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We are currently integrating a web chat functionality on a utilities website, where customers can query their bill, or changing plans etc. with their cellular bills.

The web chat will sit top right on all paged, and when clicked, will initiate a web chat sessions. In the event of one of our chat integrations failing or not working, we need to design an error screen. I cannot find any best practice information our there, so my thought was to provide the following while the user waits:

An apology message saying that the chat is having technical issues, and recommending that the user email us instead. Any hats thrown into the ring on this one are much appreciated!

Here's something I put together below as a first pass:

There's a technical issue with chat right now, and we're looking into it. You can also email us, and we'll get back to you within 30 minutes. Thanks for your patience.

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During a system downtime, I think it's still okay to launch the web chat window. However, error message should be displayed in the main area, furthermore text field and "Send" button should be disabled accordingly.

enter image description here

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  • Typo: Error message is displayed not disabled. – Ades Mar 31 at 16:12

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