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Digital River CEO Responds to DirectTrack Crash

In a letter to customers, Digital River’s CEO has responded to the issues that DirectTrack faced this week. Of course, since they could face possible legal actions and more obviously, loss of all their customer base, they did not address what happened.

Full text of letter is below.

As CEO of Digital River, I want you to have a clear explanation of the events that occurred over the past few days. Digital River experienced an abrupt and rare hardware failure late last week that impacted an array in one of our eight data centers. As a result, some of our marketing services, including DirectTrack, were offline.

We know that DirectTrack is a key component of your business and central to your success. Restoring service to all customers is a top priority. Our technical experts along with our vendors’ top engineers have been and will continue to work 24 hours a day until we return service to every client. As you read this email, service to virtually every DirectTrack client has been restored.

If your service is one that remains affected, the DirectTrack team will contact you directly and continue to provide updates until your service is back online. For those whose service has been restored, thank you for your patience during this recovery process.

Digital River values each and every client who has entrusted their businesses to us. We acknowledge that this is a very serious situation – one that has had the full attention of my entire leadership team – and I want to assure you that we consider it a top priority to restore service to every customer.

I want to reiterate that our DirectTrack platform was and continues to be supported by a redundant system. However, the rare and far-reaching extent of this storage failure prevented us from being able to quickly recover processing of your services in our secondary environment. To provide you added assurance in our infrastructure and technology stack, we are working with an industry-leading consulting firm to further validate our solution.

On behalf of the entire Digital River team, I pledge that we will work tirelessly to regain the trust you placed in us. Thank you.


Joel Ronning
Chief Executive Officer
Digital River, Inc.

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Pace Lattin

Pace Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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  2. #1 Pace — you should move to FB Comments — way better

    #2 All y’all on DT — why haven’t you migrated elsewhere long ago?! — #truth

  3. they sound really upset because they know that they will be losing lots of customers after this failure 🙂

  4. First of all, let me tell you about the CEO of digital River. He’s a duchebag and cares nothing for his customers or business. Back in 2008 we were on direct track. We met with him at a conference at the digital river booth to speak to him about the shitty support and unresolved issues we have had. He looked at us stupidly and acted like he had no idea WTF direct track was, then got up and ran off in mid conversation as we were not at all important to him. Needless to say, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and we jumped ship immediately. Every time we had a critical issue, we would call support and ask for assistance only to be told that we need to put in a support ticket or pay $800+ extra for premium support for X amount of hours. When a support ticket was put in, it would take 2-3 weeks to get a response in which generally did not fix the problem in the first place.

    Bottom line, direct track cares about 1 thing… $$MONEY$$ Direct track is a shit product run by even shittier people and do not for 1 minute believe they give a damn because they don’t. If there was a clause in your contacts that allows you to dump them because of the excessive downtime.. DO IT! there are plenty of others who have superior platforms. Cake, Has offers or Linktrust are fine companies. Don’t deal with Hitpath.. those guys are monsters as well run by dingbats and lunatics.

  5. I’m a publisher on many affiliate networks and was shocked at the lack of updates directtrack provided during this nightmare. Only until a couple days in did they update their corporate site and the directtrack website to reflect this – no twitter updates, no facebook updates – nothing until they realized this was a problem that could not be fixed easily at which point they provided a vague update on their websites.

    Even now, days after things have been restored, data is missing in publisher accounts – when will this be fixed? Who knows!!! Directtrack needs to hire a PR team because their communication skills are terrible.

    I’m sure millions of dollars were lost because of this – we’ll see if directtrack makes it to 2013…

  6. It is truly upset. With this failure many customers will get discouraged about this but still they have a chance to move on.

  7. This has really been a shining example of how not to manage a crisis. That coupled with what would seem to be technical incompetence on their part doesn’t leave me with much confidence in DT.

    The icing on the cake was the attitude of their COO as quoted in this article – Not only was he dishonest about the duration of the outage (which is ongoing to this day to some degree from the perspective of customers that are still waiting for data to be restored) but his words oozed arrogance as well as disdain for the customers that were impacted.

    We will no longer send traffic to any DT hosted network aside from one key partner who I expect will move away from DT in the coming months.

    1. I saw that and was confused. He said that only small businesses were affected. No, their own division was affected, with clients who DID have backup and who do $100M+ a year. Clickbooth, LegalZoom, etc..etc… These are not SMALL companies.

      1. Yes, this was a service line outage. Salt on the wound when large customers are effected and their COO comes out and says “relax, you’re not a very large customer.” Maybe DR should use another storage provider. Is it a coincidence that Hitachi and Sun outsource their eCommerce to DR?

  8. There wasn’t even an apology in there. Anyone who still runs on DT is a moron.

  9. If you’re looking for a provider that blows DR out of the water, check out they have a 99.999% SLA and have the most cutting edge technologies in eCommerce today. I stumbled on an article relating to cloud streaming technologies and found them. And they allow you to purchase digital and physical merchandise in one single shopping cart and checkout process.

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