Huawei to offer S$100 voucher to 5,000 customers who did not get to buy S$54 promotion smartphone

Chinese tech company Huawei said that it will be giving out S$100 Huawei smartphone vouchers to those affected by the recent S$54 National Day promotion that went south.

In a media statement yesterday (30 July), the company apologised for the inconvenience and wishes to “make it right” for everyone by extending a S$100 voucher to the 5,000 affected customers who have registered at its stores between 26 – 28 July 2019.

These individuals will be contacted by Huawei’s team within a fortnight from 2 August 2019. Other than those who have managed to leave their name with the stores, it will also be trying to reach out to those who queued at the stores but were not able to leave their particulars.

Huawei noted that the vouchers – $500,000 to be given out in total – are applicable on selected models including Y6 Pro, Nova 3i, P30 Pro, P30, P30 Lite, Mate 20 X, Mate 20 Pro, and Mate 20.

With regards to the botched promotion, the company said, “We had prepared approximately 2,000 handsets but clearly underestimated the overall customer demand, resulting in a poor consumer experience for those trying to buy the phone.”

“We did not carefully consider our customers’ well-being enough and should have been better prepared for this promotion,” it added.

The promotion launched last Friday (26 July) was intended to be a three-day promotion to commemorate Singapore’s 54th birthday whereby Singaporean citizens and permanent residents aged 50 and above can purchase the Huawei Y6 Pro 2019 at a discounted price of S$54 (retail price at $198) at all Huawei Concept Stores island-wide and selected retailers.

However, the promotion ended within hours of the first day itself after the stocks of the phone completely ran out at every Huawei store.

What’s more, it was reported that the customers who queued up for the phone were told by staff at the participating stores that only 20 to 30 units were allocated to each outlet.

In response to that, Huawei said that each store was given a different stock-allocation based on its historical sales records. For instance, bigger retailer outlets including Courts and Challenger would have approximately 100 sets for its respective stores while some heartland stores (HDB areas) would have 20 to 30 sets.

When asked about claims surrounding the over-promising advertisements by the company on the promotions, its spokesperson shared that the company had only bought one adverting slot on the Chinese evening papers, three social posts, and a note including Terms and Conditions shared on its Facebook fanpage here.

Perhaps what Huawei did not realise is that, other than the company’s advertisement and social post, media outlets picked up on the story and went virally in a manner that no one would have expected. Friends were sharing the news on WhatsApp and via word of mouth. Even after the promotion has been canceled, people continued to talk about the promotion in the coffee shops and on public transportation.

Netizens have also questioned if Huawei had been dishonest with the claim that its stocks were sold out as videos and photos have been circulated online, showing that the Y6 Pro model was still on sale after the promotion has ended.

In response to TOC’s query on such claims, its spokesperson explained that only 27 stores around the island participated in its promotion and the other stores which did not take part in the promotion, were continuing its sales with their own existing stock.

All in all, Huawei acknowledged “that a better plan should have been in place”, and it will strive to be “more prudent” in its future decisions and actions.

“It is our customers’ loyalty and trust that continue to contribute to Huawei’s success in Singapore and we will continue to provide the best products and experience as always.”

The company also stated that it is collaborating with the Consumers Association of Singapore and the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore over the promotion as well as to address prior concerns.