Trouble with the servers was first detected on December 15th, but went undetected because the person responsible for checking computer logs left the post on December 14th and wasn't replaced. As a result, no one saw what was happening and no back-up was performed before the crash.
Server crashes are not uncommon in the industry and are usually not that serious if a well-functioning back-up system is in place. But Telia Sonera's systems failed in this case, resulting in the permanent loss of approximately 1.9 million emails.
“It is a failure on our side. This should not happen, but it has happened. Now we have changed our routines so that another person is responsible for checking the screen logs,” said Erik Hallberg, head of Telia Sonera's broadband services.
On Tuesday, the company sent out an email to the 300,000 customers affected by the crash explaining what happened. Customers have also had a chance to share their point of view on the matter. Judging by reactions thus far, many customers are extremely upset.
“I've set up an extra customer service center with 50 people in order to go through the emails we've received. In this way I've also provided a chance to begin a dialogue about the damages and see what more we can do,” said Hallberg.
At this point, Telia Sonera has promised to send affected customers a gift certificate worth 200 kronor and only redeemable at the company's retail outlets. Hallberg cannot promise that customers wishing to break their contracts with Telia Sonera will be able to do so.
“We will do all that we can to make an unsatisfied customer satisfied. That is our responsibility,” he said.