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[Otakon News]Otakon 2019 Hotel Block Update

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That’s the same link on the Otakon website, but I’m still getting a 404. Can’t get a room. :/

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2 minutes ago, Revengel said:

I'd do a screen shot but . . .

 

"

404 - File or directory not found.

The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."

That sucks. I have no idea why it's working for some and not for others. It must be happening to the majority of people since it took awhile for the Marquis to sell out and the  Renaissance still has single bed rooms.

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So who's to blame for this? Experient, I assume?

 

I hope a staff member will reply but i suspect they are busy trying to do everything they can to address the issue. I'd rather they fix it first before filling us in . . . if they can.

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And I would book through the hotel but Renaissance's cancel policy means I would get charged the full amount if I cancel the reservation after September. I'm just screwed. Great...

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10 minutes ago, Marajsky said:

Otakon should give us who booked with the hotels directly the con rate. I can send them my conf#.

There's no way they could. Everyone would jump on that band wagon and there's no way to truly confirm who did or did not try and fail.

 

I can't even book through the hotel now because that site failed. Wonderful...

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Double Beds went from waitlisted to sold out now for the Renaissance

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This may be ISP related. I went to my phone and used the LTE network and was *FINALLY* able to get to the website.

I suspect the issue is w/ Experient; there was no such issue with the ISP here last year.

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In case it helps anyone at Experient debug what is going on, here was my experience trying to book a room:

First opened the booking portal link early this morning on my home computer, and it appeared fine, but obviously was not open yet. I did request a password reset, thinking maybe I could reuse my password from last year and get logged in in advance, but received an email saying there was no account for me. I assumed this was normal and we'd need to create new accounts this year. Put my computer to sleep until closer to noon.

Around 11:55am Eastern I tried to access the booking site again, and got the 404 error others have shown above. I still assumed this was normal and that they were getting the site ready to go live at noon. My computer setup is a PC running Chrome, with Verizon FiOS ISP. 

Around 11:59am I started refreshing frequently to be ready when the site opened, still continued to get the 404 error. I continued refreshing until around 12:03pm (assuming it was just a little late going up), and then started to get concerned. I checked on Facebook and Twitter and saw others were also having issues, while Experient's Twitter said the site was live and working. I also saw a few reports of people being able to book rooms. 

I tried accessing from Firefox on my PC, as well as Safari on my iPhone (ATT is in my phone provider), same error. 

I called my husband at work, who tried to access from his phone (same phone and provider), same error.

I called one of my friends, who was able to access the site on his work computer. He was able to book me a room, although he reported when he tried to enter my email address for the confirmation it claimed that my email was already in use in the booking portal. (This was strange since I wasn't even able to get in.) We solved this by using an alternate email address.

My husband later reported he was able to get in using his work computer (which he isn't really supposed to use for personal stuff but...), but still not his phone.

As of this time, 12:51pm, I am still getting the same 404 error and unable to access the booking portal. In addition, the email confirmation I received, where the link is to view/modify my reservation, takes me to a site that says "Test Site. No Live Registration" and won't allow me to login (says my email/password combo doesn't exist). I'm not too concerned about this at this point, and just leaving it alone for now, for fear of messing something up. 

I'm sure the Otakon staff are just as concerned/stressed about this as we are, and are trying their best. Hopefully some of this info will be useful. 

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Well, I booked an exorbitantly priced room at the Renaissance which I won't be able to cancel after tomorrow given their policy. Oh well. At least my brother and I will have double beds. Just my luck that when some group gets screwed over I'm one of those people.  

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Tried to get back in to log into the dashboard to view my confirmation again and I too am getting 404'd using Chrome.

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6 minutes ago, Kirsehn said:

In case it helps anyone at Experient debug what is going on, here was my experience trying to book a room:

First opened the booking portal link early this morning on my home computer, and it appeared fine, but obviously was not open yet. I did request a password reset, thinking maybe I could reuse my password from last year and get logged in in advance, but received an email saying there was no account for me. I assumed this was normal and we'd need to create new accounts this year. Put my computer to sleep until closer to noon.

