, one of the largest payment gateways in the world, was down for 15 hours after a fire at Fisher Plaza, the Seattle, WA based datacenter where they were hosted.

I was at Starbucks working on an email newsletter with an Independence Day promotion for, and was just about to send it to our entire subscriber list when I noticed J’s tweet. I started researching the outage and opened a Twitter Search for the hashtag #authorize and the phrases “” and “” to keep up with the situation as it progressed.

Soon after I noticed the problem, I started getting calls from customers at 2BigFeet who were trying to place orders online but were getting errors. Not long after that, I got several calls from clients who also noticed their websites were not accepting payments.

As a temporary fix, I switched our e-commerce software to manual processing. All online orders were accepted, we would have to run the credit cards later using our order management software offline. I went ahead and sent the Independence Day email to our subscribers and orders started flowing in again.

I kept following the issue throughout the day and wrote a blog post about it this morning on The E-Commerce Blog. I think really messed up on this one. I, for one, am looking for a new or additional gateway provider.