I spoke to someone at Ganz today about the Webkinz World site issues. The problem was twofold. First, the sales side didn't communicate expectations correctly to the folks who run the site. As such, they were totally overwhelmed by the numbers of kids "adopting" their new pets. The regular site could almost hold the load, but the "adoption center", essentially the code fulfillment center, couldn't handle the load. I still don't totally buy that since the valid codes had to be loaded into the system somehow. There was also some type of hardware failure as well, but I don't have the details. Still, the lesson in capacity planning and disaster recovery is clear. Murphy is the patron saint of Computer Science for a reason.
Ganz has also issued an apology on the Webkinz World site. As an offer for amends, they will extend registrations for one month and add 500 "KinzCash" points to everyone's account. There are certainly worse ways to handle this type of problem. I commend Ganz for trying to make the best out of a bad situation.
So, do you have a communication plan as part of your disaster mitigation and recovery strategy?