Google reversed itself after a public outcry of foul play on its decision to offer a one-time $5 credit for any video purchased via its soon to be terminated Google Videos.
“We take pride in moving quickly, and we think this philosophy helps to create lots of new and innovative products. But it also leads to errors that — upon reflection and your feedback — we need to rectify. This was one of them. We make mistakes; we do our best not to repeat them — and we really do try to fix the ones we make. That said, the very least that our users should expect from us is that our mistakes be new and innovative, too.”
This response was posted on Google’s blog and in my opinion is a pretty darn good apology with some humor thrown in. Nicely done for a company that is growing in leaps and bounds yet still has the feel of the little guy sometimes (or some good PR flacks).
Below is the ill-fated email some consumers of Google’s download to own products:
As a valued Google user, we’re contacting you with some important information about the videos you’ve purchased or rented from Google Video. In an effort to improve all Google services, we will no longer offer the ability to buy or rent videos for download from Google Video, ending the DTO/DTR (download-to-own/rent) program. This change will be effective August 15, 2007.
To fully account for the video purchases you made before July 18, 2007, we are providing you with a Google Checkout bonus for $2.00. Your bonus expires in 60 days, and you can use it at the stores listed here: http://www.google.com/checkout/signupwelcome.html. The minimum purchase amount must be equal to or greater than your bonus amount, before shipping and tax.
After August 15, 2007, you will no longer be able to view your purchased or rented videos.
If you have further questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your continued support.
The Google Video Team