July 16, 2018

Amazon Prime Day marked by outages, dogs

Amazon's self-created Prime Day holiday is off to a rocky start.

The retailing giant's website was experiencing periodic outages on desktop and mobile on Monday afternoon. Many shoppers hoping to score deals were instead met with photos of cute dogs, the company's standard error page.

That put Amazon in the doghouse with upset customers, many of whom have gone on social media to complain.

The issues appeared to be spreading to other Amazon products and services. According to Downdetector.com, a website that tracks outages, Amazon's Alexa, Prime Video Services, and Amazon Web Services also were experiencing outages.

Amazon did not return a request for comment. But on its Twitter account, Amazon posted a statement that said, "Some customers are having difficulty shopping, and we're working to resolve this issue quickly. Many are shopping successfully -- in the first hour of Prime Day in the U.S., customers have ordered more items compared to the first hour last year."

Calls to Amazon's customer service number were answered with an automated message saying, "We've heard some customers are having trouble with our website right now. We're very sorry and we expect to have the website fully functioning again soon."

Amazon Prime Day is the company's annual sales bonanza. Lasting for 36 hours this year, it offers discounts on products to Prime Members. It's predicted to reach $3.4 billion in sales this year, according to retail think tank Coresight Research -- that is, if enough people can manage to make their purchases.

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