Amazon Does the Right Thing

ScreenshotWhen we covered last weekend’s Amazon S3 outage, we wondered about the level of transparency and suggested that the requirements for claiming a refund were too onerous. In a good display of customer service, the Amazon team has addressed both of these issues. First, they’ve posted details about what they’re calling an “availability event” in a form that can serve as a model postmortem for Web 2.0 outages: they give technical details and a timeline on the problem and the fix, enumerate the changes they’ve made to prevent it happening again, and end on a personal note (though take half a point off for omitting to use the word “sorry” anywhere).

Even better news is buried in the S3 forums: you won’t have to jump through those refund-claiming hoops after all. “For this particular event, we’ll be waiving our standard SLA process and applying the appropriate service credit to all affected customers for the July billing period. Customers will not need to send us an e-mail to request their credits, as these will be automatically applied. This transaction will be reflected in our customers’ August billing statements.”

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