Macy’s suffers a technical glitch at the worst possible time — Black Friday

macys black friday glitch macy s
Flickr/Tinou Bao
Black Friday is reliably chaotic, what with its status as the busiest shopping day in the U.S. But on Black Friday 2017, things were even more hectic than normal at Macy’s. The retail giant, hoping to bring in customers with low prices, certainly managed to attract business, but perhaps more than its credit card machines were able to handle. Apparently, Macy’s had significant trouble processing credit cards and gift cards, leading to frustrated customers and some lost revenue.

Buyers across the U.S. lit up the Twitterverse on Friday to voice their grievances with Macy’s, as the issue apparently affected both in-store credit card machines as well as online accounts. One Twitter user and would-be Macy’s shopper noted, “… just left $300 of items on counter because your credit card machines are down at State St Chicago. Can’t even look up Macy’s account. What. A. Joke.”

Another user noted that this wasn’t a localized problem, and that Macy’s stores across the country were suffering the same outages. Even customer service representatives attempting to help folks over the phone were unable to provide any assistance as a result of technical issues.

“We have added additional associates to the floor (and) are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible,” Macy’s spokeswoman Radina Russell told Reuters in an emailed statement, though for anxious shoppers, it’s likely it wasn’t quickly enough.

Ironically enough, the issue arose just a few hours after Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC that the company was faring better in 2017 than it had in 2016, noting “robust online demand” and being “in a good place for holiday promotions.” Alas, Gennette may have spoken just a bit too soon.

The issues were finally fully resolved, but only after hours of slowdowns (the outages began around 12 pm ET). “We have fully resolved today’s system issues,” a Macy’s spokesperson noted in the early evening on Friday. “We highly value our customers and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience today’s system slowdown may have caused during their shopping experience. The delays we experienced this afternoon were due to a capacity-related issue that caused some transactions to take longer to process. We do not anticipate any additional delays.”

Hopefully, this won’t be a situation that repeats itself next Black Friday.

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