Leading Hotels of the World: FULL OF FAIL


Next week I’m going to be all bloggy and update ALL THE TIME, but for right now I am coming out of a self-imposed Internet exile (due to writing work deadlines) to liveblog a bunch of FAIL.

So, the Leading Hotels of the World is having their 80th anniversary this year.  To celebrate, they are offering a select group of their hotels’ rooms for $19.28 a night.  Nice, right?  You KNOW I signed up for that, baby.

The thing is, the promotion is for 80 minutes starting at noon GMT today. I set an alarm on my slick 30Boxes Internet calendar for noon my time, just to be sure I got in, and dutifully signed on.

Sorry! Due to the overwhelming number of consumers currently trying to access this promotion, your request is being delayed momentarily. Please be patient, don’t get discouraged, and retry in a few seconds by clicking here, or by going back to http://www.lhw.com/1928.

Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.

And, for good measure, clickclickclickclickclick.

Bupkis. Nada. Niente. Zip. Zilch. Rien.

12:02 – Half the world isn’t even up yet. Why is it overloaded?
12:10 – I got work to do, I can’t be clicking this all afternoon.
12:17 – The entire site is down. Nice work, LHW.
12:25 – *string of expletives*
12:29 – Now, it takes me back to the sign up page. DO NOT WANT.
12:31 – Really, MacBook? You’re going to wave software updates in my face? CAN’T YOU SEE I’M BUSY HERE?
12:35 – Their tagline is, “Every Quest Has A Beginning.” A beginning filled with FAIL.
12:38 – I feel like one of those crazy shoppers that sleep outside the doors of Best Buy to save a buck.
12:42 – I’m going to run out of cigarettes.
12:48 – Is this because I didn’t visualize it enough? Is Rhonda Byrne laughing at me right now?
12:49 – For the first time in a year, I’ve got 40 bucks in my account. PLEASE HELP ME SPEND IT, LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD.
12:50 – *string of expletives*
12:51 – Marco just wrote me in English that his feet are like omelets from walking around Rome doing the toilet project.
12:55 – I have to pee.
13:01 – clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick
13:03 – Their chipper “Sorry!” message mocks me.
13:12 – *endless string of expletives in three languages*
13:21 – Remember that scene in War Games, when Matthew Broderick booked a trip to Paris using a push-button phone and a Commodore 64? Those were the days.
13:24 – Got email from the other Marco, sending me his Florence toilet info.
13:25 – Really have to pee.
13:32 – Is this some kind of Internet hoax? Am I going to get Rick Rolled and then sent to 4chan?
13:40 – It’s halfway over. Are there even any rooms left?
13:46 – This is ridiculous. COME ON, LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD.
14:04 – Maybe no one got on, and they’re going to have to redo it.
14:05 – Fifteen minutes left. Not looking good.
14:08 – No one can be clicking as much as me right now. LET ME ON.
14:17 – You’re not “Sorry!” at all, are you, Leading Hotels of Fail. You build up my hopes, only to crush them in your grasp as you laugh at my pain.

So, there you have it. I will half-heartedly click throughout the day, but it’s over.

Hotel Princess Extraordinaire gets NOTHING.


Reply from Claudia Kozma Kaplan, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Leading Hotels of the World:

Dear Ms. [me],

We have indeed experienced technical difficulties this morning due to the overwhelming number of individuals who visited the site. Despite our efforts to carefully manage and prepare for this worldwide promotion, the traffic exceeded more than one hundred times our norm.

Please accept our sincere apologies. You will be receiving another opportunity to participate in this offer shortly via email.

In the meantime, please rest assured that we will not be saving your email address in our database for any future solicitations.

With thanks for your understanding and time,

Claudia Kozma Kaplan

So! There it is! Stay tuned for word of a retry of the promotion!!


25 thoughts on “Leading Hotels of the World: FULL OF FAIL

  1. By my clock, we still have another 30 minutes to go, but yes, total and utter epic fail.
    If they hold a promotion and no one is actually able to get in to book a room, does the tree falling in the woods make a sound?

  2. @Brian – went back and edited it again, why are different sites telling me different times? WHAT TIME IS IT?

    @English – Yeah, it looks like everyone got it, I wonder how we find out if it even happened?

  3. Now getting a message that ‘the promotion has been suspended indefinitely’ – what a JOKE. That’s 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back… what a bunch of muppets not getting their servers in order. Clearly an offer of that magnitude is going to attract a lot of people…

  4. Someone on Twitter posted this link:

    Thank you for your interest in the 1928 Promotion.
    We regret to inform you that the more than 6000 room nights available at the start of this promotion have all been sold. Congratulations to the lucky participants who were able to get a reservation as part of this great offer!

    Still interested in travelling with us? While we can’t offer you rooms at USD 19.28, we can still offer some great values, including bundles of 3 nights for the price of 2, 4 for the price of 3, or 7 for the price of 5, as well as discounted weekend rates and other Leading Offers.

  5. According to Twitter, several people got room with the deal.

    It’s not a failure on the part of Leading Hotels of the World just because everyone didn’t get rooms. It was a huge promotion. If you call into a radio station to try to win tickets, but you can’t get through, that doesn’t mean the radio station failed. It just means the contest was popular, and you weren’t one of the lucky ones.

    I clicked for 80 minutes, too, but it’s not like it was strenuous exercise or anything.

    We weren’t entitled to the rooms, were we? It was a contest.

  6. @Heather Anne – Oh, I’m sure they did. I just want to believe that because I didn’t get it, NO ONE DID. Liveblogging is all about the heat of the moment, so to say. I’m already over it and back to work!

    @Sam – Are you sure your name isn’t SPAM?

  7. Updated message (clearly unedited, no less, but that’s just me being picky):

    Due to the overwhelming number of consumers participating in this promotion. We regret to inform you due to technical difficulties beyond our control the 1928 promotion has been suspended indefintely.

  8. Total epic fail. I signed up as soon as i read it in the paper, and I live in the States – I was up at 8 AM, normal “wake up for to head to work” time and of course the rest of the Midwest and Eastern seaboard here were doing the same thing the rest of us will.

    I wrote them a pathetic letter saying I’m not surprised, that I’m a poor student and blahblah. Hopefully they’ll find a way to make this time waster up to us all!

  9. It wasn’t just the promotion page that was down, it was the whole site. I couldn’t visit their “contact us” page to whine and froth about it during the fray either.

    It seems like perhaps if they had 6,000 rooms, they could have capped registration and managed it better. How many times does this have to happen before companies actually test the servers and prepare for more than their “expectations?” It was a worldwide promotion, heavily pimped on multiple heavy hitter websites that takes place over 80 minutes. Dur.

  10. Hey guys, I really don’t know, I had no problems at all. I was sitting in front of my computer at 14h00 (Zurich time) and could book rooms for me, my brother and even my parents.


    (Miss Expatria deleted the spammy link included in this comment, since the contest rules explicitly stated that this deal was NOT available on travel websites.)

  11. I found your liveblog by googling to see if anyone else experienced the EPIC FAIL that I did, and your blog post made me, (and all my furiously clicking friends) laugh our asses off. Thanks for that! And um, when is “shortly” i’d love to “shortly” try again…. sort of.

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