Monday, June 13, 2011

An open letter to users regarding today's service level

Friends of

It's been one of those days.  I understand, for many of you it's been worse than mine - you have suffered through power outages, property damage from the storm, trees uprooted or fallen on your home or vehicle, hopefully no serious injuries...  Or maybe like friends of mine that live around the corner, your house caught on fire from lightning and you are now sifting through possessions trying to determine what is salvageable while contractors cut plywood and lay tarps over your roof... seeing that play out is how my afternoon ended.

So maybe in the scope of things my day was not all that bad, but I do want to offer an apology to MWN's faithful followers for a few things that were - well - "sub-par" about our services today.  The first was a lack of WXLIVE realtime current conditions from shortly after midnight until late morning.  Fortunately, that was fixed fairly quickly once it was discovered.

Next, it was discovered that our @shelbyalerts Twitter feed, which provides automated severe weather alerts for Shelby County, was not operational.  This one I'm still working on and believe it has something to do with the software not playing well with Twitter.  For now, it remains down, but HOPEFULLY will not be needed anytime soon.

Finally, and most importantly, there has been an issue with StormView Radar that has prevented it from updating on the website and Android & iPhone apps since mid-day yesterday. At this point, it also is not fixed.  Both of these last two issues are being worked by their respective software vendors.  They are not issues I can directly resolve.  The radar issue is the most disconcerting as it is a centerpiece of our product offering and, on the apps, has no direct replacement, nor a good way to let you know that it is down or why. The MWN Storm Center uses a different source for radar (albeit a much simpler version) that was not impacted.  But I know (because I heard from a few of you) that you were disappointed in the lack of radar on the apps during the height of today's storms.

I wish to offer my sincerest apologies for the sub-par service level today and the issues with some of MWN's products.  I take days like these hard and can assure you that the level of service offered today is not acceptable.  I will not only get the errors corrected, but more importantly, learn from them to hopefully prevent them from happening again.  Providing high-quality products and outstanding service is the only way I wish to do business.  I trust that you understand and accept an apology when service is less than outstanding.

If you are reading this and are questioning the legitimacy of the app you paid for, please contact me directly via the contact form on  I'll be happy to discuss it further with you and hopefully win you back.  If anyone has comments or suggestions on ways to improve, feel free to leave them below.  I read all feedback left.

As always, thank you for your continued patronage.  MWN's motto is "Memphis and Mid-South weather - where and when you need it."  We continue to work diligently to live up to that on a daily basis.  Some days it's harder than others...


Erik Proseus
Owner, Cirrus Weather Solutions


bridgmanpottery said...

I think you're being a bit hard on yourself, all things considered. Thanks for the service you provide to so many of us- for free. I have no complaints.

Joe said...

Stuff happens sometimes, and it usually is in multiples not just a single. Work it out, I will still be here.

Ken said...

Your information this morning about the Northwest flow and expected thunderstorms are the only reason I knew to expect what happened today. The NWS didn't put anything on facebook. Their statements typically are vague, where you cannot get a feel for whats happening (not to mention they had us at a 30% chance of rain at the same time I was reading your post). I'm a junky, always have been. Your info is detailed, yet clear and concise. As far as the technology issues goes, it happens. Keep up the good work.

Kevin said...

I agree with Joe, stuff happens and never when it is convenient. The mobile apps are relatively new and I think we all should expect a couple of bumps in the road in the adoption of new technology.

No complaints from me and I am certainly not going anywhere :)