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.Mac users mock Apple slogan during outage

Downtime on Apple Computer's .Mac service has some clients taking aim at the company's "It just works" campaign.

Web publishing service .Mac just works, sort of...

Apple Computer's latest advertising campaign, pegged to the slogan "It just works," is irritating some .Mac users as they wonder when the service will become operational again.

Over the past four days, .Mac users have struggled to get its Web site publishing features, iWeb, and related file-share capabilities, iDisk, to work. Users have complained not only about the length of the outage, but also what they say is a tardy response from .Mac's technical support team, according to postings on Apple's discussion board.

"It is going on 96 hours for me. Completely Unacceptable," wrote a user named BK Broiler in a post to the discussion board. "The .76 IP now pings, since yesterday, but iDisk does not work still. It'll only work with the /etc/hosts trick, but not on its own. I got a canned e-mail from Apple today after 72 hours of silence from the time I sent the trouble call. Thanks, Apple, for making a joke out of long term customer loyalty, and for just not giving a ****. It may be time to switch away from Mac after 20 years."

Apple said Monday it is investigating the issue.

"We are aware of the outage and are looking into it," an Apple representative said.

The representative noted that it is premature to discuss whether Apple plans to reimburse users a portion of their $99.95 annual fee for .Mac service, which also includes data synchronization tools and group e-mail.

The outage has created particular problems for some .Mac users, who rely on the service for their businesses.

Brian Guy, a technology consultant in Seattle, noted he built an SVN server to replace iDisk and has since deleted all his files off iDisk.

"I'll still use iDisk in the future, but only for noncritical needs," he said.

Guy, along with several others on Apple's iDisk discussion board. point to a ripple effect iDisk is having on the .Mac service.

".Mac's entire iLife suite is affected, because so many things rely on iDisk," said Guy, pointing to iPhoto, iWeb and the ability to perform daily backups via iDisk.

Apple declined to comment on the extent to which any iDisk issues might be affecting the iLife suite.

Meanwhile, the ad campaign only adds to the exasperation some users are describing.

"(I) had no issues with any .Mac service before now...I am now suffering from post-traumatic-Windows-type stress symptoms, i.e. nail biting and hair pulling," a user named Allan Bell wrote on the discussion board. "And those new Apple adverts are now starting to irritate me lol. Yes, 'it just works' is looking funnier by the minute...'occasionally' would be more apt lol."