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.

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

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NeoAmericana says:

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…

Posterlogo says:

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.

Geren (user link) says:

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.)

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