This was a bad week for Intuit. But, it was even worse for employees who count on Intuit's Quickbooks payroll services to process their direct deposit paychecks via the cloud. Unfortunately, the "cloud" had an outage just in time for the first of the month. Unfortunately, it happens to be a week that a lot of people take as vacation tacked onto their Memorial Day holiday (in other words, some folks are not around to physically take an alternate paycheck to the bank the old-fashioned way).
The problem started just at the start of the business day East Coast time on Wednesday. Intuit did not publicly react for another six hours. Payroll services were not restored until after the close of the business day on both coasts.
It's difficult to tease out which of those three failings have customers most angry. It may be the middle one that it took six hours to communicate with customers. Looking at Intuit's community's board, the fur is flying on this one.
Let's begin with the raw meat thrown to boiling mad business owners. Intuit began with a statement acknowledging the problem:
(My favorite part was the boilerplate "Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook" at the bottom of that announcement)
Here's a sampling of posted complaints from small businesses that use Quickbook's payroll services:
And, more to the point...
A story like this, once again, raises concerns about relying too heavily on someone else's cloud. It remains to be seen how Intuit will be held liable for delayed checks. But as one business owner from Oregon pointed out, its against the law in his state to pay employees late. He could be facing fines as a result. What about employees unable to get paid in time to pay their rent or mortgage on time and may now face late charges?
What do you think? Is your business ready to rely on the cloud?