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Global Amazon outage keeps some customers from placing orders

A customer service representative tells CNET the company's servers have been down since about 10 a.m. PT and may not be back up for several hours.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken

Amazon's site currently is preventing customers from placing orders. Screenshot by Shara Tibken/CNET

Some Amazon customers are having trouble placing orders on the shopping site, which customer service representatives contacted by CNET attribute to technical issues on Tuesday.

Two customer service agents told CNET the worldwide outage is a "known issue" and that the company's technical support team is working on it. One agent attributed the problems to servers being down, while another said the issues are because Amazon is upgrading its site. Both said the outage, which started at about 10 a.m. PT, could last for several hours but should be resolved later Tuesday.

Amazon did not return a request for comment. The glitch is a rare occurrence for the normally reliable e-commerce company known for an easy checkout process and quick delivery. The site has about 250 million active customer accounts.

Customers were reporting issues when going through the purchase process. They were able to add items to their cart but then couldn't complete the transaction. The outage hit both mobile and desktop versions of Amazon's site.

Some customers are able to successfully make a purchase, but many others receive error messages saying, "Oops! We're sorry. An error occurred when we tried to place your request. Rest assured, we're working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. If you were trying to make a purchase, please check to confirm that the order was placed. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Staff writer Donna Tam contributed to this report.

Updated, 3:58 p.m. PT: With more background information.