Around 11:55am Eastern I tried to access the booking site again, and got the 404 error others have shown above. I still assumed this was normal and that they were getting the site ready to go live at noon. My computer setup is a PC running Chrome, with Verizon FiOS ISP. 

Around 11:59am I started refreshing frequently to be ready when the site opened, still continued to get the 404 error. I continued refreshing until around 12:03pm (assuming it was just a little late going up), and then started to get concerned. I checked on Facebook and Twitter and saw others were also having issues, while Experient's Twitter said the site was live and working. I also saw a few reports of people being able to book rooms. 

I tried accessing from Firefox on my PC, as well as Safari on my iPhone (ATT is in my phone provider), same error. 

I called my husband at work, who tried to access from his phone (same phone and provider), same error.

I called one of my friends, who was able to access the site on his work computer. He was able to book me a room, although he reported when he tried to enter my email address for the confirmation it claimed that my email was already in use in the booking portal. (This was strange since I wasn't even able to get in.) We solved this by using an alternate email address.

My husband later reported he was able to get in using his work computer (which he isn't really supposed to use for personal stuff but...), but still not his phone.

As of this time, 12:51pm, I am still getting the same 404 error and unable to access the booking portal. In addition, the email confirmation I received, where the link is to view/modify my reservation, takes me to a site that says "Test Site. No Live Registration" and won't allow me to login (says my email/password combo doesn't exist). I'm not too concerned about this at this point, and just leaving it alone for now, for fear of messing something up. 

I'm sure the Otakon staff are just as concerned/stressed about this as we are, and are trying their best. Hopefully some of this info will be useful. 

Thank you for this. I'm on AT&T and was able to get in via LTE, but the rest is pretty much what I/we've experienced.

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One hour later... Still getting the 404 message. Tried in Firefox, Chrome, and (god help me) Microsoft Edge. I'm on Verizon DSL. My phone (T-Mobile) is also getting the same error. The friends I've asked to try it out also have not been able to reach the portal.

Interestingly enough, I can still access the 2018 portal, even if the reservations for it have obviously been closed. But if it's an Experient/ISP issue, I would think I'd have issues excessing any Experient portals at all?

Damn, I thought I'd actually be able to get a good room this year since I didn't have work at noon, but I do have work in an hour, and things are unlikely to be resolved before then :c

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the people who answer that number are the definition of useless basically were screwed is the answer i got


Honestly half considering just not going this year if this is any indication of how things are gonna be,  lack of information is one thing costing me 800 extra dollars is kinda where i start to draw the line.

No official response by otakon at all within the hour it happened.  dont expect anything of value from them except a sorry and thats it tough luck your expected expenses just shot up by 800.

So whats otakons excuse this time for not telling us?  Oh right they care enough to listen but not enough to act on it.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Something Clever said:

the people who answer that number are the definition of useless basically were screwed is the answer i got


Honestly half considering just not going this year if this is any indication of how things are gonna be,  lack of information is one thing costing me 800 extra dollars is kinda where i start to draw the line.

No official response by otakon at all within the hour it happened.  dont expect anything of value from them except a sorry and thats it tough luck your expected expenses just shot up by 800.

So whats otakons excuse this time for not telling us?  Oh right they care enough to listen but not enough to act on it.

 

 

 

I understand your frustration (thinking about my experience last year) but the issue isn't w/ Otakon . . . it's Experient.

Would it have been nice to hear Otakon chime in? Yes. I'd rather they spend time doing what they can to address the issue . . .but it's really in the hands of Experient.

I agree: be frustrated. I'm just saying vent that frustration at Experient rather than Otakon.

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After 2 hours and 10 minutes (not including a verbal warning from my supervisor), I manage to get in the portal. I manage to get a room at the Henley Park Hotel.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Revengel said:

I understand your frustration (thinking about my experience last year) but the issue isn't w/ Otakon . . . it's Experient.

