Product ManagementRantSaeed

Future Shop fails again!

When will retailers learn that having a great website is pointless if you can’t actually fulfill a customer transaction when they want to buy a product?

I was going to quit blogging for the holidays, but then the following happened to me this evening and I had to write about it. A similar problem happened last year on Boxing Day with this retailer. You’d think they’d fix the problem by now!

Future Shop – a large Canadian retailer (http://www.futureshop.ca) now owned by Best Buy –  started their Boxing Day sale a bit early this year with a number of online specials.

My wife and I were looking for a new washer/dryer and saw this special:

After a quick bit of online research, we decided to make the purchase. How much better does it get than that for an online retailer?

When I went to checkout and pay for the purchase on the webstore, I got the following screen:

click image to enlarge

This virtual “waiting line” took about 45 minutes to go through. I had to sit and watch that progress bar slowly inch forward. Eventually it reached 100% and then I was greeted with the following wonderful message:

FSDataAccess error ‘800a000d’

Type mismatch

/Checkout/CheckoutControlLib.asp, line 79

Yup, after 45 minutes, a coding error. I tried going through the line again (same error) and a 3rd time (same error). At least 1.5 hours wasted on this purchase.

Was it just me experiencing this? Twitter gave me my answer. 🙂 – Click on tweet images to enlarage

So I guess it wasn’t just me!

I tried a fourth time — another 20 minute wait to get to the checkout, but this time it was successful — or at least appeared to be. But wait, what’s this message in stage 2 of the checkout? It says, under Stock Status that my item is OUT OF STOCK???

click image to enlarge

But that’s not right, because the product page says there are clearly 2041 of these units in stock!!

click image to enlarge

So, now what gives? I did get a final web page that said an order confirmation email would be coming to my email address. That has not arrived yet. We’ll have to see if Future Shop can actually fulfill a transaction on an advertised special via their website as we appraoch 2010.

Future Shop web site Product Management and Development Teams, a big FAIL to you this Christmas Eve.

Future Shop Customer Service, what are you going to give me for the roughly 2 hours of my time I spent trying to get a transaction through your site?


  1. Aaron

    Its a joke really. I wouldn’t have even been on the site trying to make a purchase if it weren’t for a gift card I received.

    So, like you, I sat through the 45 minute wait, and repeated errors, only to finally get to the Credit Card and gift card page, a few more errors and it tells me I can’t even use my gift card.

    You’d think they could use a little bit of that markup they charge to purchase some more servers for the sale.

  2. HS

    Funny I came across this today, as I had an issue with their site yesterday myself. I stopped when I saw no other option other than paying $55 for shipping a TV.

    I emailed them and they said I can’t choose in-store pick-up before January 4th which is weak. As the whole idea of purchasing online was to avoid the in store craziness.

    I also checked out their so called free shipping and conveniently it doesn’t apply to “special deliveries” which they say this TV needs.

    I’m going to see if I can find it somewhere else online.

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