Amazon has been hit by technical problems that saw thousands of customers struggle to access services such as its Prime streaming channels, voice assistant Alexa and smart doorbell Ring.
The issues stemmed from an outage at a cloud centre in Virginia and were also reported to have affected companies that use Amazon’s web services, such as Netflix, Disney+, Tinder, Coinbase and RobinHood.
Adele fans were frustrated after ticket sales to see the singer were delayed by four hours, as Ticketmaster was also disrupted.
The IT woes came at a particularly delicate time for Amazon, whose home delivery operations are in full swing for the key Christmas period.
Thousands of drivers in the US were sitting still as they could not access the Flex app, which is used among staff to manage assignments.
The extent of the damage is not known yet but the online retailer could face logjams if the delivery schedule does not get cleared.
We’re investigating reports that some customers are experiencing issues transferring money in and out of Robinhood and linking bank accounts. We’re working to resolve this as soon as possible and will post any updates at https://t.co/ZS733Gooqj.
— Robinhood Help (@AskRobinhood) December 7, 2021
Amazon Web Services, which manages the troubled facility in Virginia, said the root cause was “an impairment of several network devices” but it was not clear how long it would take to fix the situation.
Doug Madory, an analyst at network monitoring firm Kentik, told Bloomberg: “It gets more and more complicated with software running these services, so when something goes sideways it can take a long time to figure out what went wrong and fix it.
“Complexity has risks. You introduce unknown errors.”
The disruption started at around 4pm UK time, when over 11,000 problems were reported on the Downdetector website, though six hours later they were down to around 3,400.
Amazon lost an estimated $34m in sales during a 59-minute outage last June, according to The Independent.
The calculation was based on the average $9,615 sales per second based on revenues of $75.6bn during the first three months of the year.