Google had already fixed the issue when it decided to step forward with the now-usual “we’re sorry” announcement. Todd Jackson, Gmail Product Manager, write on the Gmail Blog:

“Many of you had trouble accessing Gmail for a couple of hours this afternoon, and we’re really sorry. The issue was caused by a temporary outage in our contacts system that was preventing Gmail from loading properly. Everything should be back to normal by the time you read this.

We’ve identified the source of this issue and fixed it. In addition, as with all issues that affect Gmail and our other services, we’re conducting a full review of what went wrong and moving quickly to update our internal systems and procedures accordingly. We don’t usually post about problems like this on our blog, but we wanted to make an exception in this case since so many people were impacted.”

What’s worth noticing about this apology is the impressive amount of feedback received by the company. According to Jackson, reports about the issue came via email (not Gmail, we presume), phone calls, Twitter posts and list could on. Google needs to be seen as a company that really gets involved and cares for its customers, and such messages might do a good job in strengthening such an image.