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Quidco Black Friday nightmare

Quidco Black Friday

You had to feel for the employees of Quidco on Black Friday.

Emails sent, push notifications, erm, pushed...  They were all set for what was likely to be the busiest online shopping day of the year.  Until they weren't.  

We love a good cashback deal here at Insight Towers and despite saying all week that we weren't going to look on Black Friday, the lure of extra discounts and higher rates was just too much to resist, so we duly logged on to Quidco to have a look at what was on offer.  We tried to access the site from around 8am, but throughout the day, we were constantly re-directed to a 'site undergoing maintenance' holding page.  

Customers took to social media in their droves to request an explanation and we followed the Twitter feed to see how the situation unfolded.

As the day went by Quidco revealed, via social media, that a server error caused the problems, and confirmed it was working to resolve the situation, which didn't happen until 6pm that day.

We know that commercially, an outage of this scale is a Very. Bad. Thing. Indeed. for a company which makes its money directing customers to online shopping sites; especially on a day predicted to see retail sales (online and instore) of c. £2bn.  We know that customers were - quite rightly - upset and disappointed to be missing out.  After all, even if Quidco extends its own deals as it has suggested it will, the retailers it is directing customers towards are unlikely to make changes to their own carefully planned promotional schedules to enable them to take advantage.

How Quidco will go about rebuilding the faith of its customers - many of which have tweeted to say that they have moved over to other cashback sites to take advantage of Black Friday deals - remains to be seen.

With that said, we think that something Quidco deserves kudos for is the manner in which its social media team conducted itself during what must have been a pretty awful day at the office We've noted honest, timely responses to tweets from unhappy customers and, latterly, as the scale of the problems unfolded, some entertaining memes and very funny replies to those customers whose approaches to the company were a bit more light-hearted.  

Our favourite had to be the response to @OneManAndMyPug, who said: "what would be interesting is to know how much cash you have lost during this time out. You guys are losing too on this busy day". Quidco's response? A clip from the opening credits of the 1980s cartoon, DuckTales, featuring Scrooge McDuck being engulfed by a wave of money, accompanied by the comment, "Probably this much". 

In the build-up to Black Friday, Quidco had been promising enhanced cashback deals and bonus payments for customers using its service, including a bonus 50% additional cashback on top of existing deals for purchases made at specific retailers between 5am and 10am on Friday.

Whatever the result for Quidco, the Black Friday website failure will no doubt be a warning for all cashback sites and retailers, who need to ensure that not only are their systems able to cope with the spikes in demand from online shoppers rushing to take advantage of short-term deals, but to also ensure that they support their front-line, customer service staff during challenging times.

Source : Insight DIY 


28 November 2016

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