Just because a crashed system is back up and running doesn’t mean downtime cost stop mounting.  Customer dissatisfaction and tarnished reputations can exact a toll long after an outage. In the case of cloud computing the impact may well spill over to your customers’ customers. A recent Tumblr outage lasting four hours meant its customers lost almost 100 million views.

Over the past year we’ve seen notable outages followed by profuse apologies and offers of compensation. It really doesn’t help the customer much, but the service provider’s total bill for the reparations can be steep and, in the end, customer may not be too inclined to forgive and forget.

Here’s a look at what some companies offered following bouts of downtime:

  • From Omaha.com: Cox Taking Credit Requests Over Email Delays
    After a three-day outage, Cox Communications offered a refund to affected customers that attempted calls into the company’s customer service line. Cases were to be coordinated on an individual basis. Information about how much credit would be offered was not disclosed.
  • From Harry & David: Oops – Our Apologies!
    While the details of the outage are vague, Harry & David apparently experienced a slowdown or a complete systems failure that prevented consumers from having a pleasant shopping experience. To make up for the hiccup, they offered customers 20% off their next purchase.
  • From Network World: Microsoft Offers Credits for ‘Leap Day’ Azure Outage
    Microsoft offered customers a credit to make up for a series of outages that were caused by a software bug in its Azure cloud services. The credit amounted to one-third of the total price for the time a customer was without service.
  • From Google App Engine Blog: About Today’s App Engine Outage

On October 26, Google App Engine experienced tough times for roughly six hours. To make up for the inconvenience, Google issued credits to all paid applications for ten percent of their usage for the month of October to cover any SLA violations.

Wouldn’t it more efficient and cost-effective to prevent outages rather than recovering and apologizing after the fact? Keeping operations and business applications online 24/7/365 equals happy customers, regardless of business size or industry. To learn more about what solution is the right fit for your business, visit our homepage and check out the uptime meter.

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