eBay Crash Halts Bidding for Five Hours

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Server problems brought down eBay's online auctions for more than five hours Monday, making it impossible to post bids or new auction items from roughly 8:30 a.m. EDT to 2 p.m. EDT. The outage affected nearly two million on-going auctions, and is just the latest in a string of service snafus that have marked the length of eBay's hyper-growth.

Just the past Friday eBay experienced similar server problems, with auctions down for two hours (5:30 p.m. EDT to 7:30 p.m. EDT). Early eBay users are accustomed to service interruptions but millions of newer arrivals were left wondering if online auctions really are ready for prime-time. Furious users vented in online message boards like Auction Watch, while Kevin Pursglove, senior director for communications at eBay, told press, "We are always concerned when we have any downtime on the site... We are trying to respond as quickly as we can." On its own announcement board, eBay posted a message saying "The news is not good. We will be down a little longer," later adding that all auctions scheduled to end during the shutdown or for one hour afterwards would be extended for another 24 hours. The company also solicited complaints from customers who felt their auctions were "materially impacted" by the hardware failures. MORE >>