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Spectacular Black Friday

Posted by EngineSmith on November 29, 2010

Haha, the invisible war happened over Internet was nothing less spectacular either. I had first hand experience on this deal that night: Panasonic 42″ 1080p Plasma TV $298 @ buy.com w/free shipping. Lots of lessons. 🙂

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=2416009
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2421355
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2427091

For those who don’t want to read through the 300+ pages thread, here are some highlights:

– The deal lasted only 7 minutes on buy.com, before that, there are thousands of people clicking Refresh in the browser as well as posting to the forum. Most of them never saw the $298 price, why? Because the default seller is not buy.com on that page, you have to select buy.com on the side, and must add the item to the cart, regardless the price (took me 4 minutes to figure it out, but already too late).

– Several hundred lucky hard-core deal hunters completed the checkout on time. Lots of losers, reasons including:
– mis-typed credit card info (hands are shaking)
– changed mind at last step, decided to go back to get one more TV (greedy)
– didn’t have buy.com account set up (newbie)
– or stupidly chatting with customer support asking “where is the TV?” (dumb)

Of course, after 10 seconds, the TV is gone from their shopping cart. Several lucky guys completed the checkout too fast, forgot to review the shipping charge since the default shipping costs $150 (instead of the free shipping which is a selectable choice).

– 8 hours later, majority of the people who ordered the TV got an email stating that buy.com over-sold their inventory, and all their orders are canceled. Ends up only about 71 TV were sold.
– People gets angry, they dug out all buy.com executives’ personal info, facebook page, and started a war

– 11/26, buy.com started offering $50 gift certificate to those angry shoppers

– 11/27, buy.com backed down, decided to ship all the orders

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Posted in Life, Misc | Leave a Comment »

NightclubCity: party game on Facebook

Posted by EngineSmith on October 28, 2010

Awesome promotion video, party on!

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Sherweb: worst hosting experience

Posted by EngineSmith on September 30, 2010

IT is hard, getting email/calendar right is super painful, especially for a startup. Lessons learned.

Sherweb, who claims to be the largest Exchange hosting company, dropped its pants completely. After a whole weekend’s of outage and zero explanation, our corporate communication is close to death. With 68 people waiting, we jumped to Google Apps. Not surprisingly, there are not many complaints about their lame service (I guess they shut-up most voices), and their network status is always everything is fine.

  • You can never reach any human on their support phone line
  • You never get any kind of ahead of time notice, or explanation
  • You have tell their customer support that things are not working for you. Oh, you need to provide them a test account yourself to verify that
  • Every Friday night they have a 2-hour maintenance window
  • A 10+ hour outage to them is just, whatever

Luckily we moved away from them. Don’t ever trust them!

Posted in Misc, Operations | 15 Comments »