Yes, the Future Shop Boxing Day Sale started on Christmas Eve, right in the middle of key family time. Instead of tucking in to board games, tourtiere and carols with the kids, people were left clicking, refreshing and waiting for the site to load.
That was me, as I wrote last year:
“It’s now almost 10:30p, some 5 1/2 hours after the sale started and they’ve only sold 400 of the extra cheap iPod shuffles. Something tells me lots of people got screwed on this, gave up and went to bed. Good news, I got my iPod and SD HC dirt cheap. Now I get to go downstairs and wrap presents.
Still not happy I sweated over 45mins of disconnects and stalling and crap at 5p though.”
[Future Shop Boxing Day Sale]
So what has Future Shop planned for 2008? The same.damn.thing.
Here are the details for the 2008 Future Shop Boxing Day Sale
They have recognized the problems of last year by trying to have users do some trouble shooting ahead of time with these tips:
Update your account information
Sign up for Verified by Visa
Take an early online peek at the deals
Watch for web only specials
Queue up for the best deals
Dont give up!
That last point almost acknowledges they will have the same problems as before.
Last year, after hanging and hanging and hanging, I ended up waiting weeks and weeks for my memory card and iPod shuffle. It wasn’t until I pulled rank with PR and media people from Future Shop that I finally got my items delivered. It was a gong show at every turn.
But the big FAIL remains the sale start time. 8p/5p on Christmas Eve? That’s family time. That’s personal time. Start the sale at midnight Christmas Day/Boxing Day after all the family stuff is done – Christmas Eve is just a little offside.
The Future Shop Boxing Day flyer will be released on December 23, I’ll post it then.
**UPDATE** December 22
Here’s an email response I’ve received to the above post from Future Shop:
“I wanted to send a note and let you know that the online Boxing Day Tips were not an indication that we anticipate problems with the site. In fact, we’ve made a significant investment in the site, and our team has spent the last few months upgrading the infrastructure to support the volume of traffic anticipated. Although the volume of shoppers was unprecedented last year, we are anticipating an additional 30% increase in traffic this year.
We heard the feedback to last year and we have responded. Online shopping is growing rapidly, especially with a trusted company like Future Shop. We have aggressively tested the site and are working diligently in the days leading up to Boxing Day with our E-Commerce Teams, Call Centre, and external partners including Canada Post that we deliver a better experience for our customers.”