Would it have been nice to hear Otakon chime in? Yes. I'd rather they spend time doing what they can to address the issue . . .but it's really in the hands of Experient.

I agree: be frustrated. I'm just saying vent that frustration at Experient rather than Otakon.

a big event tied to otakon has some unforeseen problem and all information channels tied to otakon are silent.  and its up to the unfortunate people affected to figure it out and a solution by themselves.

Im pointing out the fact once again people are left in the dark and otakon doesnt do anything to keep us updated.  not even expecting them to fix it they had at this point almost 2 and a half hours to say were aware of the problem.  if they cant do that tiny bit its far worse then i thought.  And i would be far less frustrated if i didnt see the exact same scenario play out again for the 50th time.

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there is so much good will one can cash in before even the most devoted get tired.  I am honestly now getting that tired because this happens literally every year and i see nothing being done.   and now i have options i could spend $2500 and 5 hour drive or wait until october and november and spend a total of $100 and a 20 min train ride to a almost identical con.

im hoping this was it for the remainder of ota if not i hope enough of my friends end up going next year to force me to go.

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I have a completely unrelated question about the Marriott Marquis.

Almost 3 weeks ago I booked a two-bed room with an Atrium view at the Auto Club rate.  Even with the special rate, the room is more expensive than the convention rate, so my intention was to just have it as an insurance policy, and then cancel it when I got a convention  block room.

Fortunately, I was able to be sitting with my finger over the button at 12:00 today.  The button went live at exactly the second it was supposed to (I'd been spamming refresh).  It worked perfectly (in Firefox, on Comcast internet), no 404.  Instantly hit "Add Room".  Instantly hit "Marriott Marquis".  And...

Two-bed rooms completely sold out.  Not even Waitlisted.  Within 3 or 4 seconds.

How was this possible?

Did lots of people have bots / scripts that all jumped in within milliseconds, like the ticket scalpers with Ticketmaster?

Or did slimy scumbags (like myself) grab all the two bed rooms before the convention block was locked down?

Or ?????

I'm not upset, my insurance policy paid off (at a higher cost), but this just seemed really odd...

 

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15 minutes ago, shadowspawn said:

The button went live at exactly the second it was supposed to (I'd been spamming refresh).  It worked perfectly (in Firefox, on Comcast internet), no 404.  Instantly hit "Add Room".  Instantly hit "Marriott Marquis".  And...

Two-bed rooms completely sold out.  Not even Waitlisted.  Within 3 or 4 seconds.

How was this possible?]

For the high demand convention hotels, systems like Experient and Passkey only put up part of their two bedded inventory as guaranteed while the rest is lumped under "Run of House".  They do it this way to avoid overbooking a single type of room during a big booking rush like this.  I wonder if they even offered a two-bedded option at all, because it was also showing as sold out for me at 11:59am.

As for whoever is investigating the 404 issues:  I was able to get through on both Desktop Firefox and on my mobile Chrome, both using Spectrum ISP.  The desktop version froze for a minute after the rooms went live so I switched to mobile to do the booking, but I never got a 404 message on either browser. I think it must be a load balancing issue on their backend servers where some people got routed to working servers and others got routed to dead ones.

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Wow I got no errors at all today and got the Marriott Marquis just like I wanted. In fact this is the first I even heard anything happening. I had 5 taps up on Chrome, two for the portal, one on Facebook Otakon Page, one on Twitter page, and one on the website. Once I got something I went in and got it right at 12:01. I had zero problems and got no errors. I have not even seen any other errors. Could it be a regional thing as I'm located just outside of Atlanta in a hotel room with extra speed wifi?

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3 hours ago, GoukaRyuu said:

Well, I booked an exorbitantly priced room at the Renaissance which I won't be able to cancel after tomorrow given their policy. Oh well. At least my brother and I will have double beds. Just my luck that when some group gets screwed over I'm one of those people.  

