Computer retail outfit PC World suffered an embarrassing website outage on Boxing Day, which is traditionally seen as one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.
But customers hoping to hunt down computer sales’ bargains from the comfort of their armchair on Sunday were unable to access the PC World site.
The Register has heard from readers who complained that the http://www.pcworld.co.uk site was out of action on 26 December.
Reg reader Robin told us that Dixons Retail PLC, which owns PC World and Currys, eventually offered the following peculiar message to its would-be online customers:
"The PC World website is currently unavailable but SALE IS ON IN OUR STORES. Many stores are open from 10am to 4pm. Boxing Day. Sorry for the wait. There's a long queue at the moment. If you can come back later we should be able to serve you faster."
So apparently online customers have to queue for PC World goods just like they might in-store.
Worse still, sporadic complaints from customers on Twitter suggest that the outage continued into Monday, 27 December, and that it also affected the firm's Currys' website.
"PC World struggling to cope: website down, phoned them and their system's down too. Same yesterday apparently. Now that's poor," wrote Ross Easton.
We asked Dixons what went wrong, it gave us this entertaining statement:
We have been experiencing unprecedented demand as customers increasingly recognise we are the only place to go for the best deals.
We are very sorry that this resulted in a number of customers being unable to get onto the PC World site but we have drafted in more computing power to make sure all our customers can get access to all the great deals we have and our sites are now working.
Our stores remain open for business as usual.
In November, Dixons warned of a tough retail Christmas, but we're pretty certain this isn't what it had in mind. ®