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The MSN Messenger

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Sat Jul 07 00:20:36 2001

Since it is always difficult to predict how long it will take
to fix a problem, the question for the PR people always is:

   Do you say as little as possible, hoping it will be over soon?

The problem with this strategy is if your problem continues for a long
time, you look incenitive or even incompetant.

   Do you confirm you have a problem, and provide customer updates?

The problem with this strategy is you draw attention to minor issues,
which few people would have noticed otherwise.

After four days, Microsoft finally added a statement to their MSN
Messenger web site.  I guess Microsoft's PR people decided they
couldn't make things worse at this point.

> July 6, 2001/8:00 pm PST
> MSN Messenger is currently experiencing a service outage for many
> customers on a worldwide basis. We wholeheartedly apologize for the
> inconvenience you may be experiencing. Our operations team is working
> diligently to restore full service (including restoration of all
> personal contact lists) as soon as possible. We are working around
> the clock to have MSN Messenger up ASAP. We expect to have the service
> restored by the end of the day today. Please continue to check back
> for updated status reports. Thank you for your patience.
> The MSN Messenger

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