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Amazon Outage for 15 Minutes Cost Company Millions, Experts Say

By Michael Mullins   |   Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 08:39 AM

An Amazon outage on Monday costs the company millions of dollars, say experts. The problem occurred about 3 p.m. EST for U.S. and Canadian customers and lasted roughly 15 minutes before the online retailer resolved the issue.

Customers who visited Amazon during the outage were greeted with the message:

"Oops! (in large orange letters) We're very sorry, but we're having trouble doing what you just asked us to do. Please give us another chance - - click the back button on your browser and try your request again. Or start from the beginning on our homepage."

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It was unclear what caused the outage, and Amazon had not responded to media inquiries about it.

The Amazon outage for 15 minutes did not impact other Amazon web services or the many e-commerce and other retail sites that work with Amazon, Forbes reported.

Days earlier, the New York Times faced a similar outage, which the newspaper later said was a result of "internal issues," and not a hack attack as rumors online claimed.

Additionally, Google experienced a temporary outage last Friday, while Microsoft's Outlook.com also experienced an outage last week.

How much the outage cost the multibillion dollar e-commerce company is unknown. However, a longer outage in January that lasted for approximately 49 minutes cost the Seattle, Wash.-based company nearly $5 million in sales, networld.com reported.

With $86 billion in annual gross revenue for its merchandise, which includes third-party sellers, Amazon on average processes some $163,622 transactions per minute, according to consultants at RetailNet Group.

Using RetailNet Group's figures, Amazon's revenue loss on Monday was somewhere between $2.5 million and $4 million.

Whereas many companies have frozen hiring or reduced employees' hours in anticipation of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Amazon has bucked the trend, announcing in July that it planned to add some 7,000 jobs in 13 states.

The new hires will primarily be warehouse staff and in their customer service division.

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