The increasing use of online channels for service delivery raises new challenges in service failure prevention. This work-in-progress paper reports on the first phase of an action-design research project to develop a service failure prevention methodology. In this paper we review the literature on online services, failure prevention and failure recovery and develop a theoretical framework for online service failure prevention. This provides the theoretical grounding for the artefact (the methodology) to be developed. We use this framework to develop an initial draft of our methodology. We then outline the remaining phases of the research, and offer some initial conclusions gained from the project to date.