Propellerhead admits it "screwed up" Reason 6 launch

Ernst Nathorst-Böös: he's sorry.
Ernst Nathorst-Böös: he's sorry.

In a display of disarming honesty, Propellerhead Software CEO Ernst Nathorst-Böös has written an open letter to customers apologising for the problems that many of them have experienced when trying to purchase Reason 6.

The software has been available since 30 September (as have Reason Essentials and the Balance audio interface), but it seems that the sheer volume of traffic to Propellerhead's online store was more than it could handle.

This came as a result of the company's time-limited 'pay what you want' Reason 6 upgrade offer, and further problems have plagued the company's email servers.

The good news is that these issues are now on the way to being resolved and no previous orders have been lost: everyone who's paid will get their license. However, Nathorst-Böös admits to being "incredibly sorry and thoroughly embarrassed" about what's happened.

You can read the letter here: the full text is as follows:

Dear customers,

We screwed up.

On Friday, September 30th we released Reason 6, Reason Essentials and Balance. The good news is that there was an overwhelming positive response from you, our customers. We're extremely grateful. We have never had as many visits to our web page and nowhere close to as much traffic to our on-line store, as the Pay What You Want upgrade generated.

The bad news is that our back-end systems weren't ready for it. First, the on-line store server started misbehaving. We worked through the night troubleshooting. On Friday we updated and fixed the code that was the root to the problem. From then on, the basic systems have been working, as far as we are aware. Unfortunately for another forty-eight hours or so, our connection to PayPal exhibited severe problems, leading to orders not being fulfilled as expected. However no orders have been lost. We think we have that problem under control know, but to be honest, we're not entirely sure.

We worked all over the weekend to fix the remaining problems and to help stranded customers. However, what we didn't know until last night was that another resulting effect of the original problem was that we had thousands of emails that had not been sent out (our servers thought we were under a spam attack!). The bulk of this was emails to customers, including various types of confirmation email. But a substantial number messages from you to us, you asking us for support on your order.

We understand that this is all unacceptable. We're a company who pride ourselves in making products that really work. While that is still true, it apparently did not extend to the infrastructure around them, and we are incredibly sorry and thoroughly embarrassed about it.

We are currently working on all aspects of this problem. As a matter of fact, most of us here in the office are doing nothing else. We have hired externals, pulled in all the people we can from other departments - such as product management and development - to get things working and your questions answered.

Here's the short form:

Orders placed with us now are going through normally.

  • We currently recommend direct credit card payment (as opposed to PayPal), since they are processed faster.
  • No one is losing their money. If you have placed an order with us, you will get your product and your license, if you haven't already.
  • We have not lost any orders. If you have placed an order with us and you have not received your product, license or a confirmation email, believe us, we know about your problem and we are doing all that is in our power to get back to you as soon as we can.

We will continue to post status updates on FaceBook and Twitter as we work through all the aspects of this problem. Of course you are free to email us with whatever questions you might have, but please understand that it will take some time before we can respond.

With sincere apologies,

Ernst Nathorst-Böös

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.