Wheedle shuts site after technology fails

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 16:00 02/10/2012
Wheedle.co.nz
TECHNOLOGY GLITCH: TradeMe rival Wheedle.co.nz forced offline as technology gremlins strike.

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Wheedle has announced it will close its online marketplace while it carries out a "thorough update" of its systems and processes.

Managing director Carl Rees did not give an indication of how long that might take. He said Wheedle would not reopen until its management team were "completely confident its performance and processes meet the standards expected by New Zealand consumers".

Wheedle's website went offline this afternoon after a blogger identified a fault that let people change the reserve price of other members' auctions.

Some visitors to the site had also been questioning whether the measures Wheedle had taken to secure people's passwords were adequate.

Trade Me today tweeted a "reminder" to New Zealanders that it was not a good idea for people to use the same password for multiple websites.

Wheedle's website had also been offline until shortly after 10am this morning while the company fixed coding errors that had affected its launch-day performance.

The online trading platform, which aims to provide a cheaper, New Zealand-owned alternative to Fairfax-controlled Trade Me, has been bankrolled by Mainfreight co-founder Neil Graham.

Rees said Wheedle's launch had attracted an exceptional response.

"We have received an extraordinary level of interest from the New Zealand public, demonstrating the real demand for competition in this space," he said.

"However, operating issues were identified and our determination to ensure we can provide a level of service we are satisfied with means that we have elected to close the site until we can complete a comprehensive audit of our systems and make the necessary improvements.

"In the meantime, however, we would like to thank the New Zealand public for their interest and support, and we look forward to reintroducing Wheedle as soon as possible," he said.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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