HootSuite Responds To Amazon Server Downtime With $50 Credit For All Users

Last week a partial failure on Amazon Web Services’ cloud-based infrastructure brought down a number of popular websites, including Reddit, Quora, FourSquare and HootSuite, which we documented here.

In a post on their blog entitled “Making It Right”, HootSuite, which was offline for about 15 hours before service was restored, have offered a 50 point credit (worth $50) for their social analytics tool to all affected users, an additional credit for pro subscribers, and shared one or two interesting stats.

The announcement reads:

In general, we enjoy stellar performance with minimal outages on either HootSuite or Owly (our URL shortener) and now service over 3 million social networks sending over a million updates per day with almost zero downtime. We also have held strong during very active posting periods including the Japanese earthquake.

We know how important up-time is for you and truly appreciate the kind words from our users who missed using HootSuite. Further, many of you rely on HootSuite for your business and we take your trust seriously. As such, we’re taking all steps to prevent future mishaps.

Our Terms of Service to users outlines that we’ll provide refunds after a 24 hour outage. While this outage was significantly less, we acknowledge users were inconvenienced and we want to make things right.

With this in mind, we are offering a 50 Point credit (value $50) for the HootSuite Social Analytics tool to all users. Redeem your credit by May 13th, 2011 by using coupon code: HOOTREPORT and use the report credit within a month. For Pro and Enterprise customers, we’ll reach out via email with an additional coupon.

As a pro subscriber, I’ve received this email and have successfully redeemed both credits.

This is a very welcome gesture from HootSuite, and I like the way they’ve reached out to their entire customer base, both paying and free. They certainly didn’t have to do this – the Amazon downtime was way beyond their control – but these little touches go a long way to build confidence and loyalty in a service, and in a team. Yes, there’s always an angle, but this time I’m not going to let my cynicism get the better of me.

And a million updates per day? That’s pretty huge. HootSuite never seems to place particularly highly when stats that break down the share over the (endless) Twitter apps are released, which means that its users must be responsible for a heavy percentage of tweets, certainly relatively. This makes sense, of course, as a HootSuiter is inevitably representing a brand (perhaps as part of a team) or another kind of power-user that tweets, uses and relies upon the network far more heavily than the average Twitter fan. And likely paying for it, too.

Which, of course, is why this compensation is so appreciated.