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Auction site eBay hiccups again

A software upgrade is responsible for a series of glitches, the company says. But the stock keeps rising.

    Wall Street seems to have turned a blind eye to the series of prolonged outages that online auction site eBay has suffered this week.

    eBay's stock was at $190 per share in the late afternoon trading despite a software upgrade gone awry that downed the site for more than nine hours starting at 2:55 a.m. today, according to Brian Swette the company's vice president of marketing.

    The site was 90 percent functional by about noon today, a spokeswoman added. The company was still updating its search function, which is operational.

    The outage is the second snafu for eBay this week.

    On Monday, the site was down for about six hours due to the same software upgrade. The scheduled maintenance was supposed to last only a few hours, but the site was down from 4 a.m. until about 10 a.m. on Monday.

    "We have a scheduled time frame when we install new software or new features into the system. It didn't go as planned on Monday so we took corrective action to fix it," Swette said.

    "The site went down again after another scheduled outage today," he added. "We experienced a problem related to the one that happened on Monday."

    Still this week's outages aren't the first for eBay.

    Last Thursday, eBay was down for about an hour in the late afternoon after a hardware glitch caused one of the company's database servers to crash, followed by a construction crew knocking out the eBay's T-1 line.

    Despite the unexpected outages, Sweete said eBay had no plans to change its scheduled maintenance procedures.

    "We've always built ahead of demand so nothing severe happens," he said. "When we make changes we normally do it in wee hours when there is no traffic. But [this week] it didn't go as we had hoped and planned."

    eBay planned to extend bidding for three hours to accommodate buyers and sellers who weren't able to access the site during the outages. But not all were pleased with the concession.

    "EBay really owes all sellers a couple of days of extended listings," one user wrote on the eBay message board. "We lost bids all the time the computers were down on Monday and also today. Extending the time for three hours is not enough. What about the rest of us who have listing that end later today. No one had a chance to bid on them all morning either."