Yahoo Apologizes For Merchant Outage

    November 27, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The Monday after Thanksgiving contained a hellish several hours for Yahoo and merchants on its order fulfillment platform.

Cyber Monday may as well have been a day where Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, and Jason Voorhees all stopped by Yahoo’s small business operations and killed various merchants in graphic and creative ways.

We will give Yahoo’s Rich Riley credit for stepping up today, with a mea culpa on Yahoo’s official blog about the problems. He offered apologies for the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day, but did not provide details as to what happened or why.

 Yahoo Apologizes For Merchant Outage

"On Monday at 6:00AM PT, the systems that power our merchant stores experienced outages, and shoppers of those stores were met with either error messages or they were unable to complete the checkout process," he wrote.

"These issues lasted until about 1:00PM PT when, despite slow performance, transactions began going through at a much higher rate. By 6:00 PM PT things were back to normal and the performance of our systems was at 100%."

Small business customers commenting on Riley’s post were not happy with the lack of disclosure over what happened, nor Yahoo’s failure to publicize a workaround related to the checkout process that other merchants happened upon on a support forum.

Some noted the rollout of a new cross-selling feature before Thanksgiving, and suggested it was responsible for the problems as traffic began to arrive at merchant sites. Another noted sites using an older checkout process had no downtime issues.

"This outage cost us big time in terms of money, our time and customer goodwill," Craig Clark said in the comments.

As bad as this outage was, at least it did not happen later in December, when shoppers do a lot more buying. Cyber Monday, for all of its hype, is a marketing term created a couple of years ago. Merchants should see more business, barring any more outages, in the days closer to Christmas.

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