German web hosting and server provider 1&1 Internet is currently experiencing an outage, which started around 13.30 BST this afternoon, leaving customers without access to their websites.
Various UK sources told The Register the servers were down, along with all communications into the provider's offices including sales, general enquiries, technical support and media contacts.
"As a lot of clients' domain names are hosted with 1&1, it is causing some grief with websites not loading – even those that are hosted elsewhere – and mail delivery for some is touch-and-go too," one UK managing director told El Reg. "Yes these people do have alternative servers we can fall back on, but it's making what should have been a steady afternoon very manic getting everyone switched over."
Customers phoning the company get either a disconnected or engaged tone for all departments. When The Reg tried to call, the main number's answering service was working but calls put through to any department got the disconnected or engaged tone.
We currently have some problems with some of our servers. We can't say when the problem will be fixed but we're working on it. The control panel is also unreachable or working very slowly at the moment. Our technicians are already fixing this. Please apologise for the inconvenience [sic].
Its Twitter feed added:
We're currently facing some problems with our servers and internal systems like the control panel. We're trying to fix this ASAP!
However, some commentators on the Facebook feed were unhappy that more information on the outage wasn't available on the 1&1 website or over the phone, and that the outage hadn't been confirmed until around an hour after it started.
"What upsets me most about the situation is their complete lack of effort to inform their customers that they were even aware of the problem. It took about an hour for them to admit there was an issue, and their status page is still cheerfully saying 'All systems functional'," the systems administrator for one firm told The Reg.
For understandable reasons, the company was unavailable for comment. ®