Microsoft’s Live Search CashBack Incapable of Handling High Traffic Volume
There was an large full screen advertisement complete with directions on HP’s website regarding getting 40% CashBack at HP.com on Black Friday. The sale started at 9:00am PST on Friday 28th. The result? FAIL!
This leaves us able to conclude only one of two disturbing answers.
Either Microsoft, for all of its resources and vaunted power, is incapable of properly handling high volumes of traffic, or, it is deliberately rigging its CashBack program to cheat users out of the offers that are actually worthwhile. Neither scenario is pretty.
Under the first scenario, Microsoft is incompetent for handling your critical web applications. Since they cannot even properly size and load balance their own internal flagship search engine, they obviously will do even worse at the same for your external web business. That whole cloud initiative from Microsoft? Don’t even try it, they can’t handle high traffic. If your site or application hits the big time, Microsoft will let you down with their inability to scale properly (not a new complaint against MS). Try Google or Amazon instead.
Under the second scenario, Microsoft is committing fraud, at least under the laws of some states. To advertise something and then deliberately prevent people from taking advantage of the offer is not only illegal in some states, it is completely unethical. If they wanted to limit how much the promotion cost, they should have disclosed that fact, but they did not.
Either way, today is a day that shows Microsoft in a very poor light. It is tragic considering that their recent web services and announced cloud initiatives may have had some viewing the company in a different light. Unfortunately for Microsoft, many of those same people are the people who today are posting their venom in user and administrator forums all over the Internet. To make matters worse, the original advertisement has been changed to remove all mention of 40%. I guess they do not intend to honor it.
Too bad for Microsoft that the original deal had already been reported on Black Friday Deals websites all over the Internet. You can’t come out and say that many people are lying, misunderstanding, or imagining things.
Whatever your business is, it is critical to value your reputation more than this. It can take years to repair an unfavorable opinion, and that is particularly true for a reputation for being dishonest. People don’t like cheaters and they often won’t come back, ever.
We’ll see if Microsoft even acknowledges today’s events, or if they simply go back to being the giant company that only hears what it wants to hear. If they do respond, they will no doubt blame HP. That will be disingenuous at best. The “Oops” page is clearly on Microsoft’s site. If they were handling the traffic well enough, the “Oops” page should be on HP’s site. If you have the means to monitor the traffic, you’ll see that it never even attempts to resolve out to HP’s site. Shame on you Microsoft.
We’ll be waiting to hear your excuse.