By Yasmeen Banu
Fear is hovering over most Singaporeans as they fear if last year’s Hello Kitty frenzy would come into repeat.
It’s the first day of Singapore McDonald’s online Hello Kitty Bubbly World sales, and within an hour, all its Japanese plush toys are sold out. (The online sale of the Hello Kitty dolls was resumed again at 6pm)
Around 11am today, McDonald announced the launch of its online sales for the plush toys.
However, just within ten minutes of the launch. McDonald’s Facebook page reported that “the site is functioning but due to extremely high traffic, the site is taking longer than usual to load.”
Exasperated and annoyed customers commented on the page hanging or crashing after payment for the Hello Kitty toy is made. Among those annoyed, many were confused as to whether confirmation was made.
“After keying the Mastercard secure password, clicked OK and the page went blank…But the confirmation page was sent after 10 mins…I guess is confirmed right?” said one customer.
Many were seen asking McDonald’s for help as the online page would crash right after entering their passwords and making payment. Many others were losing patience as they were stuck not knowing if they should continue waiting or assume that order has already been made.
Last year, hundreds were disappointed over McDonald’s lack of finesse in handling the overwhelming response over its Hello Kitty toy sales. While one termed it a “PR disaster”, others said it was disappointing as McDonald’s should already have known how much Singaporeans welcome the toys and should be prepared for such overwhelming response.
A letter was sent to TOC by a staff from McDonald’s asking for understanding as being behind the counter handling calls and sales can be rather demanding.
A spokesperson from McDonald’s was quoted as saying last year, that they “did indeed anticipated a strong response to the launch of the promotion, and had increased the number of plushies available by 40 percent from a similar promotion” the year before, but the number of orders they received “exceeded even those expectations”.
While this may not be the first time McDonald’s has gotten Hello Kitty fans upset, they do try to ease the situation by replying to enquiries on their Facebook page as much as they can. A recent update shows that to ease traffic, McDonald’s are “temporarily suspending new orders and will resume sales as soon as possible”.
McDonald’s has ceased its sale for the time being to handle the situation.
Amidst the Hello Kitty frenzy, online profiters are coming into force, selling off the same plush toy but with a much higher price.
However, a check with the administrators of Street SG BST reveals that the post has been deleted as the seller did not fulfill its group’s requirement to post a photo of him and the item he is selling.
Meanwhile, since its plush toys are sold out online, Hello Kitty fans can now make individual plush toys purchases in-store, every week, starting 28th April.
Perhaps when the retails sales for the plush toys begins next Monday, the situation in McDonald stores this year will be less frantic, as compared to previous years. Will we see the same level of “madness” that took place in McDonald’s last year again?
For those who did not manage to get your Hello Kitty dolls online, are you looking forward to the McDonald’s in-store sales?