David, thanks very much for your response, and your patience with my flagging patience. I’m glad we agree that it is the responsibility of the software handling registration and claiming to ensure that invalid records are not created. As to the “someone who didn’t provide an email address,” well, there was nobody thumbing the touchscreen but me. I would swear that I responded appropriately to the prompts. But I write software for a living, so I understand the significance of a user who is certain they did everything right.
In the vein of constructive criticism, let me offer this: I love the concept of the Spark Core, and the look, feel, and general design the hardware as well as of the web pages that support it are absolutely top-notch. I’ve no doubt that the the talent and brainpower behind all this will make it work.
But consider: someone who orders and pays for a Spark Core, retaining documentation of the purchase, has everything they need to pursue a refund today. (Please be assured that I am not considering that! I mention it only as an example.) It’s simply not reasonable to tell a customer who has already waited ten days that they must continue to wait indefinitely while policy is hashed out to be sure that they truly own the device that they wish to claim.
It seems to me that one of the following approaches would make this sort of case less disruptive both to Spark and its customers in the future:
1: Track the device IDs with shipments, so that the owner of the device can be verified via payment information, shipping address, invoice number, or some other reasonably secret information;
2: Ship replacement units to people who have waited unreasonably long times for the “release” of a device that they thought they already owned. Let the customer cross-ship the unclaimable device, and (if you wish) charge them for the new unit if the old one isn’t returned;
3: If standard policy results in an undue delay for the customer, make a human exception and do whatever is necessary to verify and release the unit, without making the customer wait indefinitely for Spark to refine their business processes.
Thanks again for your time and attention. I look forward to a speedy resolution of this issue.