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Google Fiber Goes Down During World Series, Credits KC 2 Days of Service (pcmech.com) 183

kstatefan40 writes: Google Fiber went down in Kansas City during one of the most important times in the local market: Game 1 of the World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Yesterday, I got an apology from them via email, and even though I wasn't home during the outage, they're making up for it by proactively giving the entire market 2 days of service off of their next bill. The rest of the industry could really learn from their customer service.

When was the last time a telecom provider gave you a discount on your bill without you asking for it?
The only times I've gotten much apology from my own ISP is when I threaten (with reason) to jump ship.
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Google Fiber Goes Down During World Series, Credits KC 2 Days of Service

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  • redundancy (Score:2, Insightful)

    When was the last time a telecom provider gave you a discount on your bill without you asking for it?

    when was the last time a whole city lost service? what does this say about the redundancy of their infrastructure? people rely on utilities to provide a crucial function in their lives. electricity? natural gas? phones? if google wants to get serious about their fiber, they need to take on the responsibilities that come with being a public service provider.

    • Re:redundancy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bfpierce ( 4312717 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @12:05PM (#50825775)
      We lose broadband in my town (Time Warner) for 4-6 hour periods, roughly once in a calendar year depending on the weather. And no, they've never credited me a dime for it, nor will they since they already have the market cornered.
      • by trawg ( 308495 )

        I've had a great experience with TWC in Columbus OH, I had an problem about 6 weeks ago that meant Internet was going up and down. They sent someone out and fixed it within a day.

        They also gave me a credit without me asking for it. It was small (under 10 bucks I think, maybe 10% of my bill) but I was impressed. Maybe it is different because other providers are available in my area.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Do you have DSL? If so then, in my home state (Maine), the telco is required to allow me to use any provider that is willing to service my area. I did pay CommTel (now Fairpoint) to put the lines in as well as install a CO. However, I can (and have) use any of the third party DSL service providers. For the longest time I was on GWI but it didn't really mean anything improved - I was just too lazy to switch back. This also happens without interruption. I have three separate lines and they are all able to be

    • Re:redundancy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @12:07PM (#50825789) Homepage

      Comcast does this all the time, Hell this summer the entire state went down for 1 hour.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @12:33PM (#50826063)

      when was the last time a whole city lost service?

      All you need to cause a whole city to lose service, is a "Loose Nut" behind the steering wheel of a backhoe. You can put up a big sign saying "Do Not Drill or Dig Here!" . . . which the "Loose Nut" will interpret as an invitation to do some investigative fracking.

      what does this say about the redundancy of their infrastructure?

      "Loose Nuts" tend to be like Quantum entangled pairs of Schrodinger's cats: They are both digging where they shouldn't be digging at the same time, but in difference places. In highly redundant systems, "Loose Nuts" are like an Abstract Hilbert Space full of Schrodinger's cats.

      This is why Einstein quipped about Quantum Mechanics, "Niels Bohr and his pals must be smoking some weird shit, because I can't make heads or tails of it." And then Bohr answered, "Chill out Al, . . . it's not heads or tails . . . it's both . . . at the same time! Hey, is von Neumann Bogarting the bong again!?"

    • by pla ( 258480 )
      when was the last time a whole city lost service?

      Not to sound like too much of a Google apologist, but my entire county lost power (not merely the ability to read Slashdot), this morning. For way, way longer than 48 minutes. And unless you start seeing demons wearing ice skates, I'd bet the farm that I don't get so much as a "sorry", never mind any form of credit for the inconvenience of needing to bathe in cold water poured from a bucket.

      But please, don't let me interrupt the Google hate-fest.
      • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

        Sorry but I have to ask do you have riots/looting during the blackouts like the ones in NY back when the power went out statewide back in 2003? Or is that just a US thing?

        • You hear about looting and crap like that happening in New York and California. Not really in the vast majority of the country, just the coasts. When is the last time you heard about looting and rioing in Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, or Kentucky?

          Interestingly:

          https://upload.wikimedia.org/w... [wikimedia.org]

          • FWIW, when the Twins unexpectedly won the World Series in 1987, people in Minneapolis disrupted traffic but did little else harmful. The worst injury was a guy falling off the top of a bus. I suspect alcohol was involved.

        • by pla ( 258480 )
          Sorry but I have to ask do you have riots/looting during the blackouts like the ones in NY back when the power went out statewide back in 2003? Or is that just a US thing?

          Not really a US thing so much as a dense urban thing.

          In the 'burbs, we pretty much just patiently wait for it to come back on - If anything, people get more friendly as they wander out of their dark and boringly TV-less houses to socialize in person for the first time in months. If it stays off heading into evening, often someone wil
          • Last time we had a power outage, I grabbed a 12 pack of beer out of the fridge and started sharing with the neighbors while we waited for it to return.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      I remember several years ago the dialup server in town was down I had to dial into another isp. They didn't give me any credit on my 19.95/mo or give any explanation.

