Recently, Xiaomi announced its plans to launch the new model – Mi 8 in UK. Yesterday as the company was fulfilling its promise for its fans in the United Kingdom, the event was both a hilarious and an embarrassing one.
The company was criticised for UK smartphone £1 flash sale.
As part of what was termed as a “crazy deals promotion”, the company advertised two of its new Mi 8 handset for £1 each. This was during the launch in UK.
But only two or three phones were involved in the flash sale as it had emerged, and on its website, the company had posts a status saying: “sold out”, as soon as the sale opened.
The UK’s watchdog claimed that there was a complaint which it had received regarding the flash sale and was now making a decision on whether to start investigations.
According to Xiaomi, it has high hopes that its customers would not be discouraged from actively participating in future campaigns.
“As one way of giving our lucky few customers a chance to get their hands on our smartphones at incredible pocket-friendly prices, we have held a flash sale worldwide since our first one which was held back in the year 2013”, said the company spokesperson.
It is also notable that this was the first flash sale that was held by the Xiaomi in the UK, and it attracted vast levels of demand, far beyond the expectation of the company.
“We are very sorry that a large number of Xiaomi fans missed out this time round, but it is our hope that in our future flash sales, they will not be left out and when we make announcement on the same”, added the spokesperson.
As a relatively cheap way which is used by the company to attract attention of the fans and potential buyers and to gauge demand, Xiaomi had decided to base its business model on selling its new devices at a very low profit margins and the company has regularly held flash sales in other markets.
Typically, Xiaomi offers a good number of its hardware at more realistic prices when doing so. But even last year in Spain – when it was conducting a similar €1 (88p) event, the company had decided to provide 50 units.
By contrast, only three phone piece were used in the two UK flash sales, while two follow-ups were limited to only two units. On the main sales page, this fact was not mentioned. Instead, users were provided with a link that led to its terms and conditions, positioned at the foot of the site where users had to scroll halfway through them.
On Xiaomi’s social media page – Facebook to be particular, dozens of users raised complains after they had failed to obtain a handset.
“For a company worth around $50bn launching a brand new country and making a big deal about it, they could have done 50 easily. They didn’t. They’ll lose potential customers over this”, wrote Simon Hodge.