Tesco website crashes ahead of rewards offer deadline day
Customers unable to swap vouchers – even with use of ‘cloud’ technology
Tesco’s website crashed over the weekend as people tried to beat the deadline to exchange the supermarket’s Clubcard vouchers before rewards are reduced by 25%.
The Supermarket has been besieged with complaints from customers after apparently underestimating the popularity of its pre-Christmas special offer to Clubcard holders.
The website crash is particularly embarrassing for Tesco since it is only a few days since it proudly announced that was using ‘cloud’ technology to support the Clubcard voucher campaign and improve its website’s performance by taking website traffic from its own servers.
Before the crash Tesco said it was aware that issuing the vouchers was likely to generate high levels of traffic to its website, which could present problems.
The team responsible for the website said the additional capacity generated by the cloud would cover the campaign period and avoid the risk of any outages, as well as maintain the performance of the overall website.
The offer had run through November and lasted until December 6, after which Tesco lowered the rewards available to people exchanging Clubcard vouchers for use at other retailers from four times the redemption value to three.
The promotion let every £5 in Clubcard vouchers to be exchanged for a £10 rewards token to spend on toys, clothes, baby products, glasses, selected electricals and beauty products.
Every £10 in vouchers could be swapped for a £20 rewards token for spending on artificial Christmas trees and Christmas lights, fine wines and champagne, beds, DIY, computers and phones.
The end of the offer period caused a rush and, facing long queues in stores in order to convert their Clubcard points to vouchers, many gave up waiting and went to Tesco’s website to do the conversion, but the site was unable to cope with the huge numbers trying to use it.
Clubcard members complained at the Moneysavingexpert.com website that the Tesco site was slow and kept crashing over the weekend of December 4-5.
Tesco has been using the Akamai Dynamic Site Accelerator cloud services to support the campaign, which it said prior to the crash had been offloading 90% of website traffic from Tesco’s own servers.