I feel like that's probably an error due to how far out you're booking.

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Kept getting an error and when it finally work, entire hotel was booked.  Way to go guys.

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"Our hotel partner, Experient, has contacted us to let us know they are aware that some of our members were having difficulties getting through their website to book rooms today (receiving a 404 error). They have informed us they believe they have found the problem and it should now be resolved. Otakon and Experient both are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. If you are experiencing any trouble with their website, please call their customer service line (800-967-8852) to talk to them about hotel options and waitlist options. "

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3 hours ago, wackedkid47 said:

"Our hotel partner, Experient, has contacted us to let us know they are aware that some of our members were having difficulties getting through their website to book rooms today (receiving a 404 error). They have informed us they believe they have found the problem and it should now be resolved. Otakon and Experient both are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. If you are experiencing any trouble with their website, please call their customer service line (800-967-8852) to talk to them about hotel options and waitlist options. "


And? that doesnt change anything.  otakon still was silent and said nothing for hours.  because they are turning into the shitty person in a abusive relationship swearing they will change and doing the same thing again again and again.

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This is the worst experience I have ever had with Otakon, bar none. Absent a tweet or facebook post or front page announcement, I spent twenty minutes refreshing a 404'd page thinking there was just a delay in the portal going live; I had to search Twitter to find out what was going on. By the time I gave up, after forty minutes refreshing the page and multiple assurances from Experient on Twitter that the problem was fixed, I was frustrated, my lunch hour was gone, and, obviously, so were my first, second, and third choice hotels. By the time I got home to give it another shot, the waitlist option wasn't even available any more. I debated posting anything at all, but in the end here I am reactivating a decade old account to toss in my two cents. I still feel like a petulant idiot posting this, but after fifteen years this may be the year I give up on attending.

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46 minutes ago, Something Clever said:


And? that doesnt change anything.  otakon still was silent and said nothing for hours.  because they are turning into the shitty person in a abusive relationship swearing they will change and doing the same thing again again and again.

So there's not much more we can do at this point other than to apologize for the issues.  This is not the experience we want our fellow members to have when the book hotels and we're very sorry it happened.  We had taken steps before the scheduled open time to increase resources on our web site to handle the increased load and kept monitoring that during the open, but unfortunately this issue was not something directly controlled by us.

I'll try as best I can to answer questions or fill in extra details about what happened.  I understand the frustration over not hearing anything and we should have made a post along the lines of "we're not sure what's going on but we're working with Experient on the issue" and directed people to use the phone sooner.  We actually had that message crafted to go out when we got word from Experient that the issue had been resolved, so then that took some time to re-draft the new message what was what finally did go out.

Messages like this, especially when we're dealing with one of our partners, do take a little extra time to go out because we need to take extra effort to make sure we're sending the right message.  When we said "Otakon and Experient both are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused", we're not putting words in Experient's mouth.  They conveyed to us how sorry they were for the issue and we're relaying that message.

Details as to what did happen, very quickly we started getting reports of users getting 404 messages.  Several of our staff, including myself, did message some of those reporting issues directly and tried to debug and collected screen shots which we sent to Experient.

it sounds like one or two of the servers out of their web server pool were mis-configured.  It took them some time to find and fix that, since the result was only a small portion of users of the site were actually experiencing the issue.  So when they were looking at the overall numbers, things were looking good as all their testing was working and large numbers were able to book their rooms.  I realize that is little solace if you were in the group of users that did experience the issue.

As someone with a technical background who runs the web servers for Otakon (small scale) and has done so professional (much larger scale), i'll totally admit that I had a head-desk moment when I heard that.  We'll certainly be talking to Experient about what the can do in the future to make sure this doesn't happen again.

