The company suffered what it called a “partial disruption,” before fixing the problem Saturday night. But at least a few users were affected, with complaints surfacing on Twitter starting Friday evening and into Saturday:
Fail with @car2goSeattle tonight. Can’t take vehicle and can’t call support. Lame.
— Stan Rawrysz (@rawfysh) January 26, 2014
@car2goSeattle wish I knew that before I walked a 1/2 mile to a car that doesn't work. Screwing up date night.
— Jordan Giarratano (@BudoPunk) January 26, 2014
— Jennifer Y Kim (@JenniferYKim) January 26, 2014
— Cary Lee (@caryme) January 26, 2014
Here’s quick background on how Car2go works: Drivers use the company’s app to locate a car, and once scanning a member card on the windshield, users can drive for an unlimited amount of time. When ready to end the trip, drivers can park in a designated area and must scan the member card again — which is the moment where people seemed to have problems.
One customer told us that her car couldn’t connect to Car2go’s server, while the toll-free support number was unavailable. She was instructed via Twitter — as were others — to lock the car door, keep the keys and contact the company. Car2go still charged her for the trip, but comped her 30 minutes to use in the next two months.
Others had similar issues:
— Justin Hill (@justin_e_hill) January 25, 2014
@car2goSeattle been stuck on the road trying to end trip. No connection via car and your emergency number isn't working.
— Duane (@duanelo) January 26, 2014
Car2go arrived in Seattle about a year ago, giving people a new way to get around the city in addition to the other new tech-savvy startups doing the same — although in some cases illegally. Seattle was Car2go’s ninth city, and now there are 25 metropolitan areas using the service.
We’ve reached out to Car2go for more details into what caused the outage. We’ll update the story when we hear back.