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Re: The MSN Messenger

  • From: Av
  • Date: Sat Jul 07 08:30:46 2001

I admit the following view is highly subjective but everything is nowadays

Personally I respect companies a lot more for more disclosure of problems.
Small ISP's run by mainly techie's are very good at this (most of the
time). If something goes wrong they like to let their customers know what
went wrong and when they expect things to be back.

I wouldn't expect a "Oops we accidentally pulled a cable out of the back
of a modem in ourrack but everything's back now and we only disconnected
one customer". I would however (in the case of MSNM) have prefered
somethign to have been released at the latest one day after the incident
(which is evidently a major issue with them) to say something like:
 "Oops, the cluster that hosts the MSNM softwarewas hit by a power outage
and the UPS's unfortunately failed. This resulted in servers going tits-up
and we're currently trying to recover all data. Sorry." (that's not what
happened - I don't know what happened, just giving the above as an

Yes, it's difficult to predict how long things will taketo fixand thus
your process below fails. Instead why don't they class inicents by "Who is
affected?" rather than "How long will it take to fix and who might

On 6 Jul 2001, Sean Donelan wrote:

> 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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