It was supposed to be the biggest online shopping event of the year down under, Australia's answer to Black Friday. But Tuesday evening's Click Frenzy event turned into a public relations disaster when the site failed to let shoppers in for up to three hours.

Blogger Asher Moses said the whole program was a "marketing exercise run by technical amateurs," and hinted that the company behind the event was more concerned with capturing shopper data — with no word yet on how it might be used — than in making sure those shoppers were able to make purchases.

Participating retailers paid anywhere from $2,000 to $30,000 to be featured on the Click Frenzy website. Shortly after the event started, an IT company monitoring the sites involved noted that about two thirds of them experienced technical issues.

Shortly thereafter, the #clickfail hashtag started to emerge as shoppers took their frustration to Twitter.

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