Google Makes Amends After Gmail Downtime

Google will offer 15 days of free service to paying customers who were cut off from their Google Gmail and Google Apps during the Feb. 24 service outage. While many use the free version of Gmail, a segment of enterprise customers and others pay $50 per year for an expanded version of Gmail and Google Apps.

Google announced that it would offer 15 days of free service to paying subscribers who were inconvenienced by a Feb. 24 service outage.

Google restored service, which cut out at 9:30 a.m. GMT, after a few hours. The timing meant that users in parts of Europe and Asia experienced the brunt of the outage, but customers in the United States were also affected.

Those who pay $50 per year for Google Apps Premier Edition, which contains extended features, will be given 15 days of free service as a "make good" of sorts.

"We will extend service level agreement credits to Google Apps Premier Edition customers," Andrew Kovacs, a Google spokesperson, said in an e-mail. "Since the service disruption lasted a few hours, they are entitled to a three-day extension of service for the month of February. Given the extent of the outage and as a gesture of goodwill, we are extending their service for 15 days."

Google has dealt with a few issues this week. In addition to the e-mail outage, users of Google Talk found themselves the target of a phishing scam designed to trick them out of their user credentials. The scam connected users to a phishing site called ViddyHo.

According to the Associated Press, Google last offered a 15-day credit to compensate for a Gmail breakdown in August 2008.

Google Apps Premier Edition, which was released in February 2007 and offers a host of desktop applications, shows Google attempting to become the major SAAS (software-as-a-service) provider. In addition to Gmail, the Premier Edition features Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google Talk and a variety of expanded collaboration and management features aimed at the enterprise.