While Verizon expected the BlackBerry Storm to be a hot-ticket item, it probably didn't anticipate that demand for the device would crash its online ordering portal.
But on Friday afternoon, Verizon stores were unable to process any more orders for the Storm, because high traffic apparently had overloaded the system with ordering requests. A representative at the Verizon Wireless store in Framingham, Mass, said that the outage hit his branch at around 3 p.m. on Friday, with service returning one hour later.
In addition to in-store systems going down, Verizon's online portal for ordering the Storm went down: Clicking on the "Buy Now" button on the homepage prompted a message telling buyers that the page they were looking for was unavailable.
"I guess they weren't ready to handle the capacity," says Lory Dix, a Verizon customer who had stopped by the Verizon Wireless store in Newtonville, Mass, on Friday afternoon to fix a problem with her current phone. "All the systems were down when we went there, and people were just standing around."
Demand for the Storm has been strong so far; multiple sources have reported lines of 50 to 100 people queuing up outside Verizon Wireless stores to purchase the device. Reuters has also reported that Verizon customers created a "ruckus" when a Verizon store in Manhattan ran out of the device.
Over 200 people had been waiting in line since before 8 a.m. this morning, the report said, and police had to step in to calm things down. One New Yorker pre-ordered the Storm at both Best Buy and Circuit City, but when he visited local stores for each chain, neither had any devices left, nor did a Verizon store near Manhattan's Bryant Park.