I subscribe to an online computer file backup service. It is easy to use and does its work automatically with little assistance from me. This is how all backups should function—automatically and without human involvement.
However, there was a time that it warned me that it hadn’t backed up any files for more than 24 hours. I did what I could to do a manual backup, but without success. After an hour of futile effort, I decided that the problem was on the provider’s ends. Unfortunately, by that time their tech support call center had closed for the day. So, I used the email support option—and waited.
The next day, things were no different, so I called. Once I finally was able to talk to someone, he quickly informed me that the server handling my backups was “unavailable because of extended maintenance.” The maintenance was expected to be complete by mid-afternoon.
Why couldn’t they just be honest and tell me it’s “down and being worked on?”
I also wonder why they didn’t put that useful information on the call center recording that kept repeating every 20 seconds. Why did they instead say that tech support was “busy due to a high number of new subscribers?”
Additionally, the application’s interface allows them to send me messages, so why didn’t they simply use it to notify me it was down? After all, they did use it to communicate the “busy due to a high number of new subscribers” message and suggest I use email.
The backup was again backing up my files—just as they promised. As for the “extended maintenance,” it took about 44 hours.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is publisher, editor, author, and blogger with 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for tips and insights.