John Lewis has committed a cardinal sin on its wedding gift service by forgetting to renew the website’s domain name in time, forcing the site offline for thousands of customers trying to buy presents for would-be couples.
The retailer has been forced to get down not on just one knee, but both, for cock-up after the service went offline over the weekend.
Visitors were presented with error messages saying that the site’s domain registration had expired and in some cases they were invited to renew the lease themselves, according to the BBC.
Organisations typically set active web domains to auto-renew to avoid such problems, but John Lewis says there was an “issue” with renewing its domain.
Several customers had tweeted the business seeking an explanation, and had been told in response that users needed to phone staff while the matter was being addressed.
“Our wedding is on 19 May, and despite only having a week to go a lot of our friends had yet to visit [the site]”, bride-to-be Clare Briscoe told the BBC. “The lack of information from John Lewis was concerning – I had to join Twitter to try to get more information.
“I had a lot of other bits of admin to get done rather than [having to] reassure guests that it would ‘probably’ be fine. I’m happy it seems to be sorted now, but not renewing a domain registration is fairly embarrassing.”
The WhoIs database indicates that johnlewisgiftlist.com’s domain registration expired last Thursday, but was subsequently renewed on Sunday to run until 2021.
A John Lewis spokesman said: “We would like offer our sincerest apologies to customers who have experienced difficulties accessing our gift list website. There was an issue renewing the domain name which has been fixed and most customers can once again access the site – though it may take a few more hours for some Internet providers to update.”
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