Why You Should Spank Your Kids

Wow. It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and written to you guys, February to be exact. I had a good friend tell me awhile back that whenever she sees I’ve blogged on here she thinks ‘Uh oh, who annoyed her now?’. There’s probably more truth to that than I’m willing to admit, which means things have been pretty great the last six months. Until Friday that is.

As many of you already know, we had a pretty eventful Friday evening here at Heritage Brand. Our much anticipated Famous Fifty Sale launched at 5:00 pm and approximately 10 seconds later our entire website crashed due to the exceedingly large amount of traffic, which then caused all Hell to break loose on our Facebook Wall. It became immediately evident that people were more than a little upset about this turn of events.

At this point, I feel it’s necessary to back up and give you a brief back-story on what lead up to this Sale.

I had attended a “trunk show” a few months back for my favorite jewelry designer here in Bend, Nashelle, where I had picked up some amazing pieces at ridiculously low prices. I loved the concept of offering surplus inventory at insanely reduced prices, most of which would not even cover our manufacturing costs. It would kill two birds with one stone: give our customers killer deals, and give us the space we needed to re-stock for NFR. Boom. Everyone wins.

Some thought obviously went into the length of the Sale (Friday-Sunday) and we had even questioned whether that would be an adequate amount of time as there were several hundred items we were going to be selling. We debated, and then decided that whatever inventory remained after the sale would be donated.

Being as Jim (our tech guy) spends massive amounts of time examining the analytic data for our website, and has communicated with our server in the past when there were traffic issues, we thought we were adequately prepared to handle the conceived amount of traffic our site would experience. We actually had bets going…. I said we would reach 500 visitors at one time, and Jim hypothesized 300. Both of us were very wrong.

At the time our site crashed there were over 14,000 people trying to access the Sale page.

Were we naive? Absolutely, positively, without a doubt.

(I’ve since learned that even gigantic stores like Best Buy and Kohl’s have had similar server crashes during online sales. Furthermore, we’ve since been told that our website’s crash Friday night initiated the subsequent crash of hundreds of other websites on the same server. Whoa.)

It was a colossal underestimation on our part, but let me assure you that in no way, shape or form was it premeditated or intentional.

So back to Facebook…

Within moments of the site crashing, the Comments starting pouring in. “I can’t get on!!!”… “Why isn’t the link working???”…etc… We, of course, immediately contacted our server company who notified us they were doing everything they could to get our site back up and worked tirelessly to remedy the situation…eventually.

In the meantime, those that were able to access our Site quickly took advantage of the Sale, which essentially sold out in just over an hour (our minds are still blown by this BTW). God Bless the guy who in the midst of so many that couldn’t access the Sale posts this Comment: “I just bought 4 headstalls and 2 halters… prices were so cheap, it felt like Christmas!!”. I can almost see the heads spinning on those reading this Comment who had already hit “Refresh” 700 times and still couldn’t get on. Talk about adding fuel to the fire!

Here’s also where it gets really fun. (insert sarcasm)

As we sat there panicking, quickly realizing what an epic disaster this was turning into, helplessly waiting for the next correspondence from our server and praying for a miracle, we read your Comments. We read each and every one of them.

A number of individuals decided that Facebook would be a convenient platform to convey their frustration about not being able to take advantage of our Sale. Frustration is too polite. The word(s) I’m looking for are more like rage, anger and hostility. Within 30 minutes of our Site crashing, there were those that said that this was a “conspiracy”, threats to turn us into the BBB (Better Business Bureau), threats to start a Facebook Page “Boycott Heritage Brand”, etc… We were called “stupid”, “ignorant” and “dumb”. All because our website crashed due to the unexpected large volume of visitors and they couldn’t go shopping. Because that’s really what it boils down to.

Individuals publicly hurled insults and threats at us in what I can only describe as full-blown, adult-sized temper tantrums.

And that was just Facebook. There were also dozens of distressing emails and phone calls.

I’m not talking about those that respectfully expressed frustration, or offered suggestions, because I am exceedingly sympathetic to what a gigantic inconvenience the site crashing and lost opportunity was for you. I know many of you were enthusiastically waiting to take advantage of this Sale, had left work early, rearranged your schedules, etc… and if we could turn back time and somehow remedy the issues believe me we would!

I’m talking about those that viciously fired off one big, nasty threat and insult after another at us as if there weren’t people sitting on the other side of the computer. They couldn’t throw their sucker down and have a tizzy fit in the privacy of their own homes, they insisted on doing it for all to see.

Now there were some extremely gutsy individuals who went against the mob, defending us and trying to talk some sense into those that were relentlessly assassinating our character and integrity. And to those of you who stuck your necks out there for us…thank you, thank you, thank you! We saw your posts and cannot express how grateful we are for your loyalty. You have my respect for standing up against the mass majority who had decided to go on a Heritage Brand witch hunt. I can only imagine you were probably pretty bummed yourselves about the site crashing, and I admire your class and perspective against a group of individuals who were clearly lacking these traits at the time.

As far as if we’ll have another Sale down the road, the answer is probably. We’ll learn from this debacle, and hopefully next year we’ll be in a position to do some sort of sale again. And if those that threatened to “never buy from Heritage Brand” are true to their word, that just means there will be more to go around for you guys.

In the meantime, in an effort to make up for the frustration this Sale caused, we would like to extend the following discount to you:

All orders placed this Mon-Thurs. (8/12-8/15) will receive 10% off and FREE shipping (USPS Priority, $25 towards International). Please call the shop 855-389-9889 or email info@heritagebrand.com to place your order.

And if you are one of the ones that had the dignity and self-control to hold your tongue (or fingers) last Friday, I applaud your parents for raising you right.

Until next time! ~ Jess

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