Catchoftheday.com.au – Shamefull

29 10 2008

For a while now CatchOfTheDay.com.au (COTD) has been advertising a birthday bash where they were going to offer up a number of items at huge discounts. Sounds too good to be true? It is.

From 12:00pm today the site has been running like a dog, frequently down and unresponsive. Tonight, I finally managed to get the page to load, and to see something I was interested in buying. So I clicked on Buy Now. After entering my credit card details and confirming the purchase I was confronted by this:

image

Notice the sold out at the bottom.  After providing my credit card details which were accepted the site went on to say that it had sold out.

I along with several hundred other potential customers of COTD are extremely unhappy. COTD management, there are some important lessons to learn here:

  • Don’t over advertise. If there are only four items up for grabs, say so. Bait and switching is a scam.
  • Make sure your site can handle the load, maybe move off PHP and onto Azure? 😉
  • Consider changing the flow of your site, like Ticketmaster. If you manage to buy something, that’s it you have got it. Hand over the rest of the transaction to other servers. If the user fails to pay within a set time, return it to the pool. You have the ability to do this in the 1 hour window per catch
  • Events like this can hurt as well as improve your name if they are not managed correctly

Oh and one final thing, I had  better not be charged for the item on my credit card or I am going to be REALLY REALLY unhappy.

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