November 14, 2012, 3:30 PM

Volusion goes down again—the second time in five weeks

The e-commerce software provider blames problems with data storage.

Lead Photo

E-commerce platform provider Volusion Inc. is responding again this week to complaints after another outage took offline some of the sites the company hosts for online retailers.

Volusion confirmed an outage Tuesday. That followed one Oct. 8 and another in July that affected at least dozens of smaller retailers hosting their e-commerce sites on Volusion servers. Since early fall the company declined to reveal the exact number of sites affected by this week’s incident.

“Yesterday evening, Volusion experienced an issue with a series of storage arrays,” says a company spokeswoman. “While more customers were impacted than any of us would have liked, the majority of sites were restored within the hour. A small percentage of sites had longer duration of impact, and our engineers worked as quickly as possible to restore full functionality to everyone.”

Some retailers are losing patience with the service provider, and expressing it on the vendor’s Facebook page.

“I was in the middle of a Facebook Offer when my site went down! I cannot believe this! I switched from another company to Volusion because they went down during a HUGE promo! I'm expecting a credit for the downtime! Thousands lost Volusion!” wrote Tasha Randall of SocoVintage.com in a comment on Volusion’s first wall post about the outage.

Many of the 72 comments on that same post echoed Randall’s frustrated sentiment and some expressed concerns for the upcoming holiday season. At least one retailer even mentioned leaving Volusion for another e-commerce provider. “We understand that performance quality and uptime are of utmost importance to our merchants as the industry's busiest time of year quickly approaches,” the Volusion spokeswoman says. “Our team devotes extra resources to optimize performance and minimize interruptions for our merchants during Q4 and we appreciate our customers' patience yesterday evening as our team worked to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

The cause of this outage, though not completely the same as October’s, was similar enough “to warrant an expedited change of hardware to minimize any risk of an issue during the holiday selling season,” she adds.

Still, not all retailers are disgruntled by the service. Wrote one Facebook user from DirectGlow.com: “Do you think every other solution out there doesn't have down time or unexpected bumps in the road? Yeah, it's annoying but it happens. I have been nothing but pleased with Volusion since 2009.”

Volusion hosts the web sites of two retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide  and 11 in the Second 500 Guide.

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