General Outage Hits GrandCentral

Google’s telephone service GrandCentral has been down all morning. The service’s first general outage affects all customers; any calls to GrandCentral numbers are immediately disconnected.

From TechCrunch:

We’ve noted problems with the service in the past, but never a general outage. The site is down. The service is down. Everything appears to be offline.

If you want to be a phone company, and get your users to rely on you to manage all of your incoming calls, this simply cannot happen.

GrandCentral is an amazing service that lets you forward calls, record chats with customer service agents, and save on incoming calls with T-Mobile. We would highly recommend that you grab a number, but the outage is affecting their website.

Google has yet to release a statement or give any indication when GrandCentral will be back up and running—though it better be soon. Google’s starting to make Verizon look good, and that’s simply intolerable.

If You Wanna Be A Phone Company, You Can’t Go Dead [TechCrunch]


Edit Your Comment

  1. JoseRZ says:

    Isn’t GrandCentral still free? Also since it is still in beta can you really complain if something goes wrong. When ever I seen a beta version I expect their to be problems.

  2. mantari says:


    Hmmmm. Need to make my text a bit larger next time and preserve the aspect ratio.

  3. Pink Puppet says:

    @JoseRZ: Exactly. Beta is supposed to be functional enough to test with a wider audience, but prone to occasionally blowing up in your face.

  4. James says:

    I’m with everyone on this. It’s beta,and I expect stuff like this to happen. Of course,I’m peeved cuz I have a Grand Central number…

  5. Shadowfire says:

    “If you want to be a phone company, and get your users to rely on you to manage all of your incoming calls, this simply cannot happen.”

    “and that’s simply intolerable.”

    Blah blah blah… its a beta, folks. Welcome to the wonderful world of software.

    I can remember when G-Mail was in beta, and a bunch of us lost our inboxes. We didn’t scream and bitch, because we knew it was beta.

  6. haimtime says:

    I wish google would tell us what may cost money in the future. I don’t want to have to start with grandcentral, then have to change all my numbers again.

    Love the service, but all my friends text me, so I can’t really use it fully yet.

  7. landbamirum says:

    Actually, Gmail is still beta (check out the logo.)

  8. huadpe says:

    @Shadowfire: Gmail is STILL in beta. Google just leaves hyper-stable things in beta all the time for some strange reason. I doubt grand central would be out of beta before 2011-2012

  9. James says:

    And just like that Grand Central is up and running again.

  10. timmus says:

    Ha ha… a few weeks ago there was a question on Ask Metafilter seeking a GrandCentral alternative, and a lot of people were saying that you’d be in for trouble going with a smaller company.

  11. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Beta-smeta. Yeah, people expect some small amount of bugginess, but not for the entire network to go down for hours on end with no official explanation. Not for this type of service where reliability is supposed to be the selling point.

  12. Parting says:

    Free service. Beta.

    Even RIM’s network goes occasionally down.

  13. Looks like an interesting service, any idea how long it take to get a number?

  14. mxx says:

    @hypochondriac: when i got my number about a year ago it took like a week or two.

  15. davefattal says:

    Service Today
    April 13th, 2008
    I wanted to write a quick note to all the GC users and apologize for the service interruption this morning. We had a power issue at our current colo facility and it knocked us off line for a few hours. Unfortunately I’ve been up in the mountains with the family this weekend and had no cell/internet coverage so couldn’t respond earlier. I did want to let you know that we were able to restore the service by noon today and are working extremely diligently to make sure this won’t occur in the future. We’ll do a better job keeping you informed in the future, not only about service related issues but also about upcoming features, soliciting your feedback, and generally making sure that you, the GC user, is well informed as to what’s going on with the service.

    Thanks for your patience with us and we’ll continue to work to make the service better by the day. – Craig Walker

    This post was written by Craig

  16. davefattal says:
  17. There’s an official response now:

    I wanted to write a quick note to all the GC users and apologize for the service interruption this morning. We had a power issue at our current colo facility and it knocked us off line for a few hours…. [We] are working extremely diligently to make sure this won’t occur in the future. []

  18. ChuckECheese says:

    @hypochondriac: You can get a number instantly, as long as there’s one in your area code available. Go ahead and sign up. You do have to have another number of some sort to route calls to though–it’s not intended to be an internet only voicemail service, although it can be used that way.

  19. @ChuckECheese: Thanks I signed up a few hours ago. Still on confirmation email. Guess they don’t have any numbers in NY

  20. @hypochondriac: I had to wait a few weeks before they gave me one. They almost certainly have numbers in NY.

  21. Chad LaFarge says:

    Central MO took a couple days to get a number. Love the service… I know it’s a beta. My very few minor complaints don’t outweigh the cost ;).

  22. Consumer007 says:

    I have to concur as a heavy GrandCentral user myself. Our right to complain when a service is free (and the degree to which we count on free service for something critical in our lives, unwisely migrating everything to it when it’s still in Beta, ergo not perfected yet) is limited at best.

    Yes, it behooves them during beta to try and stay up as much as they can, but we can’t hold them to any higher standard than our local phone or light company during major outages.

    On the other side of the coin, I have no email from them, that would have been good.

    If it weren’t in BETA any more and I was paying, and missing calls, yeah, mucho angry.

  23. Consumer007 says:

    P.S. it was working for me again by 5pm MST. Got a forwarded message then by someone who called me at 4:45pm MST.

  24. Fidel on the Roof says:

    Maybe too many people were abusing the tmobile hack.

    Some people are totally f****** milking that.

  25. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    I’ve had worse problems with Verizon than having my phone service down for a few hours.

  26. BugMeNot2 says:

    As echoed by the previews commentaries, this is a free service by Google, and it’s in Beta, meaning the public is aware this is going to be a unstable release of a particular software.

    What I would also like to point out, Google does not allow this for certain people (like on google mail), via invitations, but this is an open invitation registration.

  27. BugMeNot2 says:

    If there was an edit button, I would like to add; something to think about.

  28. dumbwhore says:

    I know it’s beta, but geological redundancy is a pretty basic feature to install and telephony completely allows for it. In fact, if you’re savvy enough to write something like Grandcentral, you know just how easy it is to actually make this redundant.

  29. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @dumbwhore: Thank you, dumbwhore. My point exactly. And it’s not like Google doesn’t have the resources or brainpower to figure that out. This excuse is really lame and inexcuseable. Dangling the carrot of future “exciting, new features!” doesn’t change that.

  30. mantari says:

    @Consumer007: Just about everything Google does is in “Beta”. Guess you have no right to complain about anything Google?

  31. Alan Thomas says:

    The use of “beta” makes me wonder if Google is just using the label SO THAT people can’t/won’t complain. Beta is only justified if there are features in the software that haven’t been fully vetted. The failure in this case was due to a *power* problem–not exactly a beta issue.

  32. Lee Jones says:

    “Google’s starting to make Verizon look good, and that’s simply intolerable.”

    That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think? Simply intolerable that a free service had one outage for a few hours on a Sunday? It’s not like we’re paying for the service.

    I checked out the Google Group for GC and you have people wondering about the outage, and complete whiners complaining about how they rely on this and are losing business. Free is free, if they shut down tomorrow all you can say is “bummer,” not that it was “unacceptable” that they discontinued the free service altogether.

    Yeah, Google has a rep to maintain, but considering they bought GC (notice the url is NOT I’d say it reflects less on Google or even GC than it does on the hosting facility. When GC DOES redirect to Google, then you begin to have a case.

    The “intolerable” comment makes Consumerist sound like jerks.