1999 All Over Again: Wal-Mart Can't Keep Its Online Site Up

from the every-day-low-prices-on-bandwidth,-please dept

It's feeling more and more like 1999 all over again. We aren't just seeing signs of a new bubble in action, but some of the same internet problems from around that time are coming back as well. While we already heard about special "doorbuster" promotions knocking out e-commerce sites, apparently Walmart.com is having trouble keeping up with typical holiday traffic of folks searching for this year's version of the Elmo doll. Those types of downtime for e-commerce sites during the holiday rush were fairly common in 1999... at which point all of the sites insisted they had learned their lesson and invested in much better infrastructure. Apparently, someone forgot to tell Wal-Mart.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Stu, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 3:10pm

    It's that cheap imported web hosting.

    (Just kidding)

    (I think)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Erv Server, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    online sales

    Wal Mart don't want people shopping on their website, they want them to come into the store so they can sell more cheap stuff

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    NeoAmericana, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 3:31pm

    Welcome to the world of today.

    This isn't really any shock is it? How often do companies overbook on bandwidth and servers in an accurate anticipation of traffic? Slash . maybe?

    It's not worth it to these companies to overestimate what their potential traffic MIGHT be for a year. They're in this to make money, and money they shall make, regardless of webpage downtimes. People complained when World Of Warcraft experienced essentially the same issues when it was released, but Blizzard simply had more customers than they had anticipated.

    Last I checked, you don't get a refund for unused bandwidth either.

    But, this is America, home of the bitching consumer that expects everything to be instant and low cost while staying easy to use. Sorry folks, can't have it all... although I have a feeling you'll continue to cry like you think you can...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Brian, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 3:44pm

    infrastructure

    Thats because walmart had cut their labor so low they had to export it to India. GREAT JOB!!!!!!!

    Hope you site stays down.

    If you weren't sure before I am in tech support which lost their job twice to Indian based companies.

    Guess how happy I am.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Chris, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 4:02pm

    Re: infrastructure

    Why don't you upgrade your skills to something that is not exportable. Like BA, UI Design, Systems development, etc. No offense, but I would think you would learn your lesson after the first time your job position was outsourced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    oliver, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 4:05pm

    who is to blame for that?

    You, figuratively. When forces band together to artificially inflate the value of a given commodity (in this case, labor), the customer (in this case, Wal-Mart) is going to shop somewhere else. If you want to continue being fed, don't bite the hand that feeds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Paul, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 4:08pm

    ...

    techdirt is making crappy news posts with zippy unrelated titles without the full story, it truely is 1999 all over again!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:41pm

    Wal-Mart

    Maybe to slow things down, they should hire some Web Greeters

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Mischa, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:46pm

    Re: ...

    What part of the title doesn't relate to the post? The Wal-Mart not being able it's site up or the fact that these problems also occurred in 1999?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Mischa, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:52pm

    They did...

    Did they have any problems in 2000 - 2005? I don't recall hearing about any. Seems to me that they have been investing in better infrastructure. They just dropped to ball this year.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Geren, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:37pm

    Who cares?

    WalMart sucks, and should be deleted from the planet anyway. If we're all lucky, their servers will fail completely and their site will stay down. If we're all really lucky, all of their stores will spontaneously combust and the crappy place will go out of business altogether.

    And, don't give me crap about people loosing jobs. People would do better to go work for a fast food joint.

    (This comment may not represent the opinion of all readers. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Posterlogo, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:45pm

    Re: infrastructure

    Brian says:
    Thats because walmart had cut their labor so low they had to export it to India. GREAT JOB!!!!!!! Hope you site stays down. If you weren't sure before I am in tech support which lost their job twice to Indian based companies. Guess how happy I am.

    Since you're dumb enough to equate broadband infrastructure with outsourcing of customer service reps to other countries, is it really much of a surprise that you were so expendable? I would say "no offense, Brian", but frankly, you got what you deserved. The quality of your post says it all.

    As to the original topic here, Walmart can certainly be accused of not properly estimating its peak traffic load to its website.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Scott, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 7:11pm

    It is not just walmart

    Don't forget about Amazon.com. The xbox sale on Thanksgiving was a joke. Same with Costco during the PS3 launch. I know Walmart is an easy target but many other retailers have had the same problems this year.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Administrator, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 1:14am

    More Men Shop at Home

    Women shop with their fingers, Men with their wallets. This year, more men hit the web, surfing for tech toys for dad and son.

    -RedMatrix

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    damon Alexander, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 6:39am

    The problem is they hired Indonesian children to handle there website..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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