      I am not aware that the att uverse dsl line at work has ever been down on att's end but the modems are crap and have to be replaced every few months at a cost of $100 each
      i've had uverse service for a bit over 2 years now and I'm on my 5th nvg510 modem. This is the first one i've had made by arris tho it seems to be holding up better than the m

    • happens all the time to more important things than your entertainment/news/bill paying feed

      is the power line to your house redundant? the water line? the sewer line? Cities have done without those for over a week and causes sickness, death, financial troubles, etc.

      but you go crying about the fucking internet pipe

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Who has redundant natural gas at their house?

      I don't know what that distribution network looks like, but if a branch line feeding some section of town got broken and cut off, I feel skeptical that they could just cap it temporarily knowing that gas would continue to flow to that segment because...spanning tree for natural gas.

      I mean maybe in cold weather climates they have that ability, even if it requires guys in hard hats to go to some valve someplace and turn some knobs, but something tells me it doesn't

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      You want resiliency, not redundancy. Redundancy was good back in the real world, but with networks, redundancy of equipment makes for more points of failure, not better up time. Resilience can be achieved through redundancy, but redundancy for redundancy's sake can end up with a worse up time. When HSRP goes down, it doesn't matter how many routers you have, none of them will work.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They take it as a writeoff, and now:

    People know there's such a thing as Google Fiber.
    Big companies use it for real things.
    Google is cool about customer service.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they torched it on purpose just to make the point.

    • Take it as a write off? Do you even know what that means? Sure it is always good to have positive customer service, and to have people know about it. But reducing revenue is not the same as double dipping. And the 'free advertising' was not free, it cost them ~6.7% of that month's revenue.

  • Same thing in Austin (Score:5, Informative)

    by nukem ( 126381 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @12:03PM (#50825763)

    Had an outage a couple of weeks after install. I wasn't home so didn't even notice. Got an email crediting me for the day and showed up on next bill. It sucks that there are outages but it's nice that they give credit for them.

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      Maybe because Google is used to enforcing the terms of its Service Level Agreements against its providers when those providers do it wrong, they are also, at the moment, willing to do what it takes to make amends for their own violation of their SLAs to their customers.

      Companies or divisions of companies that primarily provide consumer-grade service aren't accustomed to SLAs in my experience. I've had both DSL and Cablemodem service personally, and I've had to deal with Metro Optical networks from the s
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Several months ago, I got credits from Time Warner Cable for a free on demand movie (up to $5.99) for its on demand outage, and didn't know about it.

      • That's not compensation, it's just a first-one's-free advertisement for their overpriced on demand movies service.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @12:06PM (#50825783) Homepage

    You would get an email explaining that the service interruption was a feature and your bill will go up by $22.50 from now on.

    • Of all the nightmare troubles I had with Comcast customer service, this wasn't true the last time I had Comcast. I lost service for a week. It was completely their fault and I called them up and asked for a credit for the service interruption and they said "OK. I've credited it to your bill." No escalation, no hours on hold. Of course, another time they decided to move my billing due date by a week, charge me for a whole month of service, and refused to issue any credit.
    • You would get an email explaining that the service interruption was a feature and your bill will go up by $22.50 from now on.

      "It's a feature to proactively keep you below your throttling limit. You. Are. Welcome."

    • Honestly, it should be illegal not to provide credit for downtime. I signed a contract with my cable internet service. In exchange for $x/mo, they provide me with 730 hours of service. If they only provide me with 729 hours, they should credit me for the hour they failed to provide. Yes it'll be on the order of 10 cents, but multiply that by 10,000 or 100,000 customers and it starts to become a real incentive to avoid downtime. The only exception should be scheduled downtime where they give me plenty o
      • I signed a contract with my cable internet service. In exchange for $x/mo, they provide me with 730 hours of service.

        I bet that's not what the contract actually says. I don't remember any guaranteed uptime when I signed with Comcast. The business service I have with Charter doesn't even have a 100% guaranteed uptime.

      • Back when Century Link was Qwest, our service died and it took two on-site visits-that I had to be home for-to determine the problem was in their base station. My compensation for 5 days without service, hours of staying home to wait for their tech, and a couple hours navigating their "service" phone tree? (They closed our ticket when the first tech was dispatched, so I got to go through the whole process twice.) Nothing.

        One of the techs who came to our place mentioned that our distance to the base was
      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

        I signed a contract with my cable internet service. In exchange for $x/mo, they provide me with 730 hours of service.

