Why Does Buy.com Still Exist?

By | August 4, 2004

The Buy.com website is officially lame. If I hadn’t found the video cables I needed for 25% cheaper than at Amazon, I would never have tried to purchase anything there. The Amazon site is ten times better in virtually every way, and is often not much more expensive. Just not this time.

Not only is the Buy.com visually unattractive, it’s poorly programmed. While searching for something, I got an error page indicating an OLE DB error occurred while a script was accessing a SQL Server database. While I happen to know what that means, most people don’t and they shouldn’t have to. Displaying that error message is going to scare a lot of shoppers away. It should have scared me away. But, I can be cheap when shopping online, so I forged on. Later, while trying to checkout, I got a page with the following error message:

Active Server Pages error 'ASP 0113'

Script timed out


The maximum amount of time for a script to execute was exceeded.
You can change this limit by specifying a new value for the
property Server.ScriptTimeout or by changing the value in the
IIS administration tools. 

Never, ever, ever, should a customer at your website see a page telling the IT staff how to adjust a timeout setting on the web server.

Clearly, this was a sign to back away from the browser, navigate over to Amazon, and just pay the extra money. But, no. I wanted to see if the Buy.com website would actually catch fire and burn to the ground. Three tries later, it still times out when I try to give them my credit card number. I’m trying to give them money, and they effectively say, “Wait a couple minutes, … just a second more, …, please wait while I’m accessing my systems, .. . hold on, … here we go, …, please read this cryptic error message and then try again later.”

Three strikes, you’re out, and I won’t be back.

3 thoughts on “Why Does Buy.com Still Exist?

  1. byron

    That’s really bad. Back in the days of the Internet boom, when I actually had disposable income, I bought numerous items from Buy.com and never had a problem with them. It’s sad to see they’ve gotten to this point. Still, I suppose they’re doing better than some of their now-defunct competitors.

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  3. rrgg

    I just saw the same thing occur when trying to enter my credit card number. When I reported a bug, Buy.com responds as follows, “As you are facing problem in placing order online, you can place
    order on phone… Please note that a $2.95 sales fee will be applied to your order if you elect to place your order over the phone.” Gee thanks. What morons.


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