Friday, December 18, 2009

Funny FAQs From Woot

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I came across this company after reading their customer service letter above.

Certainly their way of marketing is really creative and funny. Not the normal way of customer service, where we promise the best for our customer.

They even dare to threaten their customer :)

"You try to rip off us, we'll use these cables for something much appealing than carrying HD video. And we'll do it without leaving a mark. Don't try us."


What is Woot and who's behind it? is an online store and community that focuses on selling cool stuff cheap. It started as an employee-store slash market-testing type of place for an electronics distributor, but it's taken on a life of its own. We anticipate profitability by 2043 – by then we should be retired; someone smarter might take over and jack up the prices. Until then, we're still the lovable scamps we've always been. But don't take our word for it: see what the online community has to say at this Wikipedia article.

I see only one item, do you sell anything else?

No. We sell one item per day until it is sold out or until 11:59pm central time when it is replaced (see next entry for details). However, each item we sell is in stock and typically ships within 2-3 business days.

What is the schedule for new items?

The short answer: we offer a new item every single day. The details: a new product is released every morning at 12am central time, seven days a week. (If you're not a morning person, this can be described as every night at midnight. Better?) If a product sells out during its run, a new item will not appear until the next release time. You will know if a product is sold out, because the main page says "SOLD OUT" instead of "I want one". (Clever, eh?)

I missed yesterday's item, can I still get one?

No. Each product is discontinued at 11:59pm central time. That's that. Period. We may get more at a later date if we're lucky, but we offer no guarantees, we allow no backorders, and we have no waiting/notification lists. Too bad.

I want to talk to a live person there, can I call you?

No. We are busy sourcing new products and shipping orders. You can post a comment to our community board, but we don't guarantee we'll respond. You should Google for the manufacturer contact to get product answers – we suggest a dating service, magic 8 ball, or ouija board for general life solutions.

Will I receive customer support like I'm used to?

No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don't end up liking or you have what marketing people call "buyer's remorse," sell it on eBay. It's likely you'll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn't work, find out what you're doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it's probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know. If you give up and must return it to us, then follow on to the next FAQ entry.

How do I return a defective product?

Unless we specifically tell you not to, call the manufacturer of the product you bought. You will likely get a replacement of a new model or better item from them. If we still haven't dissuaded you, email with your woot order number, the name of the product you are returning, and the detailed problem with the item. We will respond with return authorization by the next business day. Because we aren't likely to have a replacement in stock, you should be prepared for a refund-only option if that's all we can do. Know that return freight will be at your expense. Again, you will probably get a better deal from the manufacturer, or whoever else handling member service for that product.

Can Woot start listing sale prices in the blog entries?

No, not any time soon. Certain portions of our database have been seized by INTERPOL as part of an ongoing investigation into bootleg cigarette trafficking. Or, possibly, the Russian mafia has hacked our blog and disabled the price-listing function because it was somehow interfering with their spam operation. Or maybe we just don't feel like it. In any case, the answer is no.

Will Woot ever tell us how many units remain available in a given sale?

No. That would spoil the fun. But we will give you one hint, which brings us to...

Why is the "I Want One" button bouncing around?

Ah, that means we're in Urgent Mode. Act fast - a sellout is approaching! The bouncing button is like a nutty old prophet guy on the street wearing a signboard that says "THE END IS NIGH," only cleaner, less crazy, and more orange.

I see some orange flashing lights on the main page – what do they mean?

No, you aren't seeing a side effect from your allergy medication. You have found a Woot-Off, a short term frenzied mutation of our product posting procedure. In Woot-Off mode, a new product is launched immediately after the sellout of the previous deal. There is a half-Woot-life of 12 hours maximum on any product within a Woot-Off that does not sell out. The number of Woot-Off items, sequence, and quantity will not be announced. When Woot-Off mode is over, the orange lights will disappear and our normal schedule will resume. Depending on its success, this may be a mode we would go into once or twice a month for a relatively short duration of time (24-72 hours generally.)

Does Woot offer an RSS feed? Hey, what's an RSS feed anyway?

To answer your first question, yes. Simply subscribe to in your RSS reader to receive updates of all of our new items and new blog posts. Your life will immediately, measurably improve in ways you never thought possible.

To answer your second question: if you don't know what RSS is, how'd you ask the first question? Never mind; RSS is a way to receive headlines and article links whenever your favorite blogs and news sites update their content. All the cool kids are using it. To join in, you need to download and install an RSS reader – download your choice from this handy guide and follow the installation instructions. Once that's rolling, subscribe to You'll never miss a Woot again, unless you do something foolish like fall asleep.


