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Crash of Surrey’s ‘nightmare’ recreation registration system frustrates those who missed out

‘Nothing seems to work every time there is registration,’ one resident complains

Registration for the City of Surrey’s spring recreation programs opened at 9 p.m. Sunday evening (Feb. 26) and the online system promptly crashed, a situation that angered some residents and led to an apology from city hall.

Surrey’s rec department blamed high traffic volumes on, where the outage reportedly began at 8:30 p.m. and continued until 9:50.

During that time, the call centre continued to take phone registrations, noted Laurie Cavan, general manager of Parks, Recreation and Culture.

“As of 11 p.m. (Sunday), more than 13,500 registrations were processed,” Cavan wrote in an email. “The City’s IT team and various vendors are conducting an investigation to what caused the system to go offline. We apologize for the unexpected disruption with our website and any technical issues with signing up for activities.”

Surrey’s rec registration system, for aquatics, day camps, fitness, sports, arts and other activities, has been a source of frustration for Rachel Markos, who detailed her story in a late-Sunday email to Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke and cc’d the Now-Leader, among others.

“In spite of trying to login on time, nothing seemed to work,” Markos wrote. “The phone was busy. (We have the phone log records as a proof). The system is completely broken and the server was experiencing technical problems. Nothing seems to work every time there is registration. Since this is happening time and time again, is this an indication that this is a systemic problem that has been ignored? If so, have you been made aware of this and what have you done to address it?”

Both online and by phone, Markos said she spent an hour and 25 minutes trying to register for programs.

“By the time we got through, all spots were taken away,” Markos complained.

On a City of Surrey Facebook post about Sunday’s website crash, others chimed in about the registration system.

“Website is a nightmare to use. Extremely frustrating,” posted Brad Mayor.

Heather Muir had some suggestions for the city. “Surrey residents need to be able to register first,” Muir posted. “Every other city and municipality does this for their tax paying residents. Registering in phases would reduce the traffic on the site. Swimming lessons, skating, arts, all on different days, etc.”

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