Virtual reality tech finally works, and consumers are buying into it, but the biggest hurdle now is figuring out shipping logistics.
The HTC Vive VR headset is the latest device to suffer delays, and the Taiwanese manufacturing company has taken to its blog to answer some questions that its frustrated customers are asking. In the update, the company acknowledged that it is experiencing “multiple issues,” and that it sees people asking for answers on message boards and forums. But HTC also reiterated that it will ship customers their Vive on time. If you preordered a Vive and the company’s site said it had an expected arrival of April, then it will ship in April. The Vive is not the only VR headset going through these problems. Samsung does not plan to deliver the Gear VR headsets for Galaxy S7 smartphone preorders until this summer, and Oculus VR is still struggling to get its Rift headset (which launched at the end of March) out at a steady pace. For an industry that tech adviser Digi-Capital predicts will generate $30 billion in spending by 2020, these are some rough times that are likely setting a poor first impression for some of the most dedicated early adopters.
“We understand that multiple issues have arisen in the past two days and we are working hard to resolve them as quickly and efficiently as possible,” reads the HTC blog. “We appreciate your patience as we identify these issues and work to solve them.”
But in addition to asking for patience, HTC also debunked some theories people were coming up with on forum’s like Reddit’s Vive message board. One common refrain is that HTC is processing and shipping PayPal orders before credit card orders. The company says that’s not the case.
“Both credit card and PayPal orders are currently shipping,” reads the blog. “There is no difference in order fulfillment based on the payment method used. We have a first in, first out policy for Vive order fulfillment. There were a small number of orders at the beginning of April that were processed out of sequential order. However, we have corrected the situation and all future shipments will be sent in the order in which they were received.”
Other people are frustrated that they paid for express shipping but ended up getting an economy-shipping service. HTC says it will refund the difference in cost. This is in comparison to Oculus, which is not charging for shipping on any order made on April 2 or earlier.
Finally, HTC once again confirmed that it is on track to get the devices out to everyone on the original schedule.
“Vive order fulfillment is on track without delays, so you don’t need to do a thing,” reads the blog.
The subtext here is that you can still go online and complain if you want. It’s what I would do.