Whether you read about the Intermedia
cloud outage on September 3 or you experienced it firsthand like I did, you've probably been curious to see how the company would respond to the incident that left its customers without email access for several hours. Michael Gold, president of Intermedia, followed up his initial claims to make things right with an email last Thursday describing in detail what the company plans to do:
"We are proactively honoring our SLA agreement. And we will be crediting three times the amount that we’re contractually obligated to pay," says Gold in the letter. "Because we've waived the reporting requirement, there’s no action you need to take. We will automatically credit your account in the next billing cycle."
Additionally, Gold acknowledged that the credit wasn't enough to make up for last Tuesday's impact on their business, but asked customers to see the credit as a demonstration of Intermedia's commitment to keeping its promises.
The letter goes on to explain the fixes the company has made since September 3: "First, we've solved the router failures and configuration issues at the heart of Tuesday’s service interruption. And we've made operational and infrastructure changes to assure that these issues cannot recur," he says. "Second, we’re making a number of additional investments in infrastructure, processes and support. These include:
• Separating our communications networks from our production networks to assure that you can always reach us by phone or email.
• Expanding our use of alternate channels such as social media and our corporate blog.
• Developing new tools to offer quick visibility into the status of your Intermedia services."
Gold concludes the letter by opening the lines of communication to his customers, giving them multiple avenues to connect with Intermedia.
What happened at Intermedia on September 3 was a major debacle. However, the way the company owned up to its mistake, remedied the problem, and remained transparent and available to its customers in the aftermath is a great example of the right way to handle a make good. Too many other companies try to rationalize their errors, hide from their problems, and/or keep their customers in the dark, which only serves to add fuel to an already volatile situation.
Most people understand that no technology is 100% reliable. And, during those times when things go awry, a company's true character is revealed. In Intermedia's case, it showed that it is a class act.