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Answers to your comments about the cashback blackout

We want to answer the most common questions that have appeared in the comments section in response to yesterday's post about Friday's cashback outage (Black Friday cashback blackout).

How do I receive credit for an order that is not showing the correct rebate in my Live Search cashback account?

All orders placed on HP Shopping through Live Search cashback on November 28, 2008 are eligible for a 40% cashback rebate. If your account is showing a 3% rebate or not displaying any rebate for an eligible order, please contact customer support with your Live Search cashback ID and order number to receive your full rebate: You can also contact customer support for assistance with your cashback rebate for orders placed through cashback on Friday with our other partners. We'll do everything we can to credit your account as quickly as possible.

I placed an order directly through the store's website. Will I be able to receive cashback?

Orders placed directly at the store's website are not eligible for the Microsoft Live Search cashback program and terms. Orders must have been placed through Live Search to qualify. We are unable to give credit for purchases outside of our system.

Will the HP deal be restarted soon?

We're working actively to determine next steps for any specific HP promotions. We regret that we don't have more specific details at this time, but we can point customers to other Live Search cashback merchants with great deals on HP products, including eBay, which is currently offering 20% cashback.

Rajat Taneja, General Manager, Worldwide Commercial Search


  • Thank you for the posting.  However, this is the same basic link that many people have tried to write to, but receive NO replies from Microsoft.  I have sent copies of each order that has not been credited (so far, 5 total, 1 from the Black Friday disaster), but so far nothing.  

    It is great to say that help is out there . . . but it is another thing to actually accomplish what is being promised.

  • Rajat, thank you for finally responding.  The obvious question is how long can we expect to wait for these incorrect amounts to be changed?  I am one of the people who has 3% showing in my cashback account for a November 28 purchase at HP.  I would think that changing that to 40% would be a relatively simple procedure.  But until I actually see it, it's difficult for me to feel confident that it will happen.

  • Thanks for the update! Also, live chat would be a great idea.

  • great more words, but alas no actions.

    How about answering my emails with a personal reply not a canned and inappropriate response.

    Given how poorly this has been handled and how equally poorly Microsoft has handled the my ebay cashback transactions, why would I believe that it will be in my account 60 days from now, if you even credit it.

    How about instant credit? and I may call it even.

  • Placed an order through live cashback last friday, haven't received any cashback or feedback from you guys.

  • I suggest you to finish this process soon.I am sure almost all customers have sent emails with their order number and email id to your customer support hoping for 40% cashback

    It is your side which has the backlog .Atleast you blogged this message.hope your customer support will clear the backlog soon and address the issues swiftly

    Otherwise i see HP getting lot of return laptops and desktop.Personally i would decide to cancel(return) if i dont get cashback confirmation before my laptop is shipped as i feel the HP products are overpriced without the cashback deal

  • I tried for a number of hours to get the link to work on the 28th.  I wanted to order a touchsmart PC, but was unable to do so.

    Sure would be decent to start the promotion, even for a short period of time for those that couldn't get through.

  • Instead of telling the customers to approach your support personnel ,you must ask your support personnel to look into the already received mails and credit those buyers.

    If this is not going to happen,i can expect you come with a similiar kind of message tomorrow also asking to contact your customer support.

    I would not mind posting my customer service reuest ticket number and the date when i got the ticket here.ok?

  • Like we didn't contact live search support... all the replies we got were to wait, wait, and wait.  Even we provided order numbers, none of the representatives could honor the 40% cashback.. NONE!

  • I did contact your support team!  Here is their answer:

    Thank you for that information.  As  previously stated, due to the Thanksgiving holiday purchases may take extra time to show in your account.  We expect many purchases should show in your account by December 2, 2008, but it may take longer for some purchases to show  We are researching technical issues as to why.  If your purchase does not show in three business days, reply to this email and we will research your situation further.

    You may receive a survey asking if your issue was appropriately resolved. Please disregard this survey until we've fully resolved your issue.


    Robert I

    LiveSearch cashback Customer Support

  • That e-mail is rubbish. It's a single e-mail they copied and paste on there, not addressing anyone's question.

    Microsoft is clearly losing the game. It is no wonder Google engineers are more productive than Microsoft overall. Rajat, I suggest you to resolve this problem, otherwise Steve will throw a chair at you next.

  • This new article hardly represents new information, and in fact wastes our time by answering questions I have never seen anyone ask, namely, can an individual get a Cashback reward for visiting the HP website directly.  It borders on insulting our intelligence to answer a question that is frankly non-germane to the underlying disaster that was the Black Friday Microsoft Cashback Promotion and the numerous unanswered questions swirling around it.

