Project GMT Ordering Information
Based on the experience from the first round I thought it best to clarify and explain a few things before we send out the announcement for the November round:
- Shopping cart limitations: We didn't know quite what to expect in the first round of ordering. In October the demand far surpassed our estimates and revealed the limits of how quickly the system can close ordering. It should be noted that if you do not receive an order confirmation email and see the order listed in your account history the order was not completed. When the slots are sold out the system will cut off new orders regardless of how far into the process you are.
- Credit card charges: In the first round we ran into an unanticipated issue where credit cards were charged but orders were not created. This was the result of lags in communication between the various systems that all online stores have to "talk" to. We will be changing the settings for the system so that this issue is not repeated in future rounds.
- Can we do anything to improve the process? At this point there isn't anything that we can do to make the process more pleasant. I have heard from one customer that noted that companies like TicketMaster have systems that allow you a fixed amount of time to complete the transaction and will "reserve" a spot until the time runs out. These kinds of systems are custom coded and we couldn't possibly justify the expense and investment in time that would be required to develop such a system. Fundamentally this same issue exists for the large majority of online shopping systems. For the most part these limitations are visible to customers in only rare instances of high demand. One possible solution to this issue is to release more spots in each round. The reason that we choose not to go this route is because A) spacing the ordering this way allows us to spot and resolve problems while they are still manageable B) this project still has quite a long time before launch and this way we can minimize the amount of customer funds we are holding at any one time C) the more orders we take the more paperwork is generated, spacing out the ordering allows us to spend more time getting the project ready for launch which is what everyone would prefer.
- Tips for ordering: We will be opening ordering based on the US atomic clock. We recommend that customers looking to order in the next round that they create and confirm their accounts before ordering opens.