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Downtime of the week: Sears Online Store

by / Tuesday, 04 February 2014 / Published in Of Interest

no suitcase today

It probably comes at no surprise that the team at AlertFox uses the web heavily even outside of work, from casual browsing, to shopping and travel planning. Often we encounter website issues where we think “This would not happen if they had a good web performance monitoring system in place”. In this series  we will report on them as we see them in the wild.

Trying to buy a suitcase at Sears:

Please wait for a Sears Customer Service Representative to respond. This chat may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes. Thank you for holding.

Hi, my name is Amy, and it is my pleasure to assist you today.

Customer: Hi Amy, thanks

Customer: I’m trying to place an order, I get to the stage where I authorize the PayPal payment and then when returning to the sears home page, I get something strange, no confirmation, no e-mail with confirmation comes

Amy: Good evening. Customer: and I don’t even know if things worked

Customer: I tried again, now I might be charged twice , but still no luck

Customer: The main problem is that I’m flying tomorrow afternoon and I need to pick up that suitcase tomorrow morning in Cambridge, MA (its available there according to the website)

Amy: I apologize to know that you are facing problem to place the order with the pay pal payment. Customer: Its this one:

Customer: Is there any other way I can place an order? I could give you my credit card details here (this goes over https, so must be safe)

Amy: I will be happy to place the order for you. I apologize as we do not have an option to place the order with the pay pal payment.

Customer: Oh, but its there on the website, it just doesn’t work properly

Amy: I have checked the details of item availability.

Amy: I see that the item in stock.

Amy: I would be happy to assist you in placing a new order for the item.

Amy: May I know which payment method you wish to use to place the order? Customer: Great!! What information do you need?

Customer: Visa, if possible

Amy: Thank you.


Amy: I truly apologize for the delayed response. …

Amy: I apologize I am also unable to place the order. I apologize I am also getting an error on the page.

Amy: I tried for more than 3 times I am unable to place the order.

Customer: Oh, so it wasn’t just me I see…

Amy: We will work on this to resolve the issue. Customer: Thanks for your help! Have a good evening!

 Since our colleague was in a rush he gave up at this point and bought a new suitcase at a local store. Using synthetic user web transaction monitoring it is easy to detect and fix such a problem (checkout process fails) before a users encounter it.

PS: Dear reader, if you happen to work for Sears and are responsible for your web store uptime, just quote this blog post and will give you a discount for the first year. Not that you would need it, using web performance monitoring pays for itself many times over.

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