I tend to keep my company to a really high standard because not only is it my business, but my business rides on top of that infrastructure. So when someone has a problem, its my problem too. I tend to say we suck (though over 2007 we have fixed approximately 80% of the outstanding issues) but things happen to get much worse out there. Take a look at this story.
One of the ISPs in UK, 123-Reg, apparently (just guessing but their comments and commenters) had a DDoS take its name servers out of commission on Friday and they apparently had the weekend off and didn’t get around to recovering the service till last night.
But note the comments.. people are pissed not because the stuff crashed, not because the money they lost, not because of incompetence – they are pissed because there was no notice, no communication, no way to reach anyone.
This is a big problem, one that is very complex to fix. If you think it’s simple, you can probably count the number of customers on one hand. Establishing the communications channel is simple – you throw up a blog, podcast, video blog, newsletter, direct mail, print it on the back of the business card, scotch tape it to the bathroom door. The complex part is getting your customer base to adapt to the single, official communications process. Your customers have to adopt your preferred way of communication to theirs. It can be tough to do, but it has to be firm and it has to be consistent.
After all, you can’t order a Pizza at a McDonalds.. And you can’t request support through email. 🙂 (I’ve said this dozens of times and never had my ass kicked, your mileage may vary)