Best Buy blames website 'blizzard' on tax calculator
Nov 19, 2012 (Pioneer Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Best Buy says its website got tripped up Monday, Nov.19, trying to calculate some of the sales taxes on Black Friday specials that it offers online ahead of time for its Reward Zone customers, and that caused long waits in the online checkout lines.
"The site continued to perform well in terms of traffic," Best Buy spokeswoman Amy Von Walter said, emphasizing that the website never crashed.
Looks like someone needs to do a better job at capacity planning #bestbuy twitter.com/rpodeschi/stat
-- RJ Podeschi (@rpodeschi) November 19, 2012
"The issue was the tax calculator, which caused a delay for some customers," she said. Von Walter did not have information on which sales taxes caused the delay.
The problem was fixed in about an hour, she said.
"Customers who placed orders and experienced a delay will receive expedited shipping," Von Walter said.
Took a full hour, but I finally got through on the website for #bestbuy. Grateful for early access, frustrated by poor website maintenance
-- Brad Rohrer (@bradrohrer) November 19, 2012
Result!!!! After rapidly pressing F5 for 20min #BestBuy site came up! Laptop ordered!
-- Nile Smith (@Like_the_River) November 19, 2012
Von Walter said the website experienced "unprecedented traffic" but that in tests, Best Buy's site handled twice the traffic from last year's Black Friday. She said she did not have information immediately available on the number of Monday visits.
She said the Richfield-based electronics retail giant has 40 million customers enrolled in its Reward Zone loyalty program.
Reward Zone members are allowed to order Black Friday specials ahead of time.
Twitter was aflame with angry shopper comments Monday morning when that didn't go as planned.
Hey #BestBuy -- get your act together. Web site sale items don't exist, premier line hangs up every call. I'm becoming a former customer.
-- mwitthaus (@mwitthaus) November 19, 2012
The #BestBuy website is a joke. If you're going to advertise a promotion, make sure to have the capacity to support visitors.
-- Ryan Ellis (@ellisgolf) November 19, 2012
Best Buy on Friday had the Nos. 1 and 2 most searched items for Black Friday deals, according to a survey by the shopping website FatWallet.com. Those items were for a Toshiba 40-inch TV and a Lenovo laptop.
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