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We ask a somewhat rhetorical question this morning … what is “scheduled maintenance?” Of course, it’s two things: “Scheduled” and “Maintenance,” right?

Maybe not. As we attempt to sign on to an auction platform his morning (or any morning) we are greeted far too often with this message “We’re sorry, but with ‘scheduled maintenance’ our site is down. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

We note they are sorry for any inconvenience? Certainly, they must be. Yes, it’s inconvenient as we believe it wasn’t scheduled because if it had been, we would have been notified. What would be the beauty of “scheduled maintenance?” — we would know about it ahead of time and would have “scheduled” to update our account some other time.

We wouldn’t have thought to note this service disruption except that this isn’t the first time. Seemingly several times each year, auction-related sites go down or are unavailable and the folks there choose to misrepresent the facts: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/conflicting-information/.

Okay, maybe I missed that email notice? Maybe I didn’t get the text? Did I miss the phone call? Or, did I not pay attention to the notice on their website about the “scheduled maintenance?” Maybe the reason for that is it wasn’t “scheduled maintenance” at all.

For that matter, all kinds of websites go down — for a variety of reasons — and auctioneers understand that; everyone understands that. The crime isn’t the outage, and rather the message. I think all auctioneers want (and can expect) is honesty.

I kind of understand companies not wanting the public to know they have unexpected issues. Yet, I don’t understand someone saying, “Oh gosh, the site is down … let’s just tell everyone we had to do some ‘scheduled maintenance.'” I would have far more respect for a company telling me the truth rather than obviously lying.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He has served as faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.