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Important Letter from Meg and Pierre

June 11, 1999

To our valued community members:

We are sorry. We know that you expect uninterrupted service from eBay, and we know we haven’t lived up to your expectations. We want you to know that we are committed to regaining your trust in our ability to provide the highest level of service.

At about 19:50 PDT last night, June 10, 1999, we began experiencing site problems that resulted in a hard outage that lasted nearly 24 hours. This was the second time in two days that we experienced this problem.

We want to assure you that our highest priority today - as always - is your trading success. We also understand that keeping the site up and running is crucial to your achievement of this success. We cannot apologize enough for this disruption in our service and in your ability to participate in online commerce.

When the outage began last night, we immediately mobilized to fix the problem as quickly as possible. It took everyone in engineering, customer support, operations and even external vendors working all night and all day to get the site back up and running. We believe we isolated the problem, and we will keep a vigilant watch.

Here is what we did...

First, we have taken a serious look at our priorities because of this outage. We hope you will give us the chance to show you our commitment to your success and to keeping eBay up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our goal: Uninterrupted service. No fancy bells and whistles. We just want to make it work.

To help ensure this, we are working diligently on a hot backup system that should automatically limit the length of potential outages to less than an hour or so. We have been working on this system for many months, and it is almost ready. Sadly, if we had this system in place a few days ago, we might have avoided this outage.

Second, we are extending by 48 hours all auctions ending between 19:50 PDT on Thursday, June 10 and 09:00 PDT on Saturday, June 12. (Of course, you may end your auction at any time at:

Third, we are refunding ALL fees for ALL ACTIVE auctions on eBay between 00:01 PDT on Thursday, June 9 and 24:00 PDT on Friday, June 11. This includes Insertion Fees, Final Value Fees and Optional Fees (such as Bold, Icon, Featured and Gallery). These refunds will be automatically generated, and you will not be required to submit a written request. (Please note that these refunds will not appear immediately on your eBay account status but will appear on your June or July invoice.)

Fourth, we are implementing a new Outage Policy. Our new Outage Policy is as follows:

  1. Extensions - For any hard outage over two hours, eBay will automatically extend by 24 hours all auctions scheduled to end during that outage and all auctions scheduled to end in the hour following that outage.
  2. Refunds - For any hard outage over two hours, eBay will automatically refund ALL fees for auctions ending during that outage. This includes Insertion Fees, Final Value Fees and Optional Fees (such as Bold, Icon, Featured and Gallery).

Finally, we will offer a free listing event some time in July as a token of our appreciation of your continued support and understanding. Please keep an eye on the Announcements Board in the next few weeks for more information.

We know that extending your auctions and refunding your money will never be enough. We truly believe, as you do, that eBay is only as successful as you are. We promise to do everything we possibly can to help you succeed at online trading at eBay. And we promise to redouble our efforts to make sure that another outage like this one will never happen again.

Our sincere apologies,

Meg and Pierre