The best time to say "sorry" to your customers is when no one else will hear you say it. That seems to be the thinking at Google, Amazon and AT&T, which are all ready to grovel to you, today.
The Friday before a holiday weekend is the ultimate black hole for news, and thus the perfect time to dump embarrassing announcements. A roundup:
Google: To compensate for this week's hour-and-a-half-long GMail outage, Google has given three free days of service to its paying Google Apps customers. The company wrote in an email we received last night, "We understand that this service outage has affected our valued customers and their users, and we sincerely apologize for the disruption and any impact.
Amazon: Company CEO Jeff Bezos has already apologized for silently deleting copies of 1984 off people's Kindles, but now the company has made official amends, offering affected customers either a redelivery of the book or a $30 gift certificate, the Wall Street Journal reports.
AT&T: The telecommunications company knows its wireless network is the scourge of iPhone owners, so it's just posted a YouTube video of an empathetic, long-haired geek named "Seth" to explain how hard it has been for the company to keep up with the torrid growth in smartphone subscriptions. You know what else is hard, "Seth?" Spending $100 per month for crappy service.
"We have heard you," he soothes. "We are on it." We predict a parody version of this video will be up by the end of the weekend.