Intuit Services Outage Draws Angry Comments From SMBs4:05 PM EST Thu. Jun. 17, 2010
Intuit said it has restored service to its TurboTax Online, QuickBooks Online, Quicken and QuickBase Web sites, following a massive outage of those services that began Tuesday night and left thousands of SMB customers unable to process credit card payments and other transactions.
A posting on Intuit’s customer support site this afternoon said those Web sites are now live “following work that continued throughout the night.” The support site said that in some isolated cases customers might need to refresh their browsers to connect to the sites.
“We're carefully monitoring the sites and the applications that support them to ensure we provide the services that customers expect. And they're performing well at this time,” the site quoted Intuit CIO Ginny Lee as saying. “We're deeply sorry for the disruption to businesses and consumers and appreciate their patience as we worked to resolve this problem.”
Tuesday night Intuit’s online accounting and tax services went down, an outage apparently caused by a power failure that occurred during a routine maintenance procedure. The incident affected the company’s primary and backup systems, taking down a number of Intuit Websites and services that as many as 300,000 small and midsize businesses rely on.
The Inuit sites are popular among small and midsize companies and the outage raises yet again the question of whether businesses can rely on on-demand application services provided by third parties, rather than systems running on-premise. Customers that use Amazon EC2, Salesforce.com. Microsoft Online Services and EMC Atmos, among others, have at one time or another found themselves left without the cloud services due to an outage.
The community site was filled with angry comments from customers who depend on the Intuit services.
“This is very bad. Listen, if I am not able to process my credit cards before noon tomorrow, checks are going to bounce in my account. Who's going to pay for that? Not me! And if I do, Hasta La Vista!” said a posting from a customer using the name “PleaseHold.”
“This is insane not to have a backup and be down in the middle of the week,” wrote “Linxcorp” in a post. “This is costing me both money and time. I can't process any orders because you guys are so smart to outsource all your processes to another country. I will be looking into alternative processing tomorrow. I can't risk my business on Intuit any more. Too many incidents on an annual basis like this.”
“How will you be making up to your customers for this ‘inconvenience’? As high of a priority as fixing this problem might be for Intuit, our business has been 100% on hold for all of today. Apologies are hardly recompense for thousands of dollars in business lost,” wrote “LayneLabs.”
Others seemed more forgiving. “As I know things can happen -- we have not been able to process payments today but our customers are understanding,” wrote “gregory651.”
And some sought workarounds. “Any alternative methods of credit card processing being offered here?” asked “ohboyitsu.” And “Steph606” inquired: “Do you have any solutions for customers who need to submit their direct deposit payroll?”