Big Finish came out of a difficult weekend very much with their heads held high after their website crashed due to unprecedented demand for the recently released Eighth Doctor box set Dark Eyes.
With great clarity and professionalism fans were kept up to date with the teams struggle to increase its bandwidth in the face of such demand on Saturday via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The issues meant that downloads for other serials such as The Shadow Heart and The Return of the Rocket Men were made temporarily unavailable in order to cope with the increased traffic.
Attempts to rectify the issue were further compounded by system difficulties experienced by their service provider, whose own issues lead to the website ‘disappearing’ for five minutes while the site was connected to a different ‘switch’ (editor’s note: this is a piece of network hardware used in the management of data from a web server to the Internet).
After a difficult day, a statement by Nicholas Briggs was issued thanking fans for their patience and understanding:
We understand how frustrating it is when websites don’t deliver what they’re supposed to, which is why we did our level best to keep you informed of the progress of our efforts to put things right. Of course, it would have been preferable if we’d been able to put things right quicker, but unfortunately, that was not the case.
We have now taken steps (and will be implementing more procedures in the coming days) to make sure that (a) this kind of thing doesn’t happen again and (b) if anything like it does happen again (for any other unforeseen reason) that our response time will be considerably faster.
Finally, for any of you who pre-ordered Dark Eyes and have found that it is NOT in your account, please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We believe that for those few customers experiencing this difficulty, this problem has been caused by the old database anomalies from the old site.
If you contact us, your details can be checked and the files put into your accounts.
Many thanks to you all.
Understandably, there was an undercurrent of anger and frustration by some fans who were entitled to feel that way, but nothing can overshadow the professional manner in which this crisis was handled; something which is very rare indeed and should be admired.