How do I create a Woot account?
Scroll up to the top of this page where it says "Hi. Are you new?" Click "Start here." You will need to supply a valid email address, a password of your choice, and a unique community nickname by which you will be known. Then click on the "woot me" button and your account is ready for buying products and using the forums. If you plan to buy, you can add your credit card and shipping info to your account here. You can also add or change it later by clicking on "My Account." Only one account per email address and credit card number is allowed.

What payment options do I have?

You can pay for your orders using VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or Paypal. We do not accept checks, money orders, uncut gemstones, or broken promises.

What are my shipping options?

Currently, your shipping options are limited. An item can ship if you order it, or not ship if you don't. We will ship by common carrier and try to stick with the same service for most items. Right now, we are making Fed-Ex happy, but depending on a particular item, we could change to save cost.

How can I track my order?

Regardless of shipping method, you will get a tracking email once your order ships. You can check your order status by logging in and clicking the “My Account” tab at the top of the page. Your account page will list all your previous orders. Click on the order number to view tracking information for that order. Do not email us the next day asking when your item will ship. Take a breath. Have a cup of coffee. Patience in all things, grasshopper.

Why isn't my state/country/province listed; do you ship internationally?

No, we do not ship outside of the continental United States at this time. We do not ship to Canada, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming or Assinippi, Massachusetts at this time.

I'll take them all, what is my discount?

There is a maximum of 3 units purchased per order with 1 order per account each day. The shipping charge is only charged once so you'll save a slight amount on 2 or 3. You can't have them all. You have to share with the other boys and girls.

I'm a wholesaler/retailer/Bill Gates; can I buy from you in bulk?

No. You can buy a maximum of 3. Please don't ask again or we'll sprinkle some nasty microbes on your next order. Jeez, some people…


I see some kind of weird-looking pope hat on the main page. What's that about?

A Pope hat? Oh, that. It's supposed to be a rocket ship. In any case, that's our LAUNCH EVENT indicator! And boy, are you a lucky cuss. Spying the LAUNCH EVENT indicator is like catching sight of a leprechaun, or the elusive white whale. When you see it next to a Woot item, that item is available on Woot and nowhere else! Woot is the first and only place you can get such a doo-dad!

What do you mean “the first and only place?” Everything is attainable.

True, but assuming you're not a cat burglar, or an industrial spy, or the manufacturer's mistress, you won't have had an opportunity to pick up a Woot LAUNCH EVENT item before you see it here.

How come? Where do “LAUNCH EVENT” items come from?

It could be that you're looking at the item's initial market launch. Or it could be a special sneak preview just for Wooters. It could be that legislation banning the item has just expired. It could be that the item uses totally new technology bestowed upon us by a benevolent race of visiting aliens. (Overwhelmingly, it will be one of those first two.)

If this LAUNCH EVENT item isn't available anywhere else, how am I supposed to shop around and make comparisons?

Yeah, it sort of seems like you can't.

Why do you keep putting LAUNCH EVENT in all caps?

To fully convey its majesty.

Maybe I'll just wait until this item becomes more widely available, so I know what other users think of it.

If that's how you want to live your life, sure. Fine. There are those who would say that your type will inherit the earth. Until then, though, the rest of us will have all the coolest gizmos.


What is the Community?

The community section of Woot features four public forums. “Woots” is where we encourage everyone to post their comments, opinions, experiences, and share technical knowledge about each of our items. Does one of the items suck so bad that they should all be ritualistically burned en masse? Or perhaps a product rocks SO hard that everyone should sell their house, forget their past life, and buy a few of these up? You get the idea. “News” will carry announcements of new developments within the company, links to media pieces about Woot, that sort of thing. “Contests” is where our weekly contests will live, logically enough. And “Everything Else” is wide-open. This will be the only forum where users can start new topic discussions.

What's with the Blog?

Here, in the popular web log format, you'll find our daily items along with articles and links of interest to all our special little Wooters out there. Look for this section of the site to turn into quite the content carnival over the coming weeks. If you click on “comments” below a blog entry, you'll wind up at the forum discussion topic for that post.

How do I use the message board?

First, you will need a keyboard. Then you need a Woot account, which you can easily create by clicking “Start Here” or “My Account.” Once you're all logged in, simply go to “The Community,” click on the forum and topic in question, and then click on “Reply” or (in the Everything Else forum) “Post.” Feel free to let it fly, just keep it PG-13.

