Is It Down For Everyone Or Just Me?

If you have ever worked in any kind of IT or internet related support role you will understand the problem this post addresses.

You get a call and the client reports their site is down or your service is down and the world is about to come to an end. You know your service is up and running because you can see 750 users happily logged in and working away. Your web server is bomb proof and no alarms are ringing. You know it’s rock solid.

You explain all is well your end so the problem is their end. This arouses great scepticism. Isn’t always the case that IT support people blame someone else? You know you have a problem with your kit so don’t you just give the client the run around while you fix it?

That undoubtedly is true occasionally or even often for a few poor operators but mostly the problem is their local problem. Something is caching old results, they are using an old version of ~Internet Explorer (probably the most common cause) or they just don’t know what they are doing!

Well here’s a useful tool!

down

Go to isup.me to see for yourself. Give the link to your client and show them the site is up and it really is just them! Mind you remember to check it first in case there really is a problem.

I’ll finish with an old memory from about 10 years ago when I took support calls on hosting and email:

Client: My email isn’t working!

Me: Can I check a couple of things?  Are you sat in front of your computer?

Client: No, I’m in the garden. Does it matter?

Me: Yes I need you to check a couple of settings for me.

[PAUSE]

Client: I’m here now what do you want me to do?

Me: OK let’s check your internet connection is working. Can you browse to google.com and confirm you can see the Google home page.

Client: I’m not connected to the internet.

Me: That could be why email isn’t working. Could you fire up your internet connection and see if that fixes it?

Client: I don’t have an internet connection. Are you telling me I can’t use my email without an internet connection? No one told me that! You misled me! I want my money back!

Me: Right away Ma’am!

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