Keeping customers informed when there are problems

If you are a service provider and your service is interrupted, then you could say nothing and try to deal with the issue as fast as possible. On the other hand, you could tell the truth to your customers. I much prefer the latter:

PBwiki is temporarily down due to a networking hardware problem at our upstream internet provider. We aren’t the only customer offline and the operations staff onsite are working with a technician from the hardware vendor and their upstream link to resolve this problem as soon as possible. We’ve been advised that it may not be possible to fully restore operations for several hours while replacement hardware is located and installed. The fiber optic connectors and transceivers used for these core network systems aren’t for sale on every street corner, unfortunately, at least not before sunrise.

Your wiki is safe, and there is no risk of data loss. Our servers are fine but they currently can’t connect to anything outside of their building. Yes, we love you and yes we miss your wiki as much as you do. It’ll be back in a flash.

Our production servers are located in San Jose, California. You are reading this message on a development machine located in San Diego, California. There’s currently no wiki data here but we have enough offsite infrastructure to show this message. We’ve temporarily remapped all *.pbwiki.com addresses to this message — otherwise you’d just get a timeout in your browser. We have a roadmap plan which will allow us to cope more gracefully with this type of (rare) event in the future.

Thanks for your patience,
Nathan Schmidt / PBwiki CTO

Last update: Thursday, July 13 2006 4:23am PST (11:23 GMT)

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