eBay Quiet about Skype Outage – Is that a Problem?

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Sun, Aug 19 - 9:57 pm EDT | 7 years ago by
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Should eBay management have been more vocal during the recent outage for Skype?

Om Malik points to the silence of eBay management when their VOIP phone company’s services were down for more than 24 hours.

Skype LogoSays Malik: "Ebay and Skype management are happy to talk to the press when delivering the good news, but in this crisis situation, the silence was deafening."

Most communications during the downtime of Skype phone calls came through the company’s blog. Should the CEO have been front and centre? Did eBay need to get involved?

I haven’t seen a lot of parent companies get involved in a subsidiary’s announcements, unless the parent company has a role in what’s being announced. Can you think of examples where a parent successfully stepped in to calm customers?

CNET News’ Margeurite Reardon thinks the Skype outage should not be overblown: "I think the fact that the Skype outage even stirred a buzz is a testament to the success of the application. And I find it really hard to believe that some 220 million folks are going to delete the Skype application from their desktops just because of one service outage. Then again, I also didn’t believe that millions of corporate BlackBerry users would ditch Research in Motion’s service when the company experienced an overnight outage just a few months ago."

She adds: "Skype has never marketed itself as a replacement phone service. And that seems to have been a smart strategy. Because Skype doesn’t encourage people to disconnect their existing phone lines or quit their current wireless service, the company knows that people won’t have to rely on its service."

From what I can see, Skype could have done a better job of communicating during the service outage, but I don’t see how bringing eBay into the equation would have soothed users. If anything, I think it might have undermined Skype management’s credibility.

Link via eFlux Media.

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  • http://www.serviceuntitled.com Doug

    I was surprised that Skype/eBay stayed so quiet myself. I would have hoped they would have provided a lot of updates about the status and kept everyone in the loop throughout the whole outage. But they did not do that.

  • http://www.profectio.com Dave Forde – The Connector

    Should they have done more – I agreed they should. Perhaps this goes to show how Skype is currently viewed internally as the “ugly step child”….

  • http://commonsensepr.com Eric Eggertson

    There have been similar communications problems with some other tech services that run into unanticipated outages. But that’s the whole idea about communicating in a crisis – you often can’t predict the timing or exact nature of a crisis, you just have to be ready to respond quickly, with clear information.

    As crisis PR guru Gerard Braud says, you need very clear protocols, and pre-written announcements that can be quickly edited as needed.

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