What happened is that we wanted to give Germany a boost and I blogged an article that said that we had chosen Germany and Austria, the countries with the most reliable FONeros, to implement the FON Promise. The objective here was to quickly establish ourselves as the number one network in Germany ahead of T-Mobile. With Austria, since Austrians speak German, we felt that they would feel bad if they saw the web site in German promoting an offer that they could not get, so we brought them along for the ride.
A day later I posted that we had received 1800 Fonera orders and that we were getting close to beating T-Mobile. By October 22nd we were up to 5000 foneras, way passed our targets and I became slightly concerned that we could run out of foneras, especially since Korea was also growing very nicely with the same Fonero Promise system. Six day later we realized at FON that we had to manufacture many more Foneras and that we´d better end the free offer, because we were running out of routers. I decided to do this quietly, posting only in this blog and not sending out a press release. But quietly is relative as the German bloggers hacked us….in a friendly way.
What happened is that many blogs posted the news that we were ONLY going to give the free Foneras away until this Friday and then the price was going up to 29 euros and, instead of slowing down demand, the effect was the opposite. Demand accelerated and only yesterday we got orders for 1400 access points. And looking at the Statcounter for the Fonera Promise in German I see that today we are likely to get at least 1000 more Fonera orders today.
Now this is what we are going to do at FON. Just like the Fonero Promise in German says “Ja ich will” (yes I will) leave my Fonera and Germans and Austrians are making the promise in enormous numbers, I will make my own promise as FON´s founder and say Ja ich will deliver as many free Fonera orders that we get by Friday at midnight.
But as opposed to the Foneras that were first ordered and already received in Germany in less than 3 days, what I cannot promise is that it will not take us up to 60 days to deliver the HUGE order flow we are getting now. But since they are free, including free shipping, I hope some FONero patience can be expected. And again, thanks to all the German FONeros for the enthusiasm!
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars