgoat

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
  4. tip macrumors 6502

    tip

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    #4
    Same EXACT experience here - with BOTH the standard and competitive rebates. My serial number is supposedly invalid, and I've emailed twice and called three times so far.

    I'm thinking about calling their regular (non-rebate) number to complain. I'll post updates as it happens - everyone else who is having problems: please update this thread as well.
     
  5. fusionrocks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #5
    All:

    We want you to know that we are taking the rebate issues very seriously. There are a number of messages on our own user forums (www.vmware.com/go/fusionforums) revolving around this same issue.

    To let you all know: I just personally got out of a two hour meeting to nail down a means by which to make the VMware Fusion rebate process as smooth and seamless as the software itself. We recognize right now that this is not the case, and are working hard to fix it.

    We thank you for your patience, and want to let you know that while rebate programs typically have the taint of hoping that users forget and throwing up roadblocks to fulfillment, this is 100% not the case here.

    We are working very hard to make this customer-facing initiative being undertaken by a previously "enterprise-only" organization fall into line with the expectations of our users. We thank you for your frank feedback and constructive criticism.

    Peter Kazanjy
    VMware Fusion Product Marketing
     
  6. tip macrumors 6502

    tip

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    #6
    Peter,

    Thanks for the response - I eventually did talk to someone from the rebate fulfiller. Thanks again.
     
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #7
    Why not just make your product $20 cheaper instead of annoying people with the rebate process?
     
  8. hodgjy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #8
    Update:

    I was personally contacted by VMware regarding my rebate inquiry and was given a very courteous and satisfactory response. The problem lies with their third-party outsourcer and I was told that VMware is working very hard to fix this problem. I was assured that my rebate will be processed.

    So, anyway, I mainly started this thread initially to vent more than anything else. I never expected to be contacted in every effort to fix the problem. Now that's what I call a company standing behind their product. I now feel very humbled by the whole thing from starting a venting thread to getting contacted.
     
  9. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #9
    Is this coincidence or the magic of google ads? I just got an email from Smith Micro offering me a $20 discounted price (no rebate needed)? Do I have an eStalker?

    Linky
     
  10. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #10
    Having customer information is very valuable for future marketing and sales purposes.

    It's a common business tactic to decide that "X" is the price that one wants to receive for a product and then sell the product for X+Y with a "Y" rebate (actually it's not that simple because there's a non-response factor that allows a company to actually price rebates such that they would lose money if every single purchaser sends in the rebate, knowing that such would never be the case).

    The net result is receiving X for the sale of the product and obtaining a very valuable customer contact record for future use.
     
  11. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #11
    BTW, this response from VMWare is just the sort of positive customer care that is so sadly lacking from so many other companies these days.
     
  12. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #12
    You can still collect this without rebates - well, at least from people who buy direct.

    Edit: you can also collect this through product registrations.
     
  13. Scudder2u macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #13
    Not all VMware Rebate issues solved!

    Hodgjy - glad your issues were resolved... mine are not :(

    I purchased mine on 2/17/08 and had the same issues as you and others with an invalid serial number. I emailed on the 2/22/08 and still havent heard anything back. Needless to say I have contacted my credit card company and sent them printed copies of the terms, faqs, and my confirmation email.

    Really stinks since I really liked fusion. Parallels works fine and I guess Ill stick with that. Ill post again with any resolution. I hope my resolution is as satisfactory as yours
     
  14. cssmithmicro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #14
    VMWare Rebate processing



    As a customer service representative for SmithMicro I can say that at SmithMicro we strive to provide the best customer service. We are also taking steps to avoid confusion with the rebate process for this product. If your serial number is reported as "invalid" more than likely it is a rebate that needs to be processed through SmithMicro. SmithMicro's rebate offers are not processed online so you will need to mail in the required documentation.

    A rebate form can be accessed at http://my.smithmicro.com/store/VMWareRebate03-04-08.pdf

    For further assistance you can send an email to cs@smithmicro.com
     
  15. cssmithmicro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #15
    VMWare Rebate processing



    At SmithMicro we strive to provide the best customer service. We are also taking steps to avoid confusion with the rebate process for this product. If your serial number is reported as "invalid" more than likely it is a rebate that needs to be processed through SmithMicro. SmithMicro's rebate offers are not processed online so you will need to mail in the required documentation.

