O2 Suffers Spectacular iPhone Store Failure

  • 1
  • July 7, 2008
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

O2 has got off to the worst possible start in the run up to iPhone 3G launch day. Every single news source in the world is reporting on the fact they have been unable to cope with demand during the pre-order process today.


Apparently this morning they sent a text message to everybody who had registered an interest. Thousands of customers then descended onto the site which promptly crashed.

Presumably O2 has lots of traffic and a robust e-commerce system in place already so how can they be unable to manage what is basically a database that stores peoples details?

The Register is less than sympathetic:

Customers were told by text message that new iPhones were available to existing customers who upgrade. But they were presented this morning with error messages on the O2 upgrade site after filling in forms and told to contact customer services by telephone.

“Which I did,” said Reg reader Carol Dew, “only to be advised that they couldn’t take telephone orders until Friday, and they were very sorry for the inconvenience, but they had 2000 other people just like me calling them this morning, and their managers had advised them that the site was overwhelmed. Because they didn’t anticipate the demand. But when I asked how many iPhones were in stock, since I was afraid they’d run out before I could order mine, I was told that they’d asked customers to ‘register their interest’ on the website (did that; hence getting the text this morning). And that every time someone registered their interest, they ordered in an iPhone for them. Yet they didn’t anticipate today’s demand.”

From The Telegraph:

An O2 spokeswoman said she did not know how many people had been able to pre-order before the upgrade website was suspended. She said they were working to restore the site as soon as possible and were “pretty confident” they would have enough handsets to cope with the demand.