Companies Should Learn Service Lesson from Outright.com

I noticed that Outright.com, the website that I use for my accounting, was not working properly last week.  I did not think much of it.  Their outages do not usually last more than a few hours.  I do not know how long their system was not running at 100% because the next time I went to use it everything was working fine.  I received this email today:

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We apologize that the Outright service did not have updated data for several days. You use Outright to run your business with up-to-date, accurate data and we wanted to let you know what happened, and that it’s been fixed. As of Monday, September 10 around 7:30pm PDT, Outright was back up and all data is now up to date.

You can log in now to see your current information.

What happened?

Starting Thursday, September 6 around 7:00am PDT, Outright was unable to import data from linked accounts. Adding and Editing transactions was also not working.

This outage was due to a database field capacity issue.

Essentially, our database ran out of numerical combinations for creating new records. A new record is required each time data is imported. We knew we were approaching the limit, and have been working on expanding the database. Unfortunately, we missed some key elements and the system halted while we implemented the fix.

The error was preventable and we recognize that it’s not the level of service you expect us to provide. Our team has learned from this mistake and is putting the checkpoints in place to make sure this specific issue doesn’t happen again.

Please reach out to me at steven@outright.com if you have any questions or concerns about your Outright service. I read every email and want to hear from you.

Steven Aldrich
Outright, CEO

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So this company, who does not charge most of their customers anything for their service, decided to email everyone and admit that their systems were down for an extended period of time.  Considering most of that downtime was a weekend, I doubt most people even noticed.  Not only do they admit the long downtime, they even admit that it was preventable and fully explained in layman terms exactly what the issue was.

In a day where people are continuously trying to pass the buck this was refreshing to see.  The company came out and told their customers “We goofed, this is how, we fixed it, and it will never happen again”.

At some point, Outright will start charging me for their service.  I was reluctant to pay for it since there are so many free options out there.  After seeing this email I will be happy to pay a reasonable fee for their service.  This is exactly the type of company that I want to do business with because I see that they have integrity and service is important to them.  When they do not live up to their high level of service it bothers them to the point that they let their customers know and learn from their mistakes.  The CEO even gave everyone his personal email address!

If you need accounting software for your small business I highly recommend Outright.  In addition to the basics being free and service obviously being a priority, the software does exactly what a small business owner needs.

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