        Which company? Even business services don't have commitments like that.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @12:10PM (#50825809)

    "The only times I've gotten much apology from my own ISP is when I threaten (with reason) to jump ship."

    Well, don't expect even that half-assed effort in the future.

    We watch our government ignore anti-monopoly laws. We watch companies try and buy each other for hundreds of billions, knowing full well the DOJ should certainly shoot down the deal. And then we watch those same companies try and try again until they find that loophole (or greased palm) that allows the deal to go through. And it does eventually go through. Every damn time.

    We've watched our cellular market collapse into massive monopolies, with fixed pricing so obvious you couldn't help but blame collusion.

    As monopolies continue to grow, don't expect to be treated with kindness, since you will truly be nothing more than a number to them when there's 500 million customers to manage. Google is demonstrating a massive exception here, and one I wish would take precedent for customer service to be reborn instead of the steaming pile of shit we have today.

    I'm not holding my breath.

    • We watch our government ignore anti-monopoly laws. We watch companies try and buy each other for hundreds of billions, knowing full well the DOJ should certainly shoot down the deal. And then we watch those same companies try and try again until they find that loophole (or greased palm) that allows the deal to go through. And it does eventually go through. Every damn time.

      Haven't watched the attempted acquisitions of T-Mobile have you? They have yet to get acquired.

      • We watch our government ignore anti-monopoly laws. We watch companies try and buy each other for hundreds of billions, knowing full well the DOJ should certainly shoot down the deal. And then we watch those same companies try and try again until they find that loophole (or greased palm) that allows the deal to go through. And it does eventually go through. Every damn time.

        Haven't watched the attempted acquisitions of T-Mobile have you? They have yet to get acquired.

        Haven't noticed the fact you speak of multiple attempts from multiple vendors when pointing this out? Watch and learn how loopholes are made and used.

        Don't worry. Too Big to Fail will win eventually. Look at history.

        • We watch our government ignore anti-monopoly laws. We watch companies try and buy each other for hundreds of billions, knowing full well the DOJ should certainly shoot down the deal. And then we watch those same companies try and try again until they find that loophole (or greased palm) that allows the deal to go through. And it does eventually go through. Every damn time.

          Haven't watched the attempted acquisitions of T-Mobile have you? They have yet to get acquired.

          Haven't noticed the fact you speak of multiple attempts from multiple vendors when pointing this out? Watch and learn how loopholes are made and used.

          Don't worry. Too Big to Fail will win eventually. Look at history.

          Too big to fail eventually fails.

  • GO Google!

    The Royals won game one because of the outage.

    BEAT THE METS,
    BEAT THE METS,
    Step right up and sweep the Mets!
    Bring your kiddies,
    Bring your wife;
    Guaranteed to have the time of your life
    Because we're talking about the New York Mets;
    So place your bets, against the Mets!
    East side,
    West side,
    everybody's coming down
    to beat the M-E-T-S Mets of New York town!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd the only phone service I know that credits you back for unused data also. I pay for 3gig and what I don't use, I get back in credit. Most telecom providers suck!

    • by afidel ( 530433 )

      Republic Wireless also does the credit thing, they're both powered by bandwidth.com but Republic uses WiFi/Sprint/Verizon vs Fi which uses WiFi/Sprint/T-Mobile and Fi requires a Nexus device vs Republic which requires one of their customized Moto devices.

  • Carlsberg aren't internet providers but if they were........
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The only times I've gotten much apology from my own ISP is when I threaten (with reason) to jump ship."

    No you won't. There's a reason you stick with your ISP even though you hate them. They give you the speeds you want and that keeps you right where you are. If you were going to switch, you'd just switch. You wouldn't be a ball-less baby and threaten to do so.

  • they're making up for it by proactively giving the entire market 2 days of service off of their next bill.

    Two day's worth of service is an insignificant credit compared to the loss, especially during a special event.

    Most providers of business IP transit have SLA credits available, starting from the time when the customer calls in to request the ticket be opened, by the way, in some cases these are refundable, and can require the provider paying cash, not just crediting future service in case of a full

    • Two day's worth of service is an insignificant credit compared to the loss, especially during a special event.

      For a 40-minute outage?

      Most providers of business IP... A couple hours worth of outage would typically generate enough SLA credit to make an entire month and possibly two month's worth of service gratis.

      So how come it's so unusual for a residential ISP to waive even 2 days, after a few hours unscheduled downtime?

      Because residential services don't generally have an SLA, and cost much, much less for that reason. How much would you pay for a gigabit connection with a business class SLA? A lot more than $70 per month.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        For a 40-minute outage?

        The article was indicating people lost service for several hours, and it was not due to a fibre cut or damage to an individual customer's drop, so the SP was responsible, and it was no mere 40 minute outage.

        How much would you pay for a gigabit connection with a business class SLA? A lot more than $70 per month.

        Do you see the problem with what you are suggesting? What do you think a SLA is, insurance? No.
        Auto Mechanic: The vehicle needs $100 of labor. If you give me $100, t

        • For a 40-minute outage?

          The article was indicating people lost service for several hours, and it was not due to a fibre cut or damage to an individual customer's drop, so the SP was responsible, and it was no mere 40 minute outage.

          From TFA:

          Most lost service from shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday until about 7:35 p.m.

          I had missed that it was longer for some, but for most it was a mere 40-minute outage. For the smaller number that had a longer outage, it was no more than about three hours, since service was fully restored by 10:15.

          How much would you pay for a gigabit connection with a business class SLA? A lot more than $70 per month.

          Do you see the problem with what you are suggesting? What do you think a SLA is, insurance?

          Yes, that's exactly what an SLA is, it's insurance. Outages are inevitable, and the closer you try to get to perfect service, the more it costs. And SLA provides a commitment to a specific level of availability, and remedies (usually financial -- like insurance) if those levels aren't

    • > Two day's worth of service is an insignificant credit compared to the loss, especially during a special event.

      It's a lot more significant than any other US cable provider would give.

      > Most providers of business IP transit have SLA credits available

      I'm betting most providers of business IP charge a LOT more than $70 for a gigabit connection too. My god man, you're comparing apples to kumquats.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        I'm betting most providers of business IP charge a LOT more than $70 for a gigabit connection too.

        So what? 1 Month SLA credit for your $70/month service would be $70.
        1 Month SLA credit for your $7000/month service would be $7000.

        That which is being expected to be returned, if the service provider fails to deliver: is still proportional to the amount paid! A provider can't honestly expect to be paid for a service they failed to deliver, can they?

        Are you suggesting that only people who purchase more

    • by rew ( 6140 )

      My ISP for my server had an outage for a couple of hours. They then mailed their customer base that they'd refund a whole month of service. I'm guessing that mail went out to more than the affected customers: My server didn't go down. A couple of days later I got the invoice for that month. Full charge. Two days later: full credit. I'm guessing they did the right thing and credited everybody who got the mail, even if they sent it out to customers that weren't affected.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        Two days later: full credit. I'm guessing they did the right thing and credited everybody who got the mail, even if they sent it out to customers that weren't affected.

        This is why the language should have been slightly different. "We will provide a credit to all customers who were affected by this outage."

        Then just apply the credit to who you think was affected, and if anyone else calls in asking about their server being down and not getting a credit, just have the support rep. immediately give them the

  • ... it's required by law, and failure to compensate is met with strict fines for the company in question.
  • Seriously is this not normal that you don't pay for something you don't get?

    When was the last time a telecom provider gave you a discount on your bill without you asking for it?

    Errr every single time I've had an outage, across multiple providers, even for small localised ones. At one point I had a 1 month outage and the ISP not only didn't charge me for the month but they credited the cost of my wireless data for that month which I used as a backup.

    Actually my record was getting credit for 3 months when I called up and asked to cancel the account. I really wanted to leave so I took the credit and asked the

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Thursday October 29, 2015 @01:38PM (#50826727)

    They gave everyone less than $5 and *that* is the customer service model to aspire to? "Sorry we suck, here's $5, go away"

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      I think it's great. We had a really bad day on TWC once (service was up and down all day) and they didn't do anything except tell us they were aware and trying to fix it.
  • I get the prorated bills every single time there is an outage lasting more than the minimum (I think 30 minutes). I've had a few dozen adjustments posted to my bill over the last few years as a customer without having to lift a finger.

    This is one of the many differences between Comcast's business versus residential services.

    • by rew ( 6140 )

      Wait.... let me get this straight.... Their BUSINESS service is down, "DOZENS of times", for over HALF AN HOUR, and then they give you a partial refund?

      I get way better SERVICE (i.e. it works) on my residential account.

      • residential service goes down more frequently, but they don't normally report that to customers.

        For me it works out to maybe once a month, which smells of of a maintenance schedule. And technically they are rounding up the outage to 30 minutes, I don't know if it was for 5 minutes or for 30 minutes

        That they treat residential customers worse by offering the same level of reliability but forcing people to call in to complain to get a modest refund.

  • > When was the last time a telecom provider gave you a discount on your bill without you asking for it?

    My cellphone was down for a day this summer. They apologized and offered a "free 500Mb of internet" for the September billing cycle.

    I buy "internet service" on my phone with lots of margin. They charge like 100 times more for the "over your limit" traffic, so I rarely use the upper 500Mb of my "prepaid" 1G limit. It's cheaper to pay 12 months for 1Gb/month than to pay for 500Mb and go over the limit onc

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