Irate customers thrash retailers over empty #BlackFriday promises

2017-11-24 09:11 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Johannesburg - Scores of disgruntled online shoppers took to social media to lambaste e-commerce websites over crashes on Black Friday. 

High traffic volumes shut down major online shopping stores, including Takealot.com and numerous websites from the The Foschini Group, including Sportscene, Markham and @Home. 

Takealot has since posted a message on its site which reads: “Sorry, our store is full right now. There are so many customers shopping, we can't squeeze everyone in. Please be patient and come back in a few minutes.”

Since 00:01 on Friday morning, online retailers have been experiencing numerous issues amid a barrage of discounts across various platforms for Black Friday.

Veeam, an information technology company that creates disaster recovery and data management software for firms, warned on Thursday that online retailers face massive brand reputational damage if their websites are hit by downtime when the rush of Black Friday hits.

Veeam regional manager for Africa Claude Schuck said: “It takes years to build a reputation, and only a few seconds of downtime to cause massive damage toward a brand.”

Veeam’s 2017 Availability Report shows that unplanned downtime costs organisations around the world an average of R270m annually, up from the R210m of the previous year.

Despite online retailers' preparations for the spike in traffic volumes, many failed to keep up with the demand, with numerous websites reporting downtime, leaving irate customers. 

Takealot took to Twitter to apologise to scores of users, who had experienced issues accessing and purchasing items from the website from the early hours of the morning. This drew a backlash from followers.

“The @TAKEALOT website and apps are temporarily down due to overwhelming volumes. We’re working hard to resolve the issue and we hope to have the site operational as soon as possible. We apologise for any disappointment and we’ll have you back shopping ASAP,” the e-commerce platform said in a tweet. 

Here is a collection of responses to the tweet:

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