in Tech

Chaos at Xiaomi first sale at Lazada Indonesia

Xiaomi has finally come to Indonesia! Were you also waiting for it? More importantly, did you succeed in securing one?

I was by chance read one of its advertisement in facebook three days ago. Xiaomi partnered with Lazada Indonesia to sell the first batch of RedMi 1S at only IDR 1.5 million. Considering the specs it has to offer, that sounds like a real bargain, right? Without thinking twice, I went straight to Lazada website to check this offer. The phone was not sold yet, but I had to register to earn the right to buy it when the sale go online. Without much hassle, I went on creating Lazada user ID and registered to buy the phone.

Fast forward to the sale date. I received two e-mails from the online retailer reminding that the phone would be sold shortly. Had I known that such reminder existed, I wouldn’t have to bother setting my own reminder on my cellphone (^ ^’). At half past ten, I turned my laptop on and connected to the internet. I checked my connection with speedtest and it showed good connection with fast ping rate and acceptable speed. Logging in into Lazada was also a breeze. I grew excited seeing the clock ticked closer to 11 a.m., the sale time. I even constantly hit the refresh button at five minutes before it hit eleven.

Finally, it was 11 a.m. sharp. The last refresh button I hit took longer than usual. When the page finally loaded, there it was… The “buy” button! I went super-excited like, “Yay! I can finally buy one!!” I suppose it only took a nano-second for me to click the buy button. But wait.. Something was strange. Right after I hit the “buy”button, nothing happened. There was only the rotating ball, waiting for the screen to load. Well, it was a flash sale, so it was certain that the server got flooded by people trying to do the same. No matter flooded the server, Lazada had prepared for this beforehand right? That was I thought, though. But then, the horror happened..

The website froze! Wait, what? Hadn’t they anticipated this? The screen showed bad gateway instead of normal website screen. I looked at their official twitter account and there it was. They admitted that the server went down! Oh well, at least I haven’t paid for anything yet. I could imagine how the IT department go frantic at the time. Nothing I could do anyway, so I went back hitting the refresh button. The bad gateway screen got replaced by a temporary image soon afterwards, but no sign of the server went online again.

The server finally accessible about five or ten minutes after that. “Horraayy! I finally can finish my transaction!” or so I thought. After I gained access to the purchase screen, I immediately clicked the buy button again and my phone was finally in my shopping cart! Okay, time to check out and pay! But….

The server went cold again!!! Noooooo…. This was starting to get frustating… Well, I  could only hit the refresh button whenever it failed to load. Following after that, the server went up and down like a rollercoaster and I worked my way to pay what I wanted to buy. I lost count how much hit the refresh button until I arrived at the payment screen. Took me almost thirty minutes to get this far alone. “Okay, just one more step before I got the purchase confirmation!!

I put my credit card number, hit the last purchase button.. Then it froze again!!! Uh oh.. This is bad! If I hit the refresh button, the website might charged my credit card twice!! I waited anxiously for my cellphone to receive a message for two-way authentication code for online transaction. But none came.. Okay, I better not hit the refresh button now. I decided to go back to the screen before the payment confirmation and select another payment option.

I successfully gained access again after trying several times and chose another payment option that was safer. I chose cash on delivery so I wouldn’t charged anything by the bank if something went funny again. One last button to click.. Then.. Again, it went cold..

That was the longest time the server went down. I kept refreshing the screen hoping to receive the final confirmation number. But instead of getting the number, I was told that my cart
had timed-out and there is nothing in it.. Whaaattt?? Nooooooo!!! I couldn’t repeat the process from the start anymore since the phone had been sold out!!

Turns out, I am not alone here! I read one of facebook post by Lazada where there are thousands of comments from disappointed customers who experienced the same problem like me! Of course there are also people who were lucky enough able to secure the phone, but the successful people are only a fraction of those disappointed comments I read.

Oh well, I guess I was just not lucky this time. After all, Xiaomi sales are notoriously famous for being sold out within seconds. According to Lazada twitter account, the phone got sold out just under 30 seconds this time. Hopefully I will be luckier to get one next time. How about you?

UPDATE: Lazada didn’t waste any time to open the second round of RedMi 1S sale! It opened the 2nd batch of sale on November 11 at 11 a.m. I hope they learned from the 1st sale experience and build a better service to handle the mounting demand of Indonesian people this time 🙂