The Wrong Thong

So I was checking my email the other day and caught sight of this ad, promoting a special–some weird sort of reverse, mean-spirited special–on a pair of thong sandals:

SO MANY QUESTIONS!

Now, $1, 754 seems reasonable…but $2, 201? Now you’re just being greedy!

Out of curiosity–and thinking that this was shirley some huge mistake–I clicked and was taken to the QVC site…where the price of the shoes was–disappointingly–around $40. It’s too bad. I was kinda hoping QVC had just gone batshit crazy for a day and was deciding to sell THE MOST EXPENSIVE FLIP-FLOPS IN THE WORLD.

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25 thoughts on “The Wrong Thong

  1. What's interesting here (if you, like me, have no life and all your best friends are electrons) is the WAY this sort of thing happens. You see, application server completely decouples the ad from the item, and the item from the price. In other words, the ad is a row in a database that includes the graphical elements, and pointers to a price row where it queries the current (or discounted) price dynamically. So any arbitrarily wrong number that gets fed to the prices table will get loaded into the ad when your browser asks for it. It's wickedly hard to do quality control against this kind of error, and indeed, it's quite common, although not necessarily to the degree of two thousand dollar shoes.But guess where ELSE the price is decoupled from the item and queried dynamically in real time? That's right boys and girls, the GROCERY STORE (and any other store that scans bar codes, which is almost all of them). In these applications, you don't 'change the price', you point to a different price field within the application logic. And so some fairly large number of the things you buy every day are not the charged at the price they are "supposed" to be. And yet, how often do we ever check?

  2. And so some fairly large number of the things you buy every day are not the charged at the price they are "supposed" to be. And yet, how often do we ever check?Yikes. And unless you have a photographic memory, I don't know how you could possibly remember the actual prices. Especially not when you do monster twice-a-month shopping trips like I do.

  3. As dudeskull grows (it's true! he will) that will become an untenable practice.Oh, I have no doubt of that. And I can't believe you passed up an opportunity to make a joke about "monster" shopping trips!

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