    Again, and I find it surprising that answering direct questions with direct answers is apparently impossible, so here again is a list of questions that I asked in the original thread.

    These questions come from both myself and literally thousands of consumers who attempted to participate in this promotion and have vocalized their ongoing disgust on various deal forums and blogs.

    The overall consensus is profound concern regarding Microsoft's complete failure to properly manage the promotion and now the apparent abdication on the part of Microsoft to swiftly and clearly make consumers whole for this debacle.

    With just a few weeks remaining this holiday season, I implore Microsoft to allow consumers to obtain appropriate relief from this mess, and if the company intends to abandon its responsibility to customers, at least tell us now so we may make alternate holiday purchase arrangements.

    How Microsoft handles this matter will have a direct bearing on how many of us will consider using and your Cashback promotion in the future.  Once burned, twice shy.

    1) What concrete steps towards Cashback resolution will Microsoft make for those of us who participated within the window of the sale, went to the site and experienced all of the same problems trying to get Cashback activated, presumably succeeded if only because we didn't get "Oops" and "Our tentacles are tangled" error messages, made the purchase successfully and got absolutely zero Cashback.

    You only answered the question relating to consumers who received a 3% rebate.  What about the thousands of us who participated in this offer through the link but whose Cashback tracking information was subsequently and apparently lost due to your server problems?

    It's time for Microsoft to state, plainly and absolutely, that those who participated in this sale event during the window of opportunity who submit an order number and other pertinent information be given the benefit of the doubt and given the appropriate 40% credit.

    This does not suggest any individual purchasing any item on Black Friday be granted a credit.  But for those of us who entered the HP storefront via the promotional link, provisions to grant the 40% rebate must be made, even when your failing servers improperly registered (or subsequently discarded) the tracking information.

    2) The company has efforted to claim that one "make good" for this mess is the introduction of instant cashback for "select" customers who make new purchases on eBay.  

    A more appropriate response would have been that Microsoft will grant an instant rebate to ALL customers impacted by THIS promotion, including those who never received Cashback notification, as well as those who did (be it in the wrong or right amount.)  Don't worry.  Those of us who received no Cashback notification will be in touch with you.  Almost nobody leaves several hundred dollars sitting on the table.

    3) If Microsoft's servers become overloaded, perhaps dispensing with an unnecessary multi-step process to finally arrive at the storefront landing/home page would be appropriate.  Dispense with the captcha at least.  Also give customers peace of mind with a clearly visible frame at the top of the storefront informing them their Cashback is still active and functioning.  And let them know about any expiring cookies to make sure they know what window of time is available for them upon entry into the store to complete their transaction before Cashback's tracking code expires.

    4) Schedule a repeat of this event, but extend it for a 24 hour window, and clearly indicate the times for the event.  There was considerable confusion over whether the last event expired at 7pm ET or PT.  

    The time for vague promises, inconsistent Customer Service e-mails trying to simply make the customer wait longer, and generic apologies are over.  In a rebate involving, for most, several hundred dollars, specific concrete information is required today, to allow customers to get some restored confidence from what has frankly been a colossal failure on the part of Microsoft which for me creates a foundation of serious doubt about my future belief in the Cashback business model and my participation in it.

    This latest response from Microsoft utterly fails to answer many of the most frequently asked, and important questions consumers are asking.

    My message took me less than 30 minutes to compose.  Please take at least as much time to prepare a more complete and clear response so that consumers can feel confident in utilizing the Cashback promotion program in the future.

  • What’s apparent is Rajat and Microsoft are out of touch with its customers. They choose to hide behind carefully crafted messages. When in fact they could just as easily post messages in the message boards at countless websites reassuring it’s customers of the plans going forward. Instead they choose to hide behind they’re e-mail address.

  • 'We regret that we don't have more specific details at this time, but we can point customers to other Live Search cashback merchants with great deals on HP products, including eBay, which is currently offering 20% cashback.

    Rajat Taneja, General Manager, Worldwide Commercial Search'

    Rajat , we’re not here to follow your wisdom and directions how to shop and where to find another cashback deal.. we have dedicated forums for that you can only dream about it.. , we never asked your help in that area, after all reread blog header if you’re not quiet sure where your posting goes.  Who is your boss? give me #..

  • Well I will return my four orders. Very dissappointed. It is even more sad that HP will suffer the consequences(pay roundtrip shipping). Microsoft could remedy the problem however, they remain silent.