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E-shopping researchers warn of too much traffic

Survey firm pretends to be a complaints hotline to get to the core of eshoppers' problems

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There are many ways of doing consumer research on the cheap, and posing as a complaints hotline is apparently one of them. US IT research firm, Computer Economics (CE), has set up an online shopping complaint hotline to gather data as part of its research into ecommerce. The company says that the popularity of online shopping is causing problems. Michael Erbschloe, vice president of research at CE, commented: "Cyber crowds contribute to many consumer problems. We expect even heavier traffic this year, which will overload customer service at many Internet sites." Erbschloe warns that a well thought out site is essential as poorly prepared sites will lose customers as traffic volume causes delays. He continues: "When online traffic is heavy, it causes slowdowns and outages for even the largest web sites." Really? We hadn't noticed. The helpline number -- 001 800 326 8100 extension 116 - goes through to an analyst with the company. Out of hours, you get her voicemail. Alternatively, you can email the company at shopping@compecon.com. ® Daily Net finance news from The Register

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