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3 hours ago, .taro. said:

So there's not much more we can do at this point other than to apologize for the issues.  This is not the experience we want our fellow members to have when the book hotels and we're very sorry it happened.  We had taken steps before the scheduled open time to increase resources on our web site to handle the increased load and kept monitoring that during the open, but unfortunately this issue was not something directly controlled by us.

I'll try as best I can to answer questions or fill in extra details about what happened.  I understand the frustration over not hearing anything and we should have made a post along the lines of "we're not sure what's going on but we're working with Experient on the issue" and directed people to use the phone sooner.  We actually had that message crafted to go out when we got word from Experient that the issue had been resolved, so then that took some time to re-draft the new message what was what finally did go out.

Messages like this, especially when we're dealing with one of our partners, do take a little extra time to go out because we need to take extra effort to make sure we're sending the right message.  When we said "Otakon and Experient both are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused", we're not putting words in Experient's mouth.  They conveyed to us how sorry they were for the issue and we're relaying that message.

Details as to what did happen, very quickly we started getting reports of users getting 404 messages.  Several of our staff, including myself, did message some of those reporting issues directly and tried to debug and collected screen shots which we sent to Experient.

it sounds like one or two of the servers out of their web server pool were mis-configured.  It took them some time to find and fix that, since the result was only a small portion of users of the site were actually experiencing the issue.  So when they were looking at the overall numbers, things were looking good as all their testing was working and large numbers were able to book their rooms.  I realize that is little solace if you were in the group of users that did experience the issue.

As someone with a technical background who runs the web servers for Otakon (small scale) and has done so professional (much larger scale), i'll totally admit that I had a head-desk moment when I heard that.  We'll certainly be talking to Experient about what the can do in the future to make sure this doesn't happen again.

The thing that probably grinds me the most is the it is what it is too bad result of all of these issues.  There is no consolation prize no nothing its just you got screwed oh well and we never see any tangible fix appear to ensure it doesnt happen again.

Because this isnt the exact issue but this isnt the first time weve had issues with this hotel portal.

i remember a few otas back people were able to access the hotel portal early by just changing a number in the url.   and therefore so many got screwed out of a room like now and like now oh well tough ----.

That is kinda the core complaint that is making me less and less thrilled to deal with otakon.  The first time it happened a plan should have been thought of to protect the ones who got screwed over.  so if something like today happened people wouldnt get a kick in the junk a pat on the back and thats it.

But nah same with the lack of communication the same core problem in a different wrapper keeps coming up and otakon keeps coming up with nothing to address it again in the future.  This isnt otas first year or first time something didnt work so that whole were working on it excuse feels like a insult to me.  This isnt the first time the hotel reservation system got borked and there should be someway for those affected to have something.  This isnt amazon losing a $20 package this is either hours of someones life or a large chunk of money or someones happiness because they couldnt swing the sudden expense and had to stay home or a cancelled panel etc.

The issue can be explained in excruciating detail but doesnt change the fact is it wasnt addressed the first time and i hear the same excuse the second time.   So when the inevitable 3rd time happens nothing is going be changed so the end result is someone is gonna be left unhappy ota gives a technical reason and thats it.


 

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Re: Hampton Inn

To satisfy my curiosity, I tried to make a reservation there on the weekend of Otakon. When I entered those dates, I got

There are no rooms available for 25 Jul 2019 - 28 Jul 2019 at Hampton Inn Washington-Downtown-Convention Center.

Now I'm wondering whether this is because they don't take reservations a year in advance, or is there something going on there that weekend.

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1 hour ago, Something Clever said:

The thing that probably grinds me the most is the it is what it is too bad result of all of these issues.  There is no consolation prize no nothing its just you got screwed oh well and we never see any tangible fix appear to ensure it doesnt happen again.
 

So what could be offered?  If it's something reasonable we can shop the idea around and look into it.

Issues I see with anything we could offer would be we have no way to confirm if someone actually had the issue or not.  Or even what place in line they would have been.  We do also have to be fair for the majority of people who were able to book online or over the phone.  We can't take away their reservations to give it to someone had the error and we can't create extra hotel rooms.

