Subscribers to Apple's .Mac suite of Internet services were unable to access Web sites hosted by the service.

Reports of problems began surfacing yesterday, the service temporarily resumed by 12pm today. However, it has gone down again. Readers reported not being able to access the service from 3pm this afternoon. One reader said: "So much for reliability when you've reduced your customers to one hundred thousand."

Upon accessing .Mac hosted Web sites, users experienced an error message stating "Gateway Timeout".

iDisk was off line, email couldn't be sent or received, and none of the .Mac forums were accessible.

Members of Apple's .Mac discussion group expressed their dissatisfaction, one said: "I'm already considering switching to a real service."

Another frustrated reader said: "There's no mention from .Mac or Apple personnel about the problem, no warning that maintenance interruptions might or will occur. No apologies, no explanations, no replies from administrators and repeatedly no service."

.Mac was also allegedly down for two days from September 20 to 22.