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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Toysrus.com's Net congestion continues

Toysrus.com's technical problems extend into their fifth day, and seem to be spreading beyond the company's Web site to its phone center.

Toysrus.com's technical problems extended into their fifth day today, and seemed to be spreading beyond the company's Web site to its phone center.

Repeated attempts to reach the company's Web site this morning returned two possible error messages, one being a generic "HTTP 404 error" message.

Another message read: "Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Toys "R" Us Big Book of savings, we have had to limit the number of guests to our Web site. Please accept our sincere apologies and try again later."

In addition, calls placed to the company's phone center returned repeated busy signals when customers sought information on orders. One customer said she had called Toysrus.com's toll free number for two hours this morning and had received nothing but busy signals after selecting one of the menu options.

"Needless to say, it is extremely frustrating," the customer said.

The troubles at Toysrus.com come as the holiday shopping season draws near. Toys "R" Us is trying to rebound from a disappointing online shopping season last year, and from several setbacks this year, including the disintegration of a highly touted deal with Benchmark Capital.

The continued troubles with the company's Web site follow a debacle that began on Sunday, when scores of users drawn to the site by a marketing blitz were blocked from entering the site. Toysrus.com officials said at the time that they had to limit the number of users who could access the site because of a huge surge in traffic.

Company officials said that traffic reached 10 times the site's previous peak levels, and despite quadrupling the number of servers prior to the ad blitz, the company's servers were overwhelmed.

On Monday officials said the company planned to triple the number of servers over the course of this week. The representative said today that the company has already begun to bring those computers online.

"In terms of having another spike, we believe that we will be able to handle it," the spokesperson said.

Despite the problems, the representative said Toysrus.com had experienced record sales during the past several days, proof that many users were able to access the site. Still, the company plans to continue to improve service for its customers, the representative said.

"We're always going to look at way to improve that."