Upgrading a critical system. On a Friday. Which is payday. At the end of the month. Before a Bank Holiday long weekend. What could possibly go wrong?
It's Friday at month's end just before a Bank Holiday – Pay and Bills Day – and users of Santander's UK arm have been unable to use online banking and apps since 9:49 AM BST. Thousands of companies use the bank to process UK payroll. More than 2,000 reported having issues at publication on third-party downtime monitor …
No matter the boss's name, I bet he has the attitude even if he may not have pointy hair.
I love it when essential institutions bleat about their customer service call systems being overwhelmed with high call rates when there are problems, that's what the system is there for you idiots! Make it more functional.
While I hesitate to say anything that could be construed as defending Santander, in the interests of fairness the article doesn't say that this outage was down to any sort of upgrade, let alone one to a critical system.
It does mention a fairly generic promise to upgrade systems, made in the last financial report, but there's nothing to say when that actually happened/will happen.
I recall a colleague of mind whose main task was to maintain and "continuously improve" a DEC based real time 24/7/365 control system. Above his desk was a large notice reading "NEVER NEVER NEVER update this system on a Friday" Over the years I have come to learn the wisdom of this advice.
This part is true - I contacted them the other day and asked them to close my account.
I assume an employee then hit Close All instead of just Close, and went on to click Yes in the 'Are you sure?' dialog. I mean, who hasn't accidentally deleted millions of customer accounts at least once in their career?
I asked for any money remaining in my account as a cheque. With any luck, one for £eleventy-billion is on its way
Banks are for using, not trusting.
Once upon a time, there was a business account with Barclays which was closed while it was still in credit to the tune of a very small sum. Rather than transfer the funds into another working account digitally, an authorised signatory for and on behalf of Barclays Bank PLC Sundry Persons thought it best to send by post a crossed cheque payable only to the closed account. That is tantamount, children, to being wilfully crooked, so take care and beware, and they are all tarred with the same brush.
"some customers are currently experiencing difficulties"
"we are experiencing extremely high volumes of calls"
It is totally possible that a smallish percentage of customers can flood the help desk - but the way they worded it is stupid.
I very much dislike those weasel words. Is it so hard to be a little bit more honest and direct in public statements?
> I very much dislike those weasel words. Is it so hard to be a little bit more honest and direct in public statements?
Sometimes I wonder whether it's worth buying a single share in order to get the right to ask the management: Please list the dates, times and durations for when the customer support line was NOT automatically answering all calls with the message "We're sorry but we're experiencing unusually high volumes of calls at the moment"?
Sometimes that, getting it in the media or emailing CEO* is the only way to get things done. With automated systems - including those with call centre drones in the loop - things aretoo often handled by repeatedly retrying what's failed. Surprise, surprise, the same thing happens again. Publicity is a way of breaking out of that loop to get the problem escalated.
* Yes, it can work, been on both ends of that although it might only apply to some companies.
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