Yesterday, if you tried to call me (either at work, or at home, or even my mobile), you were probably unable to reach me.
The telephone (VOIP) wholesaler I use, Unlimitel, was down for around 9 hours. Normally, 9h of downtime would really bother me, but I can honestly say I've never been happier with their service.
Read on for some background info on why.Let me list a few points:
- This is the first significant downtime we've had in 2 years (since I started using Unlimitel)
- We pay 1.1¢/min for on-net service (local calls in a number of Canadian cities) and 2¢ for the rest of North America. Low rates for most of the rest of the world, too. $2.50/month for our DIDs. I don't expect completely flawless service for this price.
- Stephan, the president, emailed customers to explain the problem. The first mail was before we even noticed that calls weren't working.
- The actual cause of the accident was a screwup at Rogers (NOT Unlimitel's fault):
- A truck accident somehow caused a bundle of fiber at Rogers to be cut. (Initial reports were that the lines were cut by a backhoe.)
- Rogers' redundancy somehow failed. The actual cut was 25KM away from Unlimitel's datacenter.
- Throughout the downtime, Stephan kept us well-informed of the situation, relaying ETA data from Rogers whenever possible.
- Unlimitel routed all possible traffic to non-Rogers circuits as soon as possible. (Outbound calls started working, but inbound lines are on Rogers, and Rogers' redundancy failed, as mentioned.)
- The few times that Unlimitel has actually made mistakes, they've kept us well-informed, and owned up to these mistakes quickly (they implemented CallerID poorly, a while back, and quickly fixed it, for example).
All told, I'm very happy with them. I can understand why some people would be upset over ~9h of unplanned downtime, but all things considered, I think Unlimitel did an excellent job of handling the crisis.
For what we pay, I couldn't expect better. Kudos to the team over at Unlmitel.