Home - , , - Updated: PTel Call Center and Website Back Online After Three Day Outage

Updated: PTel Call Center and Website Back Online After Three Day Outage

T-Mobile MVNO PTel's customer call center and ptel.com Website were brought down Wednesday by what the company is calling a "major hardware failure" that also took out their database servers. The company was able the bring up a temporary Website yesterday, but the call center is still down as of 9AM PT Friday. The company is working around the clock to restore operations but has not said how long that will take.

Customer's PTel phone service is unaffected except for users who were unable to add funds to expiring accounts. Several users have also reported being unable to make international calls. The 7835 and 7801 short codes to check your balance and add an airtime PIN aren't working either.

Late yesterday, PTel setup a temporary Website at ptel.com with a contact form for users who have lost service. PTel posted on HowardForums that they will restore or continue service at no charge for users who contact them via the Web form. They also said that no one will lose their phone number or pay as you go balance because they were unable to top up because of the outage. Users can also get updates and contact PTel on Facebook.

Although this outage is reminiscent of what happened when several other MVNOs that abruptly went out of business recently, I have no reason to believe this outage is anything other than the hardware failure.

Update 5/31/2014 8:30 AM PT: The PTel Website is back with everything working except call records which stopped working a couple of weeks ago.

Related: Prepaid Operator Profile: PTel Mobile

Tags: , ,

18 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. You mean they don't have redundant systems? Even more reason not to use them. Enterprise-sized corporations usually have some fault tolerance

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is not an "enterprise-sized corporation." It's is a low margin small business. If you want a large company, you will pay more. I would rather have their low rates. I've used them for 4 years and this is the first time it's happened. Expect them to learn and improve from this experience. Do you know your cellphone company's backup ops plan? Of course you don't. Hindsight is 20-20. Will you switch if this happens to you? Probably not.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Even many small businesses that I know have fault tolerant systems ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Redundant and fault-tolerant are not the same thing, and you apparently have no idea whether Ptel had either.
    Wouldn't it be better to start with the facts if you are going to criticize?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the IT world, they are often used synonymously. Fault tolerance (more often than not) means having redundancy.

      Delete
  5. Update from ptel.com:

    "Update 5/30 @ 12:06PM CST

    Our teams have automated processes running that update accounts once the form to the left is submitted. Once you submit your information, your account should be working within the hour."

    ReplyDelete
  6. The PTel site is still down. I have never seen a "major hardware failure" last so long.

    What could possibly cause such a long delay?

    Here are a few things I can think of:
    1) Massive fire in the server room or all of building
    2) Power line to building hit by a direct lightning strike
    3) Distraught employee(s) deleting all the data, software, source code and backups (I know a small company that had this happen to them).

    Moral of the story: Have all your data, software and source code backed up off site.

    ReplyDelete
  7. have two ptel lines. been thinking of dropping one of them. this is a good time as any to drop that one. unless if ptel gives people some benefit like an extra month.... they're probably going to have eat some sort of cost to benefit people for having this outage. of course, if your ptel account is not coming due soon, then none of this may affect you too much.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am not going anywhere. Service still working fine, and I even have one more half-price PIN I bought last July. I bought enough for almost 2 years of PayGo at half price, saving a lot of money. They have a work-around to keep service going. Where is the beef?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my extra ptel line. have been wanting to drop that line for some time already. the main reason is because the previous owner of the line had bill problems. really annoyed with telling bill collectors that the guy no longer has the number, and REPEATEDLY tell them to not call again. they just keep calling, even if blocked, they have their different phone numbers (unblocked) to call my extra ptel line. it's like an eternal game of whack-a-mole blocking the different numbers they call in on to that extra ptel line. sigh. as mentioned above, it's a good time as any to drop that extra line. lol

      Delete
    2. Where can you buy half price PINs

      Delete
    3. Too late to buy the half-off PINs. This was a long-running promo to encourage customers to switch off Platinumtel CDMA early, avoiding the crush at the end. It is done. You can still save 25%, though. Dennis lists the codes in every Sunday sale post.

      Delete
    4. "the previous owner of the line had bill problems...it's like an eternal game of whack-a-mole blocking the different numbers"
      I experienced this with EVERY one of my RingPlus numbers. They must have a good deal recycling Sprint deadbeat numbers. They charged me 99c to get new numbers from other deadbeats. Quite a racket; they make money even on "free."
      At least Ptel will give you a new number at no cost.

      Delete
  9. Ptel ALWAYS blames problems on a technical difficulty with their system. On several occasions Ptel customer service has told me tech support is not available Nights and weekends. These same customer service agents insist customers can not contact tech support directly and that only customer service can contact them. All this leads me to conclude Ptel outsources tech support.

    I got a total of $50 credit from Ptel for a series of Ptel mistakes which kept me without working service for two weeks. Ptel customer service was extremely reluctant to give me any compensation after wasting many hours of my life through multiple phone calls and emails. I estimate my time was valued at less than $4 per hour.

    I hope that Ptel survives to keep a more competitive marketplace but Ptel has mediocre customer service at best.

    ReplyDelete
  10. To port out your number from Ptel you will need a few items: Name on Account, Account Address, Account number (which is your 10 digit Ptel phone number), Ptel does not use a passcode for porting, you can use "0000" or the last four digits of the phone number as the passcode, if the other carrier requires one. However, Port Out requests do not appear to be honored at this time. I have had one pending for more than 48 hours. Although, not required, the FCC general expects port requests to occur within 2.5 hours. If your request does not occur within that timeframe, you are encouraged to file an FCC complaint regarding WLNP against Ptel.

    ReplyDelete
  11. PTEL is back up with their website.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The MVNO sector is to competitive. In order for them to make money it will need a big volume of customers which is already taking by other well know prepaid companies like, Boost, Metro, Simple, TMobile, ect........ Most MVNO customer service is really unrealiable and long hours of wait. Usually people want a store near by that can get help in less than 15 minutes. That's just the reality. If you want to succeed in the wireless business you need to have plenty of walk in stores with good customer service with competitive prices. This requires a lot of investemnet and some time, Otherwise you are just going to be another dead MVNO.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just want to update everyone that everything is back and operational. All systems are functioning.

    We apologize to anyone who was affected by this situation.

    Thanks to prepaidphonenews.com for keeping our customers updated.

    Thanks to our Rock Star IT Group for bring us back online.

    And most of all, thanks to our awesome customers for your patience and understanding.

    ReplyDelete
Comment Page :