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Target.Com Glitches, Asks Shoppers To Report “Anything You Might Have Done That May Have Caused The Error”

Written by Evan Schuman
May 29th, 2013

On Wednesday (May

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29) morning, we ran into a strange error on Target.com (NYSE:TGT) that seemed to be more accusing of the retailer’s shoppers than it probably intended. The problem was a big one, namely that products marked to be purchased were not showing up in the shopping cart. When we clicked New Guest, it delivered this delightfully phrased text-only Internal Server Error: “The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator (no address given) and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log.”

Beyond the obvious that this is not an error message a retailer wants to show its shoppers—who hopefully don’t have access to its server error logs—the best part is the “anything you might have done that may have caused the error” line. Love how the system just assumes it’s the shopper’s fault. This is like a bank that automatically responds to any error with a form to the teller that asks, “OK, what the —- did you do this time?!” (The glitch seemed to go away about an hour after we first detected it.)


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