News Column

Best Buy Sees Early Black Friday Online Shopping Glitch

Nov. 20, 2012

Leslie Brooks Suzukamo, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

best buy

Every retailer has Black Friday. Best Buy had what you might call a Black Eye Monday.

The Richfield-based electronics retailing giant said its website tripped up Monday, Nov. 19, when some customers fumed when they got stuck online waiting for purchases to go through. The website failed to calculate some of the sales taxes on the Black Friday specials that it offers online ahead of time for its Reward Zone customers, bogging down the site.

The problem was fixed in about an hour, but online shoppers still vented on the social networking site Twitter.

"The #BestBuy website is a joke. If you're going to advertise a promotion, make sure to have the capacity to support visitors," said @ellisgolf in a section tagged #BestBuy.

Customers who placed orders and experienced a delay will receive expedited shipping, Best Buy spokeswoman Amy von Walter said.

She said the website experienced "unprecedented traffic." Forty million customers are enrolled in the retailer's Reward Zone loyalty program.

For online shopping, Best Buy's busiest day isn't Black Friday but Thanksgiving Day itself, she said.

Monday's glitch was a ghost of Christmas Shopping Past. Last year, some unhappy shoppers flayed Best Buy when it was unable to fulfill an unknown number of holiday season orders online.

Will it be a harbinger of Christmas Shopping Present? Von Walter said the company is prepared.

"We have a team devoted to overseeing operations this holiday season. This allows us to detect and identify any glitches before or as they occur, so they can be resolved quickly and with minimal impact to our customers," she said.

Best Buy had the No. 1 and 2 most-searched items for Black Friday deals, according to a survey released Friday by the shopping website FatWallet.com. Those were Toshiba 40-inch TVs and Lenovo laptops.



Source: (c)2012 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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