Service outages, regardless of what service is involved, are nothing to joke about. Some service outages are minor problems, causing us to turn to comparatively simple backups. Others are much more deeply felt, requiring extensive systems to achieve any kind of backup. Cricket Wireless, part of AT&T (News - Alert), recently suffered its own outage recently, and promised investigation as to its cause.
The recent outage started last Friday afternoon and went through the night into Saturday morning. No details followed as to the cause—or why it only affected Cricket services and left AT&T services largely unscathed—but Cricket followed up with a sincere apology (actually phrased as “We sincerely apologize.”) and noted that customers may need to power phones off and restart them in order to restore service.
Cricket customers weren't happy about this development, and took to Twitter (News - Alert), in some cases requesting service credits. That's reasonable enough; no one wants to pay for a service they can't use through no fault of their own. Subsequent reports noted that Cricket was doing just that, offering $5 in credit to customers hit by the outage, though on a “case-by-case basis” as reviewed by the customer care divisions.
Service outages can hit at any time and for a host of reasons. From squirrels in transformers to poles getting hit by cars to severe weather, an outage can strike in most any service. That's why tools like Minuteman's line of power backup systems are particularly useful. Such systems allow users to save work just before shutting down a computer naturally in a power outage, and if the outage is sufficiently short, it can allow the user to carry on as though nothing had happened. Even a short-duration power outage can unexpectedly hamstring work, causing the loss of valuable documents in progress.
Being prepared for service outages is sometimes difficult, sometimes costly, and sometimes just plain not possible. Those who prepare, however, are more likely to come out ahead in the end, with less opportunity lost and more opportunity ready to be realized. It's a great chance to get ahead of a competitor, by being able to work when no one else can, so investing in backup systems and backup planning can help keep an operation afloat when nothing else will.
Be ready for those unexpected outages. Whether it's being ready to transition workers to telecommuting or just knowing the location of a local coffee shop with good Wi-Fi, those preparations can mean the difference between a day lost and a day inconvenienced. That can mean big savings in the long run, and the ability to carry on no matter what life throws at you.