Microsoft Cashback Not Giving Enough Cash Back (MSFT)

Microsoft on Monday apologized for glitches on its Live Search Cashback site, which frustrated online shoppers looking to scoop up Black Friday deals.

Amid heavy volume on Friday, consumers encountered a range of problems from site sluggishness to seeing the wrong amount of cash back show up in their accounts.

The problem was particularly acute with shoppers who were looking to take advantage of a promotion with Hewlett-Packard that offered buyers a 40 per cent discount when visiting HP.com through Microsoft’s Live Search Cashback. Some shoppers, however, reported seeing only a 3 per cent cash back amount posted to their account.

“We deeply regret customer inconvenience with respect to the outage,” Microsoft said in a statement provided to CNET News. “The spike in traffic in combination with a technical glitch led to the outage. The promotion will restart in the next day or so. Again, we apologise for our customers’ inconvenience.”

The real problem with Cashback is that it’s not helping Microsoft (MSFT) gain much search share. In the past couple of months, Microsoft’s share has stopped shrinking, which is good, but it’s not going to make much of a living on 8.5% share. Queries have grown the last two months, though.

Mark Mahaney from Citi:

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