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Comparing Apple’s MobileMe Contrition With Google and Netflix

Adam Engst nails it:

Both MobileMe Mail and Google’s Gmail went down on 11-Aug-08 for a few hours. Apple’s recent email doesn’t mention that outage as part of the rocky transition, and the only acknowledgment I could find of it was a pair of entries in the MobileMe System Status page (bookmark this page, folks!). There was no mention of the outage on the semi-anonymous MobileMe Status blog at all, with the most recent posting being from 29-Jul-08, claiming that lost email had been restored and promising (but not delivering) another post later in the week.

Google, in contrast, quickly posted a highly apologetic message on the Official Gmail Blog titled “We feel your pain, and we’re sorry.” It outlines in reasonable detail what went wrong, why it happened, and what Google is doing to prevent the problem in the future. I don’t know if Google offered paying subscribers for Google Apps for Domains Premier Edition (who are guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime) a credit, but since Gmail is free to most users, an apology is mostly what’s warranted.

The kicker is that the MobileMe Status blog was in fact updated today, but only to state that the blog will no longer be updated. Apple’s biggest problem isn’t with its product quality (which, overall, remains very high), but with its communication to customers. The insulting “Bug fixes” release notes for the 2.0.1 and 2.0.2 iPhone OS updates are another example.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008