What will be...
... the new upgrade then...
Santander's banking website has been up and down today like a demented frog, forcing punters to hotfoot it to bricks-and-mortar branches. Customers took to Twitter and El Reg's inbox to report being booted off the online service shortly after logging into their accounts. Other complaints suggest that the online banking service …
Another vote for dropping Twatter comments from El Reg articles.
At least quoting from El Reg commentards or tip-offs has some merit to it because some know what they're on about (I'm not sure if I can include myself in that select group), but #ANGRY TWATTER QUOTES add about 0% extra value to stories.
Actually in Santander's case the problems started when they began to rip out the old and ageing software to replace it with the new, miraculous, award-winning Partenon system. Some part of the system was down nearly every day that I had the misfortune of working with it during my time in one of their call centres during university. I left Santander 3 years ago but I am informed by old colleagues that it is not much better today.
The fact that the RBS outage (and, to a rather lesser extent, this) are newsworthy items tells you that they don't happen very often. This in turn tells you something about quite how few customer-affecting problems the "old and ageing software" actually causes. Now sure, it ain't cheap to run a mainframe, but - provided you don't let inexperienced imbeciles poke them about - they are pretty damn reliable.
There might be a new meaning to you - rising rapidly. If the temperature in the Antarctic goes from -40 to -5 in a day then the temperature could be described as soaring. Therefore maybe you are mistaking the word for "scorching" or another word meaning a "very high temperature"?
Therefore as the weather in most of Britain has been pretty shocking lately it might be an exaggeration but not entirely without merit.
Also the comment about 40C is a little meaningless without context to your location. You could be sat in the middle of the Lut Desert.
@TheAxe, erm, mate, I'd lay money on it NOT being the bank's mainframes as the source of their problems. More likely to be some Microsoft garbage front end or middleware. Mainframes are are far more reliable as far as hardware (more ECC in every part of the system) and software (more transaction processing monitors). Not fast no, reliable. Are you new to IT?
I got it, I understood the idea behind it and found it witty and appreciable.
However, and not wanting to get too far into a critique, I felt the need to comment as it was a bit like being asked the question "name a popular fruit" and responding with "Kevin"*.
It'd still be a witty and appreciable response, but somehow not quite in keeping with the suggestion that led to it.
* apologies to all the Kevins out there who are not popular fruits but think they should be and all the popular fruits out there who are not named Kevin but also think they should be, and all the Kevins who are popular fruits but wish they weren't named Kevin, weren't popular or weren't fruits.
Its a service at the end of the day, when you opened a bank account they never promised that the online banking facilities would be accessible 24/7 for the remainder of your entire LIFE!
The fact people will take the time to whine about it on Twatter of all places just boils my p*ss.
Of course it should be available 24/7 for the rest of my life. It is a normal banking service these days, and completely accepted and expected.
I am not such a fool to expect that nothing will ever, ever, ever go wrong, but nor should banks be such fools as to expect their customers to see such failures as anything but just that: failures.
That's an expensive and silly promise for a bank to make (if they actually made it, which I doubt).
24/7 is much harder than (say) 5am to 1am six days/week, and I for one don't care if my bank is occasionally offline for planned maintenance between (say) 1am and 5am. I know that at least one of my financial services providers starts its scheduled downtimes at midnight - a bit early for my liking (which is how I know) but not enough to actually annoy me. Likewise, if they sometimes need to take a longer time-out on a Sunday, I'd not be very bothered. Certainly given a choice between 24/7 or free banking, I'd take the latter without hesitation!
If you want to remain with the RBS then head into your local branch and ask to move your account north of the border. Simple form, fill it in and either post it or give it back to them to send in their internal mail. They might ask why you want to move or say it isn't normally allowed, so just tell them you don't wish to become a Santander victim. Sorted.
RBS to Santander or the other way round is just going from the frying pan into the fire. Try Nationwide, Co-op, First Direct, Tridos or somewhere else according to your preferences; IT that doesn't have a reputation for going tits up and also a mutual society or ethical banking (if there is such a thing) so they have an interest in maintaining customer service instead of casino banking.
Come to think of it ... they got me, originally, as a free gift with Williams and Glynns. I didn't have a choice then, either.
That was the biggest shame, because WIlliams and Glynns gave really, really good personal service --- like one of those posh banks, almost!
The problem I have with their site is when you come to pay your credit card. All the usual fields are there to fill in, debit card number, expiry date, name on card, postcode, etc But oh what this? House number, not got one of those I’ve got a house name so I’ll leave that blank, ermmmm ok it’s a mandatory field I’ll try to just type my house name in, ermmmm ok its character limited to 5 characters, grrrrrrrrrrrrr Ok I’ll use the payments and transfers tab as the help says this’ll make thing quicker you can just use that tab to move money from a Banko Dago account to your credit card, except you can’t you can only move stuff from current, savings and ISA accounts the credit card isn’t listed, grrrrrrrrrr.
The site does seem to be working ok today
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me and 5 others wrote the original abbey national online banking code in 2000 - 2001, abbey was pretty late to online banking at the time. I've noticed it's been refreshed a few times since then but up until last year I still recognised the same underlying structure that had must have been in place for 10 years! It was a pretty cool system because, at launch, you could use it on Sky, web or cHTML website that only worked on those old LCD screen Nokias; i.e. a bit too far ahead of its time.
NatWest Direct Business Banking customers are being moved to Santander.
Nice to see the IT team are being moved too.
I've still not had any reply from NatWest after I commented that their "Switch to a more helpful bank" advertising slogan isn't really such a smart idea; I saw it last time I was entering a branch and switched to Barclays.
We have always used Firefox to access Santander's online banking, but yesterday we started getting 403s and 404s during the login process. (Firefox 14.0.1). Got through to the hotline surprisingly quickly, where the guy denied all knowledge of any problems. Eventually he suggested trying Internet Exploder, which to our astonishment worked fine. Of course, it's possible the problem went away while he was talking to us.
When I phoned Natwest asking about their business accounts I was told I could either sign up there and then, becoming a Santander customer or make an appointment with a Natwest branch. They took my details and said they'd call back to arrange a time.
They even sent me an email confirming this. Which was nice.
That was four weeks ago, even after stopping off at local branch to ask about an appointment I've heard nothing from them. Not only are they selling people's accounts off but they obviously don't want our money to start with.
Just like Comrade Lockwood, I switched to a more helpful bank too.
"We are aware that an isolated group of personal banking customers had intermittent problems accessing Online Banking for a short time earlier today. We are sorry for any inconvenience this caused and we can confirm that this has been resolved"
In other (exaggerated) words:
We have been told by all of our users that a very small group of a small section of users had very rare problems with a small section of our website which only shows itself for a very short period and in rare occasions when the moon is blue and the earth is at 200degress and the solar system has collapsed, for a very small period of time.
Fail. Tell us you have been hacked, go on! I am moving mortgages and paying huge sums of money out of my account - you have picked a great time :-)