Which Woot staff people use the message boards?

We'll tell you, but you have to promise not to stalk us. As indicated by the fetching "Woot Staff Member" forum avatar, Snapster, Dave Bug, Luke Duff, Big D, Jason Toon, Solais, and Agnew are the real live Woot employees that you can rub e-shoulders with on the community boards. We've also recruited a few volunteer moderators and tagged them with a similar graphic. And any post by Administrator is official Woot bidness, too. Beware anybody else who seems to speak for us.

What is not allowed in the community?

First, the usual disclaimer – we're not responsible for the content of any user- submitted post in our community. In practice, we'll try to enforce some simple guidelines below. We want good and bad feedback and will not defend ourselves by means of censorship.
Do not post personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Do not post any advertising to which you are related or stand to profit from the referral. (This means any reference to another site must be on topic, such as a lower price found, a product review, articles of particular interest to Wooters, etc.)
Do not post fake reviews (good or bad) of a product you have not physically used or seen used firsthand. Feel free to post what you've heard, just try to be clear and upfront about it.
Do not post anything that isn't safe for work, or safe for kids. Again, think PG-13. We're sure you're aware that there are plenty of forums on the web that would love to have your smut. This is not one of them, and we'll enforce it. Complain about it too much and we'll tell your grandma what a sicko you are.
Do not include any graphics in your signature that are larger than 5K in filesize, or in any other way obnoxious.
We know spamming and forum vandalism when we see it. We will enjoy ruthlessly destroying it. So bring it, chumps! Bring it!


What is this "podcast" you speak of?

It's an audio broadcast in mp3 form - basically an RSS feed that talks. The deal is, you use podcast software to subscribe to the podcasts you want to hear (more on that in a moment). Every time that podcast releases a new mp3 "episode", your software automatically downloads it for your listening pleasure. But seeing as how that's a pretty big hassle, we also let you directly download individual podcasts by clicking on the exclamation-point graphic to the left of the podcast title. And you can hit the "play" button on the little player just below the title to listen to a streaming version. All of these controls can be found on the front page of the site, and in the first post in that day's forum discussion. (Yes, past podcasts are still available for download through their respective forum discussions, hopefully forever.)

Why would I want to hear the Woot podcast?

Our podcast will pop up every weekday at midnight, to tell you about the new woot for the day, and to deliver an original song, skit, or other chunk of Woot-grade humor. They're all created by Matthew, one of the guys responsible for writing the famous Woot product descriptions.

So, the podcast is just somebody reading the product description from the site?

No, no no! Let us say it again: it will deliver an original song, skit, or other chunk of Woot-grade humor, five days a week. The sensibility will be the same, but the gags will all be fresh and exclusive.

I'm convinced. How can I subscribe to the Woot podcast?

If you want to use iTunes, click here and iTunes will start the process, all automatic-like. If you're hip to the game and you want to manually paste the URL of our podcast feed into iTunes or another podcast client, use, the same as our RSS feed. Our wise, witty, wonderful podcasts will begin appearing in your library every night like magical elves of pure sound. Enjoy.

Do I have to use an iPod or iTunes?

No. Don't be fooled by the name – podcasting is not just an Apple thing. The open-source partisans among you can use iPodder to download your podcasts, then play them however you play mp3s: on your computer's media software, your portable digital music player, whatevs. Just follow iPodder's instructions for subscribing. Or you can Google "podcast client" and see what you come up with. The point is, don't write off podcasting just because you're not down with the Jobs crew.

Can I hear the Woot podcast without going through the subscription process?

Why, yes. As we said above, you can also manually download an individual podcast mp3 by clicking the button next to the podcast title, or you can hear a streaming version by clicking the play button on the player. And both of those options are available on either Woot's front page and in the first post in that item's forum discussion. It's so easy, the only acceptable excuse for not listening is "I am a total lameoid who hates fun."


Where are you guys located?

In the hearts of gadget-loving skinflints everywhere, which happens to be just outside Dallas, Texas. A statistically insignificant few of us are based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Do you have a privacy policy? Is it a secret?

Yes, we do, and no, it's not a secret. Read it in full.

Can I work for Woot?

We don't know – can you? Check out our job listings and you tell us. We're not a huge operation, but we do have need of a few good homos sapiens from time to time. Repeatedly applying for jobs you are clearly not qualified for is a good way to wind up in our never-hire file

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