spur-of-the-moment case study on MCM’s registration

Originally posted March 27, 2013 on my prior blog.  Now that registration has passed I can also say that MCM sent out an apology email shortly after this incident.

Having been sitting on the computer for over an hour, with two browsers open, while sitting on the phone with my mom who also has two open; we are trying to register my brother for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon, a.k.a. MCM26.2.

As a PR student, I of course head over to the official Facebook page to see what the event and participants are saying.  In a frenzi of non-stop aggravation, I see that hundreds of others are having the same problem as us.

People have been charged on their credit card with no confirmation number.  People have filled out everything only to have the service be “unavailable,” again.  If you’re like me, you had to fill in the first page without it even loading all the way, i.e. typing in information as a guessing game.

The registration is hosted on active.com which seems to need a re-evaluation of how much the server can handle.  This also happened during registration for the Chicago Marathon.  One user on Facebook stated he was registered for the Chicago Marathon FOUR times due to hitting the refresh button and later had to receive three, $175 refunds.  With system errors these valuable race spots are being given away accidentally and later opened up through an auction.  The Marine Corps Marathon should have learned from this situation.

While this test in persistence during registration can be related to race training, lets hope the MCM PR team comes up with something better than a sorry excuse.

And if you’re wondering, I did finally get through, an hour and 50 minutes after registration opened and after writing this post. Sister-of-the-year award I would say!

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