When a consumer agrees ahead of time to allow a company to ship a product by a specific date, but then gets upset before that day even arrives is a much stronger example of something being badly handled, by the consumer.
The last thing I ever pre-ordered, before Oculus Touch, was Age of Conan Collector's Edition back in 2008. Pre-ordering in the Info Tech world, especially gaming, has been a nightmare historically.
There is a real reason for it. As a software engineer for nearly 20 years I've seen this happen eleventy thousand times, even with banks, retailers, hardware manufacturers, digital goods, vehicle producers like Toyota.
Why does it happen? Usually because there is not a centralized system in place nor a policy driven infrastructure driving Supply Chain and Customer Relationship management solutions. These two terms are multi-million dollar industries in themselves. Simply put: there is one system recording the orders taken from the Oculus Pre-Order web page, there is another system managing inventory, another system handling manufacturing, and yet another system responsible for shipping.
That's why it is wrong to think about these things as a FIFO queue. The reality is that all of our orders exist as electrons bouncing around a bucket. And they get dumped in to other buckets as part of data processing.
Agreed that this is not the greatest "win" that a company could ever hope for; however, all things considered (e.g. the overwhelmingly positive response on a global scale consumers are experiencing with Touch)... it's pretty badass. Or more specifically: the reason people are angry despite the fact that they agreed to wait until December 15th for shipping, is because everyone else is so damn happy who received theirs already.
When you're product is so good that other people are angry that they don't have it yet... that's a win in and of itself!
My last two cents on this is that they could have done a better job answering peoples tickets even by just saying that they're working on it, the complete silence is what bothered me the most and it was the reason why I cancelled my order and went with BestBuy, and guess what, I'm getting Touch today!
I think it is all about expectations and managing them. If you got a shipping window of 6 to 15 december one would think / can expect that a pre-order of 30 seconds after pre-orders start would be handled before the 9th. It now looks like they haven't shipped any NOT prioritised pre-orders.
Elegantly stated @dkatrencik
I just now watched the video where the CEO makes his statement, and here it is in its entirety:
"It is launching today so everyone is receiving their pre-orders today"