The Ups and Downs of the Cloud – QuickBooks Online Went Down on Me Today

QuickBooks Online went down on me (and everyone else who uses it) today and boy were people mad! They want 100% uptime. My new friend @Andrew_Headley was not happy as you’ll see from his last tweet regarding the outage. His clients’ orders could not be processed because the outage was not resolved in time for his company to get them out today.

If my car breaks down and I can’t get to work (or I am late) it’s an inconvenience to say the least and I get angry to be sure, but I probably don’t tweet at Toyota telling them that I’ll have to tell my clients that their incompetence made it impossible for me to deliver what I promised them. But when my cloud software goes down – there will be blood!!!


It’s perspective of course. We want. We demand that the cloud software we pay for be up 100% of the time. Especially because our desktop software was always there and it was always working. Or was it? Haven’t we complained for years about problems with releases and updates? Haven’t we had to contend with corrupt data files and IT costs up the wazoo based on issue we’ve had with our desktop software?

We complain no matter what. Personally I think complaining is a waste of time. It doesn’t do me any good. So QBO goes down on me, what do I do now?

When I wrote “GoDaddy Vs. Netflix two outages, two different responses” I wanted to point out that while these things do and will happen, it’s the way it is handled that makes all the difference for me. There’s only one thing to do in an outage. Check twitter to see if they are working on it. I had my response within an hour, but I didn’t even need to wait. A quick look at the @QBOnline twitter stream made it clear that (a) they were working on it and (b) they were communicating with users to let them know. Once that becomes clear the only other thing to do is keep their stream open and watch for updates and move on.

Yes, it’s inconvenient and sure we don’t want to see this happen. Meanwhile it’s time to move on to something else. Write a blog post if you have to in order to pass the time, but don’t complain – make it positive. What I like to see is that the company is doing the right and responsible thing, acknowledging the issue and letting you know they are working on it. As I told one of the people complaining on Twitter today, “I am sure they want nothing short of your clients to be back up and running asap.”

All in all I think @QBOnline did a great job. Whatever went wrong is above my pay grade to be sure, but I know this. They were on it. They let us all know they were on it and it was back online in a matter of a few hours.

Things break. It’s inconvenient. Life is a series of choices. True happiness is a matter of accepting the things we cannot change, having the courage to change the things we can, and having the wisdom to know the difference.

Share this Post

5 Comments on “The Ups and Downs of the Cloud – QuickBooks Online Went Down on Me Today”

  1. I don’t agree “they were on it”. Posting to Twitter (believe it, or not, some of us don’t want to be a Twit) is NOT “on it”. If that’s their preferred means of communication (as well as Facebook) they need to re-think their communication plan. Actually, their means of communication, or lack thereof, over the years has always been one of my MAJOR complaints. Yes, I said the word – complain. One needs to understand, though, that when I “complain” it usually means “FIX IT”, because it ain’t workin’. Call it complaining if you need to. In my world, it’s called communicating and Intuit stinks at communicating with its ProAdvisors as well as it power users (probably users, in general). We should NEVER have to seek the answer to a known issue. It should always be communicated to us, from Intuit. Especially to those of us (Certified ProAdvisors) on the front lines with our/their customers.

  2. Excellent post, Eric! You’ve hit the nail on the head perfectly especially about the foibles of desktop – but people forget those and demand 100+% uptime with online products!

  3. It’s kind of like the plan crash versus car crash thing… more people are impacted when the plane goes down, so it’s bigger news. And, in this type of outage, It’s a little more difficult to see how things are being worked out when the technician isn’t crawling under your desk, so communication is the only real vehicle they have to demonstrate that things are actually being done.

    For those who aren’t quite ready to live in the either/or world (cloud or not cloud, that is the question… or is it?), the “tweener” answer is to have QuickBooks hosted. This way, working offline with your data file is an option, but you can still benefit from the anytime/anywhere working model.

  4. Is there any talk of developing a QBO desktop App that would allow people to process sales during an outage and later sync up, the way some SasS POS solutions do?

  5. HI everyone!
    Alison from Intuit here. I just want you to know I totally agree with ALL the comments here. We use social media because believe it or not, we can’t get an email out in time to let you know about an outage. Especially if the outage is resolved quickly… So email is not the answer. We use Twitter and Facebook to update everyone, and you can quickly check from anywhere that you have your smartphone or computer + internet.
    if anyone has a better suggestion, please let me know!

    Additionally, I love the dialogue and product suggestions here, and will make sure the PM’s see it – so please keep it coming!

    Kind regards,.

How do you feel about it?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *