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Where is Amazon's public apology?

EC2 cloud service apparently back to normal

By Paul McNamara on Mon, 04/25/11 - 9:38am.

amazonLet me apologize in advance if I have somehow overlooked it, but here we are five days after the start of Amazon's calamitous EC2 collapse and the company has yet to issue a public apology.

This is Public Relations 101, no? So what's the holdup? (I'm going to guess lawyers, but that's strictly a guess.)

Amazon began reporting yesterday that all is now normal with its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Relational Database Service, while at the same time acknowledging that efforts were continuing to help "a limited number of customers" recover.  

"We are digging deeply into the root causes of this event and will post a detailed post mortem," the company promised late last night on its Service Health Dashboard.

Perhaps that post mortem will include an apology, because I haven't been able to find anything that I'd call public up until this point.

If you burrow deep inside the Amazon Web Services discussion forum you can find a few instances of individual AWS employees using the words "sorry" and "apologize" when addressing individual AWS customers.

But Amazon has a blog devoted exclusively to its cloud services. There's no apology there; in fact, there is nothing at all there related to the trouble, which is odd in and of itself.

There's nothing on the AWS news page.

And there is no press release on Amazon's main media page.

Twitter has become a popular forum for corporate apologies, but the AWS Twitter feed has gone silent during these troubled times. (Ironically, the last tweet, dated  April 17, touts a "moving to the cloud" workshop.)  

Amazon CIO Werner Vogels has 20,000 followers on Twitter, yet Vogels has tweeted nary a word about the episode save for a perfunctory point to the Service Health Dashboard.

Meanwhile, Amazon's EC2 customers have been apologizing to to their customers beat the band. Reddit, for example, posted this at the height of the outage: "We're sorry and will fix the site as soon as we can."

Is that so hard?

Of course, not everyone agrees that Amazon has been tardy with its apology, or even has any reason to apologize.

I asked my Twitter followers if anyone had seen a public apology from Amazon and received this reply: "Fix first, apologize later."

Amazon's a big company. It can multitask.

I have contacted Amazon's public relations department to see if perhaps they can point me to an apology that escaped my attention ... or provide an explanation as to why there hasn't been one.

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