So at the end of the day we acknowledge something went wrong, apologize and our volunteer staff try to do better.

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4 hours ago, .taro. said:

So what could be offered?  If it's something reasonable we can shop the idea around and look into it.

Issues I see with anything we could offer would be we have no way to confirm if someone actually had the issue or not.  Or even what place in line they would have been.  We do also have to be fair for the majority of people who were able to book online or over the phone.  We can't take away their reservations to give it to someone had the error and we can't create extra hotel rooms.

So at the end of the day we acknowledge something went wrong, apologize and our volunteer staff try to do better.

if the reservation system didnt work properly work with experient to try to reset the reservation system so everyone has a fair shot.  or if there is a problem that they notice for next time have some kind of policy where if a problem is spotted nullify all reservations.

or at least work with the hotel to guarantee that if a problem arises and someone is forced to book via the normal rates.  and at some point down the road they can get a con rated room allow them to cancel without being charged.  Cause marriot marquis does that which is why the whole call experient thing was a god damn joke. considering if by some miracle you manage to get a room you would have to fight tooth and nail to not get charged for full room anyway
 

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For those who want to know what a 404 error is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_404

People are giving Otakon a lot of flak for something they cannot control. Experian's servers would have been throwing 404 errors, and the entire Otakon staff together could do nothing about it. They would not have any idea why it is occurring, nor when it would be fixed. This is the same scenario as Otakon releasing a super popular t-shirt on Amazon, and if Amazon failed to take the orders people would be yelling at Otakon. Thousands of connections are slamming the hotel portal at the same time. In Internet terms, that is the same thing as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

I work in support, and can tell you what this situation is like:

  1. Our application goes down for some unknown reason.
  2. The client starts getting slammed with phone calls to their Help Desk about the system being down.
  3. The client gets on the phone and starts screaming at us about why the system is down.
  4. We try to figure out what caused it, and get the system back up and running as fast as possible. While ensuring it is not going to go down again right away.
  5. Once things are stabilized we try to figure out what the cause was and how to prevent it in the future.

Experian is #1, Otakon is #2/#3 (the client) on the above list, and they would be the people breathing down Experian's neck to get the system back up. What communication is Otakon supposed to make that will make it great in everyone's eyes? Otakon has no authority to offer anything discounts/gifts/whatever that some of the commenters here are asking. There is an infinite number of ways for systems to go down. Here are a few I have dealt with: Flood in the Data Center. Air conditioning failing in the Server room (all the servers are overheating and have to be shut down before they burn up). Construction crew dug up the fiber optic connection to the outside world. Buggy patch released by the Operating System vendor wreaks havoc on our application.

I am sorry if this post seems like I am attacking people, because that is not my intention. However, this topic does hit a little close to home.

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3 hours ago, Clutch said:

For those who want to know what a 404 error is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_404

People are giving Otakon a lot of flak for something they cannot control. Experian's servers would have been throwing 404 errors, and the entire Otakon staff together could do nothing about it. They would not have any idea why it is occurring, nor when it would be fixed. This is the same scenario as Otakon releasing a super popular t-shirt on Amazon, and if Amazon failed to take the orders people would be yelling at Otakon. Thousands of connections are slamming the hotel portal at the same time. In Internet terms, that is the same thing as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

I work in support, and can tell you what this situation is like:

  1. Our application goes down for some unknown reason.
  2. The client starts getting slammed with phone calls to their Help Desk about the system being down.
  3. The client gets on the phone and starts screaming at us about why the system is down.
  4. We try to figure out what caused it, and get the system back up and running as fast as possible. While ensuring it is not going to go down again right away.
  5. Once things are stabilized we try to figure out what the cause was and how to prevent it in the future.

