Boxing Day Online Sales Disaster

Yay, the online Boxing Day Sales start tonight. First it’s NCIX.com at 7pm, then BestBuy and Futureshop at 8pm.

6:55pm – Getting geared up for NCIX.com’s online Boxing Day sale. Mouse clicking finger is going through its final stretches.
6:59pm – Ctrl+F5 starts.
7:00pm – No deals up yet, but server’s awfully slow.
7:08pm – Server is completely dead. Beautiful error message: “Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in C:ncixweb_includespromosale.php on line 2”
7:13pm – Server’s still flaky. I can get a refresh in every few minutes, but the deals still aren’t up.
7:16pm – Uh oh, I think something’s broken… Now the message in large font: “Service Unavailable“.
7:24pm – New error again… “Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)” to the whole NCIX.com domain. 🙁
7:33pm – Server is back up. Unfortunately, there’s a application server error, so I’m seeing an old page. Booerns. 27 minutes until Futureshop/BestBuy.
7:46pm – Site is working fine… aside from the fact that I can’t add anything to my cart. What a disaster.
7:55pm – I’ve decided to give up. NCIX’s site still doesn’t work.
7:58pm – Onto Bestbuy and Futureshop now. I’m lucky I’ve been trying to add to my cart over the past couple minutes as I now have 4 things in there. Attempting to check out.
8:00pm – This must be the new checkout feature. I’m sitting in a queue at BestBuy. 74% so far.
8:02pm – Got through the queue, but got kicked back to my cart. Retrying.
8:03pm – What a disaster. I can’t even get into the checkout queue anymore. It just automatically returns me back to the cart.
8:15pm – After trying Futureshop and BestBuy for the last 15 minutes, with no success, I’m thinking this may be a completely write-off.
8:40pm – Still trying Futureshop and BestBuy with no luck, but NCIX.com is back up and running. Buying, buying, buying.
9:07pm – It’s now been over 2 hours since I started at NCIX.com and still, I have not been able to buy a single item.
9:09pm – While waiting, it’s funny to note that BestBuy has been randomly putting things in my cart and redirecting me to random pages. For example, I had two Logitech keyboard/mice sets and I got redirected to a Sony LCD TV page on my way to the checkout. Maybe they’re trying to push their wares? 😉
9:24pm – Nothing works. Still.
9:32pm – Success! NCIX.com has accepted my order. Finally. Still no such luck at Futureshop or BestBuy. I’ve signed up at the Futureshop Forums to shoot the breeze with fellow shoppers waiting for the server to un-brick itself.
10:14pm – Another. BestBuy has started processing orders and I just got my order through.
10:17pm – Futureshop as well now. Moving through the queue. Currently ~60%.
10:31pm – Almost a successful evening. Futureshop queue’s at nearly 90% now. Gogogogogogo.
10:45pm – What the – after I entered my credit card details and pressed the next button, the page errors. “An error has occurred while servicing your request. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.” Great.
10:56pm – Finally. Everything ordered.

What an ordeal. Sometimes I wonder though – I may be better off if the sites didn’t work. Here’s the damage tonight.

NCIX.com
2x2GB OCZ PC2-6400 Platinum
Linksys WRT54GL
HDMI cable
Diamond Radeon HD3850 256MB

Future Shop
Samsung SCX-4200 Laser Multifunction
TrekStor 500GB external HDD

BestBuy
Sandisk 4GB Ultra II SDHC
Westinghouse 24″ LCD (MVA panel)

Yeah, ouch. Merry Christmas, everyone.

3 thoughts on “Boxing Day Online Sales Disaster”

  1. Guy, I completely feel your pain. I waited anxiously at my computer to get the Canon Rebel Xti and when 8:00 rolled around… well basically I had a very similar experience to you. At one point they had put like 400 dollars worth of computer peripherals in my cart. Anyway at like 10 or 1030 my order went through, but I’m expecting a really long time before I get my purchase.

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