Intermedia Service Disruption Gets Customers Fired Up

September 09, 2013

By Hannah Bond - Power Protection Contributing Writer

Service disruptions are an inevitable part of doing business in the Web and cloud computing sectors, but how a company deals with them can do a lot to either help or hinder their reputation with their customers. Although customers get upset during any outage, they get especially upset when the outage lasts for an extended period of time with no word from the company on what is happening.

This was certainly the case last Tuesday when Intermedia (News - Alert), a provider of cloud services, went down without warning leaving customers unable to access their content on the cloud or their e-mail. Since Intermedia manages more than half a million Exchange mailboxes, this service disruption was a major event.

In a time when more and more customers are beginning to realize the impact that server outages can have and are becoming increasingly concerned with them, any outage requires the company at fault to work hard to prove to customers that they’re still reliable and working on a fix. This is not, however, what Intermedia did.

There was allegedly a major lack of communication in addition to the lack of ability to access hosted content, with angry users who took to social media to complain about receiving no answers in response. Additionally, many customers were allegedly not properly notified about the unscheduled downtime through e-mail. Perhaps most aggravating for the customers, account managers and contacts were reportedly unresponsive when customers tried to contact them.

The upside to Intermedia’s lack of communication during the outage is that they seem to be taking the event as a learning opportunity, with CEO Phil Koen penning in an apology letter that one of the company’s main goals for after the outage would be to “improve the responsiveness and robustness of our customer notification tools and systems. Although we were successful in notifying many of our customers about the issues via alternate e-mail addresses, text messages and HostPilot, not all customers were reached. Going forward, we will make more timely use of our website and social media—especially Twitter (News - Alert) and Facebook.”

Edited by Rory J. Thompson