Webpass Blog

Service Outages - We don't like them either!

Posted April 14, 2016 by Webpass

Yesterday we had a service outage in San Diego which affected all of our customers in that market for just over 8 hours.

Everyone at Webpass works very hard to avoid service outages, which means it takes a lot for an outage to happen in the first place, but that also means that when they do happen, there is not a quick fix. But as a Webpass customer you should know we are focused on repair the moment it happens. We are able to do this because we own and operate our own private Ethernet network, rather than reselling another provider’s service as some of our competitors do and because we have a local, in-house team at the ready. We know the impact it has on our customers, so we would like to address the standard complaints Webpass receives during service outages so you understand our thought process and actions as we work to restore service.

Complaint #1. We don’t alert customers if there is a service outage.
Actually we message all customers so they know their service is impacted. Here is where we publish that information.

  • Personal Account Dashboard: If service is effected, there is an automatic notice on your customer dashboard which is accessible by any phone or other connected device. Customers can log into their dashboard here: https://webpass.net/custlogin
  • Network Status Page: Anyone can access this page and check the status of every building on our network, even if they are not a customer here: https://webpass.net/network_status

Complaint #2. It is hard to reach Support when there is an outage.

  • Webpass staff is aware of every outage regardless of size. We want to talk to you but know we are already aware and working on the resolution.
  • When there is a major outage it is all hands on deck, whether it’s one of our Customer Service Reps or a Senior Sales Manager, our team is focused on answering the support phone number. We simply can’t answer all the calls that come in during a major outage at the same time.
  • To bypass a wait, you can issue a support ticket here: https://webpass.net/custlogin?redirect_to=help_request

Complaint #3. We don’t announce or troubleshoot outages on social media.
While social media is great for marketing communication and engagement, for us it simply is not the best platform for service related communication. This is because by calling our Support phone number, or submitting a Support ticket, our proprietary system let’s us connect every customer communication back to our network systems. This makes for better troubleshooting and enables future outage avoidance. Twitter can not do that, our Support system can.

Complaint #4. We don’t share the estimated down time.
That’s true, because we don’t know how long it will take. If the equipment was operating as it is designed to, there would not be an outage. If we understood exactly what the problem was, there would not be an outage. An outage can be a result of one single issue, or several issues and can be related to things as simple as hardware and power to things as complex as peering and complex routing configurations.

Complaint #5. We don’t tell customers specifically what went wrong.
That’s true, because the people working on the issue are not the people answering our phones or tickets. The team fixing the issue prioritizes finding a solution, rather than relaying information to our customers, as they should. Also, attempting to share real time updates, would only confuse customers, since even if we pinpoint the issue, until the repair is totally complete, other issues can arise.

Unfortunately outages happen – and nobody likes them – including everyone who works at Webpass. We are here every day working to avoid outages, but when they come all resources are dedicated to resolving the issue. That’s what our customers pay us for and it’s a responsibility we accept.

Thank you for your business.
The Webpass Team

About Webpass, Inc.

Founded in San Francisco in 2003, Webpass is revolutionizing what customers can expect from their ISP. We are now part of Google Fiber thanks to our leading-edge approach. We pride ourselves on delivering simple Internet service designed around the needs of our customers. Unlike our competitors, we own and operate our Ethernet network, eliminating dependence on phone and cable companies. This successful formula has helped us quickly become one of the fastest Internet providers around. We offer business Internet connections from 10 - 1000 Mbps and residential Internet connections from 100 Mbps - 1 Gig. Webpass currently operates in the major urban markets of San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, Miami, Chicago, and Boston. You can sign up for residential services, or contact our sales team for business service.