Philips Hue has been having a holiday outage, too – Rare Norm

Philips Hue has been having a holiday outage, too – TechCrunch

Alexa wasn’t the only thing that crashed over Christmas due to an influx of new users. Apparently, Philips Hue has been having an outage, as well. A multi-day outage, in fact. The company confirmed on Wednesday that customers were experiencing issues creating new accounts, logging in and linking their account to third parties. It blamed the issues on “a lot of new activations.”

In other words, many people received Hue’s connected lighting products over the holidays and were now trying to set up their smart bulbs and other devices all around the same time. Hue’s servers couldn’t keep up with the demand and weren’t responding to the incoming requests. That meant users couldn’t create or log into their MyHue account, or connect their lights to their Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Customers were, understandably, very frustrated — especially because their issues began on Christmas, and had continued for days with no word from the company.

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It’s been almost two full days of being unable to log into MyHue or connect with my Echo. You really should consider a small coupon for all the people affected this Christmas. Lots of other smart bulb options out there…

— John Daniel Hubbard (@JDanHubbard) December 27, 2018

Others complained they had wasted several hours troubleshooting the problem, having not realized it was a Hue outage that was at fault, as a result of this lack of communication.

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I find this out after wasting 5 hours of my St Stephens day trying to link my account to my google home assistant 😡😡😡😡😡Ridiculous 😡😡

— Lorraine Comiskey (@Jewelor) December 26, 2018

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I am so stressed spent 5 hours last night trying to troubleshoot and nothing your lights are awesome but the problem with the software is really killing it for me just spent $500 on your lights would be nice if I could control them with my google home

— Logan czarnecki (@LoganCzarnecki) December 26, 2018

Philips Hue’s Twitter account didn’t make a public announcement about the outage until Wednesday — instead, the company was only replying to individual users.

Because Twitter hides replies in a separate tab, visitors to Hue’s Twitter page wouldn’t have seen any statements from the company unless they clicked over to see the back-and-forth conversations with Hue’s customers — and some of those weren’t outage-related.

People who followed Hue on Twitter wouldn’t have seen these replies in their own timelines, either.

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We’re currently seeing a lot of new activations which may result in some customers not being able to create a new account, log in, or link their account to third parties. We hope to have this solved soon and like to ask you to try again later. Apologies and happy holidays!

— Philips Hue (@tweethue) December 26, 2018

Philips Hue had also downplayed the problem in its initial replies, as well, saying server issues were affecting only a “small percentage” of users.

Customers were told to try again or try in a few hours.

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Hi. Unfortunately we have been facing some issues with our servers, affecting a small percentage of our users. We advise you to try again, or try again in a few hours. Our developers are looking into it. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

— Philips Hue (@tweethue) December 26, 2018

While Alexa had crashed on Christmas due to a similar problem of too many new users hitting its servers all at once, its outage only lasted a couple of hours.

In Philip Hue’s case, customers have been inconvenienced for much longer.

Many are also new Hue customers — those who are trying to trying to create their account and set up their devices for the first time. For some, Hue’s smart light bulbs may even be their first experience with a smart home device — and this outage may leave them not wanting to try again.

Early on Thursday, Hue’s Twitter account began to reply to individual users, telling them the service “should be up and running.”

But it also warned them that, depending on demand, they may have to try a few times today to get everything going. The company additionally suggested to some that they should try to set up the lights during off-peak hours, like the morning.

We reached out to Philips Hue to ask if the outage was indeed resolved, and will update with a statement if one is provided.

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Hey Natalia, we are sorry about that. We can assure you that it will work again later and your present isn’t ruined forever. At the moment the service should be up and running depending on the demand at the moment, so please try again a few times today. Our sincere apologies.

— Philips Hue (@tweethue) December 27, 2018

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Hey Brad, the issue should now be resolved, during peak times you might still not be able to complete your account setup. We’d like to ask you to try again, preferably during a quieter moment, for example in the morning. We’re working hard on a solution to prevent this.

— Philips Hue (@tweethue) December 27, 2018

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