02 August 2016
From The Lost Abbey:
Adam Martinez, the Director of Media and Marketing here at The Lost Abbey.
First off, once again I apologize for wasting everyone’s time and efforts… again. There is no excuse for the sale happening the way it did, so I won’t bother on pretending like there is, but I am truly sorry for the situation.
There appears to be a lot of misinformation on the internet so I’m going to do my best to explain where we stand.
After Tuesday’s failed release, we postponed the on-sale of Duck Duck Gooze to Friday to give Nexternal/Highjump engineers as much time as possible to put together what they needed to facilitate the onsale. In addition, based on your suggestions, we created events on both Brown Paper Tickets and Eventbrite as backups. So we had plans A, B, and C ready to rock.
At 11:45am on Friday, I joined a conference call with the owner of Nexternal and a team of engineers and discussed how the situation was looking. Nexternal was confident in their process. At 11:58am, as I prepared to turn on the sale, the engineers informed me that process they put in place failed all of us. It was overloaded and they needed 5 minutes. That 5 minutes turned into 20 minutes and at 12:25 we made the decision to execute Plan B and transfer the on-sale to Brown Paper Tickets.
We alerted everyone through our social media that we were doing so, and seconds later, as I tried to log in to Brown Paper Tickets, it too became unresponsive. I couldn’t even log in to turn on the sale. After speaking with Brown Paper Tickets on the phone, they informed us the site was receiving unusually high levels of traffic and they were working on it. After spending 15 minutes, staring at a spinning circle as it tried to load, we collectively made the decision to switch to Plan C, and use Eventbrite.
Now here’s where it gets a little funky. I went through my checklist before turning on the sale and had Tomme double check my math and ticket allotments, they were correct. I turned on the sale and noticed immediately that the amount of tickets on the sales dashboard didn’t match what I had entered. While I erred by using the term “Crash”, the site was dealing with some heavy traffic and I couldn’t get in to turn off the sale, nor could I remove excess inventory.
Now a bit of background on me, having worked in radio for 11 years, I’ve put on my fair share of events. During my last three years in radio, I put on quite a few large concerts and handled all the ticket sales through online merchants and never had an issue, but I’ve also never used Eventbrite, so I should have structured the sale differently. That’s on me. I should have done more research, and I failed to do that, for that I apologize.
For the last 15 minutes of the on-sale, we had to sit and watch people buy beers that didn’t exist. That was one of the toughest things I’ve had to experience in my career, knowing there were bottles being purchased that we couldn’t fulfill.
In the end, the decision to cancel all orders and refund everyone was mine. Knowing this I would ask all of you to please direct your hate and vitriol towards me, not my staff, not the brewers and especially not ownership. There was disagreement on what the best solution would be, but there was no perfect one. I made what I believed was the best decision, cancelling all the orders and creating a plan that would work. So if you want a villain, I’m your guy.
Now to address the other “conspiracy theories”. The Earth is round, that’s a thing. We didn’t cancel the sales because of fee’s or taxes. Tomme did tell me to absorb the Eventbrite fees so our patrons weren’t paying an addition $3 for each bottle. In addition, Eventbrite doesn’t allow taxes to be added to an event, you have to factor them in the ticket cost which would have raised the cost per bottle.
Eating all the fees and taxes was not ideal, but it would have been a drop in the bucket compared to the amount stress we’re currently dealing with. As far as the doubling of inventory, the blame for that lands squarely on me. I created an event that lasted two days and two separate tickets, but I failed to realize that EB would see this as essentially 4 events. Again, this failure is solely on me, EventBrite did exactly what they were asked to do.
So that’s what went down. It’s not an excuse, just an explanation. In end, it was a series of errors that we take full responsibly for. And if you have the need to blame a person for the Eventbrite fiasco, I’m fine having the “User Error” tagged on me. It’s not the first mistake I’ve made in life, and damn sure won’t be the last.
As far as purchasing DDG, our plan will allow the first people whose orders were timestamped first to purchase up to 5 bottles of Duck Duck Gooze with the rest of the patrons being put in a lottery for a chance to purchase up to 3 bottles. We’ve added 50 cases (that were designated for the vintage cellar) to the lottery as well. We’re aware the disappointment of reducing the bottle allocations to 5 and 3, but this was deemed necessary to take care of many as people as possible. Emails will start to be sent out for the 5 bottle allotment on Tuesday night. The lottery emails will start to go out on Wednesday night. If you receive one of these emails, then your bottles are secure and you have a week to complete the purchase using Nexternal. We will not be running any credit cards until we’re sure the money has been returned from Eventbrite back to our customers.
If you’ve feel we’ve betrayed your trust too much to purchase Duck Duck Gooze, you are free to opt out. In order to handle the expanded volume of people, we’ve increased the pickup windows to include the weekend of August 20th and September 3rd, in addition to the initial stated pickups happening on August 27thand 28th. We will also be taking care of the taxes on these bottles to honor what we put on Eventbrite.
Thank you for your time and allowing me a chance to personally apologize.
The Lost Abbey