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Leading_hotels_fiasco This is a textbook case study for brands on how not to run an online promotion. Two weeks ago we wrote about a promotion that The Leading Hotels of the World was having yesterday where for 80 minutes starting at 8AM EST,  they would release some of their most coveted hotel rooms for $19.28 in order to help ring in their 80th Anniversary.

So we log on to their site at 8AM and could not get on their site at all. Apparently their servers became overwhelmed by the amount of traffic that this promotion generated.

At 1:37PM we get the following e-mail:
We are deeply sorry for today’s disruption of the USD 19.28 sale. Demand for this promotion far surpassed our expectations, and due to the exorbitant amount of traffic to, we were unable to accommodate travel requests. Nonetheless, we intend on making every effort to honor the offer on a first come, first serve basis, and have devised a plan to enable you to apply for the USD 19.28 rate. (The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. makes no representation or guarantee that it will be able to fulfill your request.)

Please click here to download the form for details. As a reminder, below is a complete list of the hotels participating in this promotion.

Then at 8:12PM we get a follow-up e-mail:
Thank you so much for your continued patience with The Leading Hotels of the World. We are extremely sorry for the inconveniences we have caused and regret to advise you that the USD 19.28 email promotion scheduled for tomorrow October 2nd shall be postponed.

Although our original back-up plan provided a viable solution for the 150,000 people who were registered, it was met with some confusion over submission procedures and timing. In addition, we have become increasingly concerned that a large number of non-registered respondents plan to submit forms which would inundate the system and greatly diminish your chances of securing a USD 19.28 rate.

In view of this, please do not email your form tomorrow. You will most likely receive an error message we have put in place as a safety mechanism.

We are sincerely committed to restoring your faith in our brand and do not want to risk disappointing you again. We are working tirelessly to develop a solution that will be fair for you and all registered participants. We will email you next week with further details.


Ted Teng
President & CEO
The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.

Let’s see what next week brings…

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