    A rebate form can be accessed at http://my.smithmicro.com/store/VMWareRebate03-04-08.pdf

    For further assistance you can send an email to cs@smithmicro.com
     
  16. alexagain macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    #16
    Here's another complaint about the rebate. I purchased Feb 29 and I've been unable to submit my rebate all week. No email support and the phone number goes straight to voicemail.
     
  17. Scudder2u macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #17
    VMware Solution?

    [EDIT: Some parts of this post do not express my intent. See my future post for clarification on my favorable opinion of VMware Fusion support]

    Here is a status update on my rebate as promised in a previous post:
    After posting here I received a PM from user fusionrocks asking me to email him. He replied with an attachment to mail in my rebate. I appreciate that he took the time to address my complaint (especially since I also phoned and emailed and never received a reply).

    I applaud VMware for taking the time to monitor feedback of their product on the web. HOWEVER, one would think that following a "two-hour" meeting on the topic and continued complaints on this board that they would have thought to modify the VMware website content management system to disable the online rebate altogether OR post a message that if you get the error to mail it in.

    User Fusionrocks also asked my opinion of the software which I will post in a different thread and return to him by email. Technical and performance aspects aside (more in the other thread)

    Bottom line: I *tried* to take advantage of the competitive upgrade because Parallels support was lacking; not based on my need but after nearly a year of monitoring their message boards and reading of frustrated users (my experience with parallels has been good btw). While the VMware message boards appear to be more helpful from VMware support this experience seems to indicate that VMware is no better unless you post to a widely read forum. Stick with parallels if you already have it and its working; for most users there is no need to switch.
     
  18. fusionrocks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #18
    Two Points of Clarification

    I would disagree with both of those claims.

    1. The nature of message boards are similar to those of doctor's offices: everyone you see there has an issue. That's why they're there, and that's why the boards exist. What you don't see are the thousands of people whose rebates have been processed without issue.

    In this case, your recommendation to disable the online piece of the rebate, wholesale, is a non-starter, in that because VMware has a rebate outsourcer handling rebates for VMware.com and a subset of resellers (MacMall, Mac Zone, Mac Connection, etc.), but NOT other resellers, like Amazon, Apple.com, Apple store, Buy.com, etc., which are fulfilled by Smith Micro, VMware Fusion's publisher, it is vital that the rebate outsourcer be able to parse between copies of Fusion that are eligible for fulfillment through them, and those which aren't.

    If the mail-in form were posted online, the user experience would get WORSE, in that some users would send in forms to the outsourcer which should have gone to Smith Micro, and as such, never get their rebate. This would of course be undesirable in the extreme, since we want VMware Fusion customers to have a great experience all the way around, and not introduce new problems.

    Regardless, the current issues are being addressed in a variety of ways to help the small subset of users currently having issues, with fixes going live this weekend, however, seemingly simple suggestions that are seemingly obvious, are usually more complicated, as is the case here.

    2. I would wholeheartedly disagree with you claim about the VMware Fusion forums being less trafficked and read than third party forums like this one. Both engineering and marketing from the VMware Fusion team read the Fusion forums constantly, and forward concerns to the appropriate parties inside VMware when a problem arises.

    In fact, that the VMware Fusion team reads third party forums, via Google Alerts, and so on, is actually something that is a layer above and beyond monitoring our own forums.

    I'm glad that you have gotten resolution to your issue, but at the same time, it's important that the record be straight with respect to those two points above.

    The conclusion is:

    1. Fixes to the rebate program are going live this weekend to enhance the user experience to the already very small subset of users who were having issues (but whose issues are unacceptable nonetheless).

    2. The VMware Fusion forums (http://www.vmware.com/go/fusionforums) are widely read by both the engineering and business teams, and are a great resource if you ever have an issue, either with the software or with the business process surrounding VMware Fusion.
     
  19. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #19
    I hate to say it, but I submitted my rebate right after I purchased on 10/04/2007 and have yet to receive my rebate. :( Unfortunately, I have the worst luck in the world with rebates and chocked it up to continuing that trend. But saw this thread and thought I'd chime in... who knows.... fingers crossed! ;)
     
  20. Scudder2u macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #20
    Apology and Clarification

    My apologies to Fusionrocks and the VMware team. I had no idea how complex and broken the rebate system is/was and how difficult it would be to fix.

