Chris is a Zune Pass customer, and has been since the very beginning (whenever that was.) Early adopters get a pretty great deal that new subscribers don’t: ten song credits per month. He sent his tip in in the form of a chat transcript that was refreshingly well-written on both sides and honest on the part of the support representative. Let this serve as a heads-up to Zune fans who haven’t noticed this problem yet, but may experience it in the future. Or not. [More]
Tristan tells Consumerist that his Zune was about two years old and out of warranty when it began leaking battery acid on his hand. Appalled at the options that regular customer service offered, he used techniques from the Consumerist toolbox and empowered himself. He used our guide to crafting an Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb, and found contact information for Microsoft executives on the site as well. Getting his case in front of a person with actual authority earned Tristan a free repair of his obviously defective Zune. [More]
While Microsoft is still basking in the glow of the announcement of their new Windows Phone 7 software, the company isn’t just hoping to wedge its way into the mobile market by selling a platform for other people to put on non-Microsoft hardware. According to a new report, Microsoft is in the market for an existing smartphone company to jump start their efforts. [More]
If record labels decided to pull some of their songs from the Zune Pass service in the past couple of weeks, they did a poor job telling Microsoft about it. The company seems to be as in the dark as Zune Pass subscribers about why songs, albums, or entire discographies have gone missing. Ars technica reports that a Microsoft employee wrote on a Zune forum, “We are investigating your reported missing albums indicated in this post—and will come back to you as soon as we understand why they’re missing.” [More]
Brian believes a firmware update made his 80gb Zune give up the ghost, so he called customer service asking for a repair. The CSR’s idea was for Brian to send the Zune and $160 so Microsoft — new 80gb Zunes are going for $217 on Amazon — but Brian had a different idea: call in an EECB airstrike.
When Apple needs to come up with a hot new product, it turns to CEO Steve Jobs, who is said to micromanage everything from the color of the product’s box to how overpriced it should be. And, when Microsoft needs to go after the next big thing, the company turns to … Steve Jobs. At least that seems to be the idea behind Microsoft’s latest plan, which involves poaching managers from Apple’s retail stores.
Although eMusic is a great service—for a flat monthly fee, you get a set number of downloads per month of DRM-free music tracks—it’s about to get better. Or maybe worse, depending on the breadth of your musical tastes. Today eMusic will announce that Sony is adding its back catalog of songs to eMusic’s library. The bad news is that eMusic also plans to slightly raise prices and/or drop the number of downloads per month. Even if it works out to between 50-60 cents per track, though, that’s still far less than iTunes Music Store or Amazon, and probably the cheapest way to grab music from Sony artists without resorting to piracy.
Microsoft’s Zune is like Rocky in his fight with Ivan Drago. After getting the crap thoroughly beaten out of it in front of the entire civilized world, the Zune just keeps stepping back into the ring for more punishment.
Brooke’s long, tedious, and unnecessary Zune repair is finally over, and it appears Microsoft has done her right. The day after our post on her situation went live, she got a call from Blarim, a personal rep at Microsoft Seattle, and the ball went a-rolling. But she ended up getting a lot more than just her Zune back.
The 30-gig Zunes may have temporarily revolted last week, but Brooke’s limited edition 80-gig Zune has been MIA for over three months now, apparently lost in that magical ever-transitioning Zune world from the commercials. (It just keeps falling through floors and walls and swimming pools.) Maybe someone at Microsoft can take a look at what Brooke’s had to go through so far, and get back to her with a real answer?
Is there really a need for this? Microsoft says that they’ve partnered with McDonald’s to offer access to the “Zune Marketplace” to Zune owners via a free wifi connection inside 9,800 participating McDonald’s. This is apparently going to “attract new customers whose digital lifestyle extends beyond their home and office,” according to a press release.
In the never-ending quest for free publicity, guerilla marketers have gone through great lengths to try to make a big splash. Many guerilla marketers will often concoct stunts that are risky or illegal to grab the publics’ attention. Some stunts go over better than others while a few completely backfire. As a tribute to these foolhardy souls, WebUrbanist has put together their top 5 mishaps in guerilla marketing. The list, inside…
After he called Microsoft to cancel his Zune account, reader Will noticed that his XBOX Live account was suddenly silver instead of gold.
Last week we pointed out how Apple artificially inflates the discount of its refurbished units by using the original introductory list price as a comparison, even if the price has since dropped and the true list price is now lower. Now a reader writes in to say he caught Toys R Us doing the same thing on sale prices of Playstation 3 bundles and 30 gig Zunes. Our question: is this legal? New York City’s consumer protection law seems to imply that—at least for retailers doing business in NYC—it’s not, unless you clearly indicate the trail of price reductions, something neither company is doing.
Cupid is helping Microsoft whisper sweet apologies to customers who may not receive their Valentine’s Day edition Zune until after February 14. Even though the players are en route, the company has promised full refunds to any scorned Zune buyers.
My problem started yesterday morning when my wife and I decided we would either purchase 3 Microsoft Zunes or 3 iPods from Best Buy for part of our children’s Christmas gifts. I checked prices by going to bestbuy.com and searching Zune. [ed.note— item no longer on sale.]
Okay, we’ll say it, and understand that we’re writing this post on an old iBook: the iPod line is starting to look tired. Sure, that Touch is elegant in the same way as the iPhone—but its capacity is similar to the Nano, and what if don’t want to carry around a Kubrick-style slab of minimalism? There are now some really nice alternatives out there if you’re willing to walk away from the perks of being a member of the Apple camp.
Following Apple’s lead, Microsoft has announced that the Zune Marketplace will offer DRM-free downloads from EMI’s catalogue. Microsoft also claims to be discussing similar arrangements with other music labels.
“The EMI announcement on Monday was not exclusive to Apple,” said Katy Asher, a Microsoft spokeswoman on the Zune team, in an e-mail to the IDG News Service today. She said Microsoft has been talking with EMI and other record labels “for some time now” about offering unprotected music on its Zune players in an effort to meet the needs of its customers.
Microsoft has kept mum on the specifics. We don’t yet how the price or quality of Microsoft’s music will stack up against Apple’s offering, nor do we know when the DRM-free music will be made available on the Zune Marketplace. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER