play-asia.com/news
21. Aug, 2010 13:49 (HKT)

Pre-Ordering @ Play-Asia.com - Explanation and Apology - A.C.E.: Another Century's Episode R


Recently, with the release of A.C.E.: Another Century's Episode R, some flaws in our pre-order management have been exposed. Please read through this letter and please rest assured that we take all the necessary steps to not have this matter repeated again in the future.

What went wrong

Cause A
Many of you are placing pre-orders to ensure smooth and earliest delivery. Pre-ordering also helps us to gauge customer interest in a product and to use this as a forecast of how big our purchase orders need to be. But placing purchase orders can be a nerve-wrecking business for our purchasers because they can never get right. Buy too many and we sit on stock that is selling slowly or not at all, buy too little and we can't ship out to you and you are angry with us with every right of being so. Plus purchasers need to place their orders many months in advance. Our purchases where, although barely enough under perfect circumstances, on the low side.

Cause B
A simple way to decide in which priority orders are shipped is by having the order with smaller order number shipped first. This is a very simple thing to do and we have followed this for many years. However, around a year ago, we changed our tactics slightly and did not only use the order number for priority evaluation, but a mix of order number and order modification log. As many of you know, an order at Play-Asia.com can be changed before it is being shipped. Say, a customer who pre-orders Item #1 very early on, but not Item #2, will be early in the pre-order list, regardless of which items they may add to the order at a later stage. If they then choose to change the order to include Item #2 they would get it shipped before others although they didn't order Item #2 until very late. We felt this was unfair to those who order their items early on and this is why this change has been made.

Cause C
Our main shipment was unfortunately delayed in Japan and thus only additional, smaller shipments arrived.

What happened
Now, combine a poor purchasing forecast from A, with our operation procedures as laid out in B, and a shipping delay from C, we had a situation where not many orders at all could be shipped on release day. On top of that, many orders did not ship that should have as our procedures put less emphasis on the order number. In fact, since we established this procedure a year ago we have never had much complaint but at the same time never faced a situation where our main shipment was delayed and only small secondary shipments arrived until 3 days past release date.

Conclusion
1. We have reverted our systems back to order number based and will monitor to make sure that those who order early are also getting their products early. We have also in planning more features to make your pre-order experience a better one and will update all our customers about these changes in the near future.

2. We will improve our purchasing operations to not have this unfortunate event of missing of the main shipment delaying all orders again.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused and hope it can be forgiven. As a token of appreciation, all orders of A.C.E. : Another Century's Episode R that ship on Saturday 21st of August will include a small free gift.

As an update on the shipping situation of said game, all pre-orders clear today and we receive further stock on Tuesday which will cover the pending orders and we forecast to ship new orders from stock on Wednesday, August 25th.



Please continue to give us your support and pre-order from us in the future.




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