Experian is #1, Otakon is #2/#3 (the client) on the above list, and they would be the people breathing down Experian's neck to get the system back up. What communication is Otakon supposed to make that will make it great in everyone's eyes? Otakon has no authority to offer anything discounts/gifts/whatever that some of the commenters here are asking. There is an infinite number of ways for systems to go down. Here are a few I have dealt with: Flood in the Data Center. Air conditioning failing in the Server room (all the servers are overheating and have to be shut down before they burn up). Construction crew dug up the fiber optic connection to the outside world. Buggy patch released by the Operating System vendor wreaks havoc on our application.

I am sorry if this post seems like I am attacking people, because that is not my intention. However, this topic does hit a little close to home.

otakon could have responded within the hour saying hey we are aware that there is a problem.  not hours after the fact cause not everyone knows to go here to figure out whats going on.  Not expecting them to wave a magic wand i expect some form of communication in the age of instant communication.  instead of people running around trying the site people would have known oh the sites dead guess ill use the phone. instead of running around using every device and wi fi connection they have and missing the hotel completely.

Had i not known to rush to the forum i would have done the same and missed the marriot entirely.  i literally got one of 2 rooms left when i booked via normal rates

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32 minutes ago, Clutch said:

For those who want to know what a 404 error is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_404

People are giving Otakon a lot of flak for something they cannot control. Experian's servers would have been throwing 404 errors, and the entire Otakon staff together could do nothing about it. They would not have any idea why it is occurring, nor when it would be fixed. This is the same scenario as Otakon releasing a super popular t-shirt on Amazon, and if Amazon failed to take the orders people would be yelling at Otakon. Thousands of connections are slamming the hotel portal at the same time. In Internet terms, that is the same thing as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

I work in support, and can tell you what this situation is like:

  1. Our application goes down for some unknown reason.
  2. The client starts getting slammed with phone calls to their Help Desk about the system being down.
  3. The client gets on the phone and starts screaming at us about why the system is down.
  4. We try to figure out what caused it, and get the system back up and running as fast as possible. While ensuring it is not going to go down again right away.
  5. Once things are stabilized we try to figure out what the cause was and how to prevent it in the future.

Experian is #1, Otakon is #2/#3 (the client) on the above list, and they would be the people breathing down Experian's neck to get the system back up. What communication is Otakon supposed to make that will make it great in everyone's eyes? Otakon has no authority to offer anything discounts/gifts/whatever that some of the commenters here are asking. There is an infinite number of ways for systems to go down. Here are a few I have dealt with: Flood in the Data Center. Air conditioning failing in the Server room (all the servers are overheating and have to be shut down before they burn up). Construction crew dug up the fiber optic connection to the outside world. Buggy patch released by the Operating System vendor wreaks havoc on our application.

I am sorry if this post seems like I am attacking people, because that is not my intention. However, this topic does hit a little close to home.

As someone who managed to get my hotel room without a problem (a two-bed at the Renaissance), I do agree that the site likely went down as a result of everyone trying to log in at the same time. My family and I have experienced this situation numerous times (pre-ordering Amiibos at Gamestop, trying to order LE Disney pins), and at these times, the situation was due to everyone and their mother trying to order the item at the same time. Personally, I had the hotel site on my browser a few minutes before noon, and once the magic hour was upon me, I clicked on the housing button and went through the booking without any problem.

Speaking of hotel blocks, any word on the Conrad Hilton (which was another hotel I was considering since it's right next to the parking lot my roommate uses when we stay at the Renaissance)? Is the block for that room being held back until later (i.e. when the hotel actually opens in March 2019), or is Otakon holding off trying to get rooms there until 2020?

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I'm curious:  I managed to get into the booking site on time, but the Hampton Inn (where I stayed last year) was a no-show, even though it was on the list of hotels you said were going to be available for us.  I just checked a minute ago, and it's still not there.  Any explanations?

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2 hours ago, Clutch said:

Thousands of connections are slamming the hotel portal at the same time. In Internet terms, that is the same thing as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

I very much appreciate the sentiment, but in this case it was not overloaded traffic so I don't like adding speculation about other things that may have happened.

