Software Glitch Causes Major Problems On Amazon

Chris CrumeCommerce

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Over the weekend, a lot of Amazon sellers got screwed by a software glitch, according to multiple reports. The glitch was in Amazon repricing software RepricerExpress, which reduced the price of millions of items from various sellers to just a penny.

According to a report from Business Insider, as many as 75 million items were affected.

As a result, customers bought up what they saw as amazing deals, and sellers were left scratching their heads, with some reportedly wondering if they'd be able to stay in business.

The Guardian reports: "Amazon is working to cancel orders that have not been dispatched, but sellers complained that the cancellations were ruining their seller ratings on the site."

It also quotes a seller: "He said Amazon appeared to be having huge problems trying to stop items being dispatched from its warehouses. 'You can imagine what it’s like, once the computer has set everything in motion it’s very hard to put a human being into the process and get it stopped.'"

And this comes as Amazon begins to implement a more robotic approach to its warehouses. Does this foreshadow bigger problems to come?

RepricerExpress CEO Brendan Doherty said:

Firstly, I'd like to apologise again for the disruption this has caused. I am truly sorry for the distress this has caused our customers. We experienced a problem with RepricerExpress yesterday at about 19:00GMT and worked to fix the original issue by 20:00GMT. We continued to work over the following few hours in conjunction with Amazon to revert any incorrect prices to their original prices. We have received communication that Amazon will not penalise sellers for this error. We are continuing to work to identify how this problem occurred and to put measures in place to ensure that it does not happen again. We've been in business for over 10 years and we've always taken pride in the levels of service we provide- so everyone here is devastated and disappointed that you have experienced this problem. We understand that you are angry and upset and we will endeavour to work to make good on this issue and to work to restore your confidence in our product and service.

From the sound of it, there is a pretty huge mess to be cleaned up here, and it remains to be seen if things are put right for all parties involved, if that's even possible.

Amazon did say the majority of orders placed on affected items were stopped immediately and that no costs or fees will be incurred by sellers for cancelled orders.

Image via Amazon

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.