    Fusionrocks you are ABSOLUTELY correct. The last paragraph of my post DOES GIVE AN INCORRECT IMPRESSION OF MY OPINION OF THE VMWARE BOARDS and does not convey what I intended. I did not express myself very clearly. More precisely:

    1) I purchased Fusion on 2/17. I emailed about the rebate problems on 2/22. I still have not received a reply to that email addressing my issue (as of 3/8/08).

    2) I DID receive an adequate solution to my problem AFTER posting here. I have thanked Fusionrocks privately and publicly for monitoring these boards and offering a solution.

    3) I chose to post here because of google search. In fact, if you search "vmware fusion rebate invalid serial number" in google today (03/08) this forum is the third hit and the FIRST and only hit that addresses the issue on the first page. I have read the VMware Fusion message boards extensively and did not search for the issue there for whatever reason. Google is my knee-jerk search solution.

    The point being had I not posted to A BOARD I would still be waiting for resolution. Further, I have a good opinion of VMware support.

    Immediately after my last post here I posted a very balanced opinion on these boards on why I would chose Parallels overall but VERY favorable of VMware fusion SUPPORT in comparison to Parallels . This post accurately reflects MY opinion that the VMware fusion team offers a higher level of support than Parallels.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=446591

    You know life would be better without the rebate game altogether no matter who the vendor. A good product at a fair price, period.

    Thanks to VMware for addressing my issue personally and working to address it for all that purchase it this weekend and in the future.
     
  21. alexagain macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    #21
    This is an update on my rebate problem. I bought from VMWare.com and my serial key never worked with the online submission form.

    After posting on the VMWare boards about the rebate issue, I received personal, helpful attention from Pete. He patiently explained the situation, and sent me a mail-in form. My frustration stems from having to send in a support email and post on their board before it was finally offered.

    One could get the impression that the rebate was never meant to be fulfilled.

    About the rebate homepage, the form should be downloadable online. If there are two ways to submit a rebate, then both options have to be available. For even one customer to go though the frustrating episode that I went through is unacceptable. The FAQ is inadequate and confusing because it states that customers can choose to mail in the form, yet there's no form to be found.

    So punish the customers that read carefully?

    Anyway, I'll be happy when I get my check. Fusion is a great product and VMWare support is responsive, but maybe it's time to find a new rebate outsourcer.
     
  22. fusionrocks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #22
    Fear not alexagain, we are putting in place a solution to address exactly this case. We don't want any customers to feel like they're being punished!

    And, again, regarding your implication about "One could get the impression..."

    This is definitely not the case, as the thousands of rebate recipients who had zero issue, and this long thread here, and the threads on the VMware Fusion forums, can attest to.
     
  23. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #23
    Since this topic seems is being addressed, what should I do about my rebate situation? As my earlier post mentions, I purchased and submitted the rebate on 10/04/2007. I have a PDF file of the confirmation I received with barcode, etc. When I go online to check the status, I get nothing back, that is to say blank for address info, etc. Any suggestions?
     
  24. cssmithmicro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #24
    Anyone who is still not sure where to send their rebate for processing can send an email to cs@smithmicro.com. Please provide the UPC code from the box of VMWare you purchased. I have attached an example of the bar code. The bar code begins with "7" and ends with "0" Please include all the numbers in your email. Thank you.
     

    Attached Files:

  25. okra macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    #25
    I Too have a rebate problem and have given the following review to Amazon

    The program is good. I would rate it 5 stars out of 5 were it not for the hassle of the rebate. I do rebates all the time and never ever had any problems except for VMWare (also check internet for more rebate complaints). I think it's time for Amazon to start a Survey Program on Rebates for items purchased through them. Receipt of my rebate was not shown until 3 weeks later, and only after lots of correspondence from me. Suggested rebate time of 6 to 8 weeks is up. Per rebate track status my check was MAILED on 5 August. It's 28 August today and still nothing here. If I had to do it all over again I would have bought PARALLELS without a rebate. In Jan. 2008, Peter Kazanjy - VMWare Fusion Product Marketing - stated in response to a complaint:
    "We thank you for your patience and want to let you know that while Rebate Programs TYPICALLY have the taint of hoping that users forget and throwing up (sic) road blocks to fulfillment. This is 100% not the case here."
    I think it IS and urge you to stay away from the product with the rebate.
     

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