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2 hours ago, Something Clever said:

otakon could have responded within the hour saying hey we are aware that there is a problem.  not hours after the fact cause not everyone knows to go here to figure out whats going on.  Not expecting them to wave a magic wand i expect some form of communication in the age of instant communication.  instead of people running around trying the site people would have known oh the sites dead guess ill use the phone. instead of running around using every device and wi fi connection they have and missing the hotel completely.

Had i not known to rush to the forum i would have done the same and missed the marriot entirely.  i literally got one of 2 rooms left when i booked via normal rates

They we're thinking of you first trying to fix the problem alot of otakons people were at work like everyone else not like they all sat there waiting for something to go wrong taro actually happened to be awake for it and Immediately  was on it trying to figure out what was going on 1 person can talk to 5k people and post something on it simultaneously I mean he's awesome but I wouldn't expect that from him the staff isn't to blame could have been a server problem a bad hop an entire node going down anything could have happened Russia could have hacked in you still just wanna seem like you wanna point at otakon

It's like blaming the bag boy at the market for you choosing broken eggs and the package leaks as you put it on the conveyor

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6 hours ago, Kewshi said:

They we're thinking of you first trying to fix the problem alot of otakons people were at work like everyone else not like they all sat there waiting for something to go wrong taro actually happened to be awake for it and Immediately  was on it trying to figure out what was going on 1 person can talk to 5k people and post something on it simultaneously I mean he's awesome but I wouldn't expect that from him the staff isn't to blame could have been a server problem a bad hop an entire node going down anything could have happened Russia could have hacked in you still just wanna seem like you wanna point at otakon

It's like blaming the bag boy at the market for you choosing broken eggs and the package leaks as you put it on the conveyor


is the staff to blame no of course not.  is otakon to blame for having 20+ years of experience related to problems and have no rules for dealing with stuff like this in a timely matter.  yes absolutely im banging on about the fact that there doesnt seem to be any central rule or anything to handle problems.  This isnt the first time and the fact there doesnt seem to be a general code of conduct for problem solving and pr control is amazing to me.  Otakon has had 20 years to have something by now and the best seems to be slap a piece of tape over it and move on.  ota has such a huge pool of staff even though being volunteer i highly doubt they all operate on the same exact schedule.  there isnt one master key needed to access the ota facebook,twitter etc at least a few people should be on hand for when something breaks.


And also lets be real things breaking that otakon isnt responsible for is literally otas trademark at this point.  So as i said this whole if anyone is around to do something just adds insult to injury you guys should expect something to break that your involved with at this point.

The fire alarm getting pulled on year and the whole con being evacuated
The many many many years of line jackassery due to outside sources misinformation and so
the con flooding along with a few marriot rooms

And im supposed to not criticize the crap out of ota for treating this like the other times never happened.   Nah volunteer or not that doesnt make a bit of sense and ill continue to vocally criticize until i see people saying yes x broke but we followed plan x and handled it to our best abilities or something along those lines.

Not well dave frank and kim were all at work so mark gave it a shot didnt work so we just waited till the guy who knew our social media password got home

 

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Weird how these 404 errors work....   My buddy in Michigan logged in at 12noon and kept getting the 404 error while my wife was at home at 12noon and snagged a double bed at the Renaissance. 

I'm not sure why everyone is breathing down Otakon's neck over this whole thing as it's not their fault. Otakon does not have a full-time workforce whose job it is to run the convention and the website 365 days a year. These problems were with Experient who DOES have a full-time staff dedicated to operating and maintaining their booking site.  It sounds like some members have an ax to grind on this thread. If you're so mad at the convention then there's no reason to keep attending if it isn't fun anymore. 

 

 

EDIT: as of 12:23 on 9/1/18 there are rooms open at the Renaissance. 

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I got a hotel. The Capital Hilton using Hotels.com and for Thursday to Sunday it was $490. Is the Con block a better rate? 

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