lastminute.com's WIGIG sale - do you really stand a chance?

1 December 2008

You may have received an email from lastminute.com recently, heralding today's launch of their When It's Gone It's Gone promotion (WIGIG):

If you tried to bag the bargains, there's a very good reason why you probably weren't successful. This email wasn't just sent to you, obviously; three years ago, nearly 10 million people were subscribing to lastminute.com's newsletter, so you can bet there's be a similar number receiving it now, give or take a million or two.

So when lastminute.com advertise a sale that offers theatre tickets and theme park tickets from just £1, competition to buy them is going to be tough. How tough, exactly? Well, let's take a look at the first day's offers:

So several million potential customers, four big deals, with the chance of succeeding depends on two factors: demand and supply. Even as a pessimistic estimate, it's fair to say that several thousand people will have tried to make a purchase; maybe tens of thousands.

But what about supply? How many deals were there to be had?

So when we compare the prices advertised to the products available, we see that:

- there were 200 theatre tickets available for £1

- there were 350 experiences - children's photoshoots and paintballing for £10

- there were 10 days out (the Merlin passes) for £10

-  there were 20 festival tickets for £20

That little word "from" when used in advertising can mask such incredibly misleading headlines, can't it? Just 20 festival tickets at the prices advertised? Just 10 theme park passes for £10? And there may have been 200 theatre tickets available for £1, but you had the choice of just two shows and we're fairly sure they're the sort of things you buy in pairs, don't you?

We can't wait for midday tomorrow now - will lastminute.com come up with an offer that a reasonable number of its customers can take advantage of, or will it be more "bullshit baffles brains"? We'll let you know.

TOPICS:   Travel

7 comments

  • denise g.
    nothing available for a pound that cant normally be got for a pound on other web sites. really makes me cross.
  • Big D.
    Pure Marketing Bullshit - I've unsubscribed from their newsletter.
  • David U.
    I sent an email of complaint, making it clear that far from increasing sustainable traffic to their site, their sham marketing scheme will only turn people away from lastminute.com in the longer term. I will most certainly not be using them again. This nonsense really annoys me.
  • Claire
    This and other similar promotions annoy me. Particularly the Hoxton Hotel who from time to time offer rooms for a £1. Their site breaks everytime they have this deal and the last time they did it apparently they had a glitch with the site meaning only the £29 rooms (also on promotional offer) sold first. Not bad... for them.....
  • lastminute.com
    Hi Paul, We introduced our WIGIG offers in October this year and as you’ve pointed out they have been really popular. Again, as you’ve point out, we are completely transparent with the level of availability of our headline offers. These offers are also supported by second- and third-tier offers. The headline offers are incredibly popular but don't sell out in minutes. For example yesterday’s spa WIGIG still had availability in the last 30 minutes of the promotion. The 10 million newsletter subscriber figure you mentioned referred to the whole lastminute group; the WIGIG promotion is sent only to UK subscribers which is less than half of that number. I know that's still a big number but wanted to make that clear. Appreciate your feedback. We do listen, and we’ll chip in wherever we can. You can also talk to us on Twitter here – www.twitter.com/lastminute_com
  • David U.
    I sent them an email of complaint after the fury of them completely wasting my time. Here's their response: Dear Mr. Urquhart, Thank you for your email. I apologise for the delay in responding and for the inconvenience caused to you. The offer proved extremely popular and we experienced a huge number of people visiting our website to try and take advantage of the promotion. We apologise that you could not book the deal, as all the tickets were sold out very soon. I suggest you to keep checking our website, as we are coming up with great offers daily and you should surely be able to book the deal next time. If you require any further information, please feel free to contact me. Kind regards, Shivani Dalal Customer Services Team lastminute.com
  • lastminute.com’s B.
    [...] told you all about lastminute.com’s WIGIG promotion (When It’s Gone, It’s Gone) on Monday. Despite achingly huge headlines that trumpeted [...]

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