Tesco has said its website is back up and running after it crashed under the weight of more than 290,000 people queuing for a prized Christmas delivery slot.
Customers logging on today to secure a delivery between December 12 to 24 complained of a queue of over 100,000 by 6am and a crashing site.
Customers reported they were in a queue numbering more than 290,000 at one point.
Delivery Saver customers – those who pay a fee for priority access – were told they could book a slot from 6am on November 15, but some complained that the queue was opened before the advertised time.
Posting on Twitter, one customer said: “I logged on at 5.59 (am) to get ready only to find over 135,000 in the queue already.”
By 6.13am, users were posting screenshots that showed the queue was up to 180,000 people.
Others complained they spent time waiting in the queue only to be kicked out: “Hey @Tesco just sat for half an hour in your xmas queue and as soon as I reached the front of the queue I got kicked out and now the wait is an hour.”
Another said: “I was 38,000 in the queue and the app ‘refreshed’ itself and now I’m number 178,000. You’re having a laugh.”
Shortly after 9am a customer tweeted: “I got on after a 2.5 hour wait. Managed to get a slot on the 21st (22 and 23 already fully booked).”
The supermarket said it would be releasing more slots on November 22 at 6am.
A Tesco spokesperson said the website struggled under the sheer number of people logging on rather than any technological problem.
While delivery slots were still available in the days before Christmas, they were disappearing fast, and he urged customers to consider ‘Click and Collect’ as an option for managing festive shopping.
Tesco is relatively late to open bookings for its Christmas delivery slots, with most other supermarkets having released them last month.
Shoppers had been expected to seek out the slots in greater numbers than usual this year as they set tighter budgets and seek to spread the cost of Christmas in an effort to cope with cost-of-living pressures.