Microsoft apologizes for Cashback glitches

Crush of traffic on Black Friday leads shoppers to encounter problems ranging from site sluggishness to the wrong amount of cash back showing in their account.

Tech Culture

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 percent discount when visiting through Microsoft's Live Search Cashback. Some shoppers, however, reported seeing only a 3 percent 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 apologize for our customers' inconvenience."

A Microsoft representative said the company is in the process of going back to make sure the proper cash back amount is credited.

Live Search Cashback was launched in May as a way for Microsoft to try to boost its share of commerce-related search queries. Instead of taking in revenue on a pay-per-click model, Microsoft gets advertisers to agree to pay in the form of a certain percentage of any resulting sale. For now, anyway, Microsoft is giving that entire amount back to consumers as "cash back."

Separately, Microsoft said on Monday that some users will be able to get cash back instantly on eBay purchases, as opposed to having to wait the 60 days that is standard on Live Cashback.

Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF