The entire Vodafone.co.uk website was down for 60 minutes this afternoon and online account access was out of action for 24 hours - but the blackouts were due to planned maintenance, Voda said. Between 3pm and 5pm today, the telco displayed the message: "We are making some changes to the site." A Reg reader told us he had not …
Strangely, these things are happening more and more often, with more and more excuses.
It's probably the whole infrastructure that is collapsing.
Holidays quietest time?
Surely holiday times are when people are most likely to want to look at the website. If they are going on holiday they want to know whether they can leave the phone on without their phone bill matching the GDP of a small country within a few seconds of arriving in the country or whether they should take the battery and sim card out of the phone, wrap everything in separate pieces of tin-foil and use it only for extreme emergencies.
2hrs? WTF I was trying to login to download bills last night & got the helpful maintenance message.
It is so regular that either they do their maintenance to suit themselves rather than paying punters who due to paperless billing need to access their website or they just default to Vodafone.co.uk/maintenance in times of crisis.
Incidentally when they stop your account due to high usage which is when I travel abroad despite me notifying them they also block access to their website which they don't seem to think is a problem either.
Hmm maybe O2 business department may be getting a call...
Re: Usual performance
Downloading bills from the Vodafone website is the most tortuous and unreliable process at the best of times. If they just had a pdf link you could right-click/Save-As that'd be great, but no, there's numerous redirects then eventually it loads the bill using some ghastly not-quite-pdf plug-in for which the 'save' option doesn't work properly, and the email-it-to-me only works part-time, and involves choosing in a pop-up window whether I want "original bill" "pages 1-4" or "full bill" or somesuch (some of these give more itemisation than others). Furthermore, usually the pop-up needs expanding just to reveal the OK button.
I'd far rather they just emailed me the bill as a pdf attachment, with no fuss.
The odds of that happening are precisely zero.
Orange's bill-download is similarly tortuous and broken (and possibly sensitive to what browser/security-settings are in use). Why-oh-why can't they just simplify and sort out the mess?
PS I notice their online bloody shop was still processing orders during the outage whilst us "your business is important to us" customers were left out in the cold!
Re: Usual performance
Your point? It would be incredibly stupid if it were one big system, so of course some services would still be available.
I notice their mobile network was still processing calls during the outage. Suspicious!
I seem to remember plus.net being down with a similar message in the early hours of Monday morning. Sorry I can't be sure as I work night shift and am on holiday atm but I'm sure someone more versed in the language of the day world will be able to confirm the time/day/night. This is Tuesday, right?
I don't even think that this would wash with my Mum.
If in doubt, tell the truth. You had problems, it's OK, - but don't try to dress it up.
Some people are just plain stupid.
Lack of holiday maintenence
More likely at this time of year there's not enough people there to keep banging the rocks together.
Is it not fairly common practice to have your corporate site display a "we are down for maintenance" message when you run out of head end capacity?
I thought everybody did this?
They don't want customers
A friend, who was visiting the UK, has tried on a few trips to buy a pay-as-you-go SIM from the Vodafone store in Heathrow just to be told they're out of stock. What else do you plan on selling at an airport location!?
Let's be fair; server maintenance can often result in downtime - for example, I recently had to migrate our customer-facing, linux-based FTP server, with its full Extranet, mail server and Large File Transfer app (ZendTo) to a new disk set and then migrate the user database and their passwords and finally upgrade some of the app software. Once this was all done and tested, I had to re-sync the file storage areas, shut down the live site's server, swap out the disk caddys and fire the thing up again. We had an agonising 4 and a half minutes outage for this one. I'll do better next time.
I read it as
"due to planned maintenance the blackouts were, Yoda said"
I have often waited several minutes just to login to the Vodafone site to check my bills. I have also recently renewed the contracts for one of the phones I manage. That contract is now is a in different Vodafone department, so I can't see the bill for that phone with my other ones, or indeed on line at all.
Vodafone really need to start thinking about their customers, or they'll go on losing them.
I preferred Three's billing system
Moved over from Three to Vodafone in June and overall I'm so so much happier with the service! Billing is my one and only gripe! It's like smoke and mirrors. Spend an hour going through their "website" trying to work out what the various charges were. It's slow at the best of times! Please Vodafone, you're a big modern company! You would have thought a technology company could make a decent website! Sort it out!